Stupid Thing #5: Feeling Special and Unique (part three)

An excerpt from 12 Stupid Things That Mess Up Recovery
by Allen Berger, PhD., Hazelden Publishing


How do we develop faith? For those of us in recovery, faith comes from witnessing the transformation in others who suffer from a similar problem. Through attendance at Twelve Step meetings, we witness firsthand the miracle called recovery. We see other people who are suffering from this terrible illness successfully trudging the road of recovery. It is by witnessing recovery firsthand that the seed of hope is planted.

So give up this nonsense that you need to be special.

My clinical supervisor William C. Rader, M.D., a truly gifted psychiatrist, provided me with the following analogy. He used to say that when we undergo a surgical procedure, we don’t want to be special; we want to be average. Average patients do well in most surgical procedures; the special cases run into trouble. Special cases typically do not survive. In recovery, it’s okay to be average. We want to be in the middle of the pack. The average person in AA gets well. The special person doesn’t because he or she doesn’t do what the average AA member does to stay sober. This sabotages recovery and usually ends up causing chronic relapses.

Feeling that we are special also prevents us from attaining humility. Humility is the spiritual foundation of our recovery, and the only solution to the medical problem of addiction is a spiritual cure.

PART ONE          PART TWO          PART THREE