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

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

PART TWO | Limbo

If we truly accept that we suffer from a fatal illness over which we are powerless, we will experience what is called an existential crisis. An existential crisis occurs when we let go of an unhealthy behavior, but we don’t yet have a better and healthier alternative available. We are betwixt and between. We are in limbo. We’ll want to avoid the feelings that surface from being in such a difficult position, but it is important to feel the desperation and anxiety that come from surrender. An existential crisis places us at a crossroads between complete despair and hope. Allowing ourselves to surrender to this crisis shifts something inside of us. We become open to new possibilities; our reliance on our false self is shattered. This prepares us for the next step in recovery: hope.

Hope is a therapeutic force present in all forms of healing. Hope springs from faith at this stage of recovery: a faith that there is a better and healthier alternative. We find our hope in the Twelve Steps. On page 58 of the Big Book, the newcomer is told that “Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path.” If we believe ourselves to be special, then we won’t adhere to these crucial words of advice.

PART ONE          PART TWO          PART THREE