Our last blog entry contrasted first stage recovery, which is focused on adjusting oneself to external conditions, or on “fitting in”, with next stage recovery, which is focused on becoming, and fulfilling, your real, authentic self. This blog entry focuses on a subject that is critical to building a successful next stage, or long-term, recovery: Core Issues. Core Issues are old, embedded behaviors, beliefs and attitudes that are self-defeating and block a smooth flow in life. Unaddressed Core Issues can easily shipwreck your attempts at creating a better life for yourself.
While you are unique, certain Core Issues often crop up. For instance, you might need to:
- Let go of other addictions – compulsive eating, shopping, gambling, or sex, workaholism, internet addiction, etc.
- Let go of shame – the ingrained, pervasive, unconscious belief that you don’t deserve love or a good life because you are worthless.
- Let go of the false self (or mask) developed as a survival mechanism in childhood to protect your inner self from abuse.
- Let go of coping behaviors that served you in the past, but have now become self-defeating.
- Let go of perfectionism – the obsession to be perfect in everything, to be the absolute best at everything you do, for a never-ending string of accomplishments, possessions, etc.
- Let go of exciting – but dysfunctional – relationships or jobs that help you stay a few steps ahead of whatever emptiness and pain may still remain buried deep down inside.
- Let go of people who hold you back because they are uncomfortable with you growing and changing.
- Stop seeking “parents” – looking for people to take care of you because of difficulty taking full responsibility for your life.
- Stop playing “parent” – taking care of people who have difficulty taking responsibility for their life.
- Renew your spiritual life – deepen and expand your relationship with a Higher Source; heal inner wounds from childhood religious abuse/trauma.
Working through – and resolving – these issues is central to getting where you want to go in your life, and to the long-term viability of your recovery. Not addressing these, and other related issues, will sabotage your plans, your recovery, and potentially your life itself.