I looked up the definition of complacency and I was surprised at how relevant and appropriate it is for me as an addict. “Complacency: self-satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies.”
When I am being complacent, I am taking my recovery for granted. I may still be doing some of the basics like attending meetings, sharing in meetings, calling my sponsor or doing service work; however, when I take a closer look at my actions, I start to have questions. Am I really listening to everyone who shares when I go to a meeting, or am I messing with my phone ….whispering to a neighbor….or planning in my head what I am doing after the meeting? When I share in a meeting am I sharing a clear message or recovery and expressing the gratitude that I have for my recovery, or am I complaining about being tired, stressed, broke, etc…? When I call my sponsor, am I really being honest about what’s going on with me? Am I listening to her and being willing to take suggestions… or am I giving lip service to it by saying “sure…I’ll look at that”? Mind you, I have done all of these things or I wouldn’t even mention them here. I am a work in progress.
The main thing that I think prevents me from falling into complacency is working with a sponsor. Some days I need a gentle nudge to remind me that it’s been a while since we went over a writing assignment. I need someone to ask me how many meetings I have been to THAT WEEK. Ask me every time you see me if you want…and I’ll do the same right back! I need someone to remind me that the reason I have a service commitment is to be able to carry the message to the addict who still suffers and to express my gratitude in a hands-on way. Being an active member of a home group is also a good way to stay grounded and connected to the atmosphere of recovery, but I have to make the effort to participate or I’m just taking up space. Because I stay involved, I really believe that if my home group members missed me at a few meetings, someone would seek me out. (Love you guys!)
Once I have fallen into complacency there are a few things that tend to snap me back to reality very quickly. Finding out that an addict I care for has relapsed always makes me question how diligent I have been in my own personal recovery. (Hint: A good tool to pick up is the Living the Program pamphlet.) Sadly, the most sobering jolt is when we lose a member to active addiction. This never gets easier. It breaks my heart, but it also makes me take a step back remembering that I am not exempt from the same fate, which starts me reevaluating what’s been going on in my life. I think, after a loss like that, meetings tend to be a little more focused and I can’t help but wonder if others feel the same way too.
If you go back to the definition that I found, I need to stay aware of the actual dangers of falling into complacency. We are each other’s eyes and ears too!