Have you ever reached a point in your life when you wanted to give up? In my recovery program we call this “program fatigue”, and it means reaching a point of recovery exhaustion. You get so tired of working your program and following the 12 Steps that you want to throw in the towel. You begin to believe that giving in to your addiction would be better than another moment of sober hell. I’ve hit that point before; have you?
I’m dealing with a number of significant stressors in my personal life, and the force of these impending events is like a screw tightening down on me. I want a way out. I want to escape from the pain and stress, if only for a little while.
I want to escape the expectations of those who believe I’ll never relapse.
I want to escape the crushing responsibilities of being the sole provider for a family of five.
I want to escape the remembered pain of childhood and the unbearable knowledge that I’m never whole and never enough.
Everyone has these moments; everyone wants to give up. If you’re going through what I’m going through, I’m sorry, but I don’t have a flippant five-step answer to solve your problem.
The only thing I can do to help is to paraphrase Winston Churchill. He said that sometimes doing your best isn’t enough; sometimes you just have to get the job done. Today doing my best in recovery won’t be enough because my best will fail. And I can’t afford to fail.
Yes, it’s painful. It sucks. It’s not fair. It makes me sad and angry and scared to go through so much mental anguish. No amount of prayer or Bible study can cure this…the only thing that works is to grit my teeth and bear it. I would much rather act out; that would be so much easier! I would finally get a break from the fear and pain!
But like I said, I can’t afford to fail. I’ve reached my breaking point, and though I’ve given it my best shot, this time I don’t think my best is good enough. So I’ll just have to get the job done.