Don't want to relapse? Read this.

AHHHHHH why didn't anyone warn me how hard this was going to be?!!?!? Okay well, we all know recovery is hard. So was living in the active stages of our destructive addiction though right?

Man, I remember hanging out on some Church steps with some other houseless people when my wife said she was hungry. A guy told me we could find some good pizza in the trash cans around closing time downtown. Yes. We dined from trash cans that night.

Drugs filled my veins and hostess crumb cakes filled my stomach. I remember living off of chewable gummy vitamins for 3 days. Heck, there was a time I swore someone was stealing my belt and making it longer because there was no way the bath salts could make me any more skinny! How crazy is that? Belt stealers making it longer. SMH.

Why am I telling you all of this? During destructive addiction, I am sure the person is rare who is taking care of their wellness. I for sure wasn't! Neither were any of the people I hung out with! HAHAHA I remember thinking I should start running so I knew I could always outrun the cops. LOL

Here is the thing. Since 1948 we've had this illness-wellness continuum developed by Dr. John Travis. I've noticed that in my recovery I've been working this continuum continually. I believe that the first step to long term recovery is awareness. Awareness. The type of awareness that demands self-honesty. Notice the stages of wellness. Awareness. Education. Growth.

If we want to stay far away from relapse we need to be in the growth state. I mean think about your rehab? Were we not made aware, educated and grew as a result. If we stop educating ourselves and slip into that neutral point we are dangerously close to relapse. SOOOOO What's next?

The stages of learning. This is called competence theory. 

At the small end, we don't know that we don't know. We think our sh&% doesn't stink and no one can tell us anything. We know it all and we are perfect. That's a bit exaggerated but I think you get the point. The big thing is that it is comfortable. This is the single reason why we stay here.

Another word for conscious is aware. Remember the continuum above? When we realize that we are trying to change it sucks at first. We just have to decide. Are we going to take responsibility to change the habits or beliefs? Or decide that we aren't good enough, we don't deserve it, it's too hard, or we weren't made to live that way. IF we take the high road we continue the struggle and there will be doubts but slowly we become more and more competent. Eventually one day we will realize that we aren't thinking about it anymore. We are just doing it.

That's the thing though. The Effort. The Struggle. The Doubt. They are all incredibly uncomfortable. How do we get comfortable with being uncomfortable? Practice.

There you have it. Those habits we talked about last week? Well, now you have a little deeper look into it. Now that you know the science, hopefully acting with faith is a little easier.

As Woody Hayes would say, "If it comes easy, it ain't worth a damn."

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If you have any questions, need a little guidance message me on my FB @BA2L.Airek. or you can email me at

The BA2L is real,
Be Addicted to Life.
Eric (Airek)

John Travis 
Competence Theory
How Adults Learn (Competence Theory)


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