For many addicts, the fact that our emotional development was paralyzed when we began using drugs and alcohol means that our reactions to certain people or situations are also underdeveloped. In fact, the 12 steps is essentially a program of re-education which allows us to retrain the way we interact with the world around us. In other words, it is a program that expedites the growth process so that we can begin functioning like healthy adults in the world. One of the most prominent and potentially destructive traits that seems to affect most addicts in early recovery is the proclivity towards stubbornness. Stubbornness can be looked at as an immature coping strategy whereby we try and gain control over a situation that we may or may not want to engage in. The primary problem with stubbornness is that it leaves us blind to the negative repercussions, or positive opportunities, that we need clarity in order to fully see and understanding.

As children, we may have been told to stay away from a cake that was left in the refrigerator. Because we were children, we may have only understood “no” and not been able to see the entire picture which may have been that the cake was actually for a birthday party. Because of our selfish desires, which are exacerbated by our addictions, we necessarily become blind to the things that we don’t want to do. We leave ourselves incapable of seeing the whole picture and understanding the full range of perspectives in any given situation. Regardless if our stubbornness is born out of a need to control, or from a desire to avoid difficulty, continuing to adopt the stubborn stance in sobriety will lead back into the belly of the beast eventually. When looking at our own stubbornness we need to be able to honestly answer the questions of, “why is it being suggested that I do this? Will I be better off after doing this? and, “what is really holding me back from being willing to engage in things that will benefit my sobriety?” Lastly, it is important that we find individuals who have a vast knowledge and experience within the realm of addiction so that they might be able to steer us in the direction of success and away from failure. Hired Power is staffed with addiction professionals who, if we are able to become willing, can lead us down that path of personal growth and send us in a trajectory of self-improvement.

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