For those who have been clean and sober for a considerable length of time, their recovery almost feels like second nature. They are able to work their individual program of recovery and keep it front and center while they squeeze the most of their daily life. After a while, however, recovery can feel like a routine, and boredom and complacency can set in. For the recovering addict, complacency in dangerous and can be a solid sign that a relapse is just around the bend. We often hear the term complacency, but we may not know the true definition of the word and how it can negatively impact recovery.
What Exactly Is Complacency?
The simple definition of complacency is feeling a sense of contentment and self-satisfaction about where you are at in a certain situation or about life in general. Everyone experiences complacency, and it especially can hit those who are in recovery from drug and alcohol abuse. People who have earned their “clean time” have worked hard and spent many hours in drug treatment and around the tables of 12-step and other sober support groups moving beyond what kept them stuck in their addiction. Celebrating milestones in recovery is an awesome feeling and can leave those who work their recovery every day filled with a great sense of pride and accomplishment.
Beware of the Complacency Trap
In all walks of life—and especially in the world of recovery—there is a very fine line between being confident and being complacent. Those who are truly confident in recovery fully understand their fault and weaknesses as well as their strengths. These people continually work to improve themselves every day, honestly address their shortcomings, and look at life in a manner that is realistic. For those who are complacent, however, act confidently—but it is a false sense of confidence. Unlike confident people who work for their success in recovery, those who are complacent feel that success is all but guaranteed and they don’t feel they need to continually strive to move past their addiction.
More often than not, those who are complacent never see trouble that is right under the nose let alone what lies around the bend. Complacent people may have started strong out of the gate when it comes to their recovery, but once they start seeing the fruits of the labor they stop working their program and feel they have everything figured out. That line of thinking is the perfect trap and their addiction can start to gain ground in their rearview mirror. When relapse does occur, people will often sit dumbstruck and wonder what went wrong when everything was going so well. The simple reason they relapse is the fact they forget that addiction is cunning, baffling, and powerful.
Are You Experiencing Complacency in Recovery?
Is your recovery in a rut? Are things beginning to feel like that “same old, same old”? Are you feeling the temptations, triggers, and urges to use starting to dominate your thoughts? If you have answered yes to these questions, chances are good that you are becoming complacent in your recovery. How can you tell exactly? The following signs can point towards complacency settling in your recovery mindset.
You Stop Going to Meetings
Through your lifespan as a recovering person, 12-step meetings act as your lifeline when things get shaky in your sobriety. After a period of time, you may feel that you have outgrown the need to be present at group meetings. As a result, you stop going to those meetings altogether. This is an obvious trap that you can fall into, and if you continue to avoid meetings the urges and cravings to use drugs and alcohol often come back with a vengeance. While life does happen and the daily grind can interfere with our meeting schedule, we must find ways to make meetings a continued cornerstone of recovery.
You Stop Serving Others
Oftentimes we often hear that recovery is “a selfish program”—and this is correct, to a certain degree. It is paramount that in early recovery we place our energy and focus on ourselves and doing what we need to in order to become clean and sober. As we become more comfortable in our sobriety; however, we must share our experiences with others who may be struggling in recovery. We immerse ourselves in volunteer work or maybe we become sponsors to a newcomer. When complacency sets in, the focus on sharing and being of service to others starts to play second fiddle to our wants and desires. While there is nothing wrong with taking care of your needs, once it becomes all about you then it becomes a problem.
You Stop Taking Advice
Experiencing success in recovery can feel wonderful but it also can make us feel too confident. In early recovery, we relied on the advice and suggestions of those who were established in their own recovery—and their words and actions provided a blueprint for us to follow. When you achieve a significant amount of clean time of your own and start reaping the rewards of your hard work, you may feel that you don’t need to take someone’s advice and that you can handle your own affairs. Once you lose accountability for yourself and feel that you don’t have to learn or don’t have to be taught, that is when you know that complacency has set in and relapse may be near.
Great Drug Treatment Gives You the Tools You Need to Keep Moving Forward in Your Recovery
Complacency can happen in anyone’s recovery at any time. However, with the tools and support you receive from a quality drug rehab center, those moments happen few and far between. As one of the premier drug and alcohol treatment centers in Florida, Pathway to Hope has created treatment programs that give you the motivation you need to continue succeeding and thriving in your recovery. From therapy, life skills training, and relapse prevention programs through to our aftercare and alumni programs, you receive the support you need to continue to be empowered. Call Pathway to Hope at 844-557-8575 or contact us online today and build your life of recovery.