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Alcester Road
Stratford upon Avon
Warwickshire
CV37 6PP

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1357 Warwick Road
Knowle
Solihull
West Midlands
B93 9LW

Mobile: 07836 261661

Email: chris@addiction-therapy.co.uk

Chris Sharpe is also an associate of Twin Rivers Rehab in South Africa

Twin Rivers in South Africa

 

Doubt: Being Special and Different

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A Controversy of God and SpiritualityAre Addicts Born Doubters?

Whether recovery is sought through a treatment centre, specialised counselling or through one of the many worldwide recovery fellowships, it is worth taking a moment to consider that those who struggle and fall, are usually those who primarily doubt their ability to achieve. Deep down inside, most addicts are born doubters; not only do they doubt their capability to achieve, they also doubt their value and their ability to love or be loved, to the point where they become so damaged that when they are offered restitution, they deny and push the opportunity away. This is mainly because they don’t believe they deserve it. It has to be understood that for the suffering addict, achievements don’t necessarily erase shame or low self-worth, instead what he or she tends to do is mask genuine triumph with grandiosity, false pride and an inflated ego, while allowing the negatives of resentment and blaming others to come to the fore. Amazingly, the twelve- step programme recognises this process.

It reveals that only restitution, forgiving of self and others, compassion, repentance and living with dignity, will ever erase the past. The problem is that when the addict is faced with such terrible imperfections, compassion, whether for the self or for others, can seem an impossible task.

AA or NA, Membership


I sometimes think that in support fellowships such as AA or NA, membership can be divided into two definite camps; both of them valid and acceptable. The first camp is for those who manage to ‘keep it simple’ by following the suggestions and opinions of others without question. The second is for members who otherwise complicate matters, thus finding a need to question and analyse. With regard to the simple camp, I believe that most members would find it difficult to share the unquestioning faith and conviction seen in others. Thus failure means that a shared faith becomes something of an illusion, giving a feeling of being less than, or not belonging. Therefore, because the comfort and conformity of a recovery fellowship can only go so far, doubting members may find themselves well and truly ensconced in the complicated camp. Playing the game never seemed to live up to its promise.

As opposed to relapse, further investigation into the complicated nature of addiction can become an alternative route into recovery. Despite what some sceptics might say, analysis can be a preferred option. It only becomes problematic when it blocks and obstructs progress. So, to survive the complication, positive effort is required. For this reason I offer up a challenge to those who question and doubt. Stick with it, not only accept the doubt but use it, push it forward to open up an essential pathway to faith. On the face of it this process may sound unconventional but I truly believe doubt can become a gateway to the positive. If challenged correctly, doubt can inspire a person to set his or her own individual goals; to draw up inspirational action plans; to seek more information; find new alternatives and discover the key that opens the door to a workable faith.

Doubt and Faith


It has been said before that doubt and faith are two sides of the same coin and recovery literature tells us that, ‘Faith without works is Dead.’ If only for that reason alone, we sometimes need to just sit quietly and listen to the rationale of doubt and examine the bigger picture. The least this can do is broaden our perspective. If given half a chance, doubt can become a powerful motivator. Who knows, it may even supply you with the motivation to stay sober. Achieving a seemingly unattainable goal by proving someone, even yourself wrong, rising above the obstacle, can produce the sweet and rewarding feelings that make a little self-doubt worthwhile. If looked at with a positive frame of mind, doubt can be transformed into the most important faith of all. Doubt invigorates faith, demands more of it, and causes us to ask more of each other. When communicated properly, doubt has the ability to firmly bind one person’s faith to that of another. It encourages us to reach out, discover and explore. Someone who doubts can be someone who firmly remains on a journey.

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