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I Think I Can But Can't

07 July 2015 Written by 

Why Do We Hurt Ourselves Ego Does It: A friend hurt himself and just as he was healing from another injury. He knew it as he did it. Who lifts an engine with an injured back. Who tries walking on a broken foot weeks before the doctor said to? Another friend.

Why do we intentionally harm ourselves? I have done the same thing. I had abdominal surgery and the doctor told me I would need 6 weeks of total rest. I felt I was in much better shape than his other patients. I dismissed his advice and tried to mop the floor after only 4 weeks. I immediately felt the strain. I dropped the mop and laid down promising myself to take the Doctor’s advice to heart.

Ego Does It

In each case our sense of being superhuman, above the rules of reality, had caused us harm. The source, in my case, was my ego. I have always felt my health was better than most people’s. I carried that snobbery into my recovery and almost landed back in the hospital.

Recovery has its rules too

Often in recovery from addiction we think we are above the rules of going to a meeting, maybe 7 a week, staying away from the wrong friends, reading encouraging literature, and whatever else the program suggests we do to protect our sobriety. Staying humble not only protects one’s recovery it allows it to grow and deepen.
The quickest way to sabotage one’s recovery is to believe for one second that the rules don’t apply to you.

The rules aren't for me

On my weight loss journey I refused to track my points for Weight Watchers. I had done it before and knew all the point values. As often as the staff at Weight Watchers encouraged me to track I refused. That was for those other people. I was special. After nearly a year and not having any success I finally saw my stubbornness and pride. Even in recovering from food my ego was interfering with any success.
I swallowed my pride, started to track, and understand  that I was merely one of the members and not a special case helped me tremendously. It actually helped me to feel peaceful and focused.  Once my ego was in check I felt the freedom and peace the program had been promising. Not surprisingly the weight began to drop off.

Okay, the rules are for me

My friend is a little wiser about lifting items he shouldn’t be lifting and I am able to do the same and am tracking my food with a real sense of joy and acceptance.

While over doing it looks and feels like we are being strong and brave it is often fueled by our ego. I have found it is wiser to love myself well no matter what my ego wants.

Reach Out Recovery Exclusive By: Nadine Knapp

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Nadine Knapp

I was born into a large Catholic Family of 14 children in Upstate New York. I graduated with my degree in Professional and Technical Writing from University of South Florida. My recovery story began when I witnessed addiction in close  relatives and friends. Unable to change them I began to focus on what I could change, me. Building a support system for myself I now strive daily to keep the focus on me. In my articles I sometimes share stories from my own experience, strength, and hope. It is my hope that others will find courage to see "the elephant in the room" and seek out help for themselves against this cunning,baffling,and powerful disease.
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