The 5 “P”s of Recovery


 Ed Sheeran – Autumn Leaves


Let’s try to narrow it down. What really was the problem before recovery?

A myopic view of extraordinary victimization; a personal perception of unfair, undeserved pain and suffering leading us to an escape from life through Alcohol and Drug Abuse. “You’d ‘dope and swill’ if you were me too, right”?

Perched Upon the Pot of Pity

Though they were contributory, it wasn’t just the scads of drugs and vats of booze that brought me to that conclusion, it was my whole life as I saw it – a pattern of truly undeserved persecution that was responsible for my addictions. THAT – was my perception.

Those were my thoughts nearly 13 years ago. Has my position changed? Yes, but more like evolved, I’d say – because change suggests an event and evolution suggests the slow and steady process of us ‘garden variety’ types.

Those ahead of me said there would be continuations of periodic pain; though it would diminish overall as our “program” of recovery provided me with support from fellows in my fellowship, along with other elements. I’d read of principles, seeing their power revealed as I stumbled along. They were often referred to as “the next indicated things”.

With eager intentions, I took it all in – but here in this current moment of reflection it seems more that I replaced one addiction with another. I gave up the “stuff” and found myself with a whole new obsessive-compulsion: A.A. N.A., or in their broader present sense what I call “Recovery.” For us “dualists” it’s just no longer one or the other with walls in between – and no – it is NOT a cult to me.

The “stuff” (addictive substances and habits) were self-destructive. I found “recovery”  to be reconstructive, especially as it became seemingly obsessive/compulsive,….you know… I got really into it, but in a good way, right?

I finally came to this point – breaking it down into the elements. I made what I call,………..

The Five P’s of Recovery

  1. Principles: The 12 Steps of Recovery have brought me a series of actions and attitudes that help me arrive at continually new insight, ever expanding for me, (at least, so far). You’ve heard that saying: ” X means different things to you at different times in your life – well that applies here for me. Case in point: Prayer and Meditation are entirely different concepts to me than when I signed-on, rattling-off the slot machine prayers – but they didn’t hurt me.
  2. Practice: You read and review, move to apply, then inventory your life consistently. This is the process of acquiring new actions and attitudes. We needn’t be terrible fundamentalist or rigid, as morphing them slightly allows accommodation for our personal growth and insight. Trial and error, you know?  It goes on forever, becoming a joy rather than a drudgery – like an enjoyable new skill as opposed to a dreaded homework assignment.
  3. Patience: I am learning to acquire the ability to wait, and in fact have found that doing so often improves the quality of my actions — considerably. If you don’t know what to do you can always wait,… even if just a little while.
  4. Persistence: I’m learning not to give-up so quickly. When frustration sets in, I wait and then try again. Sometimes I have to stop and come back to things, but I don’t give-up as easily as I did before. I was one of those “F**k-It” types in the old days. If it can’t be done right now it’s not worth doing over again — sorry, just isn’t meant for me —  move on,…. right? LOLOL!
  5. Prayer: Right away, let’s add Meditation to this skill set. As simple as letting go of all threads before the mind and focusing on the path and pace of your breath ( in the NOW ). It’s so restorative. If you are into creative design and even further worship or rely upon a G.O.Y.U. (God of your understanding) you go to this entity or intelligence and seek support, care and inspiration, even aid in finding self-control.

Take time – a moment or longer to process. When you witness something or are exposed to an event in which you immediately are tempted to react in (Fear, Sadness, Anger) just allow your emotional framework to sort through it. It may take a few hours or even days with the tough stuff, but it’s so much better than reacting – let’s just call it: responding.

So there you are. Armed with the Five P’s of Recovery. I hope these will help you to formulate your own insights into them, and invite you all to add your thoughts in comments at the end of the article.

Namaste~ Author, Arthur Messenger

Eric Clapton – Autumn Leaves

Please examine both of my books for potential inclusion into your Recovery Library.


* Now available free through KINDLE PRIME LOANER LIBRARY – 01/14.

Exorcizing the Demon of Hatred

From the book: “Living the 12 Steps of RecoveryOne Day at a Time – As It Was in the Beginning” here’s the 9th Step Frontispiece original drawing by Jessica V.

As Addicts and Alcoholics, our obsessive and compulsive nature draws us to rehash our resentments to the point of insanity in an endless circle of repetition. It can drive us to drink, use or madness.

We must find forgiveness for those we have come to despise, to hate, for it is that energy that excites our need to escape through our old mechanism: drugs, obsessive/compulsive behavior and alcohol.

We who follow the pathway of Spiritual Recovery believe that we must confront our accuser to find our own forgiveness and rid us of self-loathing as well. This is one of the purposes of Step Nine: seeking and providing a reckoning for our hatred and self-loathing by making amends and restitution.

Here is an excerpt from this month’s collection of affirmations:

September 10
Approaching Those We Hated

Any life that includes deep resentment becomes filled with the burden of hatred. When one’s feelings include disgust and repulsion of another human being, instigating bitterness, spite, and scorn, then hate exists. It can grow to override all else. As the epitome of resentment, hatred can cause us to plot and ponder another’s demise in a continuing grudge of vengeful anger, driving us to self-destructive obsession.
In our Ninth Step, the question of how to approach the person we hated is bound to arise. No maintenance or hope of growth in an alcoholic or addict’s spiritual experience can occur until this obsession is purged by forgiveness, though done only if it will do no harm by an effort of reconciliation. Our choice of words must be reserved and considerate of everyone’s feelings.
The first difficulty can be found in our hatred having actually done us more harm than we believe we have done them. Though we’ve begun acquiring a better attitude toward them, admitting that our anger sank to hatred’s level is not easy, and no snap to let go by forgiveness.

To get your copy of either of A. Messenger’s works, in Ebook (KINDLE + NOOK) or signed original soft-back, just go to this address: