Title:

  Total Recovery: Balancing Head & Heart, Body & Soul in Recovery
 Author:   Jim Parker
Publisher:   Do It Now Foundation

 Publication Date:

  February 1999

 Catalog No:

  222

..Chapter 1: Don't Wobble!

In walking, just walk.
In sitting, just sit.
Above all, don't wobble.

--Chinese proverb

So where do you start to stop an addiction?

The best place is inside yourself. You have to believe you can (and know you should) get off chemicals before you can get anywhere.

So in case you haven't done it yet, or in case you're still thinking about it, or in case you've done it for a while but are thinking about it as a temporary sort of change (you may even already be looking forward to a week or a month or a year from now when you can stop not-doing it), we have good news and bad news:

You really do need to quit doing drugs and alcohol. For good.

If that isn't obvious to you by now, maybe you don't have a drug or alcohol problem. Because if you did, you'd know the simple truth that you need to quit -- now -- and stay off whatever you've been on.

If you haven't quit, do it. If you have, keep doing it. If you're thinking about it, stop thinking about it and refer to the first sentence in this paragraph.

It's as simple as this: If you don't quit, you won't know if drugs and alcohol are your main problem. And at this stage of your life, you really need to know.

If you realize later that chemicals have been (and continue to be) a problem for you, you'll know what to do. (In fact, if you paid attention to the paragraph before last, you'll already be doing it.) If chemicals aren't a problem (and for some people, they're not), you'll know that, too, and can act accordingly.

If you're wondering how to quit, realize that there's really only one way: Altogether, all at once.

And while there are potential problems you should be aware of if you're strung out on alcohol, downers, or minor tranquilizers -- including the risk of seizures (which means you should be under some form of medical supervision) -- for any other sort of addiction, all you need to do is quit, pure and simple.

If you think you need help in getting that done, fine. Call a treatment organization or a doctor or a social service agency that can provide a referral, but call and get it done.

And once you get it done, keep it done. Make staying sober or straight what your life is about. Don't panic, thinking you'll never be able to do it -- or never want to stay that way -- for the rest of your life. Just take care of today's business today.

And don't wobble. Tomorrow will take care of itself.


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This is one in a series of publications on drugs, behavior, and health from Do It Now Foundation. Check us out online at www.doitnow.org.