Addiction Recovery

21: Why We Self Sabotage and How to Stop It

February 27, 2024 Steven T. Ginsburg Season 1 Episode 21
Addiction Recovery
21: Why We Self Sabotage and How to Stop It
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Dive into the intriguing realm of self-sabotage in recovery as we unravel the mysteries of what holds us back from reaching our full potential. Just like a ship's plimsoll line, we'll explore those unseen barriers that hinder our progress, while Steven sheds light on the dance between rhythm and structured routine that paves the way to a sober life.

This episode isn't merely a discussion; it's a guiding light leading us back to the fundamental principles of recovery. With gratitude at the helm, we extend a heartfelt embrace to all those walking the path of sobriety alongside us. Your contributions knit together a safety net of support, offering hope and inspiration to others navigating their own journeys. Remember, self-care is the compass guiding us through the highs and lows of recovery. Until next time, cling to the wisdom shared in this episode like a beacon illuminating your path to lasting sobriety.

Helpful Links:
Learn more about Restore Detox Centers
Filling the Void book by Steven T. Ginsburg
Overcoming the Fear and Lies of Addiction e-book
How to Love and Set Boundaries Without Enabling Addiction e-book
Call Us for Addiction Recovery:  1-800-982-5530

DISCLAIMER:

Welcome to the Addiction Recovery podcast, brought to you by Restore Detox Centers. We are dedicated to providing valuable and insightful information on addiction recovery. However, it is essential to understand that the content shared in this podcast is intended for educational purposes only. While we strive to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information presented, we cannot guarantee its completeness or suitability for individual circumstances. The topics discussed in this podcast are based on general knowledge and should not be considered a substitute for professional advice or treatment.

It is important to note that the views and opinions expressed by the podcast hosts, guests, or contributors are their own and may not necessarily reflect the views of Restore Detox Centers. We strongly advise listeners to consult with qualified professionals, such as addiction counselors, therapists, or medical practitioners, before making any decisions or taking any actions based on the information provided in this podcast. Please be aware that listening to this podcast does not establish a client-provider relationship with Restore Detox Centers.

Steven Ginsburg:

You know, what we really do at Restore, Steve, since we brought up, is we put them in rhythm and in motion of a sober lifestyle. So they are working a program while they're within the confines of Restore, which is exactly what they should do.

Steve Coughran:

This is the Addiction Recovery podcast with Steven T Ginsburg, founder of Restore Detox Centers in sunny California. Enjoy your experience. Even in the world of shipping, there's this thing called the plimbsal line, and essentially what it is. It's a mark on the side of a ship and it indicates how much weight a ship can take on, in other words, how far a ship can be submerged in the water and safely travel across the ocean. And so when we think about the plimbsal line in our own lives, oftentimes we have this upper limit and it's self-imposed. This is like the limit that we think we deserve in life, or that we're capable of, or whatever it may be.

Steve Coughran:

But oftentimes I've seen, like either even in my life, that once I start bumping up against this limit or, let's say, I get above this limit, then we self-sabotage to bring ourselves back down to this plimbsal line, and that may look like this. I mean, things may be going great and I'm sure you've heard this too, steven where it's like, wow, things are going so great. For me right now, it's just a matter of time before the next disaster or crisis hits. And that's what I'm talking about here, where people think, wow, life is so good. I feel so blessed that it's just inevitable Something bad is going to happen, so let me just self-sabotage before that happens, to bring me back to my safety and comfort zone. What are your thoughts on that, Steven, and how have you seen this play out in the lives of your community members at Restore Detox Centers? Steven?

Steven Ginsburg:

thank you. It's a really remarkably relevant topic and there's so much to unpack where that space is concerned, so I'm sincerely happy we're focusing on it. You know, the first thing that comes to mind is if we forget our past, we're destined to repeat it. That's absolutely relevant and fitting where this is concerned. And secondarily, that's where it's important on my end and our end at Restore, where we want to truly make some impact as far as setting a new trend and a new pattern of behaviors and then paying homage to the things and the elements that are providing improvements.

Steven Ginsburg:

First and foremost, understanding that it's okay for things to be okay for people who are starting the journey of recovery. It does not have to be the usual five-alarm fire a day at a time, nor does there need to be a new one set if things are going along. And secondarily, when, when the inevitable occurs, which is life on life's terms, which it's going to and it will. Acceptance is such a huge part of managing that. And Secondarily, what we want to have a reversion to is we don't revert to self-sabotage. What we revert to is the program and the foundation of recovery. We revert to turning to a power greater than ourselves. We revert to calling our sponsor. We were avert to heading towards a meeting. We revert to where we are in the step work and we revert to service, and that diverts the Catastrophe that we're used to providing.

Steve Coughran:

Yeah, I like that and I like how you mentioned, you know, instead of self-sabotaging, going back to the program and I know this is a big thing for you because you're constantly talking about the program, the program. I mean, you're so adamant about this because you know, you and I both know when people follow the program, they stay sober, and as soon as they step away from the program, that's when things start to fall apart. I want to take a step back, though, because you know, after you got sober the first time, you were very successful in your career, and you know you had everything. You had a great job, you had a great title and position, you had the money at the car, you had a great place. You're doing so well in life. Do you feel like you were self-sabotaging yourself to get below this theoretical Plimpsall line, or do you think it was something else that happened to you that caused you to relapse?

Steven Ginsburg:

So you know it's interesting, Steve. It lends itself back to a topic you and I just covered. It lends itself back to the cunning, baffling, powerful nature of this disease. But that's okay that it does. It truly is a puzzle both ways it's a puzzle for recovery and it's a puzzle for relapse. So what it's about is, too many times it's a cautionary tale, it's a really accurate live Parable that applies to recovery.

Steven Ginsburg:

Too many times, in the midst of all the good, the very elements that are delivering the good, they get what neglected and negated, and then drink time comes. Then suddenly the disease makes its way in. So so it's this very long play, long form Self-sabotage. It's a premeditated murder and we are the victim and it's because we start to neglect and negate the thing that is delivering us.

Steven Ginsburg:

And just to go one step further, because I think this is really important, look, you know I am blessed beyond word or measure today, and it's not about material things. I'm blessed in in my life's calling and my work. I'm blessed with my relationship with my Lord and Savior. I'm blessed with children which are beyond description, and I'm blessed with a wife. God bless her heart. We should have never married me, I All. That is a direct correlation to a power greater than myself and the work I do in 12-step programming specifically for me, alcoholics and anonymous. I work my program more diligently and more intentionally today, at 19-plus years, clean and sober, than I ever did before, and tomorrow I'll try to raise the bar further. Why? Because I know this disease is laying in wait for me.

Steve Coughran:

That's interesting. When you're talking to these people, Steven, at Restore, because you interact with a lot of people and their parents and loved ones do you ever pick up on some type of theme as far as self-sabotaging goes? Because at Restore they get the love, they get the attention, they get the personalized care, everything they need. They're aware of the program. I mean, that's what you're teaching them. There's group, there's all these tools. Do you think people ever feel like they're not worthy of being sober, that they're not worthy of living a better life?

Steven Ginsburg:

I do. I believe that these old tapes that we carry around, that tell us that we're doomed to fail, that it's not all right for things to work out, that we're not worthy of success, love, affirmation, etc. I think those old tapes come calling, and they're also a byproduct of the disease a very convenient one, I might add and that it's a program that negates those old tapes and that mutes them, and it's critical that they get muted. They can't get muted, though, without the footwork.

Steve Coughran:

Yeah, absolutely. Let's take this even further, Steven. Oftentimes you'll refer to alcoholism or drug abuse and addiction just overall as a disease. I mean, do you think terming it that way gives people an excuse to fall back on, in other words saying, well, look, Steven, I went out and I used again this weekend. It's the disease, it's not me, I'm not accountable for it? In other words, do you think it ever shifts the accountability and supports this whole idea of self-sabotaging when it's referred to as a disease? What are your thoughts on that?

Steven Ginsburg:

So that disease is proven to go into remission when these few simple things are done and are followed. They state that actually in the doctor's opinion, in the big book about alcoholics and ominous, it talks about a few simple things we can do to gain remission from this illness that ails us. And when they do those few simple things it goes into remission. And then where I want to give you a parallel is this Imagine if you've got someone with terminal cancer and imagine if you told this individual, by doing these few simple things, your terminal cancer will go into remission on a daily basis by you repeating these actions again and again, a day at a time. I'm pretty certain those individuals would continue to repeat those actions to keep their cancer in remission. Addiction and alcoholism are just like that cancer. They can be kept in that reminitory stage by repeating those few simple things again and again, a day at a time.

Steve Coughran:

Yeah, I absolutely agree. Let me ask you this because when it comes to self-sabotaging and I agree, I mean there's all these tools and all these programs to help people live this great life but oftentimes I think things such as, you know, fear of failure or fear of success, or low self-esteem, or this perfectionism mentality, like all these things, can get in the way of us. You know, living the life that we want, and then ultimately, we self-sabotage and we fall back into these old patterns. So I know, at Restore you're talking about creating these routines, these patterns for people to follow, but then they get in their own way. Right, they get in the way of living this happy life that they deserve. Talk to me a little bit about that and what you've experienced.

Steven Ginsburg:

It's just listen again, Steve the thing I love about being someone who's sober and who works program sobriety. It's simple. The problem is I'm complicated and that's a put note for all of us. What happens is they get away from restore or they get away from the patterns and habits of recovery that we've conveyed to them and, by the way, that have been so freely given to us through the program, and they start to not do those things that have provided that pattern. And that's what it is. Anything we put before our sobriety, we are going to lose so nothing. We could grab Nicole right now and say to her first Steven what comes before Christ and his sobriety, which are symbiotic for me? She tell you nothing. What about you and the kids? That's impossible. No, the kids and I have him and we are. He's there for us because of his sobriety and his Lord and Savior. That's the rule of thumb, that's how it works and that happens. That's the rule of thumb. That's how it works and that has to be in our DNA. We're off to have ongoing remission.

Steve Coughran:

So how do you instill that in somebody's DNA, though? Cause what if they have a low self esteem and they think, look, I'm the biggest piece of crap? And I mean let's just say they come to restore, they're an alcoholic, full blown alcoholic. Yes, they finally hit rock bottom, but before they hit rock bottom, maybe they destroyed some relationships, maybe they engaged in some physical abuse or domestic violence or said the wrong things to people and they created a lot of destruction in their path. They may be coming to restore saying, hey, I want to get sober, but I'm also carrying this baggage of all this guilt and all this shame and by self esteem is in the garbage. How do they fix those things so they don't self sabotage later on, after they get the tools and the programming that they pick up at restore?

Steven Ginsburg:

Leave. It's the work in the 12 steps that rid us of our shame. It's the work in the 12 steps that that make us, and allow us to live in that context, that we don't regret the past, nor was just shut the door on it. Those are there to to rid us of the baggage that we carry around, and so that's just a reporting effect. But from a philosophy standpoint and from a clinical standpoint and from a care standpoint, we have to explain to them the why behind the how. Why does it work that way? How does it work that way? What does it do to to rid us of our shame and to understand that those associations we have and those connotations and thoughts we have in our head, that's not equating to who we really are and what we're really about. Yes, those might be things that we've done, but that's not the things that we're doing on this day and that's not the things that we're going to do. Yeah.

Steve Coughran:

I love that. I love that and I absolutely agree, and the things that we think aren't necessarily true and in our mind does like such jacked up things to terrible and can really get in the way. So this has been really good. Steven, if people want to get in touch with us, maybe you could do the send off here. How did they get in touch with us and how did they learn more about restore?

Steven Ginsburg:

We would love to hear from you. If we hear from you, I assure you you will hear back from us. So please reach out to us at hello at restoredetoxcenterscom. That's hello at restoredetoxcenterscom. We want to hear from you, we want to interact with you. We are there with you and for you and all things. We want you to be sober, we want you to be safe and we want you to understand the truth, which is there's hope and there's a solution.

Steve Coughran:

That's great, yep, we would love to hear from you. I second that. Steven, thank you so much for tuning into another episode. It is absolutely a passion of ours to get out there and save people's life. So every time you listen to this, every time you share this podcast episode with your friends, your family, your colleagues, it just helps us to spread the word. So thank you so much for being a part of this important audience and until next episode, take care of yourself. Cheers.

Overcoming Self-Sabotage in Recovery
Seeking Interaction and Hope for Sobriety