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Step 1 for Mood-altering Substances, Behaviours and Relationships

True recovery is seen rather than heard. It shows itself in the way people live their lives, rather than in what they say.

Extract from A New Life (healing depression) by Dr Robert Lefever

Step 1 for Mood-altering Substances, Behaviours and Relationships

I admit that I am powerless over my addiction and that my life has become unmanageable.

My life is a mess and I have lost control of some aspects of it. Some problems persist despite my repeated attempts (occasionally temporarily successful) to be in control. I have attempted to use some mood altering substances, behaviours and relationships in order to feel better. These attempts to comfort myself have eventually turned against me: the mood-altering effects have been progressively less successful, while the damaging consequences have grown. I have felt increasing self-pity, believing that I deserve better and to have a better life, and I have increasingly blamed other people, places and things for my pain. I have used some mood-altering substances, behaviours and relationships, saying that I need them, deserve them, and could not reasonably be expected to do without them. On some occasions I have tried to give up a particular mood-altering substance, behaviour or relationship and I have felt so bad that I “had to” go back to it, thus failing to acknowledge that the bad feelings are in fact direct withdrawal effects from previous use.

On occasions when I have succeeded in putting down one mood-altering substance, process or relationship, I have often increased my use of another. I have continued my use of mood-altering substances, processes and relationships despite the repeated serious concerns of other people and I have justified my actions (to myself if not always to them).

My way of life sometimes illustrates the very opposite of the characteristics of honesty, open-mindedness and willingness that are seen in recovery. I may have expected other people or the state to provide for me or to bail me out of my problems. I may have contributed progressively less to society. My relationships may have been immature, when I have expected other people to be sensitive to my needs and wants, irrespective of my behaviour towards them. Furthermore, my relationships have been damaged, or may even have broken down altogether, as a result of my behaviour.

Do I want to be rid of all my addictive outlets for my neurotransmission disease or do I want to hang on to some of them?

Am I frightened of change or staying as I am?

Am I ready to take responsibility for my own life?

2 Responses to “Step 1 for Mood-altering Substances, Behaviours and Relationships”

  1. Alan Keith Says:

    I notice that you warn against using referral agents. I contacted one a year ago for my partner for information about the clinic that I chose, PROMIS and was given a glowing report. Two of the advisors I understand actually used to work for you. It seems very strange that you are putting this very valuable service down when they were only too kind about PROMIS. And they didn’t get paid by you for their recommendation – what on earth have you got to fear. Let people make up their own minds.

    I think everyone should talk to independent referral agents to get an unbiased view of treatment centres. They didn’t charge nor did they try to put me off my chosen clinic. Their advice was spot on too – not surprising as they used to work there!

    I think your ‘warning’ does you no favours and I was saddened to see it.


  2. Robin Lefever Says:

    Dear Alan

    What I realised was that these agents were only glowing about clinics that paid them a kick back. Once I saw this was wrong, and stopped paying the kick back, they stopped making the referrals. That is the whole problem. If they were offering unbiased opinions it would be great and I would have no problem with it. I wonder if you were to call the same people if they would give the same glowing reference today? I think not. From the moment I stopped paying them commissions, they stopped”independently” recommending our clinic.

    At first I thought the referral business could be a good service for us all if it was unbiased, then everybody wins. More people would hear about treatment and recovery and everyone would be a winner. It was the way that the referrals were being made on the basis of the largest kick back that really didn’t make sense to me.

    I pulled out of paying the referrers at the time when i was getting the most business from them so I don’t think anyone can accuse me of sour grapes. When I declared I wouldn’t be paying kick backs, the referrer you are talking about told me my decision would cost me a million pounds in the next year, and maybe it has. However, it is the wrong way to do business, it isn’t in the best interests of the clients and I don’t want to make money like that.

    Finally, there is no reason that a referring agent shouldn’t charge the client directly for their time and expertise. I see nothing wrong with that and then they can truly be independent in the advice they give.

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