The intro of the 6 Essentials, in detail covered a great amount about what the book is going to include. It talks openly about the ways in which Texas Tech University Center for the study of Addiction and Recovery put together their process. For example they used a metaphor for a windmill, that points to an in/ and outpatient facility. Because the windmill has 6 blades it corresponds with their 6 principles, the hubs representation of spirituality, also having its base being the equivalent of the foundation that the 6 principles came from also known as the 12 steps of AA.
Hope to me in this book was strongly insinuated as something you must accept after searching for a higher power, and knowing that you are always loved, not just you but your family also. The example used in the boo is a father whose son has been met with the unfortunate news of having cancer. His family finding this information out, immediately come to feel everything should cease because they are hurting so much emotionally. At one time he even believed that an event from his past might have caused the onset of illness. But through trails pain and tribulation, he eventually came to understand that there is a higher power that is watching over him, and once he was able to be at peace with this he was able to accept, everything would be fine with or without his son. Another point that peaked my interest and I bet it did others was increasing the bond between you and friends and loved ones like family. No matter what you are going through having them by your side really helps you conquer anything.
In The chapter of hope the statistic “one of every people who struggle with addiction have a mental disorder”. It is like having a light shine on something to me. We spoke over and over about how in class those two things (mental disorders/addiction) go hand and hand. How most people with addiction do not know they have a mental disorder, meaning it can cause them to maybe self-medicate, which has only proved to be even more harmful. Overall, I wish the experimental group had been bigger, would have given a more trustworthy statistic.
Coping with anything in life Is hard whether it be life death or a break up, but there are ways to develop coping skills, this chapter of the book says, that for you to keep moving forward in recovery you must surround yourself with people you can trust and depend on. Also describing that just because you trust someone doesn’t mean they are as dependable as you want them to be. No ones perfect and when people make mistakes not being shameful is not the answer. A dose of healthy sorrow is the best option for accepting we don’t have control over everything in our life. That mistakes happen. In the book during Sterling’s story, his father tells him that no matter what mistakes you make, stay in the game. Basically saying, if you let things like, shame, guilt, or remorse keep you down, you wont be able to do what you love.
Sterling’s journey towards recovery would continue always dealing with new and different issues of self-doubt about finishing school. One day he just wanted to give it all up over one hard day. But his wife stood by him she supported him and told him to just “Buckle down” adding persistence as a plus to the latter. Continuing life, he eventually went on to not only get his PHD but do something so honorable only a few people in all of Texas tech University’s past have been able to do, which is walk with the school banner during his graduation. So many years out of treatment and its hard to believe faith and support got them through it. The persistence as a whole is what kept them together and strong through so much crisis. The accomplishment alone is enough to make anyone thankful for the hardships they endured. Reminiscent of the “lone cyclist” who pushed himself to the top of the hill, never giving up.
During the next chapter which happen to be the Capacity for Meaningful Relationships, there was an event occurrence from sterling that a marriage had been going down the drain because of a husbands addiction to alcohol, and the chapter would continue to go on about, how for a truly good relationship to work there must always be an even amount of give and take, a specific method used. Deep enough in sterling’s story you see the husband described as a liar, who repeatedly told his wife under his own circumstances he would get sober. By doing so it would keep his wife from leaving and decently close but in effect he would never actually get sober. Eventually as the story went on the marriage crumbled and a divorce occurred. By the husband being selfish and not willing to share and be open with his wife, and being too free, tore them apart. Stepping away from that and onto another story told by sterling, this one focused on how he needed to make new boundaries and collect himself in order to reach his final goal of recovery. This is a vital and key point, that you need boundaries for any relationship built with friends or loved ones. And understand how they work and vice versa. Tom included an example, about how a girl moved to a completely new place and began a new life. In doing so she was about to find people on common ground and the same level headedness as her. And she was successful because those bonds were strong in understanding.
The next statistic relates more towards the example of husband and wife. “The presence of addiction increases the probability that boundaries will be violated, and pain will be experienced”. The husband went to great lengths to avoid having to admit to himself he had a problem and was really addicted. And it didn’t help the only way he could tell himself to stop was when his wife would tell him she was going to leave. In doing so it was obvious he only did this to keep his wife at bay. In doing so you could almost say they were addicted together but didn’t go through recovery together. This next chapter really opened me up and spoke volumes to me, The Unique Identity Development chapter, with a focus on self-talking, whether it be positive or negative and how you absorb or take it in. Sterling created a list, it was 3 things he liked about himself, he proceeded to write them down, and every time he went for a run on his treadmill he would say the list over and over. In the first week it made his work out easy so much, so he truly loved it and enjoyed it, but in the following weeks not so much, the thought of it wore him out mentally and he ended up dreading it. But because of his little experiment he was able to push on and keep pursuing his goal which would take the negative thoughts and push them away while the positive one were the only left for him to rely on.
Also, in the chapter you see a stronger focus on what you did right, and what you could have done right. Its great because there are a lot of things that you or anyone does wrong its life. But the opposition is all the things you did right. Tom discusses with his children about how they felt about being smart, “it makes me feel good dad, and its really cool too”. So accomplishments especially personal ones are a key factor in staying positive with not just yourself but life.
Finally, for chapter 6, that picking to try any drug especially the one you are addicted to is a choice. That you seriously had the choice to once reject that specific drug. During recovery you start to notice that certain things make the road foggy and disturb your judgment. The best way to go about it, is just taking everything day by day and step by step. The book mentions things like those big accomplishments that people experience are the things that get them through the day. A story also from the book I how Sterling’s daughter got hurt, which lead emotions so negative to leak out of him (Fury, Anger ,Scorn) but his daughter told him something that would open his eyes to the situation in front of him: without him healing no one else will. This showed him that there was something bigger than just his feelings or her feelings.
I think that spirituality should be included in everything you do, and that’s why it isn’t in the book or apart of the six essentials as it must look to be. The one thing I noticed was that any one of those steps could have been accomplished without submitting yourself to the higher power. I believe that it is also a choice in the aspect that it isn’t a must. And a belief in a higher power doesn’t necessarily solve every problem I believe it helps in a sense. But that the book could be re written to have a key importance of knowing whatever you do depends on you, but you should consider how it affects others and not just you.
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