Complacency is Denial

As time passes staying engaged in your recovery can be a challenge.  Early recovery includes a rapid immersion into a new way of living.  It is exciting to learn new things, to meet new people, to begin feeling better physically as your body repairs itself from drug and alcohol abuse.  

As your recovery progresses and the newness fades the excitement of recovery can fade as well.  When this occurs you may find yourself losing interest or stagnating in your recovery.  (This happens in relationships as well.)  Signs of this stagnation include; 

  • Getting too busy at work or in your family life to attend AA meetings regularly. 
  • Feeling disconnected at AA meetings.
  • Feeling as if you have already heard all this and are no longer learning anything.
  • Find yourself judging other people in the program.
  • Believing you’ve got this now, you are not going to drink again and/or you can stay sober on your own.

People in AA often call this phenomena complacency.  I would take it a step further and say to you that this is denial.  This is evidence that the disease is becoming active in your brain again.  This disease tells you every day that you don’t have it.  If you are doing any of the above you are again beginning to listen to the disease.  Once it has you isolated, disengaged spiritually and over confident—it will eventually convince you that you can drink/use with more control this time.

The antidote to this relapsing behavior is first to recognize it and then to admit it to your sponsor.  (If you no longer talk with your sponsor, your next drink/drug  is closer than you know.) Next look into changing up your AA meetings.  Go to different meetings; join a step study, etc. Work on increasing your social life with people in the program. 

Begin to focus on the spiritual aspects of the program.  You can do this by increasing prayer and meditation.  Pursue spiritual readings that interest you.  Help someone else.

If you remain stuck after doing the above or you can’t make yourself do these things it is time to reach out for professional help.

Complacency/Denial happens throughout recovery.  Intervening on it will keep you sober for many years to come.

Please Take Care of Yourself,


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