Is Identifying As Addict ‘Cosigning Your BS?’

the power of I am

“I’m not going to cosign your bullshit.”

This is a sentence I’ve heard again and again in recovery circles.

It’s generally said to a person who is trying desperately to manipulate themselves into a situation that would require less growth, stagnate them, or, worst-case-scenario, send them head first into relapse.

Example:

Most of the time, in very early recovery, we need to simplify our lives. If we don’t, we can become overwhelmed and give up. We need time to heal, rehabilitate, and discover our purpose. That’s why rehabs and treatment centers can be so beneficial. They provide a safe place to unpack the wreckage of our addicted lives while we are engaging in professional therapy and community support. But often, we don’t want to sit in all that pain and examination. It’s hard. So, we tend to look for distractions, like romantic relationships or food —anything to temporarily block our view of the gaping wound of our life seems better than going through the stages of healing. Often, our sponsor, mentor, therapist or close friend will recognize this behavior and say to us, “No. I’m not going to tell you it’s okay to be in a relationship right now. I’m not going to cosign your bullshit.
And that is very good advice.

So, now you know what “cosigning your bullshit means.”
Don’t you feel smarter…more well rounded?
I thought so.

Sneaky Bullshit

The problem is, there is a much more cunning conversation going on just under the surface of our lives. We’re going to talk about that today.
You don’t have to agree with my thoughts. You don’t have to like what I’m saying.
It might even make you angry, but that’s okay, because I’m just going to “place the information in front of you” to do whatever you want with it…no expectations on my end.

But please know, or at least agree to consider, the fact that the enemy of your soul doesn’t just want you dead. He wants you chained, in bondage, and constricted. That way you’ll be less useful. He does this very sneakily, with your own voice, your own conversations, and your own belief systems.

Your Words Frame Your World

Words are powerful.
We all know this.
I have witnessed the power of my own words when speaking into the life of another human being, someone who was beat down, lost, and feeling like they’d never amount to anything.
I started to make a conscious effort to recognize their gifts and their purpose. I nurtured their strengths with my words and little by little, I got to experience what it looked like to see hope awaken.
It’s something that can be seen.
It affects your entire countenance.

Words.
The Bible tells us the whole universe was created with words. God SAID, “Let there be light,” and there was light. He literally spoke all of creation —the sun, the stars, and you, and me into existence.
If words had power then, they have power now.

Another small, mind-blowing bit of truth. God created us in His image. He made us to be like Him.

“And God said, Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness.” —Genesis 1:26-28

So, if God can create with words, and He created us to be just like Him…guess who else can create with words?
Yes, that’s right.
You can.
I can.

The Bible says, “Let the weak SAY I am strong,” so your words matter.
What you SAY makes things happen.
We can speak life over ourselves, “I am strong!” or we can speak death over ourselves, “I’m always sick. Life is always hard for me. Nothing good happens to me.”

Proverbs 18:21 says “Life and death is in the power of our tongue and we will eat the fruit of our lips.” That’s a fancy way to say, your words are like seeds that will produce fruit, and everything you have today is a product of the things you’ve believed for and spoken over yourself.

Wait…I Don’t Get It

Bottom line here, is that our words bring about our future. Whatever follows the words, “I am” is what you will have in your life.
Okay, so maybe you’re reading this and you’re saying, “Cool, but I don’t really track with the whole God thing.” I know. I get it. Sometimes it’s a lot and we don’t always have the spiritual clarity to get excited about what God’s Word says.

But Science says it too and so did the great scholars of prior generations. Thomas Troward and Neville Goddard are two favorites of mine. Neville talks about our conscious awareness and that we were created to be whole, complete and perfect. In reality, we are without limitations, only caged-in or put on a leash of our own doing. These limitations begin with thoughts or concepts that we come into agreement with. For instance, if I say, “I am bad at math,” I limit myself and in a way, I excuse myself from the effort of trying. I can simply pass off math problems to someone else because there’s no sense challenging myself since I firmly believe that “I am bad at math” and that’s that.

It’s our nature to label ourselves and others, place them in a box and move on to the next thought. This is something we have to constantly fight against. These thought patterns are distant cousins to prejudice, profiling, and judging ourselves and others. As much as we work to free our minds, we often place ourselves in chains and limiting belief systems, completely unaware of what we’re doing.

Words Change the DNA of Things

There is a great body of scientific work that proves that the words we speak actually change the structure of human DNA. Living DNA substance will always react to human language, language-modulated laser rays and even to radio waves.

This explains why positive affirmations, autogenous training, and hypnosis have such strong effects on humans and their bodies. It is entirely normal and natural for our DNA to react to language. Russian researchers have actually produced devices that can influence cellular metabolism through modulated radio and light frequencies, and aid in the repair of genetic defects.

If all this is true, (and it is) and we are so knowledgeable about the power of words and of speaking love and self caring, nurturing words over ourselves and our children, why in the world would we put all that knowledge aside and pretend it doesn’t exist when we enter the nearest church basement and step into the alternate reality of recovery meetings where we repeatedly say over ourselves:

“Hi, my name is Hannah…and I’m an alcoholic.”
“Hi, my name is Paul…and I’m an opiate addict.”

According to Ronald Alexander Ph.D., an avid researcher on the topic of affirmations, a sentence using our own first name (such as the ones common to recovery meeting introductions) are much more likely to produce results, because they are personalized.
T.D. Jakes, famous pastor and spiritual teacher, always says, “Whatever you put after the words ‘I am…’ will come looking for you.”

I Am Not The Definition of My Mistakes

The first time I ever entered a recovery meeting, I was asked (almost weirdly pressured) to state my name and attach an addiction to the end of it. Something in my inner self, deep in my spirit, felt terribly wrong about this. It seemed self defeating, self shaming, and uncomfortable. In my mind’s eye, I actually saw a weird little creature holding the door to a cage open for me and saying, “Yes. Say it. Get back in your bondage. That’s who you are.”

I did say it.
That first meeting, I crumbled under the peer pressure and I said it.
“Hi, my name is Robin and I’m an addict.”
It felt like defeat and I thought I was crazy for feeling so alone in this.
Was I the only one who felt like this was wrong and damaging?

Well, since that first meeting, much time has passed. I’ve spent years in recovery, getting my bearings and figuring out what was good for me. I’ve also met other people who felt just as sickened by the negative proclamation at the beginning of meetings.

God Doesn’t Call Me An Addict

As a believer in Christ, I know that my Bible tells me that I am healed, whole, powerful, blessed, called with a great calling, righteous, and stronger than any obstacle. It also says that I have all wisdom for all things at all times and am fully equipped and resourced for anything I need to accomplish.
I like the sound of that!
It has a nice ring.
It’s empowering.
It’s full of hope and solutions.
It gets me motivated, makes me happy, and energizes me!
My Bible says “with God ALL THINGS are possible!”
Nothing is impossible for me! I have no limitations!

Doesn’t the sound of that excite you?! It’s 100% truth!
We are not defined by our mistakes or our sins. We are not defined by the things we fell into or the habits we had trouble getting past. We are who God says we are, and that is a bad-ass warrior and an overcoming champion!

SPECIAL OFFER ALERT: Click HERE to download your Identity In Christ list of Scriptures.
Read them OUT LOUD over yourself and to yourself daily! Look in the mirror while you’re doing it… No, I’m serious. If you want to BE something different, start agreeing with who your Creator says you are. Most of us don’t even know what God says about us. This list is filled with Scriptures proclaiming everything God says about you. Spoiler Alert: He never calls you an addict, so why should you? 

identity in christ

 

 

So, what do you think it does to your spirit to take the truth of God’s Word and walk into a meeting and say, “Hi, I’m Joel and I’m an addict.”
That’s the OLD you, Joel. Why would you want to identify with that person?
You’re not an addict today. You’re new. Your mind is renewed. Your body is regenerated.
It’s okay to have that moment of recognition when you’re in active addiction and say, “Woah, I’m a full blown addict. This has gotten out of control” and then go get help, but it doesn’t have to be your personal affirmation or mantra over your life.

We recover.
We get better.

In the words of my favorite Bridesmaids quote, “people change all the time” and you have the right to change, and grow, and get past who you once were.

For me, I think telling myself I’m an addict is cosigning my own bullshit. It gives me a license to regress and a hall pass for unhealthy thought patterns. Even if it’s only in the tiniest way, it lets me come into agreement with being less than my full potential.
But those are just my own personal feelings.
Thanks for letting me share.

So, today, the decision is yours. Are you a drug addict? Is that your label for life?
When I walk into meetings I say what God says about me and what He calls me,
“Hi, my name is Robin and I’m a grateful recovered addict.”

What are you?
You decide:

About Robin Bright

Hi. My name is Robin Bright. I'm a mom, author, part of The John Maxwell Team and a recovery advocate who struggled with the torment of addiction for over a decade. I still remember what it was like. I know the desperation and hollowness of addiction. The stories here are about our journey to the light. They are raw, authentic, vulnerable. We talk about getting free, staying free, and loving ourselves through the process. I used to believe I had become the worst version of myself. And then God introduced me to me —as only He can. It is my hope that you will use the resources found here to uncover your own true identity...the vision God had when He formed you. xo

7 Comments

  1. Frances Stone

    Hi, I’m Frances, I’m a Christian addict. I’m a Christian because I was saved by Jesus Christ to a life free of addiction and knowing I’m an addict humbles me and maintains my salvation and sobriety on a daily basis. I have found accepting this dichotomy has been necessary for my recovery. Thank you for sharing your message! I think it’s very important for Christians to do so.

  2. hlhawkins

    I love this article. I’m not an “addict,” though I have often felt enslaved and “addicted” to some of my sins. I’m saving this for later. Great insight and this expresses something I’ve felt to be true in such an eloquent way.

    1. Robin Bright Post author

      I agree! The Word says I am everything Jesus is, because He made the great exchange for me. If Jesus is not a drug addict, neither am I. He conquered it all, completely and fully, to set me free! And you!

  3. Mike M

    While I agree somewhat with what you are saying, how words are powerful. I need that reminder that I AM still an addict, in the sense that even though I have 3+ years of sobriety, I still have those thoughts and ideas that I believed and followed while I was active in my addictions. My behaviors are not what they used to be, my actions and perceptions are not what they used to be. I am getting better, I am not as sick as I once was. Occasionally though I will romanticize my using, it was all fun, and such a great time! In the early years, maybe. I need that reminder that I am still an addict, if I start lying, being deceitful, things are going my way, or just in a funk. I know 2 ways to escape that, using or drinking is the absolute easiest way, it all goes away and I can do what I want. The other way is to humble myself, call my sponsor, go to a meeting or find a fellow in recovery to talk to, and ask for help, and that’s hard. I didn’t get to where I am today by ignoring or pretending I’m not an addict. That addict behavior is right below the surface, loosing touch with who I am, a son, father, brother, a worthwhile human being, (I’ve come to find out), and a recovering addict. All make me who I am today. It only takes one decision to go back to where I was, or worse. So for me, my name is Mike and I am an addict.

    1. Robin Bright Post author

      Hi Mike!
      Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. It means a lot. While I honor and respect whatever belief system you choose, here’s an idea for you to throw around in your mind. You mentioned that “even though you have over three years of sobriety, you still have those thoughts and ideas that you believed and followed in active addiction.” You also said that “while your behaviors are not what they once were, and you are getting better, occasionally you will romanticize about using.” Your solution for this is to “remind yourself that you are still an addict.” While I understand this path of reasoning, what if you had spent the past three years reminding yourself every day what the Scripture says about you? What if you opened your Bible, looked in the mirror, and every morning said out loud, “Good morning Mike! You are a child of the King, a joint-heir with Christ. You have the mind of Christ and you have all wisdom for whatever you will face today! You are an overcomer, completely equipped for what you will face, and you are a NEW creation, according to the Word! The old Mike has been buried with Christ, and you are a NEW MAN, chosen to walk in NEWNESS of life, completely free from the attacks of the enemy!”
      I don’t know about you, but instead of reminding myself that I’m an addict (which the Word says I am NOT), I would rather speak words that agree with what my Creator is saying about me!
      Like I said, you, of course, are free to do what you would like and I totally respect whatever works for you, but I just wanted to introduce what the Word tells us to say about ourselves. I get where you’re coming from, and bottom line, I’m glad, SO GLAD, to walk this road of recovery with you!
      We are in this together and I walk by your side, no matter what you call yourself, you’re my recovery family!

  4. Vicki B.

    God has given you a special gift of writing Robin. I am one of those who feels the heaviness of my introduction in an AA meeting. I now have a new way (thx to this blog) to introduce myself. Your a total blessing and so very happy to know you. XO
    Vicki B.

    1. Robin Bright Post author

      This makes my heart happy! Thank you, Vicki, for taking the time to comment. Your encouragement came at the right time today! I needed that little boost to let me know I’m on the right path and that God has me speaking His words and not mine! Have a delightful day as a joyfully healed and recovered addict! xo

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