Just Keeping Busy Is Not The Solution

"The way to avoid relapse, 
        is to just keep busy."

I've heard myself and others say that too many times. But "just keeping busy" should not be our goal. It's not the solution.  Sure it's difficult to relapse when you don't have any free time. But it's not changing us -- it's not changing our heart -- it's not bringing us closer to the Savior. It's just a short-term stopgap -- and not a very good one at that.

Of course many of the things we do to "keep busy" are great and wonderful, like:
  • Studying the scriptures
  • Reading or Listening to Conference Talks
  • Doing Step Work
  • Praying
  • Doing our Church Callings
  • Giving Service
Yes, those are all great activities.  But what is our reason for doing them.  Is it just to keep us busy so we won't have time to fall back into our addiction?  Is that the reason???

I'm sorry to say that for many of us that is exactly our motivation.  If we fill our lives with good things then we won't have time for bad things.

Are we doing the right things for not the best reasons?

Now I'm not saying that we should stop doing any of these good things. But perhaps we should adjust our motivation for doing them. It's been suggested that our motivation for doing those things should be to bring us closer to Christ. And then Christ can help us change our heart so we don't desire our addictions.

I know our Church leaders and the General Authorities are very busy.  But I doubt their motivation for being busy is just to keep them from doing bad things and thinking bad thoughts. I have to believe that they do what they do because of a love of Christ and a love of their fellow men. And we should try to do the same.

Let me quote from a text, on this same subject, sent to me by a good friend, James:

Good - doing dailies, step work and service out of fear of relapse because I am backing away from my addictions and bad behaviors.

Better - doing dailies, step work and service out of a desire to change who I am because I no longer wish to be who I was, but want to be someone new and different.

Best - doing dailies, step work and service out of a passion to draw closer to the Lord Jesus Christ and my Father in Heaven, because I want to live with them again and become what they would have me be.

Some Additional Thoughts

"Just keeping busy" may help keep me sober in the short term, but, remember, sobriety is not my ultimate goal. Recovery is my goal and sobriety is just a starting point on the road to that goal.

The 12 Steps are not designed to just help us become sober. The Addiction Recovery Guide suggests that many of us can become sober by Step 5.  It says: "As we took step 5 ... Some of us were already free from our addictions." Thus, the remaining steps (6 through 12) are designed to get us to recovery.

So let's get rid of our "keeping busy" mentality and really work on recovery, by drawing closer to Jesus Christ and allowing Him to bless us with His atonement.

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