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Trap Game – Falling Down In Recovery

So many are tripped up by the trap game.

Many teams are snake bit by the deadly trap game. Playing a game as the heavy favorite that is followed by a game against a rival or equally talented team. Do they get complacent? Do they look ahead to a game that is more enticing? They step onto the field assuming they have the win without putting in the effort for that day to get it. In recovery this happens more than we would like to admit. We get comfortable finally becoming the know it all. We lose focus assuming we will never fall.

trap game

Is our humility completely blinded by our arrogance.

It is talked about all the time on College Gameday on ESPN. On every weekend’s slate of games there is always at least one that is the big trap game. It is drilled into the heads of these elite athletes that they must not overlook any opponent. That each day they must give it their best to be the best. Yet they still casually hit the field of the play, chests out, heads high, and eyes blinded by arrogance. At the final whistle they walk off the field heads down, some with tears, and all because they fell into that deadly trap.

be at your best

Even when we think we are strong we can still be vulnerable.

So what does a trap game look like in recovery? How do we become complacent, maybe even arrogant, and then fall prey to the old behaviors that used to ravage us in our addiction. I experienced a trap game of my own the past couple of weeks. Completely unaware of ever even playing in it due to the fact I became a know-it-all in some areas of my life. I had kept up a good program, I had given of myself to help others, what had been missing to make me so vulnerable.

What had been missing was my humility. The fact that I too could keep learning had escaped me. But how did complacency set in. In my humble opinion, it was the fact that I stopped making time for myself. I had become so confident that I had control of my life and its direction that I quit checking my own faith and attitude. My entire focus had become what I could do to help others without making sure first that I was in deed growing and progressing.

traps in recovery

Did I think since I had grown so close to God, that I was God?

I was posting my daily inspirations on social media with inspired intent. I was diving more into my reading and meditation time, learning more and growing stronger. Helping those who were reaching out for help in conquering their own battles. My website is getting closer to its relaunch date. I was active in my church every time the doors were open. You think there would be no way I could be brought to my knees by a trap. But yet again, there I was, falling flat on my face.

I had failed to reflect on my own feelings. My faith had turned to reliance on my own twisted sense of strength. My attitude had become one of being above reproach. I let complacency come in and sabotage my most precious commodity, my soul. My humility had been pushed to the side by “self”. I was better than “those people”, after all I was a Warrior On Purpose. The one thing I knew to protect I had left open to attack. All because I felt I did not need to work on me, I needed to fix everyone else.

overcoming obstacles

I need to be reminded from where my real strength comes. 

At all times in our recovery we must remember the aspect of self care. If we fail to check ourselves, make sure we are at our right size, we become suspect to the trap game. A warrior must train daily to be at his best. If he fails to do that he is likely to be defeated, or even worse, destroyed. It is the same in recovery. No matter how strong we think we are, we must first always reflect on ourselves and run that self diagnostic to make sure we are in fighting shape.

That means when we our executing our program to look inwardly and make sure we are measuring up to all we begin to hope for in others. Practicing what we preach comes to mind. To not lose sight of what provided us our strength and to remember it certainly was not us or we would not be alcoholic. Proverbs 3:5 Trust God in everything and lean not on my own understanding. It was the first lesson I learned and then forgot. On my own, I am powerless.




  1. Excellent, excellent work, Kip. It’s funny how humility is something I believe that is best learned “experientially.” We cannot understand true humility until after we have been made low. Self-care and remembering from whom we have been created (and to whom we shall one day return) is key.

    I really enjoy reading your thoughts on your blog.

    (PS Your writing’s really improved! (Not that it was somehow bad before!!)) But . . . wow.

    – Danno

    • Thanks Danno. That means alot. I am grateful for the experiences and that I am able today to get back up to fight another day instead of wallowing in the pity of my addiction.

  2. You know this one hits me right where I’m at. We had to prepare for those “trap games” all season.

    It’s brilliant man, really brilliant tonappky that to recovery and spiritual growth. I get it completely. I think most of my growth has spurts of this ego-driven complacency or grandiosity as well.

    Staying vigilant! This is a great message. It has sort of paused my day and sent me into reflection. And man I needed that.

    • It is those peaks and valleys and their deceitful appearances as to which is which. Striving for that balance in the midst of it all. Thanks for reading Mark and the comment.

  3. […] one of the most important was to not get complacent. I talked about complacency in my last post Trap Game – Falling Down In Recovery. No matter who we are or how long we have been sober we still have a deceptive disease, […]

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