Is recovery too tough for us to handle? Are we experiencing just too much for us to be able to bear? If we give in to this kind of thinking, one thing is certain: We’ll be sabotaging our recovery efforts.
Fear of failure, fear that we don’t have what it takes or that we lack the courage and determination to do what’s necessary is at the root of many a relapse. When we allow our thoughts to go down the path of no return, as in telling ourselves that we’re a failure, we’ve never been able to accomplish much and we may just as well go back to our addictive ways, guess what? We go down that backsliding street and wind up in the same neighborhood we formerly inhabited: using our drugs of choice.
But recovery doesn’t have to be like this. Sure, we’re afraid of the unknown. Definitely, we’re going to come up against some tough roadblocks. Maybe they’ll set us back a bit initially, but we can get past them. We don’t have any lock on success, but what we can take comfort in knowing is the fact that many others have gone through the rough times in recovery and have been able to come out on the other side. And we can, too.
Think of it this way. If we never try, we’ll never know if we can succeed. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. We’ve all heard that one, right? What the saying means, in the simplest terms, is that we can only achieve success if we take action. We will never know accomplishment by looking at what others do. That’s their success, not ours. In order for us to achieve the goals that we set out for ourselves, we have to create a plan of action and then – we have to actually act.
There will undoubtedly be times when we’d much rather crawl back under the covers than face a difficult situation. We may agonize over a decision for days or weeks before we finalize a plan to deal with it, but this is still a sign of progress. It means that we’re focused on the best way to manage the issue or problem or situation. This is us becoming more grounded in healthy behavior in recovery. This is a very good thing. It means that we are looking forward, not backward.
Of course, we still may harbor lingering fear that we’ll fail. But when such thoughts creep into our heads, acknowledge them for what they are and then remind ourselves that we have a plan of attack, we are taking action, and we are responsible for our life in recovery. We can either look at the kind of life we want for ourselves and take the steps to achieve those goals, or we can give up and give into fear of failure. We know the outcome of the latter. If we think we’re going to fail, we’ll wind up failing.
On the other hand, if we believe that we will succeed, we will succeed – and we’ll do so despite the obstacles or challenges that may come our way in the interim.
Remember, it isn’t what happens along the way, but how we deal with it that counts. Choose the positive outlook, adopt a cheerful attitude, and never give up. These are good attributes to adopt and incorporate into our daily lives and will continue to serve us well today and every day in our life of recovery.
Besides, where would any of America’s or the world’s heroes or inventors or most-admired leaders be if they gave up at the first slight hiccup along their path? We’d never have the light bulb. We’d never have someone who scaled Mount Everest. There’d never be the Internet. We wouldn’t even have an automobile.
Closer to home, then, get on with our plans in recovery. Craft new goals, revise old ones, and envision the life that we want for ourselves. It is all possible, but it begins with us taking action and keeping our belief in ourselves. We can do it.