Addiction and mental health issues can eat away at you. They take far more than they will ever give. You soon find that you are becoming less and less human. You lose parts of yourself.
Recovery is not about just making a choice to stop. You cannot recover lost parts with a choice. That implies that addiction is something you decide to do each and every day. It implies that your mental health is merely a decision. Underneath this sentiment is a destructive belief that you can just decide. As if it were that easy.
Recovery is not just a decision, it is also: support, structure, acceptance and release.
We begin our recovery when we reclaim our power to decide, and we need people who will walk with us. We need both if we are to find freedom.
Surrender is not giving up. Giving up only leads to more addiction. Surrender can only be done while on our feet. Surrender is about standing up, reaching out, grasping and walking.
We come to our senses while on our feet.
If we have a shred of a choice, we need to hold onto that and make it. Recovery is about owning the power to make our own choices.
We come by the lessons of recovery each day that we fight to make the choices that we can. You and I cannot change the past, nor can we own the future. But we can choose our:
- Attitude – facing what is, rather than what we wish things could be like
- Creativity – making, developing, improving
- Gratitude – simple thankfulness
- Judgments – admitting our judgment and moving out of our comfort zone
- Desires – what we act on
- Present decisions – what we do next
- Efforts to improve ourselves – the routines that lead to being our better self (exercise, reading, nutrition, who we spend time with
- Determination – not giving up on what is important
- Perspective – To see the current difficulties as a challenge, rather than a disaster
- Honesty – to ourselves and to other people
Keep it Real
For more on the power of choice, see Ryan Holliday, The Obstacle is The Way.