Guest post by Rick Fortier. Previously published by R. Fortier.
Welcome to the reality show, “This, Is Your Recovery!”
There will be drama, a roller coaster of emotions, and almost certainly a cliffhanger for the next episode. It will never be boring.
There is no other show like it.
If you’re thinking about playing, here are some the challenges you’ll be facing on This Is Your Recovery reality show.
1.It Won’t Be Easy
Recovery will likely be the most challenging thing you will attempt in your lifetime. And there is only one way to make it to the final episode. You have to do the work. That means you’ll need to be patient with yourself. You’ll need to be at your persistent best.
You’ve heard the mantras of ‘one day at a time’ and ‘make it to to ninety days’. They’re true. We’ve heard rumors of a few fortunate souls that were able to ‘turn it off’ and be recovered. We haven’t had any of these contestants on our show – where’s the excitement in that?
Recovery is an act of pure perseverance. You must find the will, the strength, and the commitment to win this contest. You will be encouraged to seek out those who you can rely on for support, and find tools that you can use. Please don’t attempt to do this on your own.
Winners in the past have been gentle, yet courageous with themselves.
2.It Takes Time
This reality show takes time to come out with a winner. Knowing the show is going on for a full season or longer is good for the show, viewers, and advertisers.
Warning: You can hope all you want, but you won’t find a quick fix for recovery. There is no ‘drive thru’ window for instant recovery gratification. Your addictive behavior was the quick fix in your life. You must face the hard truth that this is going to take time.
Your addictive behavior will keep testing you. Here’s a little something to ponder; ask yourself – how long did it take for you to get into this situation? The reality is that recovery is going to take a long time too. Many contestants experience ‘a slip’ or even a relapse, yet go on to victory. Some of our past winners say that what they’ve learned from those missteps have been the key to their victories. *** Note: a slip or relapse is not a recommended strategy to victory – just realize it doesn’t mean you’re voted off the show.
To help you get through some of the tough parts, we can offer you some hope that you’ll experience gratification in small doses. An example: when your head hits the pillow at night when you’ve got through the day without using your addictive behavior. That will be a small yet meaningful victory for you.
As you make it through the first few challenging episodes, you will begin to feel better and see small positive changes in yourself. Be aware of them. Celebrate them. But keep it real. Remember This Is Your Recovery is a long show, and the next challenges are coming. Don’t get cocky – your addictive behavior lies in wait.
3.Your Past Is Coming…
You can run, but you can’t hide. There have been many contestants that have tried running, and running, but have never escaped.
Your past, with all of its pain and discomfort is coming for you. All the missteps you took, the people you hurt, the lies you told… it’s waiting for you to come to terms with.
This one is going to hurt, and it’s one of the audience’s favorite parts. They want to see the people on the show be vulnerable and admit their mistakes. This is why people watch reality shows. They want to feel a connection to the contestants. They want to emphasize with them. Now is your chance to be real.
The audience will be on the edge of their seat as your past forces you to look yourself in the eye for your prior actions. You will be humbled. You will experience pain and tears. Family and friends may reprimand you, ignore you, or be there to support you. It’s one of our highest rated episodes. How will they react to your apologies and for owning up to your past?
Your old addictive behavior was there to help you escape and/or cope. No more. Time to face reality.
There is some good news for you in this episode. You’ll experience a sense of freedom as a weight is lifted from your shoulders you as you come to terms with your past.
This is a make-or-break episode. A complete perspective change has to occur. You will need to understand that it is, and always been, your life and your choices. Only you are responsible for it.
You can try to reclaim your status of victimhood, but we’ve never had a winner with this way of thinking. Contestants come to realize that there is no one else to blame for their addictive behavior. The world isn’t to blame, nor is their childhood upbringing. Sure there have been strong contributing factors to your taking up an addictive behavior, but you can no longer use them as excuses if you want to make it to the finals. Only you can decide to continue with your addictive behavior or choose another path.
This is where contestants either fall back into old ways of thinking, or become empowered and go on to victory.
You’ll need to do this from the start and continue for as long as necessary if you want to come out a winner. Without boundaries you will not be around for the finals.
Here are a few insider tips:
- Boundaries take courage to maintain. How badly you want to win this reality show depends on your ability to enforce your boundaries.
- Setting boundaries is not weakness – it’s self-preservation. Why jump in with the sharks when you can swim with
- Boundaries can change. Early in recovery you may need to eliminate certain places or being with certain people. Ease yourself back in when you’re ready.
- These are your boundaries, not anyone else’s. Do what you need to do for success. Most contestant boundaries differ. Our show’s history proves there is no one-way to do this.
All of these challenges must be faced. And, there will be a few surprises along the way (we can’t make it too easy for you!).
The rewards for the successful contestants are astounding. Look here for a sample of what you can look forward to.
As an added bonus, we’ll let you in on a secret. There isn’t only one winner. This is a reality show where everyone who plays can win.
Are you up for the challenge? Are you motivated enough for the life-long rewards?
You have been given important information to give you a great chance to succeed.
Come participate in the ultimate reality show – an immense test with huge benefits.
This Is Your Recovery. Are you ready?
This article was also posted on The Good Men Project.
Photo courtesy of the author.