Author: Justin Mckibben
Life is not meant to be easy. If you needed someone to tell you that, I don’t know what else to tell you… other than buckle up and stay tuned because things are about to get really real.
There are always, ALWAYS going to be these inevitable obstacles in life that we have to face. The nature of the human experience is to be confronted with things that aren’t meant to be so easy to deal with.
Part of what life is about it developing into the person you need to be in spite of those things, and how you decide to face those things that get in your way. In addiction we create more obstacles and in recovery from drugs and alcohol we can be confronted with those obstacles, along with all the others of everyday existence.
Developing a productive inner dialogue is one of the most productive ways individuals in recovery from addiction can keep building their mental health. Creating a mantra or incantation of positive, yet realistic affirmations can drown out the negative thoughts that tend to hold us back from breaking through these barriers.
So here are just 7 mantras to remember in recovery to help you defeat the things in recovery from addiction that try and defeat you.
- Failure is part of the process
C.S. Lewis once said,
“Failures, repeated failures, are finger posts on the road to achievement. One fails forward toward success.”
In order for us to truly succeed, we must learn to know and survive our failures. When we fall, it is so we can learn to rise up in spite of the fall and overcome. Those who have never know what it is like not to fail will never be able to savor the true victory of succeeding. We are not meant to win at everything, because we learn and grow through the times we do not win.
Even repeated failure means we are still trying and still growing. Relapse doesn’t have to happen, but when it doesn’t mean you cannot recover.
- My best is good enough
Pushing yourself to be perfect is harmful. It undermines the process, because ultimately no one will ever be perfect. No one can expect anyone to be everything all the time, and you can’t expect it from yourself either.
Recovery is a process like any other. No one does it prefect. Insisting there’s no room for error only brings extra anxiety. Understand that as long as you believe wholeheartedly you are doing your best, that is always enough.
- All I need is within me now
Guess what- along with life not being easy, it is also not always fair either. An easy way to feel defeated is to tell yourself you cannot succeed because you don’t have what others have, or you don’t have what it takes.
Be grateful for all that you have instead of insisting you need more to get what you’re striving for. Remind yourself that all you need to succeed is what you already have. Be aware that others have overcome more with even less to work with, and find a way. You are an amazing person and have potential to be everything you want to be.
- Doing right makes a difference
Martin Luther King Jr. said,
“The time is always right to do what is right.”
This is still true, whether we want to acknowledge it or not. Doing the right thing isn’t always easy or popular- but your job isn’t to please everyone. Be brave enough to live according to your values.
You may here people always say to do the “next right thing” and recovery is possible. They aren’t wrong. Doing the right thing doesn’t only pertain to what is comfortable or profitable. Do what is just in your heart.
- It’s Okay to NOT be Okay
This is always easier to say than it is to feel your way through. But being 100% positive all the time, especially in recovery, is pretty much impossible.
Emotions still exist like fear, embarrassment, and disappointment. They aren’t fun to feel most of the time. But the reality of life is just that- sometimes we are NOT okay… and that IS okay!
Be ready and willing to cope with the discomfort. You will be sad, angry, upset or lost sometimes… but that is alright if you are willing to do what it takes to get through it. In recovery our emotions can be tricky; be prepared to accept these feelings.
- I can control my actions
Now you may have heard you have an illness that makes you powerless; that you are powerless over (insert substance) and cannot control yourself once you start.
In my experience, that last part is the key- once you start! You have the option once you have detoxed or managed to step away from drugs or alcohol to take responsibility for what you do to maintain your recovery.
Acknowledge the fact that at some point you are in control of how you behave. Taking responsibility for your actions will empower you to either make the best of your circumstances, or create positive changes in your life that will support your recovery.
- I’ve survived so far
James Joyce said:
“Mistakes are the portals of discovery.”
If you are reading this, you have already made it so far! Undoubtedly you have already survived a great deal in your lifetime already, and that means you have great capacity to do amazing things.
Also, if you have made it this far it means without question you have faced some level of struggle in some aspect of your life. In all likelihood you have probably also made some mistakes and persevered through some pretty intense circumstances.
If you have survived drugs and alcohol, are active in your recovery and trying to change your life then you have created a portal to discovering your true self… do not falter when life gets harder. You can survive this too.
Life itself can be pretty tough work, and a life in recovery can sometimes feel harder than ever. We all have the same ability to succeed in life either way, and sometimes the best thing we can do to change our circumstances is put ourselves in the best position to get better. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-95-6135