What Others Have Taught Me

Clippings from my ‘Facebook for Alkies.’ Sagely advice indeed.

Who is most likely to succeed in the longer term? The people who are most likely to succeed at long term sobriety are those who strive for:

  • Honesty – they don’t just provide lip service to this; they try to employ honesty throughout their lives. When they are not always successful, they acknowledge that and move on.
  • Humility – they strive to stop living a selfish, ego driven existence that is so common with addictions. They stop trying to convince everyone, including themselves, that they are perfect and have all the answers. They humbly accept that they are flawed and that is just fine.
  • Teachable – Teach-ability is huge. The most successful people I know in recovery have a completely open and honest mind-set. They are willing to listen and learn from others. Even things that they may fundamentally disagree with are opportunities for them to continue to learn about themselves and others.
  • Willingness – This goes with teach-ability. They have a willingness to explore and try new things. For most of us, our addictions have made us very vulnerable to negative habits. In order to break those habits we have to be willing to get out of our comfort zones and give other things a real chance to work in our lives.
  • Priorities – They make their recovery the single most important thing in their lives. In order for me to be successful I had to make sobriety the single most important thing in my life. I cancelled business trips, for fear of tucking into the mini-bar. I went to regular meetings to work on my sobriety. I skipped certain events that I knew had a risk to my sobriety; the list is endless of what I did, especially in early sobriety, to make it a priority. I don’t need to make all those sacrifices today because the work I put in months ago has paid off.
  • Diversity – the people who are successful don’t put all of their recovery “eggs” in one basket. I have seen people quit drinking and immediately start training for the marathon. Running becomes their next addictalcoholism20ion. It is all great. They get healthy, lose weight, and they are not drinking. Until one day they have run that marathon or they sustain an injury and they no longer have that goal available to them. They literally have no idea how to live life on life’s terms. Therefore, they frequently go back to drinking because that is all they knew. The successful people have many, diverse, strategies for dealing with recovery. They are never dependent on just one thing or a single motivational tool.

About Tom Cottrell

Tom is a struggling author, pilgrim and citizen of Planet Earth.
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