Effort to Get Results!
Updated: Jan 14
Recovery is hard work! There I said it. Now, most of you can stop reading this, because it isn’t what you wanted to hear. How did we get into this trap and mindset that real change shouldn’t demand strenuous effort by the individual? Tom Brady didn’t just walk on to the New England Patriots one day and put five championship rings on his finger because he found an easy way to have this (when I wrote this he had not won his sixth yet). Regardless of whether you are a fan of his, he deserves respect. He busted his ass. And paid his dues. Working his way up through the football ranks from little league, to the University of Michigan and on to the New England Patriots. He practiced over and over. He studied and prepared diligently. He conditioned himself physically and mentally. He became focused and realized that his effort and hard work was going to be the single most major factor that was within his control in order for him to be a success in the game. Then one day, during a game, starter QB Drew Bledsoe took a life threatening hit and Brady got the call he was training for to come off the bench. Halfway through the game, he entered to lead the Patriots to victory and to his first of six and still counting Super Bowl victories. He made it look easy, but it was nothing but that. So, why do so many of us feel that our addiction problem, the one problem that has controlled, uprooted, and single handedly influenced our entire life, be any different when it comes to recovering from it?As a society, we have become inundated with shiny gimmicks and quick fixes that temporarily gloss things over but don’t really change a thing. This crap is weak and useless and the profiteers are waiting for us to fall for their gimmicks. It’s very profitable for the entire treatment industry, if we are caught in the cycle of addiction bouncing around from one new miracle pill, product or gimmick to the next. Many of us have been trapped into believing there’s an immediate solution void of effort that will save us. Pills, sex, drugs, money, shopping and the list goes on. That’s why when it comes to recovery and sobriety, we impulsively look for the quick fix. That is what we are used to. We have spent years reinforcing this behavior in our addiction, and it’s only natural that we would look for the solution the same way. Fast and easy. A prescription, a getaway treatment center in some sunny state, a new relationship, a new job, more money. We try it all, but we seem to keep coming up short. Month after month, and sometimes, if you were like me, year after year. We keep failing at achieving what we truly want, which is recovery, quality sobriety and peace of mind. Meanwhile, there is an entire industry getting richer by the day off of our vulnerability and lack of insight as to how the recovery process REALLY
works.Let me repeat myself in case you missed the first sentence of this post. Recovery is hard work. Recovery is strenuous, difficult, challenging, and sometimes scary as hell, but it’s reward is you getting your life back with dignity and peace of mind. Don’t trust or believe anyone who tells you that it is going to be easy or that they have a quick solution. As a matter of fact, you should run as hard as you can in the opposite direction. I remember getting a call from a friend of mine who had spent years in treatment and was seriously struggling to find some joy in his life. He had tried the drugs and alcohol route and almost died. He had tried the food route and now was morbidly obese at age 30 with the stressed body of an 80 year old. He had been through numerous psychiatrists, treatment centers, counselors and therapists. Over the years he had been diagnosed with everything. He once told me in one breath that he had severe depression, PTSD, Bi-polar, schizophrenia, ADHD, OCD, multiple substance use disorders, borderline personality disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder. He was taking handfuls of medication every day to try and solve his unhappiness and discontentment with his life. He phoned me one evening very excited to let me know that he had finally discovered what his problem was. He was absolutely sure that he had finally found what he was looking for. I took the bait. I thought to myself, I hope he has it this time, but he probably doesn’t. It’s probably a new diagnosis or disorder for him to use and fixate on temporarily. Or maybe it’s a new therapist. I knew it was going to be something like this, but I really didn’t expect to hear the complete insanity that was going to fall from his lips. He said that he and his physician had determined that the reason why he was struggling so much was because he was on entirely too many medications for all of his disorders and it had been impeding his success at being a happy, whole and recovered human being. I couldn’t believe what he was saying. Finally, a doctor that was going to help him. They could start detoxing him and removing him from all of those serious medications and he could start to work on finding real ways to improve his life. Then he said something I will never forget. The doctor has a new medication for me. It’s a medication that you take when you are on too many medications. Are you kidding me? A medication you take for when you are on too many medications?!? This is your solution? Wow, I thought I had heard it all. But that’s my point exactly. There is always going to be someone out there ready to offer you the quick and easy fix if you are willing to pay to play their game. Don’t fall for it anymore. Bottom line and brass tax. It’s going to take hard work! Bottom line is this. The men and women I see that are having success in their recovery are taking tremendous action and responsibility in their recovery. PERIOD. I have never seen anyone relapse that was “willing to go to any lengths”, and followed through. The ones who are not making it are the ones cutting corners and lying to themselves and others. I know this from my own bitter experience. I am extremely fortunate that I am alive to talk about it today. It seriously takes getting out there and taking the action that is necessary to defeat the negative thinking, the bad habits. And the poor attitude. Join the sobriety game and go all in. Our lives depend upon it. Do everything you can today to condition yourself spiritually, mentally, physically and emotionally so you can experience success. At the end of the day, thank yourself and your Higher Power for a win and get ready to suit up tomorrow.God Bless, Rhett