There are times when it seems like the challenges we are confronted with are going to overwhelm us. It feels as if there is no way to successfully address the problems we face or accomplish real change in our own lives. Sometimes we feel beaten before we have even tried to overcome an obstacle in our lives.
If you are a person in recovery from a substance use disorder, you may struggle with this feeling a lot. The challenge you face is staying sober day after day. The task can seem overwhelming. You may feel certain you cannot possibly maintain your sobriety for an extended period. You may feel like you are destined to fail. On your worst days, you may be tempted to fail sooner rather than later just to get it over with.
We understand why you might feel this way. But we want to encourage you to reframe the way you think about challenges—including the challenge of maintaining your sobriety.
Challenges Can Make You Stronger…
You should never view your challenges as a disadvantage. Instead, it’s important for you to understand that your experience facing and overcoming adversity is actually one of your biggest advantages.
~Former First Lady Michelle Obama
When we face challenges, it is easy to adopt a woe-is-me attitude. But that is no way to face up to difficulties. Instead, think of the challenge as a way to build strength and resiliency. Every day you feel particularly tempted to return to drugs or alcohol is a day you can learn from for the next time the cravings arise. If you handle it successfully today, it will be a little easier to handle it successfully again.
…And Challenges Can Remind You How Strong You Already Are
No matter what kind of challenges or difficulties or painful situations you go through in your life, we all have something deep within us that we can reach down and find the inner strength to get through them.
~Actress Alana Stewart
Digging down deep to find the personal strength to tackle a challenge head-on can test your resolve. But it is essential to remember that you have already demonstrated personal strength by getting sober in the first place. That took bravery, honesty, and a willingness to be vulnerable. Those traits are still with you as your recovery journey continues.
They Can Help You Grow; Responding to Setback Can, Too
Common sense would suggest that having ability, like being smart, inspires confidence. It does, but only while the going is easy. The deciding factor in life is how you handle setbacks and challenges. People with a growth mindset welcome setbacks with open arms.
~Author Travis Bradberry
All of us can hold things together when our lives are flowing along smoothly. But when the going gets tough, we really learn something about ourselves. And that is true whether we conquer the challenge we are facing or we suffer a significant setback.
Overcoming a challenge helps us build confidence that we can face the next inevitable challenge (after all, the challenges in life are going to just keep coming). Suffering a setback can help us call up reserves of strength and resolve while reminding us that any setback—even a relapse that finds you using drugs or alcohol again—is just a step on the journey. It is not the end of the journey by any stretch of the imagination.
They Require You to Believe in Yourself
It’s lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges, and I believed in myself.
~Legendary boxer Muhammad Ali
Challenges can certainly inspire fear—the fear that we simply do not have the wherewithal to meet those challenges in effective ways. But you do, in fact, have what it takes to maintain your sobriety. Have faith in yourself even (especially) when things seem most difficult and uncertain. That faith will never be misplaced.
We Challenge You to Accept the Help You Need
If you are currently struggling with a substance use disorder, your first order of business should be getting the help you need to get sober. At The Aviary Recovery Center, we offer medically supervised detox and an effective rehab program that includes both group and individual therapy. We will equip you with the strategies, resources, and support you will need to start your recovery journey with confidence. And in the event of a setback, we will be right here, ready to help you restart your recovery without judgment. You can count on our expertise, experience, and compassion to serve you well as you work to accomplish something truly important: long-lasting sobriety.