Have you ever been on a road trip during which everything seemed to go wrong?
Maybe you get a flat tire or get picked up for speeding or end up in a fender bender. Or your hotel lost your reservation and everything nearby is all booked up. Maybe you run low on gas in the middle of nowhere or notice your temperature gauge inching upward. Or you leave chocolate or crayons in the car while you stop for a midday meal and return to a sticky, melted mess.
One or two of these problems (or the many other things that could potentially go wrong) are probably no big deal. You might think of them as the proverbial bumps in the road. But if a whole bunch of these annoyances and issues arise over the course of your trip, it might really start to wear on you. At some point, you might wonder if the trip is even worth the trouble.
Your Recovery Journey
Now replace this hypothetical road trip with your recovery journey. Because you know how important it is to maintain your hard-won sobriety, you are probably prepared to deal with a few bumps in the recovery road. But what if the challenges start to stack up?
Faced with cravings, toxic relationships, triggers of various kinds, demands at work or school, depression or anxiety, and more, it is only natural that you would start to feel tired and stressed out. It might well start to seem as if this ongoing recovery journey is far more trouble than it is actually worth. You might be sorely tempted to metaphorically turn the car around and return to drug or alcohol use.
But of course, that is not the right move. Heck, even an annoyed parent rarely means it when they threaten to “turn this car around right now.” After all, the benefits of the journey still lie ahead—and the key to getting to them is perseverance.
The Power of Perseverance
When it comes to the need for perseverance, you don’t have to take our word for it. Here are some thoughts on the subject from a range of individuals who have recognized the need to keep going—even when the going gets tough:
“Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.” – Baseball legend Babe Ruth
“Let me tell you the secret that has led to my goal. My strength lies solely in my tenacity.” – Scientist and inventor Louis Pasteur
“Perseverance is failing 19 times and succeeding the 20th.” – Legendary actress Julie Andrews
“I was taught the way of progress is neither swift nor easy.” – Physicist and two-time Nobel Prize winner Marie Curie
“Courage is not having the strength to go on; it is going on when you don’t have the strength.” – President Theodore Roosevelt
“The question isn’t, can you handle the situation? The question is, can you handle your mind? Can you manage the thoughts and emotions that are trying to poison your progress?” – Actor and musician Will Smith
“Success is not final, failure is not fate: It is the courage to continue that counts.” – British Prime Minister Winston Churchill
We chose quotes from folks from different walks of life—sports, entertainment, science, politics—to make it clear that everyone has to persevere in the face of challenges each and every day. At first blush, that might seem like bad news, but we’d suggest turning that idea on its head. The fact that everyone must persevere—and is doing it day in and day out—suggests that you can do it, too. It is good to remind yourself of this fact when the challenges to your sobriety seem to be mounting up.
A Note About Relapse & Perseverance
If you experience a relapse, you may be tempted to throw in the towel. You might be thinking that you have just proven that you are unable to persevere. But that simply is not the case. Perseverance in the face of a relapse means getting back into treatment and trying again. Read those quotes again and remind yourself that perseverance means picking yourself up after a setback and getting yourself headed in the right direction again.
We Can Help You Get Started On Your Recovery Journey
Let us extend our road trip metaphor just a bit further. When you are about to set out on a trip, you want to make sure you’ve set yourself up for success. Air in the tires, oil in the engine, brakes working well, and so on.
The same is true when you are about to start your recovery journey. You want to make sure the drugs are out of your system and you are on the other side of the worst withdrawal symptoms. You want strategies, resources, and support for the road ahead. And you want to be sure that your mental health is well supported because sobriety and mental wellness go together like wiper fluid and quality wiper blades.
At The Aviary Recovery Center, we offer all of these things, including ongoing support should you need it. Ready to get your recovery journey underway? Start here.