Learning to Say Yes I Can in Recovery
“It’s the moment you think you can’t that you realize you can.” – Celine Dion, Canadian recording artist and entrepreneur (born 1968)
We’ve all had the thought that we simply can’t go on, that our troubles or circumstance – of our own making due to our addiction – are just too much for us to bear. We may look for the easy way out, but at the very least, we come face-to-face with the reality of our own actions. We tell ourselves we can’t do what’s expected of us, what we’re told is the way out of the darkness and into recovery.
That’s precisely the time when we realize – if we’re open to it – that we can, indeed, do exactly that. We can make it through whatever has happened or is happening now. What is at stake is our very life, our way of being, and our humanity. We can stare at the abyss and step back from it. In fact, we already have, since we’ve come through the serpentine labyrinth of addiction and made it out on the other side. Okay, it may be a tremulous and halting recovery to this point, but at least we’ve come this far. That’s really an achievement and one that we need to acknowledge. This is important because it gives us the strength and helps foster the determination to go on, to tackle the next obstacle or embrace the next opportunity that comes our way.
And we all face challenges and opportunities each and every day. Sometimes we don’t recognize them for what they are. We lump certain situations into the category of a roadblock when in reality, they’re really opportunities in disguise. We’ve heard the expression, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” The same could be said here. When we encounter a problem or a difficulty of major or minor proportions, we can choose to look at it one of two ways. First, we can tell ourselves that it’s too much for us to handle and give up on it altogether. Second, and the more constructive way to deal with it, is that we can look closely at the situation, learn what we can from it, and figure out a way that we can deal with it and move on. In other words, we turn a bad situation into something that works for us. We learn from our mistakes and keep moving forward in recovery.
The key to being able to do this is a belief that we can. For some of us, this belief in our capabilities and self-worth is sorely lacking. We may have endured an abusive childhood or been down on our luck for many months or years or our entire life. It will be tough to summon this belief that we have what it takes, and that’s where counseling or therapy can be very beneficial to us. We can overcome the nightmare of the past, but we can’t do it alone. Professional help may provide the means and the way forward. We will need to give therapy time to work, particularly if we’ve had a long history of trauma, abuse and addiction. But we can do it. Yes, we can.
Start today by working on something small on our list of things to do for our recovery. As we accomplish the first task, whatever it may be, add this to our success list of achievements. This will begin to boost our self-confidence, to reinforce that we can do what we set out to do for ourselves in recovery. Yes, we can, and yes, we will.