By: Cedar Point Recovery 17 Feb 2016

“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” – Milton Berle

The first few months after treatment are strange. Outside of our step work and our recovery, we’re usually busy picking up the pieces of our lives and trying to move forward. Then anxious feelings start to develop as we ask, “what’s next?”

It’s not unusual to get a little bogged down by the feeling that our recovery is a “handicap” that will keep us from the same opportunities that “normal” people have. But, these feeling can become rationalizations for not even trying. Our internal dialogue sounds like: “Nobody’s going to want to hire an ex-junkie,” or “It’s too late to go back to school,” or “I burned that bridge a long time ago.”

While we’re busy short-changing ourselves, it can become more and more difficult to develop the confidence and courage we are going to need to grow beyond the position in which we find ourselves at the beginning of our recovery journey. Pretty soon, “what’s next” will become, “is this it?”

There are important things to remember at times like this:

The World Has Changed The perception of addiction has changed dramatically in the past few years. If we’re feeling like simply “being in recovery” is somehow holding us back, it’s probably our own voice that we are hearing. When we listen to that voice, it shows in our face, in our stance and in our self-confidence and becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.The past is past. It’s time to learn from it and leave it there.
Everyone Fails No one succeeds 100 percent of the time. No one.If we have the view that the only validation for our efforts is success at the end, then we are in for a lot of heartache. People fail every day, whether they’re in recovery or not.If we don’t start giving ourselves credit for the effort we put in, then we aren’t going to get very far. The setbacks and disappointments that are a part of everyone’s life can be used to either build our experience and confidence, or to build barriers. The choice is up to us.

Believing we can accomplish something doesn’t always mean that we will, but believing that we can’t is a pretty certain path. Given the kind of lives we lead before recovery, we’ve probably experienced more than our share of disappointment. Our new lives in recovery don’t have to continue that way.

Yes, we’re going to experience failures. Yes, we’re going to have days and times when we don’t live up to our own expectations. Each day that we stay clean and sober, however, is a new opportunity to learn from our mistakes, let them go, and try again. The only thing stopping us from opening most doors of opportunity is our own self-doubt.

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