“Never, never, never give up!” – Winston Churchill
Plan your course of action and stick with it. My talk today is not about taking vitamins, I promise. However, I do take vitamins every morning and have done so for the past 10 years. I never miss, yet every now and then, I stare mindlessly at the vitamin bottle and wonder silently if I still need to take them. Then, from the far reaches of the saner region within my mind, comes this stinging rebuttal: “stick to the plan! We’ve been over this, boy. We don’t need to rethink this! You’re not being asked if you enjoy it, are fanatically passionate about it, or if it is convenient for you – just stick to the plan!” So, I do.
Staying on Track
That’s the way it is with your recovery program. Once you have decided to journey down this road, there may be more distractions, detours, and alternate routes than you ever dreamed of. You set a goal such as respecting yourself, getting married, raising your own children, staying out of legal trouble. Your recovery program makes your goal possible. Without unwavering devotion, it’s easy to get sidetracked and drift off course.
It’s Hard Work
Many projects lose their luster as the initial interest and enthusiasm wears thin and turns into a daily grind filled with problems to be solved and boredom to be endured. Staying in recovery is hard work, plain and simple, and anyone who says otherwise likely has a limited or idealized view of how cunning, baffling, and powerful addiction can be. The fix for this, like it or not, is to develop long-term endurance, roll up your sleeves, and be willing to do the hard work, day in and day out, without wavering.
Sticking to your recovery plan is possible through intentional focus and hard work. Better offers, changing goals, emotional pains of life, and outside pressures will try to sabotage your efforts at success. Safeguards can be built. When given a choice between a deceptive illusion or making solid gains in your recovery, you, like me, will momentarily glance at a lesser option, and quietly remind yourself: “stick to the plan.”
Recovery is a journey. Enjoy the Ride!