One saying that does not hold true for addicts is a leopard can’t change its spots. Many of these individuals do become sober and completely turn their life around. The individual can become unrecognizable when compared to the former person they were in the midst of their addiction. This is what is so wonderful about sobriety – it gives people a second chance in life.
A late bloomer can be defined as an individual whose talents or capabilities are not visible to others until later than usual. Such individuals may be well into middle age before they start to shine; some may even be near the end of their life. An example of this would be Colonel Sanders who didn’t establish his restaurant chain until he was in his sixties. It is never too late to find success in life.
When people walk away from an addiction they are given a fresh start. This means that they can rebuild their life and find success. It will not be possible for these individuals to get back those years that were lost to addiction, but they will most certainly be able to make the most of the years ahead. Even those people who have a low rock bottom will be able to rebuild and find success in whatever walk of life appeals to them. Just getting sober will not be enough alone to ensure a bright future, but the individual will be freed of that weight around their neck that had been holding them back.
Once people are free from their addiction they will be able to do so much. They now have the time and energy to turn some of their childhood dreams into a reality. Giving up an addiction and building a life in sobriety requires a great deal of inner strength. The individual can now use this power to achieve other things. Those people who are most successful in life are the ones who never gave up on their early ambitions. They did not react to adversity by giving up or allow obstacles in their path damage their self-esteem. When people become sober they will be able to return to their childhood dreams and make them some of these a reality. They have the inner-strength to this, and it could be argued that they owe it themselves to at least try.
When people first become sober they may be satisfied with just escaping the pain of their addiction. These uncomfortable memories will keep the individual sober for awhile, but as the saying goes, time heals all wounds. Eventually the memory of how bad things were during those years of addiction will fade. People can begin to wonder if things were really that bad. If the individual does not have some good reasons to stay sober they might be tempted to relapse. This is why it is so important to find success in recovery.
Finding success in recovery does not have to mean becoming rich or famous. Each individual will have their own aspirations and they will find success by achieving these. For some people becoming a good mother or father will be their priority, for other people it may be climbing higher in their career. The actual nature of the aspiration isn’t that important so long as it is positive and meaningful to the individual.
There are a number of benefits to finding success in recovery including:
* By achieving things in life it helps to build self-esteem. One of the common characteristics of addicts is that they have low self-esteem, and this can follow them into recovery.
* It makes life more satisfying.
* If the individual finds success in their recovery they are likely to cherish it more. This should mean that they are less likely to relapse.
* Those people who make a success of their life in recovery are a great inspiration to addicts who are still struggling.
* The path to achieving ambitions can be even more satisfying than the goal itself.
* When people give up an addiction their life may appear to be lacking in purpose. Achieving their goals can provide a new meaning in life.
It is often said that recovery is a process and not an event. What this means is that when the individual has given up alcohol or drugs they are only at the beginning of their journey. The real work lies ahead of them. In order to make the most of their second chance in life the individual needs to:
* Keep an open mind about things.
* Realize that the good things in life don’t usually come to those who just wait. Action is needed to achieve success.
* Keeping a beginner’s mind. This means always being willing to learn new things.
* It is important to have ambitious goals in recovery. If the individual is prepared to settle for second best then this is what they will get.
* Read the book or watch the video of the Last Lecture by Randy Pausch. He provides an inspiration message for anyone who wants to achieve their dreams.
* It is important not to allow ambitions in life to become obsessions. There is always the danger that people in recovery will swap one addiction for another– balance in life is the key.
* It is best to aim for progress and not perfection. If people have expectations for themselves that are too high it can lead to disappointment.
* If people need to go back to the drawing board it does not mean that they have failed. Real failure only occurs when people give up on their dreams.
* The real joy in life is usually to be found in the journey to the goal and not the goal itself.
* It is important to not allow goals to become the main focus in life. As John Lennon once warned, life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.
* Staying sober needs to always be the priority. If people relapse they will have no chance of finding real success in life.