“Wherever you are in your recovery, you are doing great!” I heard that said on a podcast recently and it was just what I needed to hear. So often we compare ourselves to others. In recovery, this is especially dangerous. I’m guilty of it myself. I’m also guilty of having really high expectations for myself and feeling like I’m not living up to my own standards if I’m not exceeding all of my goals. So, I try to make some drastic change before I’m ready and end up setting myself back instead of inching forward. These are all normal thoughts, feelings, and behaviors but they can get in the way of our happiness.
Inching forward. That is all we can really do in recovery. It is the proper attitude to have. The way we view ourselves and the way we talk to ourselves is one of the more critical parts of recovery. As tough as it can be to set aside our own expectations and the comparisons with others, the ability to do so can go a long way. Instead of beating ourselves up over what we haven’t done, we should be celebrating what we have done. And I mean celebrating even the smallest of steps forward. Some days, if all you did that day was stay sober, then it was a victory. This recovery thing is fucking hard. Anyone even attempting to overcome a substance abuse problem deserves to be applauded. Taking back your life, standing up for your health and happiness, and making yourself vulnerable is the most courageous thing you can do for yourself. Celebrate that shit. Forget what everyone else is doing and where you think you “should” be and just be happy that you are alive and you are doing this thing.
I’m just over 18 months into this recovery journey and I’m always thinking I should’ve accomplished this or be further along with that by now. But the truth is I’ve come a long fucking way. And I OWN that shit. I’m confident in my sobriety at this point, I’m doing several things that I couldn’t have even dreamed of a year and a half ago, and I’m mostly feeling good these days. I hear people who have been in recovery for several years talking and a lot of them say they were a mess for the first couple of years. Even though they were sober and accomplishing things, they were still learning how to deal with all of the emotions that come along. Most of us spent years numbing and doing harm to ourselves, so who are we to expect to be fully recovered from all of it in just a few months? Recovery is a process and each of our journeys is unique. Wherever you are in your recovery, you are doing great!
As much as I could ramble on and keep rewording the message, I won’t. When I’m feeling down or doubting myself, I just take a minute and think about how much I’ve accomplished so far and how much more I can accomplish by staying sober. Then, I tell myself that affirmation. “Wherever I am, I’m doing great.” Contrary to what people say, not everyone can do this recovery thing. People fail at it every day. People lose their lives before they get to do it. If you’re doing it, you are a rock star and don’t let anyone tell you differently. I’m proud of you. If you need to hear that again, message me. And please like, share, and comment on this post. I would love to hear from you.