When you’re just starting out in recovery, the life you want can seem very far from the life you have. Addiction erodes your self-esteem, drains your bank account, and alienates your loved ones. The notion that you can just start living the life you want to have might even strike you as laughable. However, that’s exactly what you should do.
When you get right down to it, the difference between living a miserable life and a great life is a matter of skill. You probably have some idea of what you want your career, health, and relationships to be like, but you don’t quite know how to get there. Living well, having a good career, and having strong relationships are all results of skillful actions. If you could snap your fingers and magically have all those skills, you would have the life you want very quickly. Unfortunately, that’s not how we get skills. It takes learning, practice, and a lot of mistakes. However, there’s no reason you can’t begin that process right this minute. If you have an idea of what you want you life to look like, ask yourself what kinds of decisions the person with that kind of life would make. You won’t always know the answer. And sometimes, you might know the answer but find it a little too difficult. That doesn’t matter. What matters is that you let your vision guide your behavior.
The process of living according to the vision of the life we want is often slow and frustrating. It’s hard to know the right thing to do and even harder to follow through. It takes a consistent effort and it’s hard to notice overall improvements from day to day. To some extent, you have to be content with small wins. Incremental improvements every day will invariably lead to positive results in the long run. Anyone who has tried to get into shape knows this. You work out every day, you try to eat right but you never feel like you’re getting anywhere. Then one day, you realize you just squatted twice your body weight or you see a picture of yourself from a year ago and you hardly recognize yourself.
That’s the accumulation of your consistent efforts. However, it’s also more than that. It’s also the accumulation of everything you’ve learned in the meantime–every little change you’ve made to your workout routine, every tweak in your diet. You learn as you go, often without even realizing. This is true of every part of life, but it just happens to be easily quantifiable with fitness. Making consistent efforts to stay in touch with friends and family will bring you closer and improve your skill in communicating and being supportive. Putting in a little extra effort at work will gradually pay off in money and opportunity. There’s no starting gun. You just have to start trying to live the life you want, even if you live it imperfectly for a while.
If you’ve been struggling with drugs or alcohol, we can help you build a better life. At Tree House Recovery in Orange County, California, we’re helping men create the sustainable changes necessary to build a sustainable recovery. Call us today for information: (855) 202-2138