Keeping your eye on the end result

A common denominator for recovered addicts is that we have learned the art (aka discipline) of keeping our eye on the prize. Newcomers to sobriety are challenged here; they want to make the old prize work—just one more time. We don’t want to let it go. We love it and yet we are agonized with it. We certainly don’t want to focus on something new, something unfamiliar.

When we are still abusing alcohol and drugs, the reward, the end result is moments away. Once we have committed to recovery, the reward is coming no time soon. We hate this, we want it when we want it and that time is (usually) now. When we need our fix we pursue it with passion, vigor, commitment, and stamina. We WILL find the way. The end result must be achieved. Stop saying, “I don’t know how to do this sober thing.” You do know how to do this sober thing. You do know how to pursue something with unlimited perseverance. You just don’t want to have to. You know how to do this work you just don’t know how to apply it to behaviors that serve, rather than hinder, your life.

If our end result is to be clean and sober, and we put that first, that is exactly what will happen. Much like Captain Sparrow, we too have an internal compass; it’s that thing in us that tells us what to do next at any given moment. We get to choose. It seems like we aren’t choosing, but we are. The body isn’t doing anything that the mind isn’t telling it to do. We aren’t a victim of our addiction. We chose it and it chooses us back. If we no longer want it then we get to un-choose it. If we don’t hang on, it will let go.

The trouble comes when we say we don’t want it and then we start up with it—again. Next we say we don’t want it and then we start up—once more. Followed by, we don’t want it ever, ever again and then we start up—one last time. It’s crazy-making. We keep changing the direction of our compass and then we wonder why we feel so crappy, and because we feel so crappy we need to ingest something just to calm our mind.

What we get to do (if we want) is look for a new reward, a new end result. Once we choose it we get to keep it. When we decide we want XYZ, truly want XYZ, the Universe is there to greet us. Finally we have made a decision and the Universe can begin to work on our behalf. The issue isn’t that you’re an addict. The issue is that you can’t decide what you really want. At 9:00 you want XYZ, but at 9:30 you choose ABC. Today spend some time watching the direction of your compass. We always achieve our heart’s desire.

No Responses to “Keeping your eye on the end result

  • Amen to everything you wrote! I’m new to the blog world, and just found yours via MC @ Being Sober- so glad I found you. I’m just shy of 12 months sober, and you’re so right- it is a process, a journey, (just like running!), and I’m in it for the long haul. Not every day is picture perfect, but each day sober is a blessing.

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