Connect with your courage.
Fear is a normal part of change, a natural reaction, and part of the recovery process that moves us closer to the truth.
Courage is not the absence of fear; it is the refusal to be ruled by it any longer. You can find your courage by focusing your time and energy on making real, positive changes, and moving away from old habits of behavior.
Much of life is not within your control, however, you should not focus on the things you can't control. Turn your focus to those things you CAN control. You CAN choose to change things like your attitude and outlook on life; you CAN see an event as either a blessing or a curse. And yes, changing your mindset and changing old habits, and walking through things that are stressful or scary without picking up a drink or a drug, takes enormous courage.
If you’re getting ready to receive treatment for a drug or alcohol addiction, or are in the early stages of recovery following extensive treatment, you may be wondering where you’ll find the courage needed to move forward. Here are some ways you can gain a better understanding of courage and use it to fuel your recovery.
Recognize the courage you already have.
Saying goodbye to an addiction can be extremely difficult. It's like saying goodbye to a close friend or go-to coping mechanism. When you choose to receive treatment for an addiction, you are making the choice to give this up in favor of something better. Recognize the courage involved in the choice. It will help you to remember the measure of courage you have already shown. You’re likely already more courageous than you think.
Know that courage is not the absence of fear.
Courage is not the absence of fear. It is the ability to move forward despite your fears. If you are harboring feelings of fear—be it fear of leaving friends behind, fear of creating a new lifestyle, or fear of the unknown—it doesn’t mean that you don’t have courage. Your courage will be defined, rather, by how you respond to these fears. You are not alone; friends, family members, and addiction recovery specialists are here to help you respond to these fears in a healthy way that will lead you toward sobriety.
Recognize the traits of courage.
Three traits that are related to courage are honesty, bravery, and perseverance. Honesty involves facing the reality of addiction, being completely truthful about how much control an addiction might have in your life. Bravery involves standing up for what you feel is right, no matter what the consequences might be. The ability to persevere means being able to move forward despite the challenges and disappointments that come your way. So, rather than attempting to gain courage as a whole, which can seem unachievable, focus on gaining these more concrete aspects of courage.
Seeking help reflects positive intention.
t goes without saying that it takes a lot of courage to admit you have an alcohol or drug abuse problem. When you do, you have crossed the first major hurdle. You can ask any recovering or fully recovered individuals, and a majority of them will tell you that had they not been able to take this step, they would have never been able to see the positive light on the horizon. The ultimate reality is that all human beings are flawed in some way or the other. So instead of feeling bogged down by your weaknesses, reach out and seek professional assistance.
No matter what you believe in or how you choose to get clean and sober, it all starts with the first step of admitting you have a problem and seeking help.
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