Sports rarely pique my interest.
Golf does so even less often. Despite these facts, I found myself inspired by Tiger Woods’s 2008 U.S. Open win. He won this tournament despite stress fractures and a damaged ACL. He won this tournament despite being told to not even try. As ESPN reports, “Woods told the doctors who recommended that he skip the tournament that he was going to play. ‘And I’m going to win the U.S. Open.’” He went in with confidence. He went in ready to persevere. And it turns out we can do the same thing when it comes to addiction recovery. We can persevere even when others tell us we can’t. We can overcome our injuries or simply work through them as they heal.
Preexisting Injuries and Alcohol Addiction Treatment
We all have preexisting injuries. Lots of us struggle with mental health issues that started long before our substance use. Other injuries are a direct result of drinking too much. They can be mental or physical. They are the result of one-time actions we now regret. They are the result of months or years of accumulated damage. No one goes through addiction unscathed. This isn’t a reason not to try. In fact, it’s incentive to persevere. These injuries will never go away until we find recovery. Active alcohol use reopens them, day after day. Your mental and physical health aren’t excuses to avoid treatment. They are reasons to dive in, ready to come out more healed and whole than before drinking or drug problems even began.
Recovering with Confidence
Finding confidence in recovery is half the battle. You can recover. Treatment does work. As the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) states, “Addiction can be managed successfully. Treatment enables people to counteract addiction’s powerful disruptive effects on their brain and behavior and regain control of their lives.” Tiger went in convinced he could win, and he did. You can go into treatment knowing you can recover. You can take back control no matter the challenges you face.
It’s Not About Winning
Sports aren’t just about who wins and who loses. They are about how the game is played. They are about putting your heart and soul towards a goal and doing your best to get there. Every top athlete perseveres. Every recovering addict does the same. Although you can certainly “win” by finding a life free from addiction, the journey to get to that point is just as important. There is no “losing” when playing for recovery because every step is part of your recovery journey.
Even relapse isn’t loss or failure. NIDA explains, “The chronic nature of the disease means that relapsing to drug abuse at some point is not only possible, but likely…Treatment of chronic diseases involves changing deeply imbedded behaviors, and relapse does not mean treatment has failed. For a person recovering from addiction, lapsing back to drug use indicates that treatment needs to be reinstated or adjusted or that another treatment should be tried.”
Relapse is a part of overcoming addiction. It is a part of learning more about yourself and your addiction. Relapse can be an opportunity for a stronger recovery as long as you view it as such. As long as you continue to persevere.
Building Strength and Continuing On
Strength and perseverance are great. They give you the means and motivation to continue in recovery. But what if you don’t feel strong? What if you are exhausted by addiction, but recovery seems even harder? Perseverance is as much about knowing when to ask for help as it is relying on yourself. Michael’s House is always here to support you. Let our staff coach you through the recovery process. Learn how teammates in recovery can lend a hand when things get difficult. Learn how you can train your body, mind and spirit to find a fulfilling, successful and satisfying life. You don’t have to come in ready to persevere no matter what. We can help you find that strength.
 http://www.espn.com/golf/usopen09/columns/story?id=4256164&columnist=harig_bob. “It’s Time to Reminisce.” ESPN.com. 14 Jun 2009. Web. 15 Mar 2017.
 https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugs-brains-behavior-science-addiction/treatment-recovery. “Drugs, Brains, and Behavior: The Science of Addiction.” National Institute on Drug Abuse. Jul 2014. Web. 15 Mar 2017.