Have you ever heard of someone who has experienced total recovery in their life and thought to yourself, “Wow, they’re so lucky”? Maybe you were struggling with the mental illness or addiction that this person had overcome, but instead of finding hope in their story, you just looked at them as though they were one of the lucky ones. You, on the other hand, were certain you would be stuck in the middle of this mess for the rest of your life. Sound familiar?
Yeah, I’ve been there too. But there’s something important that I’ve learned over the years. The people I know who have recovered, have not simply been lucky. Because full recovery requires an awful lot more than luck.
Recovery requires grit.
It requires a whole lot of determination and perseverance. It requires a whole-hearted commitment to a positive outcome. And this is NOT easy when you are convinced that everything in life sucks! But that’s where grit comes in. Recovery requires you to stand in the face of all that haunts you and refuse to be terrorized.
Recovery requires hope.
It requires a little bit of expectation that things will get better. It doesn’t require bucketsful of hope, but it does require at least a tiny glimmer of optimism that points you towards a goal. It means that you have to be willing to say “maybe.” Maybe things could get better. Maybe I really could do this! Just maybe I could overcome!
Recovery requires effort.
It requires hard work—up to and including blood, sweat, and tears. It means making hard changes and implementing healthy lifestyle choices that nobody really wants to make. And it demands long-term commitment. It means putting in an effort over the long haul, and refusing to give up when things get tough.
Recovery requires help.
It requires a network of support that can see you through the dark days. In yesterday’s post I wrote about how we are not designed to do life alone. I will add to that today by saying that we are also not designed to do recovery alone. Recovery means letting others into your world and allowing them to encourage you, strengthen you, and sometimes even carry you.
Recovery requires faith.
It requires opening up your heart and your mind to the idea that you might not know everything there is to know in the world. It means humbling yourself and recognizing that there is a disparity between the reality of your situation and the life you desire. Reaching that desired life is completely possible, but it requires a leap of faith. In my case, this meant placing my faith in a higher power who could see me through the dark times and lead me into better days.
I hope I’ve convinced you today that recovery requires more than luck. So the next time you find yourself looking at someone who has reached the level of recovery that you think you can only dream of, and you say to yourself, “gee, they’re so lucky”… reconsider.
They didn’t get lucky.
They had grit. They were hopeful. They put in effort. They got help. And they took a major leap of faith. And because of it, they reached the better life they desired.
And you can too.