Addiction rarely happens overnight. It is often a series of events and choices that are years in the making. These events and choices often take a person deeper and deeper into a hole he feels he cannot get out of. They cause broken homes, scarred or destroyed relationships, and broken dreams. It can be extremely hard for a person to physically recover because of the mental damage that he has accumulated. All of the past baggage a person accrues will often leave him doubting that recovery is imminent or even possible.
These doubts come from both past and present behaviors. These are not just behaviors of the addict but can also be behaviors of individuals close to the addict. It can be very hard for an addict to see the wonderful light of recovery at the end of the tunnel when he has a dark past, a dark present, and people close to him living in that same darkness. This darkness can persuade a person to just give up on the idea of recovery because he doubts he can ever live a life free of the addiction.
There is hope! Millions of people overcome addictions every year. How do these things happen? It isn’t merely a fairy tale that people only dream of. It can be a reality, but a key principle is the belief that all of this baggage can be overcome.
I have been blessed with a supportive family that instilled in me a belief in myself and a Higher Power that can help me straighten out any curve ball life or I throw my own way. My grandfather worked as a pastor for over fifty years and wrote many books. On the inside of all of the copies he gave me he wrote, “Jordan, always doubt your doubts and believe.” He never said to only doubt the things that I felt I could easily change or the things I was on the fence about. There was never a limit placed on what to doubt and when to believe! His quote has inspired me throughout my life. It inspired me to believe that I could overcome anything life threw my way, no matter how unlikely it seemed. When I made the decision to get sober, I made the decision for my future and my present despite the doubts my past actions, my present actions, or even the actions of the people I still hung around with might have caused. If I would not have doubted my own doubts about sobriety and had that belief in myself and what God could help me overcome, I don’t think I would have ever tried.
I encourage anyone that struggles with doubts over whether or not he can actually turn from his current ways to doubt your doubts and believe that you can. Your belief doesn’t have to be that you will be magically restored overnight or that you will never have a desire to use again. Just have a belief that change is possible. A wise man once said, “Self-confidence is the key to all of life’s successes,” and self-confidence is not possible without believing in yourself.
Please share what doubts have you overcome in your life and how you overcame those doubts.