Addiction impacts more than the just addict or recovering addict, it impacts all those who love them. As a new life begins to emerge based on better decisions and overcoming temptations, it is important that everyone make a fresh start.
There is a quote that has taken many forms that goes "what you become is more important than what you accomplish." When it comes to addiction, the impacts can be far reaching. All too often addiction is looked at as though it really only impacts the actual person, but the reality is there are direct and indirect impacts all around. Ironically, the person who is dealing with the addiction can only make real, lasting change once he comes to the realization that his actions impact more than just himself.
There is no easy way out of addiction. It is not a one-time event but rather a process of many steps. This process can take longer for others. The process is often bumpy, emotional and hard. To overcome an addiction of any type is awesome, it should be recognized as an accomplishment. Yet, as the quote stated, it is really who we become that means the most. This applies to the individual and all those who may have been impacted by the addiction.
Those who have struggled with addiction and eventually found the strength, motivation and drive to overcome this terrible trial must never forget that those who were there to support them will need to make a fresh start as well. See they have been living the pain, sorrow, sadness and emotional ups and downs with the addicted. The ability to make a fresh start is not only important, it is necessary. Just like with our computers, when a program freezes we hit the keys CTRL+ALT+DEL to bring up the task manager. At this point, we can see the program is not responding. We now have the choice to shut down the program and we do so. We are asked if we would like to start up again. So it is with all those who have seen the influence of addiction impact their lives, there comes a time for a CTRL+ALT+DEL.
The fresh start really revolves around the concept of becoming. It is about who we can and should become. That process is one that can be filled with excitement, empowerment, love and hope. As we focus on who we become, whether we are the recovering addict or a loved one, we will quickly realize all the good our life has to offer. We will see are desire to want to help others increase; we will see our ability to love others grow and maybe, most importantly, we will see in ourselves the ability to become great.
Church leader and public speaker, Thomas S. Monson has stated, "Sometimes we let our thoughts of tomorrow take up too much of today. Daydreaming of the past and longing for the future may provide comfort but will not take the place of living in the present. This is the day of our opportunity, and we must grasp it."
What a wonderful reminder about the need for a fresh start and the importance of focusing on today. That focus on becoming who we want to become is a daily task.
The battle with any addiction is real; it is real for all involved. The influence and impact of both the individual who is working towards recovery as well as those who are there supporting is substantial. This is true whether it is during the addiction, throughout the recovery process or after the official recovery process and a new life has begun. We can never underestimate the importance of recognizing the need for one another. That fresh start that all who have or are dealing with addiction comes by replacing the following:
Pride with humility
Excuses with empowerment
Anger with love
Selfishness with self-awareness
Pain with peace
It won't be easy, but it seems that the majority of the things that bring us the greatest happiness and feeling of accomplishment take effort. Whether you are the recovering addict or part of the support team of a recovering addict, know that a fresh start is necessary and will bring new hope. It will bring with it the desire to focus on who you can become. Let the lessons you learn be ones that allow you to reach your full potential. You can do it.
Seth Saunders is an executive business consultant and leadership coach. Seth has been married 20 years to his amazing wife, Amber, and is the proud father of three wonderful sons. He is passionate about helping others succeed.