Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Progress Matters

Recovering from addiction is often seen as black and white. We count days of sobriety with acute attention to detail. We talk about our last relapse and work every single day to avoid the next. In many ways that is as it should be. After all, the goal of recovery is to remove this addiction from our lives completely.

But I think an important point can often be missed:

Progress Matters

In my efforts to recover, I have suffered through many relapses. They are always painful. They also seem to be the end of the world at the time. My thoughts are a jumbled mess of "How could this happen...I've been trying so hard...I've done everything the Lord could I possibly be back HERE."

But with the passage of some time, and a lot of prayer and (forced) humility, I begin to understand that I am not BACK anywhere. In fact, I am far from where I used to be. Even in my relapse I see differences. Rather than hiding my actions, I go to a recovery meeting and admit what I've done. Rather than letting the cycle drag me down into months of acting out, I allow the Lord to pull me back up and start moving forward again.

If I look at where I am now compared to where I was four years ago, two things are abundantly clear. First, I have a lot of work to do to be where I want to be. Second, I have come a LONG way from where I was.

Sometimes I lose sight of the fact that I am progressing. But it is the very progress that I make every day, the progress which builds my testimony and strengthens my faith, that is driving my recovery.

No matter the change you are trying to make in your life, you will nearly always have setbacks. You will yell at your kids after promising you wouldn't. You will drink that Cherry Coke after swearing off soda. You will not wake up as early as you committed. When you do, the temptation will be to feel like a failure. To say to yourself "I can't do this, why did I even bother trying." But before the frustration sets in, take just a second and think about where you are. If you are honest with yourself, you will likely see that you are far from where you were. You will see something to build on.

Remember...Progress Matters.

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