Say you take a walk on a hiking trail. You bring some snacks and a bottle of water.
You’re only planning to be out for a couple of hours and go home, but you see another trail, that leads you to another trail, that leads you up the side of a mountain.
You keep pushing forward because now you want to get that perfect picture with a perfect view. By doing this, you aren’t acknowledging your current reality. You aren’t acknowledging the consequences.
As the sun sets, you leave yourself less time to get out of the park, and because you began walking off the beaten path to capture that beautiful vista, you have to decipher how to get back to your original trail. You weren’t paying attention, and you don’t have the necessities to stay and camp overnight. What do you do?
You may not be a hiker, but this scenario provides a comparison to addiction and relapse.
When we struggle to break our addiction, we keep walking farther into the park not thinking about where we are going or how to get back. We become afraid.
We become lost in the metaphorical park, and without support, we turn to the only thing we know – substance.
Recovery and Fear
Recovery is a long road but a road that is worth the time and challenges. However, getting on that road can feel daunting, terrifying and impossible.
More often than not, we fear change. We simply aren’t ready to put down the drink, stop buying the pills, or throw the needle away once and for all because we don’t know what lies on the other side of sober. We aren’t ready to make the change because we aren’t able to conceive of a new and better life. We are stuck in our past behaviors afraid that is all we’ll ever see. We haven’t figured out that our lives have meaning and that everything we do is an act of magic.
But magic doesn’t just happen. This is where the work comes into play. We have to wake up every day and believe in ourselves to the point we create a new normal. Fighting relapse once and for all means leaning into change and never looking back. So how do we keep our eyes on the prize in front of us? Faith.
The Power of Faith and Time
Faith means looking to something beyond ourselves as a guide that will anchor us in our current reality, grounding our being in consequences and the endless possibilities that await us just down the road.
Faith tells us to keep walking forward, no matter what we encounter. Faith is the reminder that we are good enough, we are worth the struggle, and our lives are deeply meaningful. Faith tells us to never look back.
We know we are hurting ourselves, but we are the only people that have the power to change it. Having faith and remaining on course means putting our lives in our own hands which can feel scary.
It means taking responsibility for what we did and what we will do while walking into the unknown. It may feel isolating, but you’re never alone with faith.
Faith reminds us that if we keep believing in ourselves and in our purpose, we can never fail. The universe has a lot more in store for us than our current reality. Before you know it, your life will change for the better.
That’s not to say miracles happen overnight, but they do happen with patience, work, and time.
Think about the famous author and activist Hellen Keller. She was deaf and blind, but due to one teacher who had faith in her ability to reason, Hellen learned to communicate with the world around her, but the process didn’t just suddenly happen.
Helen and her teacher worked day and night to try and spark the concept of language into Helen’s mind. Just like Helen, this is the work you need to complete, and when you put in the work, you get big rewards.
It all starts with that faith. Helen’s teacher never gave up on her, having faith she would learn over time. The same can be true for you.
Let your mentors and team guide you while never giving up on yourself. That spark of a brighter future, that spark of faith in knowing you are not alone on this journey and that your life has meaning beyond the stars, has been inside of you this whole time.
You simply have to keep walking and keep believing.
Why Having Faith Means Going “All In”
Staying clean and sober is a choice. It’s a choice we make every day, and sometimes we have to make that choice multiple times a day, but if we don’t, the harsh reality is death.
Each time we relapse, we come closer to the edge, not realizing we are about to fall. Faith can help us stay away from that edge and bring us towards meaning in this beautiful world.
What people don’t realize is that the universe is right there waiting for you to dream, but dreams don’t come true in the mind; they take action and discipline.
Take one step forward on the trail and never looks back. When the road becomes rocky or you are taken into the night, use your faith to remind you that this too shall pass.
Staying on the road of a clean and sober life will take you to beautiful places, you simply have to believe and go “all in.”