I Thought I Would be Further Along in Life

Do you feel as though you are not where you should be? Has your substance abuse stunted your personal or professional growth? You are not alone! I’m sure many of us can relate to that daunting idea that “I should be further along than I am”. For many recovering addicts and alcoholics we spent a majority of our lives looking for the next fix with little to no emphasize on future plans or goals. Or maybe, we have put thought into the future but feel those goals are now unobtainable as a result of our addiction. Entering into sobriety we are overwhelmed with thoughts of “I would be here if I didn’t do this” or “I should be well on my way by now”. What I can tell you is that we must make peace with our past in order to conquer our future.

Stop comparing yourself to others
Social media, the blessing and curse that it is, allows us to stay up to date on the happenings of our former friends, classmates and acquaintances. We must remember that what we see is not always what we get. People only put the best of themselves out there for the world to see on social media. They do not highlight the struggles or the hard work. It is easy to fall into this negative mind set but yields very little positive results. We must understand that our journey is our own; we cannot allow the successes of others to have any impact on us.

Fact checking: Where I used to be vs where I am
fact-check
verb
investigate (an issue) in order to verify the facts.
When we find ourselves dwelling on past mistakes or the “what could have been” we quickly become complacent and ungrateful for what we do have. If you find yourself in this mindset, fact-check yourself. Look at all the facts, put them on paper, say them out loud. How are we so quick to fact check sources online but find it so hard to afford ourselves that same grace. I think most of us can agree that being where we are is much better than where we were in active addiction. Do not neglect this detail. Rejoice in the idea that you are no longer a slave to a substance you are free to have new experiences.

Setting goals
Setting goals can be very hard for people like us. We are instantly hit with “I don’t know what I want to do” but we all have to start somewhere. We are given the opportunity to re-start our lives and have new experiences. Entering into sobriety opens up a world of possibility. When setting goals the SMART method can be very useful. S (specific) M (measurable) A (attainable) R (realistic) T (timely). Make a list of things you would like to achieve. Think about and visualize where you want to be in as little as one week, one month or one year. The thing about goals is that they can stay exactly the same, can be modified or change completely. As you grow in sobriety you are open to so many new experiences. Be present, take action and most importantly, be kind to yourself. We all have to start somewhere.

“A dream written down with a date becomes a goal. A goal broken down into steps becomes a plan. A plan backed by action makes your dreams come true.”
― Greg Reid
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