Addiction is a broad subject with many aspects to consider when giving advice on overcoming addiction. However, I do believe what we will discuss in this chapter is the most important step when talking about the subject of recovery. Without this step, nothing else will work.
I was an addict for 15 years, and I have seen and done some really crazy things during that time. The years of drugging and drinking were a serious roller coaster ride for me. There were many times when deep down in my heart I really wanted to quit. I knew that what I was doing was not right and that it was leading me nowhere in life. No matter what I tried I was never able to truly break free from the grip that addiction had over me. I tried many different things to get my life sorted out, and just failed every time. There always seemed to be something missing that would make the difference between success and failure.
During the last 13 years of sobriety I’ve had the opportunity to counsel many people and try help them get on the road to recovery. The one single thing that most people have in common who fail to recover is simply this: they have failed to make a quality decision.
“Making a quality decision” means you are prepared to do whatever it takes to recover, and I mean, whatever it takes!
Making that decision in your heart will determine whether you will truly succeed or not. As I mentioned before, I had tried will-power and outpatient programmes, however there was no real commitment in my decision. I was doing it to please others and I wasn’t really prepared to do whatever it takes. My decision was shallow without commitment, so I just failed every time. Once you make a quality decision it doesn’t mean that the battle is won or that the battle is over, It’s just the beginning. There are many other steps that need to be taken which we will cover in this book, however making a quality decision is the most important step. Without a quality decision nothing else will work, and I really mean, nothing will work!
The quality of life we live today is a sum total of the decisions that we made yesterday. Life is all about choices and we have to make decisions and choices every day. Some choices will affect our immediate responsibilities as we go about our day. Some choices we make will affect our lives long-term and sometimes we will only see the effect of those choices much later on in life. When I made the decision to smoke my first joint with my friends at the age of 13, I had no idea how that decision was going to cost me 15 years of my life. A teenager lives in the here and now and barely sees past a few weeks or even a few months. I had no idea how much pain and trouble that decision was going to cause me in life. Choices we make can affect our lives without us even realizing it.
From the time we wake up in the morning to the time we put our heads down on the pillow, we are making decisions. As soon as the alarm goes off in the morning we have a choice to make, and that first choice, is whether we will hit the snooze button or get out of bed. I am pretty sure we can all relate to that one, and I’m sure we can relate to the time where we made a decision to hit the snooze button and not get out of bed. Your mind says; “Just a few more minutes, then I will get up and get ready.” There may have been times when the alarm went off again and the decision was made to hit the snooze button a second time. “Just another few minutes”, your mind will say. Then you begin to reason in your mind, “I had a late night last night, I’ve been working really hard, a few more minutes won’t hurt, I just have to rest, just a few more minutes.” The next thing you know it’s 45 minutes past your wake up time and, O NO! IM GOING TO BE LATE!
You clamber out of bed and start scrambling for the shower. In the shower, out the shower, and you scramble for your clothes. O NO! My clothes aren’t ironed. You pull out the ironing board and iron as fast as you can, trying your best to iron out all the creases. No time for breakfast, you’re going to be late. You quickly pull on your half ironed clothes. You grab your laptop, shuffle all your reports together that you were working on the night before, and stuff everything into your laptop bag. You grab your jacket and start looking for your car keys because you can’t remember where you put them the night before. You head for the door, step outside, jump into the car, and you are off! Half way to work you realize you have left your cell phone at home and you forgot to turn the iron off! No time to go back because you are going to be late for work! You get to the office and everyone is already calmly heading to the board room for the meeting. Your heart is racing and you are completely flustered. Your confidence levels are low, and you are second guessing whether you have done your reports correctly. You are feeling really agitated and frustrated. The board meeting begins and you realize you left your flash drive at home with your power point report on it. Hello world! The day has just begun! Everything fell apart because of one decision to hit the snooze button!
In recovery there can be no snooze buttons. You have to make a quality decision from the start. You have to decide you will do whatever it takes or don’t even start at all. You must settle it in your mind and heart. It’s all or nothing! In recovery there can be no half measures. Your sobriety needs to become the most important thing in your life. Your future you, is totally depending on you to stay sober.
The Greek word for victory is: nǐːkɛ. We are all very familiar with the sports brand called Nike. The Nike slogan says: JUST DO IT.
In recovery you have to develop a “Just do it” attitude. The stinking thinking that gets addicts into trouble in the first place has to be replaced with: JUST DO IT. This mind shift can be very challenging because you have to let go of control and step into a realm that addicts fear the most. The realm of the unknown and the realm of not being in control. You have to come under authority and allow others to speak into your life, to help you, and give you direction for your recovery.
People with addiction problems generally don’t like being told what to do. Coming under any kind of authority and being given instructions or even being corrected can be very challenging. Addicts are so used to being in control of their own lives, and that’s why they land up in trouble in the first place. You must be willing to listen and take instructions from those who are trying to help you. If an addict tries to recover on their own by doing things their own way, failure is inevitable. The attitude of, “I’m going to do it my way” has to completely die, full stop! The “I will do it my way” attitude will only lead to another relapse and more problems.
Once you’ve made a quality decision, you must realize that there will also come a time when your decision will be tested. If the decision to recover is half hearted and double minded, when the temptation comes a relapse will occur. When I made a decision to get my life sorted out, it was my own decision, nobody made the decision for me. I said to myself; “If I’m going to do this, I’m going all out or I’m not going to do it at all”. I decided that whatever the counsellors in the rehab tell me to do I’m just going to do it. No matter how difficult or challenging it may seem, I will JUST DO IT!
There are many steps that a person needs to take to see permanent change on the road of recovery. The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. The step that makes all the difference is always the first step. In recovery the first and most important step is “Making a quality decision”
When you make a quality decision, heaven will back you up. When you make a quality decision, God’s grace will enable you to resist temptation and give you the ability to keep making the decision to stay sober each time temptation comes. Your best life is just one quality decision away! Just go ahead and make the decision!
JUST DO IT!
Deuteronomy 30:19 (NKJV)
19 I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;
James 1:6-9 (AMP)
6 But he must ask [for wisdom] in faith, without doubting [God’s willingness to help], for the one who doubts is like a billowing surge of the sea that is blown about and tossed by the wind. 7 For such a person ought not to think or expect that he will receive anything [at all] from the Lord, 8 being a double-minded man, unstable and restless in all his ways [in everything he thinks, feels, or decides].
Addiction has become an epidemic in our society that is destroying the lives of people around the world at a rapidly increasing rate. When families have a loved one or even a friend who has been drawn into the world of drugs and alcohol addiction, or addiction of any kind, they are faced with the same challenging questions: is there a way out? Can a person truly break free from the bondage of addiction? The answer is YES YOU CAN! Addiction of any kind can be beaten. There is hope and there is a way. The journey of recovery is a process of rebuilding every aspect of an individual’s life. It’s the exciting journey of discovering who you really are and who God created you to be. No matter how bad the situation, God has a plan to restore and redeem the life of an addict. Your best life is just one decision away!
Brennan was addicted to drugs and alcohol for 15 years before he gave his life to Christ. He has overcome drug and alcohol addiction and has been sober for the past 13 years. This book is a practical guide of his first-hand experience and his personal journey in overcoming addiction. May God bless you and empower you to overcome as you read this book!
My last encouragement on this page is to never give up on a person who is battling addiction. People can recover and there is a way to help them. With the right advice and the right plan anything in this life can be accomplished. Never ever give up!
If you have any questions, please feel free to post comments. I am more than willing to give advice and assist where I can.
YES YOU CAN has been a work in progress over the past three years. It has recently been reviewed, re-edited and an additional chapter added to make it a complete volume. The updated version is now available in kindle format on Amazon and also available in paper back through Micromega publications.
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YES YOU CAN Win the battle over addiction
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
- THE JOURNEY
- MAKE A QUALITY DECISION
- KEEP THE SCOREBOARD TICKING
- LIFESTYLE REVOLUTION
- RENEWING THE MIND
- PEOPLE, PLACES, SITUATIONS
- ITS PHYSICAL, MENTAL AND SPIRITUAL
- COMPLIANCE vs SURRENDER
- THE LOCAL CHURCH
- FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD
© 2016 Brennan Dauberman