Celebrating Every Victory
It’s a major part of the Western mindset to focus on avoiding bad things rather than embracing good things, but especially with alcoholics and addicts like us. We love to focus on the negative, worry about escaping crisis, or generally sell ourselves short. Too often, we forget to celebrate the victories (big or small), embrace the positive, or at least peek at the bright side. It’s time to change all that and start to look at how we can adjust our perspective on a daily basis to include a bit more joy and celebration.
Practice Makes Progress
There are no quick fixes for altering a lifetime of skewing towards the negative. We’ve trained ourselves for years to see and focus on the bad. Our minds, habits, and attitudes won’t change overnight. It’s important that we don’t get discouraged. Good things take time, and so does learning how to see the good and be more positive. Have patience with yourself. Practice on purpose, and give yourself time to change.
Sometimes negative mental or emotional states go well beyond simply failing to see the bright side. Nothing against pop psychology and positive affirmations but the reality is that there are many mental and emotional issues that require professional help. If we’re suffering from depression, anxiety, or any of the serious conditions that reach beyond simple negative thinking, it’s time to seek professional help and get well. Seeing a therapist or psychologist regularly is highly recommended and incredibly beneficial. We may also be well served by seeing a psychiatrist. For many of us, medications administered by a professional can give us that little boost we need to get ourselves right.
We should always seek professional help when it is needed. There is no shame in getting well by appropriate means. As we seek help, however, we can still keep the following guidelines in mind.
No More Selling Yourself Short
We may not even realize that we’re doing it, but many of us are guilty of selling ourselves short. We subconsciously block out the good things, ignore them, or even try to make them not happen because we feel undeserving. It can be a hard thing to notice or admit to, but many of us do it. We self-sabotage or sell ourselves short without even realizing it. Someone tries to do something nice for us and we refuse. A good opportunity presents itself and we don’t even try to seize it. Someone compliments us and we argue with them. These are just a few common examples of how we sell ourselves short, but it can take almost infinite forms.
This behavior often requires repeated 12-Step work before we can see it clearly, but continuing to work the Twelve Steps also yields many actions to help curb this behavior. We can learn how to embrace the good, how to avoid our self-sabotaging, and how to accept the abundance and goodness in our lives — all with practice and continued self-reflection through the Steps.
Looking on the Bright Side
This is another suggestion that requires practice. When we’ve been negative for so long, suddenly looking at the bright side can hurt our eyes! (That’s a joke.) But learning to see the positive side of life does take real practice. We literally have to retrain our brains and adjust our behaviors. A good place to start is by monitoring our thoughts and inner dialogue. If we simply observe the ways we think and talk to ourselves, we’ll begin to see the negative patterns. From there, we must practice changing our thoughts and self-talk to be more positive rather than allowing them to be negative.
Every Victory Counts
There is no such thing as a small victory in recovery. Every victory counts, and every victory is a big deal. We were once people in danger of dying from alcoholism and addiction. We’ve been given a second chance at life. We could have missed it all — how lucky we are here to be here now! There is no amount of progress that doesn’t count either. Progress is progress. Whether it’s baby steps or huge leaps, one step closer or one half-step closer, it’s all a big deal. We don’t sell ourselves short in recovery.
Celebrate Good Times (Come On!)
It doesn’t matter how seemingly small the victory or how silly the occasion, we are all about celebrating life in recovery! Sharing our victories and joys with each other is a wonderful experience. We all get to come together and celebrate each other and the beautiful gifts we’ve received from life and our higher power. It could be a new job, a new puppy, or a recovery anniversary. Whatever the reason, it’s important to celebrate life in recovery. Especially for those who are newcomers, it helps them to see all the victories and wins we get when we recover.
Happiness and Humility
It truly is a gift to have something good happen and be able to tell a friend who will celebrate with us. We don’t make these kinds of phone calls or have these kinds of celebrations to brag or boast. No way! We celebrate our joys out of gratitude for our recovery. Nothing looks better on a recovery winner than happiness and humility.
At Jaywalker Lodge, we believe wholeheartedly that recovery is not about paying for our past lives in alcoholism and addiction. Recovery is all about living a life of love, peace, happiness, meaning, purpose, and abundance. We believe that every alcoholic and addict deserves recovery, and everyone deserves to live a life they love. Recovery makes that possible for us. How do we know? Because it worked for us, and we know that it can work for you, too. If you are ready and willing to begin the journey of recovery, Jaywalker Lodge is here to help you. We were once in your shoes, and we know the way out. We believe in the 12-Step program of recovery because it saved our lives. And getting a second chance at life is something worth celebrating! Are you ready to come join us? To learn more, call Jaywalker Lodge now at (866) 529-9255.