Music Legend Johnny Cash once said “You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on them. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.”
Think of what takes place after you’ve fallen short of your goals.
Yet in your heart you know that these are counterproductive to your recovery—use this gut instinct to your advantage.
Whether or not you’re in recovery, it is important that you identify techniques to manage these thoughts so that they don’t trip you from achieving your goals. Try doing following:
At Tabor Group, we always suggest that clients start a journal. Write down even your most discouraging thoughts and it will help you keep pushing forward. Often, writing down these thoughts can help eliminate them from our minds.
If you’re in recovery long enough – you’ve probably thought, can I have just one drink. Through your period of relapse, you may have wound up binge drinking and beating yourself up over this. While this looks like a massive failure from every angle, the truth is something meaningful just happened: you learned you cannot have “just one” anymore and that it may be best if you abstained.
Perhaps the key to silencing the enemy within is accepting that it is there–that we all possess both darkness and light within us–and then learning to create a higher ratio of self-affirming to self-diminishing thoughts. Maybe the goal shouldn’t be to always be positive, but to recognize when we start being self-critical so that we can shift our thoughts more quickly and effectively with each internal struggle.
We’re constantly educating ourselves by our actions and relationships. Actor and game show host Drew Carey said that when he suffered from serious depression earlier in life, the way he got over feeling hopeless was by reading. “Self-help books, man. I just read every single one I can get a hold of and I still do. I read that stuff all the time still. I am always coming out bigger, better, stronger and happier.” Similarly, in terms of recovery, there’s no better way to get ourselves off any slump by developing ourselves through a combination of group meetings, reading, research, patience and time.
There’s nothing worse than feeling like you’ve failed, but freeing yourself of negative self-talk is the best way to get yourself back up and try once more. Just like with addiction, entertaining these negative thoughts is a tough habit to break, but be gentle with yourself and just don’t stop trying.
If you or a loved one are suffering from an addiction to alcohol, substances, gambling or food, get help today. We can help you recover in a healthy, friendly environment and beat your addiction. Don’t hesitate to contact one of our counselors today at +353 (21) 488 7110 or email us at Info@taborgroup.ie and we can help you.