One of the most important personal traits to possess and develop for success on your recovery journey is courage. This seems like common sense, but isn’t courage something you simply have or lack? When asked if they are courageous, most people will be unsure of how to respond. Some may feel that they are in some situations but not others, and other people may feel that they are rarely or never courageous. Few will say they are courageous, let alone consider themselves someone with courage at all times.
However, if you have decided to break free of your dependence on drugs or alcohol, then you have already demonstrated that you possess courage. From there, then, you must cultivate and nurture it, and help it to grow and thrive. It will be your companion and touchstone on the lifelong path to recovery, and it will help to keep you focused and strong on your goal of a clean, sober, happy, and healthy future.
What is Courage?
Everyone kind of just knows what courage is, but despite that, it is somewhat difficult to define. The Google dictionary definition is two part: 1) the ability to do something that frightens one, and 2) strength in the face of pain or grief. Both parts of this two-part definition apply immensely to individuals in recovery. Getting clean and sober is frightening – there’s no doubt about it. And, recovery also includes both pain – physical and emotional – and grief for the past – and people in recovery must exhibit massive strength in the process as well.
But courage is more than that, though. There are different types of courage. Some sources count six: emotional, social, physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual. Others believe there are four: self-confidence, bravery, honesty, and perseverance. No matter how many you count, one thing stands true: in the words of Mark Twain, “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.” You can still be afraid yet be courageous. You are already courageous every day you abstain from using. We all have courage as we move forward on the road of life.
Why Courage is Necessary in Recovery
There are many reasons that you must have courage in recovery. First of all, recovery is an ongoing process that you will be working on for the rest of your life. For any lifelong journey, you must be brave and mentally strong to stay the course, or else you will not succeed. You need to be able to stick with it and not run away and recoil when things get tough. People in recovery must be strong against impulsive behavior and temptation, every single day.
Furthermore, getting deep into the cause of your addiction is a big part of the recovery process for everyone. This absolutely requires courage. Facing your past and reliving and analyzing and working through difficult parts of it can be extremely difficult. And, admitting your own wrongs can be challenging as well. Asking for forgiveness from those you wronged when you were an active drug and alcohol abuser can be overwhelming, and it takes great honesty and bravery to take that step.
Recovery is not always easy, and it is a long road. However, you must have courage because you are the only person who can make the change. No one else can do it for you. It is up to you and you alone to be brave and persevere.
How to Cultivate Courage
It’s clear that courage is important in recovery, but how can one develop theirs? There are several things you can do to grow your courage. Try several collectively for best results.
- Recognize the courage you have. Progress is built on existing building blocks. You are already courageous in so many ways. Discover them and consider them and move forward from there.
- Meditate. Meditation helps build focus and a sense of contentment that will help to support your courage in all areas.
- Celebrate small victories. Congratulate yourself for progress made. Every step you have taken on your recovery journey so far required courage. Keep it up, and pat yourself on the back for all you’ve achieved so far.
- Don’t compare yourself to others. Too many people fall into the trap of thinking they aren’t good enough because other people are doing better. It’s a losing battle. Be proud of yourself independently of how others are progressing.
- Surround yourself with strong role models. However, despite the point made in the previous tip, it’s helpful to spend time with successful and upbeat people who display courage. Being with people who are doing well will rub off on you.
- Be positive. Keep a good outlook and have a bright attitude. This will help you face any situation with courage with the knowledge that you are starting on the right foot.
- Have confidence and believe in yourself. You got this.
- Don’t beat yourself up. When you slip or even relapse, realize that it happens to almost everyone. Don’t get mad and go deeper into the darkness. Instead, chalk it up as a learning experience and reset and restart on your journey once again.
- Challenge yourself. Small challenges lead to big victories and the more you overcome small obstacles the more courage you will have to defeat the larger ones on your path.
- Enjoy life. Have fun every day. Embrace the joy in the world. If you do these things, your happiness will bolster, support, and scaffold your courage.
- Put one foot in front of the other. Just keep moving forward. Continuing on your recovery journey one day at a time is the most courageous thing of all that you can do. Do it.
The path to recovery is long and challenging, but with determination, support, and courage, it is highly possible and likely to succeed for the long term. At Clear Sky Recovery, we want to help you take the first step. We offer ibogaine detox at our facility in Cancun, and we are confident it can help to interrupt your addictive behaviors and change your outlook about your future. Our intake specialists are standing by to answer any questions you may have, and to help show you the ways in which ibogaine can help you in your unique and personal situation. Please call us today!
Dr. Sola is one of the world’s leading experts in medically-based ibogaine treatment; he has more clinical experience with safe and effective ibogaine administration than any other M.D. in the world today.