This is particularly true of the addicted. Active addicts and alcoholics rarely achieve any long-term successes. They are so impaired and encumbered mentally, physically, psychologically and spiritually that a successful life will ultimately exist only as just a hand full of withered dreams. That is just the way it is, the way it will always be.
For the addict, being successful first requires sobriety followed by a solid recovery. A fundamental transformation must occur. When it does, the recovering addict or alcoholic will be successful to whatever degree they choose, if they are willing and able to work. Almost everything gets better for the addict or alcoholic in recovery.
From a philosophical point of view, the active addict has no where to go at the bottom but up. If success follows recovery then the road to their follow-on successes runs through the gateposts of their failures. Even slips and relapses can be a normal part of recovery. Looking back, are they then to be viewed as failures?
Must it always be this way? Apparently, for the addict or alcoholic it must. It is what it is. There is the flipside, of course. The active addict or alcoholic can stall at the bottom of their addiction path and fail to achieve sobriety. There is only one end result for this. They will die of their disease. It can be no other way.
I have heard this said or acknowledged so many times in recovery meetings. People will say that in recovery they became better spouses, better parents, better sons and daughters, better siblings, better at their job or profession and just better human beings more so than prior to becoming an addict or alcoholic. That is the miraculous transformation to which I so often refer.
Doesn’t this stunning reversal from active addict or alcoholic to a fully recovered and engaged human being, full of potential glory, mark the biggest success of all? Doesn’t that whole experience teach the recovering individual something worthwhile, valuable life lessons that now nourish their mental, psychological, physical, and spiritual selves? Absolutely!
So what of the non-addict failure? People who have never been addicted to anything will also fail. People will fail repeatedly throughout their lives. Does that make them failures? Does any one get to be a success in life without failure?
Choose someone who you feel is successful, anyone. I don’t care whose name you might mention, or by what measure of their success you might choose, I can guarantee without hesitation that their road to success was pot-marked with bungle, blunder, and bust and passed through the gateposts of failure on multiple occasions.
The road to success is never straight. There are no signposts pointing the way. There is no route to get you there that works for everyone and the last stop before Success Ville is Failure City. It is the same for everyone on planet earth. If that is the case, why do we hate and fear failure so much when it ultimately leads to success if we so choose?
As if the road to success wasn’t hard enough to travel, I see so many people place road blocks in their own path, reverse course, veer off the road altogether or just give up for no explicable reason other than fear of failing. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy. What they don’t seem to realize, what I didn’t realize for so many years of my life, is that failing is the only way we succeed.
Do you fail and accept defeat. Or, do you use failure as a springboard to propel you forward toward the success you desire?