I ran across a great post on Quartz that was reprinted from LinkedIn:
If you will read, you will immediately see how it can be helpful in recovery. In brief, it’s all about setting expectations, thinking positive, and being realistic.
Your expectations, more than anything else in life, determine your reality. When it comes to achieving your goals, if you don’t believe you’ll succeed, you won’t.
So when you finally decide to get sober, it is very important to believe that you can, which may be impossible by yourself. I think this is one area where any type of group recovery is very helpful. Surrounding yourself with people who have gotten and maintained sobriety reinforces the idea that yes, you can succeed. Others have done it, and they will tell you that you can too. It’s the herd mentality. Fake it till you make it. One day at time.
On the other hand, the article brings up the very reason why I and many others turn to drugs and alcohol in the first place. This thing called life.
Why did I drink; because I was unhappy. Was that a wise solution to any of my problems. Absolutely not. People take substances to alter their sense of reality… to not care, to feel a false sense of well-being, to be… happy …if only for a brief amount of time. The problem with this coping mechanism is that it does absolutely nothing to address the underlying condition; it just bypasses any real ability to make progress on any of the real things that are making you unhappy, and the result is almost always a worsening of these underlying conditions. To name a few of mine and my alcoholic rationalizations:
Stress – I had a hard stressful job. It would drive anyone to drink. The more stress, the more I drank.
Anxiety -I am not normal. I have an anxiety problem. Alcohol is just my preferred medication.
Confidence – When I drink, I am more confident in social, work and family situations. It’s just a social lubricant for me.
and the list goes on an on… love, finances, appearance; all unmet expectations were dealt with by consuming alcohol. Which was proven to make everything worse. Before long my coping mechanism became the biggest problem of them all.
So before you get as far as I and many others did, it’s important to set expectations about life problems and practice reasonable solutions to those at issue. Taking a substance is not the answer.
Check out the article and its examples, each of which I had very unrealistic expectations.
But don’t forget the flip side. If your in recovery… expect to succeed. Surround yourself with people that will reinforce that expectation. Everyone here is in your corner.