Thought: ‘A sprinter will never complete a marathon.’

Addictions UK uses Twitter to share inspirational Thoughts every day. This article is based on one of them. Follow us at @addictionsuk.

illustrationThere’s no magic wand, nothing you can wave and change everything in a moment.

Recovery from alcohol or drug addiction or anything else which has taken over your life is not going to be a speedy process. In one sense, of course, it goes on for ever and the “cure” is never complete.

It’s really important to take that on board at the start and not to become depressed or disillusioned when the progress is slow or even when you face setbacks. It’s the long haul that matters. While every day free from addiction is an achievement and a victory, it is just one step along the road.

Somerset farmers have a saying, “soonest ripe, soonest rotten”. What is hastily built will quickly crumble.

There are times in life when urgency matters, time to change things quickly, before it’s too late. The start of the recovery process is one of them.

But there are other times when success depends on steadiness and stamina and on pacing yourself so that you have the energy to reach your goal.

Please contact us now if you need help with recovery from any addiction and especially if you are seeking home-based treatment.

Thought: ‘What would you do if you had but an hour to live? Do it now!’

Addictions UK uses Twitter to share inspirational Thoughts every day. This article is based on one of them. Follow us at @addictionsuk.

illustrationThere is a story that St. Francis of Assisi was weeding his garden one day when another monk asked him, “What would you do if you were told, right now, that you had just one hour to live?” Without hesitation, the saint replied, “Try to get to the end of this row of cabbages.”

Martin Luther had a similar Thought: “Even if I knew that tomorrow the world will go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree”.

What we choose to do at each and every instant should be the very best use of that time, whatever other considerations there may be.

In reality, of course, we have to seize or await opportunities. We cannot control every moment. But it is always worth asking yourself, “If my time were running out, is whatever I am doing now important enough to fit in first?”

At the very least, that approach brings perspective and order to our busy-ness, and controls the dangers of wasting our time.

You can turn it around too. Ask yourself, “if I had just a day left, what, of all the things I have been putting off, would I really try to fit in?” And then do it. That shriek of a lorry’s breaks, the flash of lightening, one day that might be for you and that one day might be today. Is that really just indigestion?

Well let’s be more positive! If your alcohol or drug abuse is under control you probably have many years left. But, forgetting the danger of immanent demise, there’s a lot of other good reasons for doing the right things as soon as you can. The Twelve Steps suggest that reconciliation and making amends where you can will come pretty high on that list.

Time is precious; use it well.

Please contact us now if you need help with recovery from any addiction and especially if you are seeking home-based treatment.

Thought: ‘Sometimes we need to give up everything except hope.’

Addictions UK uses Twitter to share inspirational Thoughts every day. This article is based on one of them. Follow us at @addictionsuk.

illustrationThere is a common teaching in religious traditions that advocates renouncing everything into order to focus on spiritual progress.

The thinking is that everything worldly is a distraction and self denial and abstinence removes everything between us and the real truth, the ultimate reality (whether that is seen as God or something more abstract and less personal).

All this parallels what every recovering addict knows: that alcohol, drugs or the process that obsessed us and dominated our life has to be set aside so that we have room to grow.

The abandoning of worldly distraction seems an impossible burden to accept but often those who have embraced that sort of asceticism claim it is liberating, and that it is possessions and ambition that stifle growth, not simple living.

Now extreme self-denial is probably not the right path for the majority of us. But when the Twelve Steps and other methods ask us to make careful inventories of our character and lifestyle, we are being invited to weed out the overgrowth and surplus and “get back to basics” in our lives. Even a little pruning lets in the light and makes room for growth.

Most of us would probably say that we know that a giving up everything and making a fresh start is an appealing ideal but something way beyond practicality. The fact remains that, even in more modest ways, the more we can give up, the more we will gain.

Please contact us now if you need help with recovery from any addiction and especially if you are seeking home-based treatment.

Thought: ‘Now you can laugh at yesterday’s adversity. Get ahead of the game and laugh at today’s.’

Addictions UK uses Twitter to share inspirational Thoughts every day. This article is based on one of them. Follow us at @addictionsuk.

illustrationTime, they say, is a great healer and we know that to be true. Without belittling the difficulty and reality of the problems people suffer, it remains true that we can usually look back on most problems with a new perspective. Sadly, there are exceptions of course.

If only we could travel through time and look at today’s adversities from tomorrow’s perspective.

Maybe we can. Maybe we can pause and ask ourselves, “How does today’s problem compare with what went before? Is it any worse than other challenges which I survived?”

Addiction to drugs or alcohol or anything else can present us with seemingly overwhelming difficulties but, with the help of our friends and mentors, it is possible to take a fresh look at them and realise that we are able to deal with them.

It might be asking too much to expect us us to laugh away the problems we confront right now, but we might be able to stop them reducing us to tears.

Please contact us now if you need help with recovery from any addiction and especially if you are seeking home-based treatment.

Thought: ‘You can never know enough about someone to judge him.’

Addictions UK uses Twitter to share inspirational Thoughts every day. This article is based on one of them. Follow us at @addictionsuk.

illustrationIt is the job of a court of law to understand fully the circumstances of an event and the actions people took. For all the care that is usually taken, the appeals procedure demonstrates just how often even they still get it wrong.

By contrast, all of us frequently rush into judgement on people with little or no knowledge of their character or circumstances. We rarely have any evidence for what is really going on beyond hearsay or what we quickly glimpsed.

The sad legend of Beth Gelert teaches a good lesson:

Prince Llewelyn returns from hunting to find his baby son missing, the contents of the cot scattered and his dog covered in blood. In anguished fury he slays the pet. Only then does he hear the whimpering of the child and discovers him under his blankets, safe and well beside the body of the wolf from which which the dog had saved him.

We should all be less hasty to judge others, remembering how hard it is to find the facts and understand them fully.

Those who face the challenges of addiction to alcohol or drugs or anything else are all too familiar with, and sensitive to the opinions others form. But we should be less bothered when we are judged by people who neither know nor understand and who, in any case, are never in a position to throw the first stone.

Please contact us now if you need help with recovery from any addiction and especially if you are seeking home-based treatment.