When you’re caught up in the web of addiction, all your goals revolve around getting the substance that makes you kick. I remember a time when I used to wake up every morning only to count the hours until noon, when I could have a glass of whiskey. Each time I stumbled across the smallest difficulty, I would become angry and longed for a drink.
Although I felt it was a miserable existence, I had a purpose, an objective, a goal. Once you take alcohol out of the equation, everything will appear new and strange. It’s no wonder that so many alcoholics experience as sentiment of worthlessness in the early recovery.
Your recovery goals are personal aspirations
It is said that people find objectives easier to achieve if they set the goals themselves. Although this way you’ll get to see things clearer, what happens if you set a plan and actually work to meet a goal only to see it fall flat? Seeing plans crumbling to pieces is all too common in alcohol addiction recovery. Sadly, this is usually a consequence of not knowing how high to set the bar.
Granted, you admitted that alcohol was destroying your life and you went to rehab to kick it out of your life. However, this is not enough and you need to plan further ahead. To be more precise, you need to figure out what you want to do with your life after alcohol, the only thing that made sense in your life, is gone.
Everyone of us has his or her idea about what they want to achieve in life. While for me overcoming character flaws was of a particular importance, for others the paramount goal could imply getting back the things they lost due to alcohol or finding things worthwhile to do in life. You need to see beyond the technical nuance of “goal” and understand they are nothing more than personal aspirations.
Are goals really that important in recovery?
By setting goals, a recovering alcoholic will find something to aim for and the impact of negative emotions – anger, loneliness, hopelessness, worthlessness, etc. – will not be so devastating. Establishing a goal also implies that you take some responsibility for achieving it and keeps you motivated enough to try to accomplish things.
There’s a great deal of joy out of meeting an objective and in time, I can promise you’ll be willing to work harder knowing that it can be done. Not only will it increase your confidence and self-esteem, but it will also inspire you to work on your personal growth.
You need to learn to accept failure
Even though you struggle to follow a plan, sometimes you simply can’t get any results. In other words, you failed. Failure is normal during the journey towards a goal. Instead of perceiving it as an indicator to give up, the best thing you can do is analyze your objectives carefully and determine whether they are realistic and tangible. If your objective was too ambitious, then it’s time to break it into smaller goals.
I believe it was Thomas Jefferson who once said that “nothing can stop a man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal”. Therefore, don’t give up and remember that life in recovery is about progress, not perfection.