[ kur-ij, kuhr-]
1. the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.
2. Obsolete. the heart as the source of emotion.
3. have the courage of one’s convictions to act in accordance with one’s beliefs, especially in spite of criticism.
I don’t know about you, but when I used to hear the word Courage, the first image that would come to mind was soldiers on the front line. You could not get more courage than that. Risking their lives to fight an enemy, to defend their country.
The same applies to any other emergency service personnel who puts their life and well being on the line to protect other people. Wow
These are truly acts of tremendous courage, from very well trained heroic people who have chosen a career to do so. Being courageous is their job and if you ask a soldier, police or fire person if they feel they are courageous heroes, they would probably decline (unless they had a big ego) and say “it’s my job”.
Where am I going with this, well the poor sods on the front line in France, had no choice, either go over the top and get mowed down by enemy machine guns and die a hero or don’t, get shot anyway and be branded a coward. Shitty odds if you ask me.
Were they any less courageous, no, but they had no choice?
In most courageous acts, adrenaline (fight or flight) takes over and some people fight & others flight.
Everyone is different.
No one ever goes out looking for a courageous act to do, they tend to happen by default.
You hear of people rescuing people drowning, attending an accident, etcetera.
So what has this to do with my “Recovery from Addiction Series”?
Yes, it does appear that I am waffling here a bit, but I just want to paint a picture of courage and what courage is.
If you asked a layman (non-alcoholic) if they thought it was courageous for alcoholics and addicts to want recovery, they would probably say no, only common sense.
Yes, it does make perfect sense to stop drinking/ using, however, for an alcoholic/addict it takes a lot more than just stopping.
They say in AA “that stopping is easy, staying stopped is hard.” This is very true and believes it or not it does take enormous courage to stay stopped.
Why is this so?
When you get sober, you have to take responsibility, something most addicts ran away from and drank/used over.
When you take responsibility for yourself, you have to an honest look at yourself, “warts & all”.
Hard enough for anyone to do, humility never comes easy, excruciating for an addict/alcoholic as they are so full of negative feelings like shame, guilt, remorse, resentment, blame…………
The Serenity Prayer says: “God Grant Me The Serenity To Change The Things I Cannot Change, COURAGE, To Change The Things I Can And The Wisdom To Know The Difference”
In my work I see many people succeed and many fail at recovery when they do get a lot of support it is sad when you see them relapse and disengage.
What is heartwarming is when, 6 months or a year down the line, I make contact and they are doing well? I have great admiration for these people as they did do it on their own and that did take guts, especially after relapsing and feeling that they are an even bigger failure.
Why is this courage?
I am in recovery now for nearly 15 years and one of my earliest struggles was FEAR. I was full of it, and it used to almost paralyze me. I could not run and hide in a bottle to escape it, I had to face it, but that was my choice.
There is a great article I found, you might want to look at http://lastingrecovery.com/it-takes-courage-to-recover-from-substance-abuse/
In most cases, for me, I had to do this on my own and It took a lot of courage. This journey of facing my fears only started in recovery and is still going on. I have had to face each of my fears and move on and It took a lot of courage to face myself and my fears. 90% of anyone’s fears are not external, but internal. It is only in recent times that I’ve actually acknowledged that I was being courageous. I never thought of it that way and if someone told me this, I would only minimize it and say its all part of recovery. The reason, I am writing these blogs, is that I used courage to overcome my technophobia and signed up with SFM to do affiliate marketing also.
“The biggest thing we fear in life is fear itself & that fear is not what we can’t do but what we are capable of” It takes great courage to confront our own fears, especially in recovery.
My next article is on Commitment, stay tuned.
Recovery is about growth and everyone does grow at a different pace. My advice to anyone in early recovery is to wait at least 2 years before making any major life-changing decisions that might have emotional ramifications. An example: get a mortgage, get married, change career, emigrate. In light of this everyone has dreams and we all do want to better our lives in one way or another, so it is important in early recovery to start to put those dreams into reality by creating achievable goals which can be reached in time. I found in my early recovery, although I had dreams, I wasn’t aware of creating goals and my life unfolded by default. It turned out well for me but had I had clear goals, I do feel that it would have been even better.
I do try to learn from my mistakes, and that is why they are little miracles in themselves that happen for a reason. I am a growth-seeking being I will continue to seek change in myself. What motivates me is the Pain – Pleasure, which moves me away from my pain points (a lack of finances, time & peace of mind) to my pleasure points (freedom of finances, time & peace of mind). The way I have found to achieve this freedom and to move away from the “Groundhog Day” of life is through online marketing. I have taken this step into the abyss, I’m not tech savvy at all, and with the support of SFM, I am working my way through it. The internet is here to stay and is the future for all of us, so don’t get left behind because it is gaining momentum. If you want to learn what I am learning and are in a point in your life where you want to change, then I offer you, through my mentors, a no obligation FREE 7-day video series to watch.
The articles in “Recovery from Addiction” Series, are the opinion of the author and if you would like to contribute to it, please leave a comment in the comment box below. If you want to subscribe, for free, to any further blogs of mine please leave your email in the box below & not on social media sites.
Thanks for your time and have a great day