Recovery - Are You a Survivor or a Thriver?

 image/Jim Champion

by David Callahan

When it comes to your recovery what is it that you focus on? Simply not drinking and drugging or is there more? Most people that are in recovery entered the process due to the pain that using drugs or alcohol attracted to their lives. But once the cork is put back into the jug what is it that keeps the pain away or the pleasure within?

Tony Robbins says we are all motivated by two forces. We are either running from pain or towards pleasure. Often folks in recovery change due to pain, in other words they get pushed into it. Either way once you settle in to a new life without alcohol or drugs it is necessary to stay focused on what you want.

The Law of Attraction is a spiritual law that says what ever it is we focus on we will attract to us. That law does not discriminate between alcoholic/addicts and non-users! It is a law for everyone. Whether you think it is true or not! Therefore it is absolutely essential to guard our thoughts. Of course trying to censor everything that goes into our head is impossible. However, some simple adjustments can make a world of difference in our happiness.

There are two ways to live a recovered life. As a Survivor or a Thriver. A Survivor lives life by taking what life dishes out. Survivors blame their situations on circumstances things that happen to them. Survivors focus on just getting by. They "try" to get well. They blame outside sources, people, and situations for their challenges.

Thrivers are focused on living life to the fullest. Thrivers do not believe in circumstances, they make their circumstances. They look for the opportunity in the challenge. They focus on "Gratitude". They have an "Attitude of Gratitude". Thrivers focus on the outcome and not the challenge. Thrivers focus on their strengths and get better at what they want and enjoy.

Here are some examples:

A Survivor says, "I do not want to drink or drug" a Thriver says, "I am living a happy, clean and sober life!" A Survivor says, "I don't want to be angry", a Thriver, says, "I am happy joyous and free!"

A Survivor says, "If I can just get through this", a Thriver asks, "Where does the opportunity loom in this cloud?"

It is simple to change your focus. Start with a 30-day test. For 30 days focus on the positive. Take some time to write out a gratitude list. Jot down a list of 15 people, places or things that you are grateful for. Every day add one more item to your list. Wear a rubber band on your wrist or pick up a nice clean stone from you travels for your pocket. Throughout the day when you put your hand in your pocket or notice your rubber band remind yourself that you are Happy, Joyous and Free!

At the end of 30-days if you like what you are becoming do it again. Rome was not built in a day. Yet being happy and positive is a choice. Start reading self-improvement books like "The Success Principles" by Jack Canfield. Listen to audio books or sets on self-improvement like "The Strangest Secret" by Earl Nightingale, "Awaken the Giant Within" by Tony Robbins. Watch self-improvement videos like "The Secret", "The Opus", and "You Can Heal Your Life" there are plenty to choose from.

Begin to change the way you think for the better. Stay away from dull, disillusioned crybabies. Anyone can complain and point out what is wrong with the world. There is enough of that going around. Stay away from the news. Limit your TV consumption at least for now. Focus on the positive and your life will become better than your wildest dreams!

drug and alcohol rehab

Dan Callahan, LMSW has an extensive human service background dating back to 1980. Dan has been involved in recovery based human service, alcoholism and substance abuse services, forensic services, case management with individuals recovering from mental health issues and recovery based program development. Dan is the co-author of a NYS training manual and program for mental health and correctional service professionals working with parolees with "serious and persistent mental illness".

Dan's experience encompasses Residence Manager of Bishop Ryan House, an adolescent home for homeless youth, the Program Director of Hands Across Long Island, Inc, Executive Director of the Bishop Gerald J. Ryan Resource Center and presently The Founder and Director of The Last Resort Panama.

Through the years Dan has been fortunate enough to be mentored professionally by some extremely gifted folks. He was offered flexibility and latitude to attempt methods of engagement and recovery services that were considered outside the box of traditional treatment. It has been through that flexibility and experiences that the Last Resort Panama has been created.
Dan has a unique method of assisting those in need to overcome their challenges with addictions. He has been successful with some of the most difficult of cases.

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