By: Marilyn L. Davis
Measure Your Success from Various Perspectives
“I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.”― Booker T. Washington, Up From Slavery: An Autobiography.
Looking at what success is according to a dictionary, it’s “attaining wealth, prosperity, or fame.” It’s also achieving your goals and realizing your dreams. But I’d like to add another qualifier – recovery.
How Was Your Recovery A Success Today?
The only person who can answer that is you. But I can share some ways you may not have thought of that might expand your perception of whether you’ve been successful today. Here are five ways that you can measure your success today.
1. Did you help someone else achieve their recovery goals?
That may be listening and then giving them some suggestions that have worked in your life. That might be telling them where to find the information they need in a book, online, or at meetings. If you did any of those things, then you’ve been a successful teacher today.
2. Did you have a craving today and not use drugs or alcohol?
Long-term recovery doesn’t guarantee us complete freedom from cravings. I know some would disagree with me; however, my experience in 33 years of abstinence-based recovery is that some things do trigger using. I also know those thoughts about using don’t harm me if I don’t pick up. So, don’t criticize yourself if you thought about using it today. You can also process these thoughts by remembering what a relapse would do to you and your family.
3. Did you learn a new way to process something in your recovery?
There is a wealth of information out there about addiction, and when you educate yourself, help another, or put your problem out there, asking for help, are all ways to be successful. Any of the following are ways to maintain your recovery.
- A Facebook room where you asked a question
- Stating a problem at a meeting
- Reading a recovery-oriented book
- Sponsoring a newcomer
4. Did you make progress in your recovery or life goals?
I think it’s been hard to see our accomplishments during COVID-19. We’re isolated and don’t have the same feedback or praise from our socially distanced network. It’s now up to us to acknowledge our accomplishments. I encouraged myself to get my memoir, Finding North: A Journey from Addict to Advocate, published. It wasn’t that others weren’t cheering me on, but there wasn’t instant feedback.
5. Did you encourage someone today?
I appreciate that the administrators welcome the new members on several of my Facebook groups, and we all add a welcoming comment, too. Most of the time, it’s a welcome, glad you’re here, or if someone is celebrating a recovery anniversary, we join in and offer our congratulations or tell them that they are inspiring. None of these comments take much time, but it shows we care and encourages someone else.
Stop Comparing Your Success to Someone Else
I’d ask you not to compare yourself to others. In recovery, we’re often aware of how much more time someone has than us. I can remember comparing when I first got into recovery. I thought I wasn’t doing as much as someone with twice the amount of time I had.
I stopped comparing my recovery to those with more time and started measuring my success with the question. Am I a better person today than I was yesterday? Click To Tweet
We All Are Successful Teachers and Students
When you teach and learn, both of those are successes and can make a difference in not just someone else’s life but yours. We all can be teachers. I hope that what I write teaches somebody that recovery works or gives them some solutions that have worked for me. So, I’d like to think that my writing helps someone. Maybe you don’t write as I do, but you can live a life that teaches by example.
Today, I was hoping you could view your successes and then share how you accomplished them. Please share in the comments section. Thanks.
Marilyn L. Davis is the Editor-in-Chief at Two Drops of Ink and From Addict 2 Advocate. She encourages people to submit guest posts to both sites. She is also the author of Finding North: A Journey from Addict to Advocate, available on Amazon.
When you’re ready to tell someone how you’ve been successful in your recovery, consider a guest post. Sharing what works for you will help someone who is struggling.