The title of this article is paraphrasing the quote by Norman Vincent Peale. As you may have experienced yourself when you read it, these words can be inspiring and motivating. In fact, at times, those who are trying to heal from addiction or a mental illness have a vision for their life. They have hope for what their life could be. They have an idea of what’s possible for them and their family.
For anyone who wants to move forward in their life, it’s important to have goals and an idea of where you want to go. This is especially true when healing from a mental health condition, including addiction. You might consider the following ideas for your vision for your life:
• Long-term sobriety
• Healthy relationships with family and friends
• Physical health and well being
• Stable housing
• Having meaning and purpose in life
• Participating in a community where you feel accepted
• Following your passions and aspirations
• Having opportunities to be creative
• Going back to school and acquiring a degree
• Succeeding in a career path
• Being a part of a healthy romantic relationship
One or more of these could be a part of what you see in your future. If you believe that it’s possible, you’re bound to get there. However, it takes dedication, commitment, and taking action.
Another important point to remember about reaching your goals is that it might not happen right away. Or you might take two steps forward and one step back. You might run into major obstacles as you progress along your path. For instance, about 80% of those who enter recovery from addiction end up relapsing within the first 3 months. As you can imagine, experiencing a relapse can feel like a major setback when trying to create sobriety in your life.
However, there’s something important to be gained by setbacks. It can strengthen your commitment toward a goal. It can make you realize that you’re still vulnerable in some areas and that you might need support to continue moving towards your desired objective. Setbacks provide important information for you to use to support your progress, not block it. Setbacks are opportunities to learn more about yourself and where you need to get stronger or where you might need more help. They are not there to knock you down – unless you let it.
One of the most significant factors for anyone healing from mental illness or addiction is the support and community they have around them. Often, it is the support of others that makes a big difference. This support can include friends, family, and professional assistance.
But even with support and all the professional assistance you can find, you’ll still need to have a destination – a goal to reach for. Without that, you won’t know in which direction to set your sails. You won’t know the best choices to make in any given moment. Have a goal, a destination, a purpose. “Shoot for the moon,” as Normal Vincent Peale wrote, “Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”
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