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“Is it Luck or Just a Way of Thinking?”

“Its just sheer luck I’m still alive” those are the words we as counselors in the substance abuse field frequently hear. Those recovering from an addiction who have the opportunity to look back at their addictive lifestyle and behaviors most often cringe at what they recall. It is not what they lost or what they gained in the addiction, but its how they were able to still be alive to look back at the risks involved in their addiction. Being in recovery and making through the adversities is a way of life or what we consider a “LIFESTYLE”.

The way we think, the way we dress, the way we behave, how we treat our family, the people we allow into our social network, the things we do, the careers we succeed in, even down to the type of food we eat, are all the components of what makes up our lifestyle to name a few. When in an active addiction these are all areas which become affected in our lives. We destroy these components unintentionally, due to the capacity of the addiction. The only thinking is being self-absorbed and satisfying the desire of self-gratification.

Upon the need for recovery, the pleasurable thinking once fueling the addiction, now becomes the motivation for recovery. The thoughts of sobriety, accomplishments, love and belonging are now the foundation of the “LIFESTYLE” sought after. Our way of thinking has shifted to adopt the demand of what we now see as a “LIFESTYLE”.

The internal locus of control during an active addiction and recovery are magnified through the intensity of what is being aspired. It is the way we think which controls what we do and the outcome of our situations. It would not be accurate to state one has the full potential of all outcomes in life, but it is surely accurate to state the way of thinking is a substantial part and parcel of our “LIFESTYLE” and not just sheer luck.

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