Look at a stone cutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred-and-first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not the last blow that did it, but all that had gone before
-Jacob A. Riis
Making changes in life always requires diligence, consistency, and follow-through. There is not a magic formula that can create the types of internal changes that will make recovery successful, there is only hard work. Furthermore, we may not know, in the beginning, what type of hard work is required, or in what direction it should be applied, since it is different for each person. Because of this, the process leading to recovery requires some detective work and will almost always be marked by mistakes, dead-ends, and the need to try again. This principle will follow any path towards emotional change, be it addiction, depression, or relationship work. It is of vital importance, then, to embrace the recovery process as one of trial and error, remaining diligent with trial and compassionate with error. Again and again I hear recovery stories that took years to take root with little obvious reason for the eventual success over past failures. Addictions are not created overnight, they grow with great dedication and diligence, themselves. So when we try to rid ourselves of them, we must do so with the fortitude and patience of the stone cutter, carefully working with the goal in mind, even in the face of seemingly slow progress. But as long as we are still breathing, we can still keep swinging away, and even during times of seeming despair, know that we always have the capacity for eventual success.