Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.
-Thomas Edison

Recovery from addiction necessarily takes great effort. If changing a behavior happens without effort, then that behavior is probably not so habitually imbedded into our emotional defense system that it can be considered an addiction. It takes time and effort to create addictions. Especially when we are addicted to substances that are not accepted into the mainstream of life, we have, no doubt, traveled a hard road of escape, denial, dishonesty, poor self-care, and often a host of other seemingly anti-social behaviors before we find ourselves tethered to emotional and physiological bonds that seem impenetrable and unchangeable. Even more subtle, less obviously damaging addictions have taken time to establish themselves. So, the path away from addiction and toward healthier patterns will take great effort and may often be thwarted by seeming failures and deep feelings of hopelessness and futility. These stumbles, in fact, are an important part of the recovery process. They stand as emotional hurdles that teach us about how mired we may be within the confines of our own dysfunctional patterns. But as we move through each of these hurdles, we also learn about our strengths, will to live, and ability to change and grow. Within each ‘failure’ lies an opportunity to learn about our own fortitude and commitment. So, we must not give up—ever.

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