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 effort. If a behavior can be changed without effort, then it is probably not so habitually imbedded into our emotional defense system that it would be considered an addiction. It takes time and effort to form addictions. Especially when addicted to certain substances, we will have likely traveled a hard road of denial, dishonesty, poor self-care, and a host of other seemingly anti-social behaviors along the way. Even more subtle, less obviously damaging addictions take time to establish themselves. So, the path toward recovery will take great effort and will likely be marked 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 show us how mired we may be within the confines of our own dysfunctional patterns. But as we navigate 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 the depths of our dysfunctional attachments, but also our own fortitude and commitment. So, we must not give up—ever.

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