There isn’t much we can control in this life. We are governed by laws created by people that are well outside of our circle of influence. For example, other people do as they please in spite of our wishes and we are at the mercy of the weather. When you’re struggling with an addiction you have even less control than the average person. You’re a slave to the insatiable desire to satisfy a high. Thankfully there is hope for those struggling with substance abuse disorder and recovery is possible. Perception is reality. The one thing we do control in life is meaning. What I mean by this is that when we change our story we change our lives.
More than Perception
You aren’t your feelings or your emotions. You’re not even your behavior’s. You are something much deeper than all of that. If you’re new to recovery or still actively using you’re probably just beginning to figure out who you are and what you stand for. I can tell you this: you are more than the sum of your past transgressions. Don’t let your disease define you. When you realize that you are in control of the meanings events carry, you are in control of your life. It’s not always easy to do but we have the ability to do it, and life becomes a lot easier when we master this mindset.
When it comes to perceptions, what’s most important is how we perceive ourselves. A number of readings occur at each and every Narcotics Anonymous meeting across the globe. One of them is the reading called “why are we here”. The reading goes, “after coming to NA we realised we were sick people. We suffered from a disease from which there is no known cure. It can, however, be arrested at some point, and recovery is then possible.” (na.org) What it comes down to is this: if you don’t perceive love for yourself- and by love I mean if you don’t accept the darkest, enigmatic, and sickest parts of who you are- it’s very hard to heal.
Perception is Reality
We control the lens through which we see our lives. We can look at all the things we go through as blessings because they got us to where we needed to be, or we can let our past demoralize us from regret. The choice is yours. If you’re in active addiction I understand this is hard to see as a blessing given the living hell you’re living, however I assure you it will be there. Think of it this way, the pain of addiction is like the fire you need to withstand to become forged like steel. I know this to be true because the people in recovery are the greatest, strongest, and most authentic people I have met in my entire life.
Each and every obstacle placed in front of us is a gift, and it’s meant to be appreciated for the lessons it teaches us. Every experience, especially addiction, gives you the opportunity to grow. Part of our job is to find the positive behind each and every lesson that comes our way. Since so much of life is beyond our control it’s wise to emphasize what isn’t. Find strength from your suffering and own it. This will make you a stronger person. Perception is reality, and when you change your perception you change your reality.