It is humbling to acknowledge that you have become powerless, but when you are in the throes of addiction, that is exactly what you are. It is a downward spiral that holds you tight in its grip and does not want to let go. In fact, if you try to beat, or outmaneuver this power, you will find yourself in a fierce battle with a formidable opponent. This opponent is so stubborn, that it never completely goes away. This opponent has had its way with you, and it has won time after time after time. Sound familiar?

Even though it has won time after time, that does not mean it gets to win every time. One of the times you do battle, you get to win, and it seems to be sticking!

When that happens, you are rightfully the winner. Rightfully proud and although still somewhat scared, you are winning. But wait a minute. Too confident that this time you have recovery nailed? Too full of being positive you have this licked? Don’t! Don’t be cocky.

This is not a battle you win and presto (!) the war is over; it is not over by a long shot. That really sucks because if you win, that should be it. It’s not fair, is it?

Humbling? You bet! Cocky just doesn’t have a place here. Maybe a better perspective is one of respect. Yes, you heard right. Respect. Respect for an opponent that does not go away, even after you have won a battle. True, you’ve won a battle, but you have to keep winning. And winning.   

And winning. How annoying, right? But is it worth it? The effort, the discipline, the heartache—is it worth it? The answer is a rip-roaring, screaming yes. Just ask anyone who is in recovery if it is worth it. Not one person will tell you that life in relapse is better than life in recovery. Believe. Believe. Believe.

Recovery is where you have to keep yourself day by day, sometimes hour by hour, if not minute by minute. Believe it gets better. Believe you can keep winning. Believe you have every single ingredient that is required to keep winning. Believe that there is not one person who is better equipped to fight than you. Believe that you have had enough. Believe you can do this. Believe there is a big support system out there just waiting for you to show up. Believe you deserve a good life.

You can do this, but never be cocky. You do not know all the triggers that lie in wait to tempt you. You may think that you do, but believe that you do not. Many triggers are obvious, but many triggers are subtle and bypass your conscious awareness; nonetheless, these triggers are recognized and turn on cravings. Expect this to happen. Do not be blindsided, do not be caught unaware and unprepared. As soon as you sense a craving coming on, respond with your preplanned plan.

You can do this. Do it with humility. Cocky does not work.