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5 Strategies in Learning How to Fight for Your Recovery

When addiction has you against the ropes, you have to be willing to fight back.

Source: Attentie-Attentie/Unsplash
When battling addiction you have to be willing to get into the ring
Source: Attentie-Attentie/Unsplash

Over the years, one of my favorite movie series has always been Rocky. As you know, this is an individual who is a local fighter in his hometown and was given a shot at the heavyweight title. In Rocky II, I remember a scene in which Rocky was half-heartedly training for his rematch for the title. His trainer Mickey told Rocky, “For a 45-minute fight, you have to train for 45,000 minutes.” As an individual who has been in recovery for nearly 30 years, I can tell you that you will be training and preparing yourself for the fight of your life.

One of the things I have often told others who are learning to live a new way of life is that their addiction is constantly training and preparing for when they get released from prison. This could be in the form of someone who is in active addiction, and who is like a lion ready to pounce on their prey. You see, those who are actively using do not care that you are trying to get your life back in order. In fact, all they are concerned about is how fast they can pull you back into the darkness.

This is where you must be willing to train for your fight. You must be willing to get up each morning and be ready to start training. It does not matter that you do not feel like training or that you think you do not need to train since you are having a great day. It is at this point and time in your life that you must work that much harder because your addiction is doing push-ups every day and is prepared for the fight against you.

Several years ago, I took a Bible study that taught about fighting. In the study, called "Fight: Are You Willing to Pick a Fight with Evil?", the author Kenny Luck broke down the letters of the word fight and developed a strategy for preparing for a spiritual fight. I took the same principle and developed a way to be prepared for a fight against addiction.

I want to show you the five fighting principles that will help you be prepared for the fight of your life. First, you have to be willing to Face your addiction, then you have to study or gather Intel or Information on your addiction, then you have to Gather your tools or skills, next you have to Hone or sharpen your tools or skills, and finally, you have to be willing to Take the fight to your addiction. So allow me to break down the five fighting principles.

Do not be afraid to start training for your fight against addiction
Source: Prateek-Katyal/Unsplash

1. Be willing to FACE your addiction:

One of the hardest things for a person with substance use disorder to do is to be willing to face the fact that they have a substance use disorder. So many times, an individual in active addiction will deny that they have an issue with drugs and or alcohol. This allows the addiction to become more powerful. This is because the longer that the person is ashamed to admit that there is a problem, the stronger the enemy becomes. In turn, this allows the addiction to maintain control over their lives. We must be willing to overcome any fear and apprehension that we may perceive as real and face the problem head-on.

2. Gather INTEL/INFORMATION on your addiction:

For anyone who is or has been in active recovery, they know exactly where to go to get the substance to which they are addicted, no matter the substance. One of the things I have learned in my life, not only in recovery but also in teaching others about learning to live a life, is being able to recognize the warning signs of someone who is trying to pull you back into active addiction. There are so many individuals I have worked with who have told me they are able to spot another addict. Just as a football team watches game footage of their opponent to be able to understand them and to be able to develop a strategy for the upcoming game, this especially is true for people with substance use disorder as they must study their opponent, which is addiction, so that they are able to develop a strategy for life.

3. GATHER up your tools for your battle against addiction:

One of the ways I prepare individuals whom I have worked with over the years is to tell them that they need to be on the constant lookout for any tool and/or skill that will assist them in learning how to live a positive life. Being in a treatment program or any meeting or class that will teach you to live in recovery is like being in front of a conveyor belt that has all of the skills necessary to help you be successful in recovery. There will be those skills that you will pick up and do not need, so you will set them down and pass them along to someone else who can utilize the skill. If you are willing to do this, then your toolbox for recovery will quickly fill up.

4. HONE or sharpen your skills:

One of the ways that I teach others to sharpen their skills is to be willing to utilize them each day. Even the cheapest tool is valuable if it is being used every day. I often tell my guys that if one were to purchase a cheap wrench and an expensive wrench from a major tool manufacturer and they were the same size, they would be worth exactly the same if they are not being used and no one is ever willing to pick them up. One continues to sharpen their skills by attending meetings, developing a solid support system, and getting a sponsor. There is a quote in the Bible in Proverbs 27:17 that states, “As iron sharpens iron, so does one man sharpen another.” In other words, to be able to keep your recovery sharp, you have to be willing to learn from those that have been down the path before you and you have to be willing to share with others what you have learned.

5. TAKE the fight to your addiction:

What this means is that you must be willing to step into the ring of life and take the fight to the thing that you are addicted to and are battling. Will you get hit? Will you take your lumps? Of course you will, but if you are committed to getting into the fight and willing to step foot into the ring, the ability to maintain your recovery will be greatly enhanced.

For nearly 30 years, I have been in the fight of my life against this enemy called addiction. There have been times that I have been knocked down and nearly given in to my temptation, urges and cravings. However, it is not a matter of how many times life and addiction have knocked you down to your breaking point, what matters is the willingness to get back up, dust yourself off and not give up and give in. I want you to know that if you are willing to fight, the better your chances are of continuing to be successful, not only in recovery but also in your life.

Taking Recovery One Day at a Time (10,483 Days and Counting)

© Michael J. Rounds

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