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Sometimes it can be very helpful to look at a problem or challenge from a new point of view. That is certainly true when it comes to the recovery journey.

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When you are working to maintain your hard-won sobriety, it can be helpful to get some new perspectives from unexpected people and places. These new perspectives can give you a boost when your recovery seems like a slog and it feels like you have heard every piece of advice a hundred times before. 

In this entry, we look back on some ideas we nabbed from some unusual sources—the inventor Thomas Edison, the boxer Muhammad Ali, and the sitcom Mom.

The Inventor Valued Resilience

The following is an excerpt from a blog entry titled, “Shining a Light Bulb on Resilience with Help from Thomas Edison.”

It is easy to imagine someone like [Thomas] Edison as a genius who had great idea after great idea and then brought them into the world with ease. But that isn’t what happened at all.

Indeed, this might be the most famous of Edison’s many quotes: Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.

That’s a memorable way to say something very important: anything worth doing is going to take work. A lot of work. Wanting to stay sober is all well and good, but hard work and resilience in the face of adversity are both going to be necessary if you hope to achieve that goal.

That means facing down the inevitable temptations to return to drug use. It might mean finding a way to keep up with therapy and 12-Step meetings while still fulfilling your obligations to work, school, and/or your family. The work could include making sincere attempts to mend relationships that were broken while you were taking drugs.

The Boxer Had Six Core Principles

The following is an excerpt from a blog entry titled, Muhammad Ali’s Six Core Principles & Recovery.” You can find the other three principles at the link.

“The Greatest” had a great list of Six Core Principles he felt should underpin a person’s life, six principles that can also apply to the recovery journey…

  • Conviction: A firm belief that gives one the courage to stand behind the belief despite pressure to do otherwise. Ongoing sobriety requires you to constantly remind yourself that sobriety is the best option for your life—and for the lives of those around you. When it seems easier to slip back into old habits, your firm conviction that staying sober—even when it is hard to do so—is the best path will serve you well.
  • Dedication: The act of devoting all of one’s energy, effort, and abilities to a certain task. People in recovery know the importance of staying dedicated to sobriety. You stay sober one day at a time and must constantly renew your dedication to doing so.
  • Giving: To present voluntarily without expecting something in return. A spirit of giving—which helps you take the focus off of yourself—is known to support sobriety. While giving to others is best done without expectation of reward, the fact is that you do get something back—a sense of happiness and self-worth that supports your sobriety.

Mom Was Funny—But Took Recovery Seriously

The following is an excerpt from a blog entry titled, “Support from a Sitcom: How Mom Gets Recovery Right.”

It may be true that the characters on Mom are, to one degree or another, haunted by their past lives, but the show is also committed to demonstrating how those in recovery can maintain their sobriety over time.

We frequently see one character or another “make amends” to someone they have hurt in the past while they were drinking or using drugs. The results of this effort vary widely, but the important part isn’t the reaction. Instead, the decision to make amends reminds the individual where they have been and how they can do better going forward.

The friend group at the center of the show—at its peak, it includes six women in recovery—understands the importance of routines to sobriety, too. They go to recovery meetings frequently and get together at a bistro afterwards. They also know they can drop into the routines of a recovery meeting anywhere with any number of people when someone is staring down a challenge to their sobriety…The show is steadfast in its reminders to viewers that a relapse is a setback but not the final verdict on a person’s sobriety.

Our Perspective? You Should Reclaim Your Sobriety

At French Creek Recovery Center in Meadville, PA, we are wholly dedicated to helping you get and stay sober. We provide evidence-based care, treatment for co-occurring mental health disorders, and ongoing support that allows you to get your recovery journey underway with confidence. Getting sober changes everything—and we are ready to help you make that change a reality.