Failure isn’t Fatal

by Daniel · 0 comments

My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure.”  – Abraham Lincoln

Failure isn’t fatal it is the seed to success.  Of course you have heard about Thomas Edison’s failure record when it came to developing the light bulb.  He was asked how he could fail so much and keep going!  His response is astounding he said, I did not fail thousands of times I simply learned how it would not work thousands of times.  We all need to have that attitude.

For those of you that know my story you know that I began my recovery journey in jail.  Alcohol and drug use and abuse had me by the throat.  From March of 1978 to July 1980 the intensity of my use and trouble escalated.  It went from fun to “Oh My God”!  What do I do?  As a result I attempted quite a bit, “The Pledge” that is an Irish Catholic ritual to swear off the use did not work.  Just drinking beer did not work it always ead to shots which lead to drugs.

One year later in July of 1981, I began my first attempt at total abstinence.  I would love to say it worked totally, but it did not.  However it was the start of an honest approach at recovery, an honest shot at ceasing the drinking and drugging merry-go-round.  I stayed clean for nearly three years.  I got married and had had my first son Sean.  On our wedding anniversary I went to dinner with my wife and another couple.  After dinner we decided to go to an Irish Pub for a drink.  I was not intending to drink alcohol however when we got to the bar this pearl of wisdom hit me, “have one”!

So, I ordered one, a pitcher of Budweiser and a Pitcher of Guiness Stout!  Back to the races!  Failure?  Well it felt that way the next morning.  But once again, failure was not fatal, it was the boost I needed for life long abstinence.  Now, don’t get me wrong, this is not something I suggest to people as a process.  I was working with a fellow a few years ago and he simply continued to drink, he would stay sober for a week or so and then go back out and drink alcohol and use cocaine.  I said to him, how can I help you, why do you take that first drink.  His response was baffling, he said, “Dan, it took you eight years I am just starting I have seven plus to go”!

The truth is that we all only have today, we all have our personal journeys.  I look back and I have friends that began the recovery process at the same time and they are still clean and sober, thirty years clean and sober.  Imagine being 48 or 49 years of age and clean and sober for 30 years!  Relapse is not mandatory, out journey is our journey.  But everyday we have above ground breathing is an opportunity for success!

Go, Go, Go…

Dan 🙂

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