You Are Not a Failure

By De W.

Personal experience … Sober 10 years, thought it would be absolutely no problem. Put myself in a very challenging situation, lapsed for 2 years while in that situation. Got my self out (actually not by choice, but it worked out) and now have 2 years again. What didn’t work for me was believing in the one-drink-leads-to-a-drunk. That is what I drank to. Ok. So you fell down.

Here is something I wrote, when I had 24 hours this last time. Maybe it will help someone else.

Because You have a Failure, You are not a Failure.

I choose. I choose what path to follow. I choose which way to go. I may not consciously choose to fail, but I can choose to go in another direction when the failure comes to light. This is what I have been learning.

I am not what I do. If I make a mistake, I am not a mistake. If I do bad things, I am not a bad person.

I am inherently good. Whether or not I do anything with my life, my life has meaning. If I have a failure, it does not mean I am a failure. If I slip it doesn’t mean I am lost. Negative thinking is just that: Thinking. It is not “reality.” If I put my negative thoughts into action, I have chosen to do so.

Whatever I do at any given moment is what I perceive to be the best action. Two seconds later it might seem like the worst possible thing I could have done. In the moment of the decision however, it may have seemed to be to my advantage. I can change the direction at any time. I can be honest about the action taken and move on to the next one.

That’s important for me to admit and move on. Dwelling on it doesn’t help.

I am scared to death to break my abstinence. I can hear myself dare me to do it. I can make the choice not to. If I do however break my abstinence, I am not a failure. I am acting on a compulsion. I choose whether to continue the behavior. Bad behavior does not make a bad person.

People, humanity, is (if not good) at least neutral. My reason for existence is to do what I can to make a difference. A lot of this is regurgitated from other readings and hearings. I am not sure I am totally convinced, except when I remember “I love you.” “I am not convinced I deserve it.” “You don’t have to deserve it. IT JUST IS.” Then I know I am something special. Failures and all. I am living proof that if you have a failure, you are not a failure. I keep picking myself up and moving on.***

I read this everyday for quite awhile and since my recent difficulty with new days/new beginnings I have it out again. I thought it might help someone else.

(The conversation was one I had with that ‘still quiet voice’ inside myself about 4 years into my first phase of recovery/discovery. It had a major impact on me then, and still does today.)

De W. — Life is what happens while you are making other plans.