Things happen.  There will be pit-falls.  There will be bad days.  There might be relapses.  There might be days you fall back into old patterns.  If this happens (dare I say–WHEN this happens) pick yourself up and keep going.  Don’t make too big a deal out of it.  It’s life and it’s normal.  When you find yourself falling back into old patterns or old habits, pull yourself back out as quickly as you can and keep moving forward.  Learn what you can from the situation and use it to help you build yourself up and make yourself stronger.  Sometimes we can’t predict the bad days–they blind side us.  We can do what we can to prepare and prevent but we just can’t control or anticipate everything.  There might be a death.  There might be a break up.  There might be financial problems.  Life has it’s ups and it’s downs.  That’s a fact.  Life is not a steady line up or a steady line down.  Life is more of a zig-zag line with ups and downs and ups and downs.  Hopefully the ups are more up and the downs are less down over time.  In general the progression would be in an approximate upward trend as we continue using better and better ways of coping with life.  At any rate, expect the unexpected and anticipate the stress of bad times.  No life is perfect and yours won’t be either.  You may still have to experience fall out from your days of substance using or additive behaviors.  You may still have to deal with lingering consequences even though you’ve changed.  This is life and cannot be avoided.  In general, it takes two years for the effort we put in today to materialize fully in our life although there are, of course, immediate benefits too.  In other words, I may be on the straight and narrow path now and still be suffering consequences from something I did two years ago.  Just because we’ve changed does not mean consequences from past choices magically vanish.  It’s part of the process to clean up the messes we’ve  made or to continue repairing past damage.  It’s good for us.  It makes us stronger.  It gives us a chance to prove to our self we really aren’t the same as we use to be.  Smile your way through if you can and keep on trying.  Sooner or later the foundation you are laying in the here and now will benefit you.  The life and future you are building now is on a new foundation so that is what you have to look forward to.  In the mean time you are still rebuilding or dealing with leftovers from the old foundation you built.  It may have taken many years to build your life on substance use and additive behaviors.  It’s going to take a little while to rebuild your new life too.  Keep your head up and keep pushing forward.

On discouragement:

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