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Drug Addiction Recovery A Lesson From The Olympics

The Olympics are on right now, and millions of people from countries around the world are watching. That includes some drug addicts and alcoholics. As I’ve watched the Olympics the last few days, I’ve noticed a quality that both elite Olympic athletes and people in drug addiction recovery seem to have.  See if you notice the same thing as you enjoy the Olympics yourself.

Olympic Athletes Are Mentally Resilient

The Olympic athlete-physically strong and mentally tough. Years of training and competition put them in the top percentage of athletes around the world.  It’s easy to see how physical training and practice build up their muscles to do incredibly athletic things. The mental resilience – that’s a little harder to see.

Athletes have to wait four years between each Olympic competition.  In most cases, they compete in events around the world between Olympic years. But something about the Olympics is different. Years of waiting, hard work, and training do not guarantee a great outcome. Just yesterday, Lindsay Jacobellis (US female snowboarder) fell unexpectedly in the early part of her race and was disqualified.  In the 2006 Olympics, she lost out on the gold because she fell after doing a last second show-off move. Four years of waiting and still no gold medal. How does someone keep going after such disappointment?

Recovering Drug Addicts And Olympic Athletes

As promised, here’s my comparison between Olympic athletes and recovering drug addicts. Recovering drug addict can put in so much energy, effort, planning, and focus on living a sober life. When something comes up and knock them off track, they sometimes start using drugs again. A sense of overwhelming failure can set in if they don’t get up and keep going towards sobriety. Was all that time living sober a mistake? A waste of time? No, it was a journey worth traveling.  The obvious visible setback is also part of the journey. What that person does with the setback is up to them. If they allow their emotions to completely take over, they may struggle for a while before they become sober again. They may even need to go through drug treatment again if it gets bad enough.

A disappointed Olympic athlete can either feel terrible and succumb to their feelings, or they can keep going forward and hold their head high. They can get back in the gym, retire and pursue a new passion, or even just get the courage to finish their race when it’s clear they will not win. What Olympic athletes master is their ability to acknowledge their emotions but not let them be in charge. They instead use their emotions to propel them forward. Sometimes their lowest moments become inspiration for huge achievement in later competition. The Olympic spirit embodies excellence, persistence, and dedication. A recovering drug addict doing their best to live sober shares these qualities.

Drug Rehab Build Your Honorable Character In Recovery

Drug addiction isn’t revered and respected like Olympic sport.  But the character it takes to get through the valleys of drug addiction is absolutely respectable and honorable. If you are addicted to drugs and struggling to get sober, start building your honorable character by getting in to drug rehab.

Creative Commons License Photo credit: Nickö

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