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One July, 17 years ago, Robert Downey Jr. (RDJ) completed rehab for the last time and restarted his life in sobriety. The A-list actor had reportedly used drugs since his early childhood, and was unable to shake the addiction even as he was earning Golden Globe and Academy Awards. After back-to-back arrests for possession of illicit substances, Downey could no longer be insured to play feature roles. To continue working, his close friend Mel Gibson had to pay for the insurance for him to have another shot at a starring role. RDJ entered court-appointed rehab one last time in 2013 and stuck to his goal of overcoming addiction ever since. Recovery is not easy for anyone, and even the most influential celebrities in the world need help, support, and even sponsors to overcome the disease. But if you have a real and honest dream to strive for, you can awake new possibilities when you commit to the recovery journey.
Possibilities arise at any moment, and you have to be ready and willing to seize them. The average Joe might not have A-list celebrities willing to sponsor us, but we do have friends, family, or care providers who want to see us thrive. Ultimately, we are responsible for our own success in sobriety, and everything else is just resources we can leverage. As the old saying goes, we fall to our lowest level of preparation.
Committing to sobriety is just as difficult as committing to any healthy habit. Many of us have long-term goals we want to achieve, like a slim or muscular body, wealth, love, and a beautiful home. However, we fail when we don’t outline exactly what it takes to get there. Running for an hour once a month doesn’t make you feel or look like a runner. Ignoring a craving for fast food doesn’t mean you’ve overcome bad eating habits.
We allow ourselves to fall into bad habits when we don’t have clear, attainable goals and dreams. Consider this… does it feel like a win if you haven’t had a cigarette in a week? Surely it does. Does it also feel like a win if you haven’t had one for a single day? It definitely still does. If you set simple, easy-to-win goals, you encourage yourself every time you complete a task.
Rehab works in much the same way. There’s measured, necessary steps to overcoming every stage of addiction. You have to get through it one day at a time. Sometimes you have to set yourself even smaller goals for yourself. “Eat a salad tonight.” “Drink a single glass of water with dinner.” Slowly but surely, these positive habits form.
As you progress through rehab, these healthy habits become easier and easier. They feel more natural, more a part of your daily life. Just as you remember to brush your teeth or turn off the lights each night, exercise, budgeting, and other health habits can feel just as natural.
If you or a loved one needs help getting sober, Experience Recovery can help. Our admissions line is open 24/7.