As adults of all ages find themselves in the midst of graduation season, they’re compelled to ponder their futures and muster the ambition to live an extraordinary life. Whether it’s the 21-year-old who’s vying for an internship at a law firm or the mid-life grad who had to put college on hold and come back, campuses everywhere are abuzz with optimism and notions of a limitless future. There are many of us in recovery who can take a lesson from such optimism, both on the micro and macro levels as we move further and further along on our journeys.
When we first leave treatment, we’re often told to take things slow, as well we should. We don’t want to overwhelm ourselves and jeopardize our recovery by taking on too much too soon. There comes a time, however, when we have to start thinking about what we want out of life. Do we want to go back to school and finish our degree? Do we want to start a family? Do we want to explore a new career path? Ambition can be the greatest antidote to stagnation. It’s what got us off drugs and alcohol, into treatment and back on our feet and we should never stop thinking about our futures.
We don’t have to shrink from life because we’re in recovery. If we use the tools and knowledge we’ve gathered in our treatment program and keep up with our therapy and meetings, there is virtually no limit to what we can do. This is just a reminder of our extraordinary potential and the fact our recovery is not a hindrance, but rather an opportunity. It’s true that we should take things slow at first, but once we get to a place where we can start thinking about ourselves, we should be asking ourselves one question: “What’s next?” Ambition begets accomplishment and accomplishment begets confidence, emotional strength and growth.