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  • Writer's pictureChoice Recovery

Get Out of Your Way

How are you choosing to get better at life, the hard way or the easier way? While most of us say we choose the easier way, our actions do not always support this approach.

There is no doubt that hard work is what gets us where we want to go, but there are those who make life look as though it takes no work at all. They seem to have it all, and if there is something else they want, they simply go out and get it. The truth is, regardless of how these individuals make it look, their path in life and recovery is no different than ours; to get what they want out of life takes hard work. However, what they do have that we don't is the ability to get out of their way. By getting out of their way, they are able to accomplish tasks more efficiently and with less heartache. They do this through preparation and practice. They engage with supports before taking on tasks they don’t know how to do or have failed at prior. They constantly look to upgrade their skills, and not knowing the answer does not stop them. When knowledge is needed, they seek out experts who have been there before, and when it is their time to act, they make sure to have obtained and practiced the skills necessary to accomplish the task. It is the fluidity of this approach that makes life look a whole lot easier for them.

The alternative approach to life is the hard way, aka the addict’s way. With this approach, we choose to take on life "as is." That is, as life confronts us, we simply hope for the best. We learn solely from experience and carry the belief that few can help us get where we want to go. We use what has been learned from previous outcomes to navigate new situations with a hope for something different. When we fail, we blame others or find excuses, but rarely is there any reflection on how we might need to change. Over time this approach may provide a few wins, but the destruction and damage incurred on the way makes us wary of venturing out again.

The truth is, on some level, both approaches work, and both are required to find peace and happiness. However, the preparation and practice approach, the easier approach, is a much more rewarding way to gain the upper hand in life. This approach prepares us for the encounters we have chosen to take on. It enlightens us to those things we don’t know we don’t know and gives us a quiet confidence to pursue our life passions. Simply put, it has us in a position to make life look easy.

Entering the rooms of recovery is proof of our desire to find an easier way to live. However, entering the rooms is only half the battle. Until we learn how our addiction influences our opinions and beliefs, we will continue to find life unfair, challenging, and complex. The addict's mind is a dangerous one as it is selfish, lazy, and hateful. It closes us off to the opportunity of making life easier. The longer we listen to those old opinions and beliefs, the longer we will fail to find the freedom a life in recovery offers.

The first step to getting out of our way is acknowledging that there might be something better, that possibility and solutions may reside outside of our thinking. We make life easier when we listen without judgment and act without fear; when we replace blame with acceptance and allow curiosity to inspire. This way of life, the easier way, will enable us to grow and achieve. Most importantly, it will get us out of our way, so peace and joy are present in everything we do.

FOR CONSIDERATION: The cycle of relapse is the perfect example of how we tend to live life the hard way. We choose to get clean, which allows us to secure things like housing, relationships, and financial independence. As our recovery progresses, so does our personal growth, which makes us feel normal again. This goes on for weeks, months, and even years, but then, for whatever reason, we use again and lose it all. While we learn something new each time out, when we return to the rooms of recovery, we are again at the starting line, forced to do it all over again. In these moments, we have the opportunity to do something different, to take an alternative route, but we don’t, all because of our attachment to those old opinions and beliefs.

Life and recovery can be easier, but until we accept that we do not have all the answers and that learning from and listening to others can be of value, change will elude us and life will remain harder than it needs to be.


Choice Recovery specializes in outpatient addiction treatment, it is all we do. Our evidence-based programming focuses on intensive outpatient (IOP), individual counseling, and coaching. Our goals is to support clients as they build their foundation for long-term recovery. We offer IOP in the morning, evening, and via telehealth.

Choice Recovery accepts most private and AHCCCS insurance plans including, but not limited to Mercy Care, United Healthcare, Care 1st, Banner University, AZ Complete Health and Blue Cross Blue Shield. For more information about our treatment facility and programming, please call us at 480-527-0337 or email us at


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