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  • Writer's pictureChoice Recovery


There is a belief that you fall backward in life faster than you progress forward. To get where you want to go takes years, yet you can destroy all your success in an instant with a single misstep. This belief is not entirely true. In life, our progressions forward and backward typically proceed at the same pace.

For instance, a job promotion is something that occurs because of your positive work history. Your performance is evaluated over a specified period, and if positive, you get promoted. It is not that your boss suddenly decides to give you a raise or promotion; you earn it over time. Relapse works the same way. Addicts who are honestly doing the work in recovery don’t unexpectedly choose to use again. What typically happens is, they let their recovery get stagnant. When this occurs, their thoughts and behaviors around recovery incrementally dissipate until using suddenly seems like something they can do again. It might start innocently with a missed meeting or holding on to a resentment. However, once this backward progression starts, if the addict does not honestly confront it, the unwanted behaviors will continue and mature into something much bigger. Outcomes are the result of choices and actions. When we act with purpose, we move forward, and when we don’t, we tend to fall backward. If our daily intentions are not as dynamic as our lives, we cannot withstand the pressures we encounter. Success and failure happen because of the choices we make, not because of what was done to us or the hurdles in our way. It is this simple; our forward movement in life and recovery will continue as long as our actions are purposeful. However, the moment this purpose leaves us, our old habits return, and we all know what happens from there. Indicators you are moving forward:

  • Your focus is on the daily tasks you set for yourself, not the outcomes you desire.

  • Your recovery is priority one and your purpose is stronger than your addiction.

  • You follow through on all commitments and clean-up lapses in judgment without hesitation.  

  • Honesty and principle, rather than rationalization, drive your choices and actions.

  • You understand the “why” behind good and bad decisions, so you can continually learn how to improve your approach to life and recovery. 

Indicators you are moving backward:

  • A “quick fix” or “easier path” to success begins to look like the solution to problems.

  • Saying or thinking, “I got this” or “I am different" so you can justify not doing what was suggested of you.

  • You base your progress in life/recovery on what others are doing rather than the goals and actions you have set for yourself.

  • You become less willing, open, and coachable in your life.

  • You gain comfort from playing the role of a victim.

  • Decisions are based on emotions rather than principles and facts.

In your life/recovery, what are your indicators that you are moving forward or backward? What keeps you motivated and focused on being better today than you were yesterday? How do you adjust when the indicators say you are moving backward?

About Choice Recovery

Whether an individual is looking for in person addiction treatment or online treatment, Choice Recovery has them covered. The Choice Recovery intensive outpatient program focuses on the whole-body when dealing with substance abuse for drugs or alcohol. Our integrated approach is about the person, not solely the disease.

Choice Recovery offers 3-day a week and 4-day a week programs in the morning or the evening (in person treatment is available in the morning and evening while telehealth is available only in the evening). Our approach to addiction treatment starts with group therapy, continues with individual therapy, and supports with life coaching. This well-rounded approach to care is designed to help those suffering from alcohol and drug addition build a life that they love.

The Choice Recovery facility is located in Mesa, Arizona near the Tempe/Mesa border. We can be reached at 480-527-0337 or


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