Thoughts on Never Giving Up

“Push yourself again and again. Don’t give an inch until the final buzzer sounds.” – Larry Bird, former American NBA basketball player and coach, Basketball Hall of Fame player who played for the Boston Celtics, widely considered one of the greatest all-around basketball players in the history of the game (born 1956).

There isn’t one person among us in the rooms that hasn’t wanted to give up at one point or another. For some of us, we wanted to give up before we ever set foot in treatment. Others among us gave up once, twice, ten or twenty times – whatever the current number of relapses we’ve experienced. Yet, here we are today, still intent on pursuing our goal of lasting sobriety. Is it all folly? Is it a foolhardy endeavor destined to always fail?

If we believed that, we wouldn’t still be here. Those who have given up, who have truly resigned themselves to a lifetime of hopeless addiction, are either back out on the streets or have resorted to some desperate act to end their torture.

And, lest we forget, even among those most hopelessly addicted, there are examples of seemingly miraculous changes of heart. When the darkness deepens around us to the point where life itself seems pointless, sometimes that is when we find that we really don’t want to give up after all. There is life, and as long as we continue to breathe and think and reason, we can make choices. And when we make a conscious decision to move forward, we are not giving up.

So, that means there is hope for each and every one of us, no matter at what point we are in our recovery. First-timers, long-timers, those who have never dared to dream that they could be clean and sober for any length of time –  it doesn’t matter. We can, and will, be able to take one step at a time if we reach out and accept the support that is always available to us with our 12-Step fellowship.

Let’s think about Larry Bird’s comments for a minute. The final buzzer, in this case, would be life itself. And the sound of the final buzzer would be the end of life. Truth be to tell, we probably won’t hear the final buzzer, because when life is extinguished, there’s no real buzzer to sound. But that’s beside the point. What the former NBA great refers to is the drive and determination to keep going forward, despite the odds, no matter the difficulties or how often we’ve fallen.

How else can we expect to learn from our past experiences? It takes guts to keep on going after having experienced multiple disappointments. We need to find that reservoir of courage and push on, despite our natural inclination to want to quit. Quitting will never be satisfactory. So, quitting should never be an option, or not an option that we seriously consider.

Sure, the going is bound to get tough. But that’s when the tough get going. And, come to think about it, isn’t that what recovery is all about?quot; We’ve come a long way already, overcome many a difficult challenge that we thought would lay us flat, and still we’ve managed to achieve a certain measure of success. Take heart and comfort in this knowledge and allow that to motivate us to keep on going to even greater achievements in recovery.

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