How Recovery Moved Me From Victim To Victor

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How Recovery Moved Me From Victim To Victor

By Dr. Dave Warner 05/12/16

I am now able to embrace more truth, understand the undesirability of negative consequences, and live reflectively. 

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How Recovery Moved Me From Victim To Victor
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Most addictive behavior is trying to solve some issue buried in our souls and mind. My issue was an early childhood sexual trauma. All it took for me was a Playboy under a sibling’s bed, and I would become hooked on sexual and visual stimulation. I was acting out trying to resolve my internal conflict.

Something so innocuous and trivial as a magazine. Soon it would no longer be enough, and with pornography seemingly exploding in the 1980s, the deep wounds of sexual trauma would ride the waves following along to its siren calls. Neural connections were built and bonded. Just like a substance abuser, the brain connections needed constant and stronger stimuli.

After 27 years of working my recovery, I have gained such empathy for that man who existed in my youth. How do you work to heal the wounds inflicted on such an innocent, and even those inflicted by me on myself? What seemed like compulsive solutions for my relief only built a larger apparatus that kept me in an isolated prison of internal conflict? 

My addictive solutions made it worse and kept me from living authentically and exhibiting resilient thinking. I became isolated from any positive community in which I could heal, and this left me adrift responding to one emotional emergency after another. Life was not to be intentionally lived but responded to with fear and loathing like Hunter S. Thompson in Las Vegas. I apparently was destined to continue to seek new results using the old and tired behavior that ended up in nothing but despair. A victim of my own demise.

Then I discovered recovery or maybe it discovered me. It was my time.

Recovery is my own process of moving from victim to victor. I once was lost but now I am found.

I have discovered the following to be true for me. As I am ready (and it seems to be a spiritual thing), I am able to embrace more truth, see reality as it really is, understand the undesirability of negative consequences, rehearse my true identity as my own most valuable player (MVP), and live reflectively enabling me to adjust as I look back on my daily decisions and behaviors.

My current victory lap includes developing my personal life plan. I have known about this process for some time, but I didn't have the fortitude to embrace such intentional living. I wasn’t ready then, but I am equipped now. I could be ashamed for not having done this twenty years ago. Maybe I would have avoided some dumb decisions. Yet, I choose to see it otherwise. I am now at the point of spiritual maturity where I am able to consider my personal strengths and weaknesses, my values, the time I have left to use my influence for the greatest good, and what I am most passionate about that will represent my best self.

Are you ready to live your life with greater enthusiasm and help create an intentional path towards your most desired destiny?

The following will help you immensely, and is borrowed from Michael Hyatt’s new book Living Forward, but the message is consistent with most other experts who have previously written on establishing and keeping goals. Here is how you and I can do it.

Start with the end in mind.

How is it you want to be remembered by your friends, family, work partners, recovery community etc.? What is the legacy you want told? Within this process you will want to define your non-negotiable values. These are values that you would not trade for any price. We have the power to live life reflectively and be our own best champion. How is it you want to really be remembered? What did your life stand for? Remember your past does not have to dictate your future. 

Write out a compelling vision. 

Make your “why” so large that you must act to achieve your desired result. What does your “most preferred self” look like in one year, five years, and ten years? What is that ideal state? This is the process of describing what is possible. Victors allow themselves to dream and imagine. What is possible for you?

Write out personal affirmations as if you already have attained your vision. 

I read affirmations every day that describe my real identity. By rehearsing my best self, I am intentionally rewiring my brain so that when I am challenged by aberrant thoughts, they have no place to take root as I am constantly reaffirming who I really am (which is the Victor and no longer the victim.) Anything worthwhile is opposed! We need tools to stay the course.

Define your current reality. 

Be honest with yourself. Develop goals to help you acquire what you want daily, weekly, monthly and year over year. Define them for your spiritual life, finances, work, family, health, recovery, etc. Make your plan specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timed (SMART). Evaluate weekly and adjust as needed. You are allowed to find out what really works for your life that will bring about the greatest return.

Remind yourself that small incremental changes add up. The old adage is "by the yard it is hard, but inch by inch it is a cinch."

Finally, take action. 

You are not waiting on anyone but yourself. Mike Roach said, “Strategy without execution is hallucination.”

The power for change will show up when you start. Our world invites you to become your best. We will be less for not having you fully engaged. I am ready for you to show up. Are you ready and willing?

I can’t change what happened when I was wounded. That is just part of my history. What I can alter is how I attack life from here on in. My history won’t dictate my future. Won’t you join me in my victory lap?

“Life planning is fundamentally about imagining a better future; it’s about breaking free of limiting beliefs; tapping into your deepest desires; and standing in the realm of possibility,” Michael Hyatt.

Dr. Dave Warner is a transformation coach, author and speaker. He is serving those in the recovery community to break-through for greater success. He is the author of Resilient My Journey to Wholeheartedness. He is a leader in the New Heart Healing and Recovery community. He is also certified as a Recovery Coach by CCAR, Mental Health Peer Coach by the State of Washington, and as Professional Life Coach through Erickson College of Vancouver, BC. His website is coaching4destiny.com

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Dr. Dave Warner is a transformation coach, author and speaker. He is serving those in the recovery community to break-through for greater success. He is the author of Resilient My Journey to Wholeheartedness. He is a leader in the New Heart Healing and Recovery community. He is also certified as a Recovery Coach by CCAR, Mental Health Peer Coach by the State of Washington, and as Professional Life Coach through Erickson College of Vancouver, BC. Follow Dr. Warner on Twitter.

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