by Steve Farrell
I am a lifelong student at Scottsdale Treatment Institute and there’s a simple reason why: Their program works. I recently celebrated my four-year “clean” anniversary and also completed a 26.2-mile marathon. When I shared the news of my achievements with John Butler, CEO, Scottsdale Treatment Institute, we had a talk about other people’s success at STI and how that manifests in additional areas of their lives.
We agreed there are a few common threads in their stories that I relied on during both my clean-up program and my marathon training. Those common threads are:
Making Up Your Mind. This is the most important aspect! At a point in my three-year, 24/7 addiction to methamphetamine, I was urged by friends and family members to get cleaned up. Those thoughts took a while to sink in but eventually I made up my mind that I did not want my life to continue the way it was going and I sought help. Similarly, at a point in my physical recovery, I made up my mind I was going to get back into the running shape that I had been in prior to my addiction. On both occasions, a monumental task was at hand but the road to success started with my making up my mind, saying, “I’m going to do this.”
Asking What’s Next. Okay, so I said, “I’m tired of the “getting-high” lifestyle but what’s next?” Number one: Get professional help that can lay out a plan with all the tools that are available in today’s world. The daunting task of stopping the addictive lifestyle is almost too huge to comprehend, however, with guidance, I was able to break it down into manageable pieces: what do I need to do today? – this week? – this month? Planning these smaller goals allowed me to achieve one success after another while getting a little bit closer each time to my main objective. My plan included medical help, two days a week of therapy, repairing the damage I had done to my body, and just getting up every day and doing the next right thing. Similarly, I started my physical come-back and began to return to running. At first, I was struggling, running only 50 yards or so and taking a few minutes of rest, and repeating this for many many weeks. Slowly I began increasing and adding to the 50-yard distances, and after several months, I was able to run a full mile without stopping. At some point, I said again, “What’s next?” Adding another 50-yards or another mile or two… or hey, how about a half marathon in six months and a full marathon next year? I made up my mind and I asked, “What’s next?” I took it one day at a time, one mile at a time.
So the thought of my going from full addict to clean was tough to imagine but going to a meeting today and doing the next right thing… that adds up to a good program.
And the thought of my going from running 50 yards to running a full marathon was also unimaginable but a mile-a-week increase… that adds up to a good program. And good programs gave me back my life.