• David Sales


Both tears and sweat are salty, but they render a different result. Tears will get you sympathy; sweat will get you change. - Jesse Jackson.

I've learned a lot about change recently. What it is, what it takes, and what it does. I've also come to appreciate how hard it is.

I've discovered the personal freedom of empowerment of personal change. In retrospect, I am aware of how powerless I have often felt, trapped in a false belief that I had neither the ability nor the requisite courage to have some control of my life. Likely, what I lacked the most was patience.

Changing anything big takes time, and I have had to understand that being solely focused on the result rather than the process, has been a mysterious barrier to success. When I stay in the process and remain committed to the work, I find myself more likely to keep going. For those of us in recovery from addiction, this, above all else, is dangerously tricky.

What I have had to tell myself when I think the change I want isn't happening, is that it is happening and most likely I just don't see it yet. Am I doing the work? If the answer is yes, then it is happening - end of story. My job is to do the work... time has the job of showing me the result. Experiencing this process, witnessing a change become part of my new life, delivers a sense of empowerment that grows exponentially. That is the miracle of change.

Of course one can't change everything, but learning that I can change something in my life if I want to gives me a choice. I think we as humans have many things we would like to change, but the choice is whether we want to do what is necessary to achieve it. There is also empowerment in letting go the thoughts of change when there is no will to do it. There is nothing wrong with accepting a lack of willingness. It all comes down to choice.

I have thought a lot about choice and how important it is becoming in my own life. The positive changes I have experienced, how I feel in any certain moment, and how I look at the future seem rooted in choice and in change. I would not have arrived at this place, however, had I not kept going long enough to experience it. Until I experienced the result of my efforts, it remained just a concept, a possibility, or a dream.

We often hear in recovery, many catch phrases and 5 cent slogans. Most of them I detest as I find them thrown around too easily, regurgitated words, hollow and easy. There is one that applies in this situation and one I find very true.

"Don't give up right before the miracle happens."

Our individual miracles our unique to us. Others may find many things in our recovery miraculous, but I know what my miracle is. It is a choice. It is mine alone.

I, like most addicts, have lost a lot. Money, relationships, careers, health and the list goes on. I realize that the biggest loss of all was the loss of choice. I gave the power of choice away to my addiction. I believe the biggest miracle that has happened to me, the change I have worked hardest to achieve, and the most powerful tool I have in my life at this moment is my ability to choose. I value this above all else today, and it is something I am not willing to give up again. It is worth any amount of tears or sweat.

I can change and if I can't change the situation, I can, in the very least, change my attitude about it.

As long as I have the self-determination of choice, I am not powerless.