Let’s Focus on What We CAN Control, Not What We Can’t

Depressed woman

Of all the cliché sayings that make their rounds through the recovery communities, the one I absolutely love goes over accepting the things we can’t change and the courage to change the things that we can. During addiction and throughout the recovery process, addicts commonly find themselves confronted by worry, fear, anxiety, and panic, often in response to situations, people, and circumstances that are beyond their ability to control. That fear response can be a trigger, often leading to cravings and inevitably, relapse. If a person trying to recover from a lifestyle of substance abuse doesn’t figure out constructive ways to deal with this scenario, long-term sobriety may never be a reality.

Facing things we can’t control often leads to a certain type of anxiety that’s caused by the sensation of uneasiness due to the lack of an ability to change something. There are many things in life that we’re faced with that we don’t have the ability to control. Sometimes, we can’t control what other people do or say. We can’t control other drivers on the road. We can’t control the weather, unfortunately, and we also can’t control the fact that our world is currently in the midst of a major health crisis and is constantly at war.

And with all these things none of us individually have the ability to control, panic starts to spread like wildfire. As a society, we begin to focus on everything we can’t control. We ruminate on our lack of control and we hop onto our social media accounts to further discuss our inability. Before you know it, we have a large portion of our society that falls into complete apathy. Instead of talking about a lack of control, it changes to

“Well, whatever is going to happen, will happen I guess…”


*Sigh* “There’s nothing we can do about it anyway…”

What would happen if instead, we focused on the things we can control? Rather than hanging our heads low and kicking a rock down the street with our hands in our pockets, what if we looked at the parts of the world, current affairs, and things we don’t like about life and figure out what we actually have control over?

The big secret of life is that there are so many things we can control. We can control how we cope with stress, anxiety, and fear. We can control whether or not we ask for help for something we can’t fix on our own. We can control our emotions, our fears, and we can control who we help and when we help them. We can control our own lives, and if we can’t, we can control our pride and lean on someone for support. We can control whether or not we fight, and we can control whether or not we roll over and die. We can control finding the positivity in each day and we can control not buying into the negativity. Whether it’s a right turn, or a left turn, it’s our decision. It’s YOUR decision what to do. As long as any of us have a choice in life, any choice, we have control, and control is a very powerful thing.

So, let me ask. What are YOU going to do with your control?


Jason Good

Jason has been working in the field of addiction and recovery for over 10 years. Having been an addict himself he brings real-word experience to the table when helping addicts and their families, while also offering a first-person perspective to the current drug crisis. Jason is passionate about educating the public about what’s currently going on in our society, and thankfully, offers practical solutions. Jason is also the co-host of The Addiction Podcast—Point of No Return. You can follow Jason on Google+, Twitter, or connect with him on LinkedIn.