Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, a 850-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992 when he had a year sober. He's in his 27th year of recovery.

In these posts, he views life mostly through the lenses of recovery. While the blog is factual, he sometimes disguises events and people to protect anonymity.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Perfection

Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good” Voltaire

Often we addicts strive for perfection. And when we don’t achieve it we beat ourselves up.

We might seek the perfect job. To do the perfect 4th step. Have the perfect relationship. And when we don’t achieve these unrealistic goals we get down on ourselves because we live in the black and white world of absolutes. Either perfect or nothing.

Sometimes it’s okay if things are just good. They don’t have to be perfect. They don’t even have to be the best. Maybe good enough is okay, because that's progress.

Some of us spent half our lives falling short of what the world expected of us. We didn’t live up to our potential in school or on the job because of our love affair with drugs and alcohol. And it didn't matter much because we covered our feelings with chemicals.

Once in the light of recovery our shortcomings become obvious. And sometimes we overcompensate by trying to be perfect.

A balanced recovery incorporates the 12-step idea that progress is more important than perfection. There's a satisfaction in looking at our hard work and telling ourselves that we're doing okay. Not perfect, but moving forward.

Trying to be perfect is high stress, something most of us addicts don't handle well.

Click here for an interesting article about trying to be perfect.

Click here to email John