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From ‘Failure’ to Success

Issue 25

Although I’m quick to share my accomplishments on social media, I sometimes forget that sharing my failures and admitting defeat also can be an accomplishment.

When I first heard about surrender in early recovery, I hated that word. I hated the idea of admitting defeat and thought that somehow this and that failure would add up to affecting the way people saw me – and whether they’d love me.

I didn’t understand yet the freedom in surrendering and admitting defeat. A definition that I heard early in recovery was that surrender was to choose to go to the winning side. Recovery is definitely the winning side.

A good friend of mine recently admitted defeat. He was driving up a mountain, and part way up, had really scary thoughts and a sense of panic that he could die on this road. Instead of pushing through and feeling a need to prove something to others so they wouldn’t see him as a failure, he chose instead to head down the mountain.

He chose self care. And he went a step further by sharing this choice on social media, a platform where people often share their judgment of the lives of others.

I was very encouraged by his bravery and authenticity in that moment, and it reminded me that my failures don’t defeat me – my beliefs about my failures defeat me. I think of the times that I had used folks in recovery to make me feel better about myself making another bad choice, and then suffering from it. But through a series of those bad choices/decisions and all the work that I’ve done to learn how to love myself, I’ve started making different choices, moving from failure to success.

I started sharing more honestly with the people who care about me and didn’t judge me. I remembered that people are judging themselves, too, and I found some compassion. Compassion given to ourselves in a moment we could deem as failure is one of the most loving and kind things we can do.

So when we share openly, we show other people that compassion for themselves during their trials is a form of self love, and that it’s not a failure. It’s a success.

Niki Curtis
Niki Curtis
Niki Curtis of Portland is a woman in long-term recovery whose passion is to help others and spread positivity. She loves to find creative ways to do that, including writing for Journey.

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