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Maybe you’ve heard the expression, “Don’t quit before the miracle.” So many people do. They get tired of waiting and think things will never get better, either for themselves or others. But giving up is always a mistake.

There are three things in life in which you never want to give up; yourself, the addict, and time.

You Are Worth the Effort

Never give up on yourself because you are worth all the effort it takes to achieve your highest dreams. If you haven’t succeeded, it’s probably because the timing isn’t perfect, there’s something better in store for you, or you are doing something to block your success.

We are often the greatest obstacles to our goals. Every one of us has a part of our mind that is quite capable of sabotaging us. It’s cunning and sneaky; we don’t see how it’s pulling our strings – a little slip here and corner-cutting there. All the while, zig-zagging off the main road and away from the goal.

First of all, have you defined your goal? If you don’t know where you want to go, you won’t be able to get there.

If you’re not hitting your goal, you might want to get outside support to help you identify where you’re interfering with your own success. Friends can do this, but this might not be a successful plan unless they’ve been taught how to communicate with honesty and love. Therapists and coaches are trained to help you see yourself more clearly.

Every Addict is Worth Saving

Never give up on the addict because your faith may be the only thread keeping that person alive. This doesn’t mean you take on their problems. You simply learn to “detach with love.”

People with addictions give up on themselves. They’re lost in the maze of a hijacked mind, filled with guilt and shame. When you can see past the addiction and focus on their gifts, you fan the candle to their soul. You never know when the simplest act of love will provide enough light to inspire the addict to get better. I have seen this countless times. Love heals all.

People often get angry and disgusted with people who have addictions. But most addicts, if given a chance, will tell you no one is more ashamed than themselves.

People who love addicts feel helpless and hopeless and worry they’ve caused the loved one to be self-destructive. If this were true, no one would recover from addiction. However, all addicts have had trauma, even if self-inflicted, and some of the worst cases have recovered and led productive lives. You are not responsible for the addiction, and you should never assume responsibility for someone else’s choices. We never stop caring, but we don’t engage in unhealthy relationships either.

We don’t know why so many people carry the burden of addiction; millions do. If we focus on our own habits and dependencies, we are more likely to be happy and, furthermore, inspire others to get better as well. We should be cautious about focusing on another while ignoring our own shortcomings.

Most importantly, if you love an addict, focus on change, not failure. Just like you, every person has a mission and purpose here. The world is full of addiction. Some of us with this disease have turned it into a mission of helping others achieve recovery and success.

Timing is Everything

Timing is everything. How often have we heard that a romantic possibility came into full bloom years after the initial meeting? Or someone who said they would have never appreciated the job offer at a sooner point in time? Or what about those coincidences in life that bestowed unexpected blessings at the perfect time?

It’s easy to feel stranded and abandoned when things aren’t going as quickly as you’d like. Spiritual fortitude results from developing patience and knowing that things will happen in the perfect way and in ideal times. If you interfere and settle for less or rush things along, you will never experience those fortuitous events. Even worse, you will likely stay stuck in the hamster wheel of self-will and repeat the same mistakes time and time again. Once you learn how to do the work, then sit back and watch the miracle materialize, you develop faith in something other than yourself – such as divine order.

No matter how things may seem, never give up. Every human being is worth the gift of effort and time, and so are you. It’s not necessary to react to mistakes. Simply learn and grow from them. Some seeds grow fast, others much longer. Cedar trees take years to become massive but are among the sturdiest. It’s not for us to judge the amount of time it takes for someone to fulfill their purpose. But whether it’s you or someone else, never give up. Never.

Join the Movement

Donna Marks believes that the models for diagnosis, treatment, and addiction have failed. Her mission is to help save at least one million lives by 2030, through education and prevention. She has been an author, consultant, educator, public speaker, licensed psychotherapist, and addictions counselor in private practice in Palm Beach, Florida for more than thirty years. In 1989, Dr. Marks developed a chemical dependency treatment program at Palm Beach Community College, that has since grown into a four-year degree program, and for which she was granted an Award of Appreciation. She became licensed as a Mental Health Counselor in 1987. In 1989, she earned a Doctorate Degree in Adult Education, then became a Certified Addictions Professional, Certified Gestalt Therapist, Certified Psychoanalyst, Hypnotherapist, and Certified Sex Therapist.

Dr. Marks is the author of the 22-award winning book, Exit the Maze: One Addiction, One Cause, One Cure.

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