My son graduated from his year-long sober living program last month. We attended his graduation, as well as the graduation of his good friend last night. I have gained so much from listening to these young men speak about what they've learned in the program! The best part of it for me is that they condense it into a quick catch-phrase that they can fall back on when faced with temptation. Here are a few of my favorites: 1. Play the Tape Through. Think ahead to what the long-term consequences of a decision are, not just the short-term effects. My son applies this to all major decisions, not just the decision to abstain. 2. Suffer Like A Boss. Sometimes doing the right thing HURTS. We can feel victimized, resentful and trapped as we do so, or we can remember those who have come before us, like Gandhi, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., and Jesus. We can suffer with purpose and commitment. 3. We Don't Deserve It, but We're Worth It. None of us "deserve" the grace of a second chance or the blessings we take for granted. But we are all worthy to receive those things. We know that because we are here. 4. Addiction Has A Good Side Too. People come to rehab with no choice but to work through their unhealthy coping mechanisms and personality defects. If they don't, they will likely die. Non-addicts may also have dysfunctional coping or personality issues, but they may manage to go through their lives without ever having to address those problems. They MANAGE. In that sense, the recovering addict might be better off than the non-addict. They address the things that hold them back, while others might not ever feel the call to do so.