There is so much more to life than just being educated, smart, good-looking and determined. Do you know that most of life’s choices are based on having courage? Are you using this quality?
Courage is the most important virtue I think because to make the choice or decision that leads you to success, you must have the courage to do so. What then is courage?
According to me, ….courage is a combination of bravery and wisdom, that is, having knowledge which is sensible and being brave enough to make a choice or decision considered risky but worth taking anyway since it could lead to outright success or absolute failure.
Here’s another view. The dictionary says that courage is “the ability to control fear and to deal with danger, pain, uncertainty, bravery.” Just as I thought.
In my chats with colleagues, patients, family, friends, and acquaintances, I have become aware of the fact that we are not able to fulfill our destinies or fullest potentials because we lack courage. Our decisions are too clouded by thoughts of “fear of failure or disappointment” thus we fail to think about “what if I make it.”
There’s a saying that love shadows other emotions but surprisingly, it doesn’t cover our battles with self- doubt. Some of us fail to achieve happiness with the people we love because we’re afraid of getting hurt. Therefore, we would rather be with someone who is not likely to hurt us because we would rather not take chances with someone we gel with on all sides due to the same thoughts of “what if it doesn’t work out? / What if I get hurt?”
Instead, we will settle for a partner who is “safe for our hearts”. But to think of it, is there anyone who can be totally, completely safe for our hearts? I certainly do not think there’s a person who isn’t capable of making us cry or angry.
An issue that has also come up in chats with my group-(mentioned above) is that many people will never take the risk of a profession they love because of “what if it doesn’t work out? / What if I’m not able to make enough money to feed my family” whilst there’s a flip side “what if I do well, make enough money to feed my family and still do what I love best and be happy as a result.”
Courage, as we have seen, is important for us to have a more fulfilling life, relationship, and career. With more of us exuding courage in the world, we would be happier, stronger and more fulfilled I think. Matter of fact, I know.
Which is why henceforth, I am going to be more courageous because courage can bring you countless happiness, strength, beauty and all other desires of your heart.
So, I won’t hide behind my doubts and oh you shouldn’t either. In order that we won’t live a life of regret and try to pacify ourselves with unhealthy addictions. It is true, feelings of regret can be a trigger of unhealthy addictions including substance abuse. Keep that in mind.

Addiction as a Disease: What is Addiction?

Have you ever looked down your nose at a drunken or high individual and blamed them for allowing themselves to be in that state? Or have you looked at such an individual and thought there’s no way you could ever end up in that state? A state where you abuse alcohol, marijuana, hallucinogens such as LSD/ PCP, Inhalants such as paint thinners, stimulants such as cocaine/ methamphetamine, opioid pain killers such as oxycodone/ codeine/ heroin or sedatives, hypnotics and tobacco?

The truth is, that drunken or high individual never thought s/he could ever be in such a sorry state. Why? The answer to drug addiction and substance abuse is unfortunately no easy one and it is linked to science and psychology.

For years, most people have associated addiction and substance abuse to morality. It was the notion of most people that having high moral values and standards could solve this problem. However, through scientific advancements, experts have found out that sheer willpower and strong morals alone cannot solve the problem of drug addiction. This is the reason why addiction and substance abuse has ceased to be classified as a social problem but rather a disease.

Whiles drug addiction and substance abuse have been classified as a disease, unlike other diseases, it is tricky to notice the onset of it’s symptoms including strong cravings, risky use or drug effects but like other diseases, it has its fair share of accompanied ailments like mental illness.

So, if drug addiction and substance abuse is a disease, which part of the body does it affect? Well, it’s the brain. Drugs such as those mentioned above changes normal brain functioning and distorts certain roles of the brain when it comes to judgement, learning, behavior control, decision making and memory capabilities.

In the initial stages of this disease, many people take drugs due to curiosity or peer pressure, to relieve stress levels, to feel good or better or to improve performance levels. These drugs are able to give individuals these desired feelings when they become intoxicated. Overtime, the body builds tolerance to these drugs and needs larger amounts to produce the desired effects and this when the drug addiction rears its ugly head.

At this disease state, it is a very long road to recovery but the good thing is that, outpatient programs, hospital interventions, therapeutic environments in addition to willpower can be helpful in managing the condition.


Mine has been great! It was not easy to get through though.

I was invited to a friend’s wedding. It was a beautiful ceremony but I couldn’t wait to leave. I just wanted to dodge the reception; there will be alcohol and I didn’t want to have to go through ‘that’ anymore.

I have struggled to get sober over ten years. I was finally able to achieve total abstinence two years ago. I have also made progress in my relationship with my family, I am more focused at work now and have started dating too. Yes, a lot of progress indeed. I do not want to mess it all up. I do not want to disappoint myself as well as all the people in my life.

The ceremony had finally ended, pictures had been taken. Just as I was making my way out of the church, she saw me; an old friend I had attended high school with. It was great to see her, she looked great. ‘Come with me to the reception’, she said, it’s been such a long time. Let’s catch up’. Before I could say a word, she pulled me along into the crowd, straight into the wine and all the alcohol you could think of.

All of a sudden, I couldn’t breathe, I started having flashbacks of ‘those days’, ‘the bad old days’ when I used to drink without a care in the world. Then she offered me a drink. Spontaneously, without thinking, I took the drink. Just as I was about to drink it, I remembered what my counselor said,

‘before you take another drink, think about the harm that could come out of that momentary satisfaction of a craving, which can never be satisfied with a thousand more of that first drink. Think about all the hard work you have put in so far…..’

With an enormous amount of courage, I handed back the drink to her and said, ‘I am AA, two years sober and I got to go now’. I walked out of there with my head held up high. I focused on the joy of the victory of what I had overcome and not on the guilt of what I could have done. I would not forget it though, I’ll always remember this day, as a great learning experience.

So smile and focus on the little victories of the day because always remember, ‘it could have been worse…….’

By Anonymous


Recovery from drug addiction or any other form of addiction for that matter is a long road which you need to travel for the rest of your life.

Taking it a day at a time is the best course of action. A step at a time, little by little. No rush.

This journey will be full of ”mountains, valleys, rain, sunshine, floods, droughts, famine, accidents and many other trials”. But in the face of all this, perseverance is key!

When you fall, get up and go on!

Never give up, you are capable of doing more than you can imagine. You are strong enough. Keep walking ahead.

Let go of the baggage (shame, guilt, resentment, fear, anger, anxiety and anything that makes you weary), travel light;  you are sure to feel better and be focused on the road so as to be able to avoid the obstacles that lie ahead.

Believe in yourself. Don’t do this alone, seek support from friends and loved ones.