“We can do hard.”
When I recently heard Reverend Kim Crawford Harvie say these words I thought that two things added to their power. First was that she said them firmly and gently – not with anger. Secondly was her emphasis on the “we.” It reminded me of how discouraged our patients can be in their struggles toward recovery and the critical importance of distinguishing between the difficult and the impossible. That is where the “we” comes in. Two people can sometimes accomplish what one cannot. Recovery can be delayed by a person’s insistence that they must do this on their own. There is a recovery saying that, “I alone can do this but I cannot do it alone.” Because losing perspective in early recovery happens so often, it can be helpful to have contact with someone else who is experienced in the process and can remind the struggling addict, “We can do hard.”
I was also struck when Kim later said, “A diamond is coal that has done well under pressure.” Some types of pride, along with complacency, can interfere with recovery. I think, however, that anyone who is in recovery from an addiction has earned the right to embrace that quote and enjoy the satisfaction of having accomplished something that is difficult but not impossible, especially if they have allowed themselves to do it with the help of others.