Your job is to do your part. No more; no less. 

We can’t change the entire world. We can’t change our entire lives. 

But we can play a part. We can contribute to the forces that WILL change the world. We can contribute to changing our lives. 

All we can do is what we can do— and it’s on us to do that. 

Don’t let what you can’t do, keep you from doing what you can do. 

There are lots of factors that go into addiction— many of which aren’t in our control. There are genetic and systemic factors that contribute that our vulnerability to addiction that we couldn’t control if we tried. 

But the fact that we can’t control those genetic and systemic (and cultural and situational) factors doesn’t mean we have ZERO control over our vulnerability to addiction. 

We have SOME wiggle room in our choices. 

We have SOME control over what to focus on and how to talk to ourselves. 

There are lots of factors that go into our vulnerability to trauma and dissociation. We did NOT have the choice over “whether” to be exposed to the kind of trauma that results in PTSD— and we didn’t have the choice for our nervous system to “opt out” of being traumatized. 

But the fact that we did not control what happened to us, doesn’t mean we have ZERO say in how we respond to and cope with our post traumatic and dissociative symptoms. 

We have SOME wiggle room in the skills and tools we learn and use. 

Even in the midst of intense abreactions and dissociative episodes, we have SOME control over our focus and our self-talk. 

Many people approach how we deal with our struggles as all-or-nothing: they assume we either have complete control over our experience, or no influence at all. 

They think that it’s either our fault we’re struggling as much as we are— or that we have no control anyway, so why bother trying. 

Recovery isn’t black and white like that— because life isn’t black and white like that. 

Recovery will NEVER ask you to try to control or influence something you just can’t. 

In fact, recovery is VERY often about accepting what you can’t influence— and being realistic about what you CAN influence. 

(There’s a reason why one of the most popular recovery tools is the famous Serenity Prayer, which reminds us that there are things we can and can’t control— and that it takes wisdom to tell the difference.) 

It’s vey difficult, when we’re down a rabbit hole of hurt and hopelessness, to remember that there really ARE things that we CAN control and influence in our life— even if those things don’t seem very big or important right now. 

Pain and fear very often try to convince us that we shouldn’t even bother trying to change anything in our lives. They’ll whisper in our ear (or shout in our face) that what we do simply doesn’t matter— so we may as well not try. 

It’s not true. 

The stuff you CAN do right here, right now, may not seem like much in the grand scheme— but we don’t need it to be. 

Start with the inside of your own head. 

Start with how you consciously, intentionally talk to yourself. 

Start with the language and metaphors you use with yourself. 

Taking purposeful charge of your focus, your self-talk, and your metaphors— no matter how hopeless or overwhelming the situation seems to be— is the first step to feeling more in control. 

Making the inside of your head a safer place for yourself is always worth the effort. 

Don’t worry about solving all the problems. 

Don’t worry about “fixing” the entire situation. 

Don’t worry about changing the entire world. 

Focus on doing the teeny, tiny thing you CAN do- right here, right now, inside your head. 

No more. No less. 

One thought on “Your job is to do your part. No more; no less.

  1. The 1% rule is golden. It makes a difference for me in a moment of potential overwhelm and steers me away from all or nothing thinking–if I can catch myself in time. Thank you so much, Doc!


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