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“If Only” and “What If”

Jul 8, 2022

Jerry Green | Recovery Services Manager

Two main symptoms of the disease of alcoholism/addiction in my life were the “if only” and “what if” symptoms.

The “if only” part of this deal was really an endless quest for happiness.

It started as a small child for me. If only I had that toy, that family, or those friends, I would be happy. Then, as I got older, it changed to that girl, that motorcycle, that car, or that wife. In business, later on, it became if I could buy that house, land a certain contract, or make a certain amount of money, I would be happy.

The funny thing is I achieved almost everything I wished for, usually at the expense of the people that loved me the most and a lot of manipulation of other people. Yet the happiness was fleeting at best. I was just never okay with any given situation. At the end of what I perceived as a horrible day, I needed to use to escape. At the end of what I thought was a great day, I needed to change how I felt by “celebrating.” I was trying to run life to suit myself.

The “what if” part of this process was just as bad.

What if I lose it? What if this happens? Real alcoholics and addicts will relate to this. We are egomaniacs with inferiority complexes. Deep down, I know I don’t deserve these things. I was always waiting for the other shoe to drop. Can you relate to that sense of impending doom?

As it turned out, I began to work the steps with the desperation of a drowning man. As a result, these things are no longer driving my thoughts or my actions. I am content with what I have materially and otherwise. There is no longer that incessant need to obtain everything.

My life is no longer run by fear either.

I know today that whatever I have, do, or say that is good, is a gift from God. I don’t deserve any of it, but my Creator pours out His grace. Even when I perceive things as not good, it is an opportunity to draw closer to my God and grow every time.

It’s just this simple. For the first 51 years of my life, I tried to grab happiness and peace from external things. Today I know without a doubt that these things cannot make me happy, nor can they make me drink. It is being on the firing line of life helping others that brings real peace, real joy, and real contentment.


Origins Recovery Center is a well-known care provider offering a range of treatment programs targeting the recovery from substance use, mental health issues, and beyond. Our primary mission is to provide a clear path to a life of healing and restoration.

We offer renowned clinical care for addiction and have the compassion and professional expertise to guide you toward lasting sobriety.

For information on our programs, call us today: 866-875-1558.

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