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Who are our role models? Who do we look up to and aspire to be like? The greats, the influential and the well-loved are usually at the top of that list. But before you turn admiringly to your Michael Jordan poster, we suggest you make space for one more name: yours.

You’re the main character in your own story and the only person who will ever live it cover to cover, so why not give yourself the leading role you deserve? Why not be the hero of your own story?

Fortifiers, if you’ve done any kind of program or counseling for your addiction, then you’ve heard a lot of terms like “powerlessness,” “toxic shame,” “hijacking,” etc. All this talk can make us feel like we have zero control over what happens in our own lives. We feel too messed up, too broken. Sometimes we can lose track of the fact that we are the ones who have to make these changes. Here are some tips on how to do just that:

1. Don’t Skip Training Day

Make this battle your passion. Eat, sleep, and breathe recovery. Play the Rocky theme song if you have to. Get pumped up and start making changes. Learn everything you can from the Fortify Program and use the tools like gadgets in your utility belt. Things like the STAR Method and healthy rational responses are your new go-to. Every superhero is what they are because they took the time to make it happen. It might not be as easy or quick as a movie montage but it is most definitely possible.

2. Know Your Kryptonite

Something you will discover as soon as you start this journey to heroism is that it is hardDon’t freak out. And don’t stress. That’s actually a good thing. Everyone has weaknesses, addict or not. We need to know what they are and how to avoid them. On top of that, we need to accept them. If we do not accept our weaknesses for what they are, then we are in denial.

Having a weakness is not the same as making a mistake.  The only mistake is not working on our weaknesses to better ourselves. If we don’t accept the fact that we are flawed, in an honest and forgiving way, we cannot progress. Know your limits and love yourself.

This is where fighting smart matters. We aren’t talking about punching through walls here, we’re talking about rebuilding your brain. Will power is huge but you need to do this right. Learn from your mistakes and give yourself room to grow. There will be victories and defeats during this fight but that doesn’t mean you don’t have what it takes to win this war. Set your goals, take things one day, one step at a time and don’t forget to breathe.

3. Trust Your Sidekick

This is possibly the greatest trap for the hero; we all think we have to go it alone. We don’t want anyone to get hurt. We think that we can fix it ourselves.

Where do you think Batman would be without Robin? Or Ironman without Jarvis? Harry without Ron and Hermione?


This doesn’t have to happen to you. Addictions feed off of solitude and loneliness. Surround yourself with a support group, the bigger the better. Remember, each one of these people are the hero of their own story. They probably know a couple of tricks from their own stories and will be willing to help you in yours.

And there you have it, three easy steps and you have completed basic hero training. Whether you are a new recruit or a veteran fighter, keep these tips in mind. They will serve you well.