I am going to have to make some very difficult decisions soon. These decisions, they’re not happy ones. They’re not akin to choosing which university to attend, or where to take a vacation. Nope. These decisions are going to be quite sobering, an appropriate characteristic given my status as a newly recovering addict. I cannot, at this time at least, reveal exactly what fork-in-the-road moments loom on my horizon, but I can tell you what guiding principle I hope to employ when the hour comes: Integrity.
A standard definition of integrity is, “adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.” Those words are straightforward enough, and wonderfully complimented by a few quotes found with a simple Google search. Bob Marley said, “The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and ability to affect those around him positively.” Oprah Winfrey shared her thoughts on the subject when she said, “Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing nobody is going to know whether you did it or not.” My favorite quote of the bunch comes from the comparatively little known and now late businessman and philanthropist W. Clement Stone, whose words still urge us to, “Have the courage to say no. Have the courage to face the truth. Do the right thing because it is right. These,” he continued,
“are the magic keys to
living your life with
In the last year I’ve been able to accomplish something truly remarkable. I defeated an opioid addiction that was destroying my mind, body and soul. I still have to pinch myself when I think about what I’ve overcome. It wasn’t an easy thing to do. I’m now recovering from years of hardcore substance abuse, and doing so while figuring out how to manage very tangible mental illness.
I’ve only been able to accomplish what I have with an extraordinary amount of help. First and foremost, my parents have supported me in every way possible. From my son I gain the motivation to persevere through the darkest moments. My job has truly been a gift. So too has this newspaper, and its readers. Hell, even Judge Barnard and Lapeer County Drug Court have been a serious help. I am grateful for and humbled by all of the love and assistance I’ve been blessed with on this journey. In a short time, I have come a long way. But for all my accomplishments I haven’t been living with integrity, at least not in the sort of uncompromising way that I think is inherent in its very nature.
Another favorite quote of mine comes from author and motivational speaker Stephen Covey, who said, “There are three constants in life…change, choice and principles.” I’ve already succeeded in choosing life over death. Now, I must decide what to do with it. I know I must learn to adapt to change while doing the right thing. I know I must be honest with myself and with others. I know I absolutely have to live with integrity, damn the consequences. My commitment to doing so makes the coming obstacles seem a bit more daunting, but I’m optimistic and I believe I’m prepared.
This should be fun.
Email Tim at tct@pageone-inc.com.