Just say yes

There are lots of tools in my armoury against addiction. Talking, my blog, my routine, my family and exercise to name a few.

But recently I have realised that there’s another tool I’ve been using for the last 2 or 3 years. It’s more of a mantra actually.

You see, I’ve completely changed my attitude towards life. Something that probably wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t been through a battle with alcoholism and liver disease.

Three years ago, I started saying ‘yes’ to every opportunity that came my way. Even if I thought there was little chance of anything good coming out of it. All because I had adopted the attitude of ‘I’ve got nothing to lose’.

In 2019 my family in Norway asked me to take part in a race up a mountain in Bergen. I said ‘yes’ and it ended up being a huge step forward in my recovery. It gave me confidence, something to focus on and a sense of achievement.

Now you’re probably thinking what’s this got to do with addiction recovery. And I would have been asking the same question too, up until recently.

It’s now clear to me that saying yes to things has been instrumental to my recovery. For starters, its kept me busy. But that’s just scratching the surface.

Saying yes has given me focus. It’s given me confidence again. It’s allowed me to build my self-respect back up. Not so long ago, I was on the floor. I hated myself and the fact that I had wasted so much of my life.

Me and some of my cousins up Stoltzekleiven in Bergen. This year or next, I plan on going back to Norway to race up the mountain again.

In a way, the day I decided to start writing this blog was a ‘yes’ moment, even if I was asking myself the question. It was definitely a ‘what have I got to lose moment’ anyway.

I’ve come to learn that you never know where an opportunity will take you. No matter how big or small you may think that ‘opportunity’ is.

I said ‘yes’ to writing this blog and entering ‘Breaking into News’ – a scheme to find Broadcast Journalist’s from diverse backgrounds. I now have a dream career and my blog is a cornerstone of my recovery.

I’ve been given a second chance at life and I’m not going to waste it. I literally couldn’t stomach sitting around waiting for things to come to me. That’s why the ‘I’ve got nothing to lose’ mantra comes in so handy.

Not only has saying ‘yes’ opened a lot of doors for me, it’s also kept my head in the right place. You can nearly always take something positive away from any situation – if you allow yourself too.

Everyone’s different, but in my recovery, saying ‘yes’ has been a revelation. Life is full of opportunities, but only if you’re willing to say YES! After all, what have you got to lose.

Thank you for reading and stay safe.


4 thoughts on “Just say yes

  1. Well done Toby in your continued journey still inspiring others … keep up your great work keep well keep safe .. so proud of you Sue


  2. Another inspiring and brilliant post Toby giving so much hope to so many . You would have turned so many lives around with your
    first hand knowledge of being in the deepest darkest place and showing that making that move to claw your way back,so so terribly hard can work. You are living proof of what can be done. We remember those dark days but we celebrate today. We love you Toby and so proud of you, not just for all you have achieved in your own life but for helping so many people who are in that dark place now to see a future.We love you Toby x


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