The Power of Momentum

The Power of Momentum

  • June 03, 2019

I remember as a child my father trying to teach me about the principle of momentum.  He said he did an experiment in his younger life where he was able to use a cork on a string to get a bowling ball on a cable to go into a wide sway.  The experiment involved the cork swinging and colliding with the bowling ball.  To the passive observer it would seem as though nothing happens to the bowling ball, but the truth is that the small cork causes the slightest movement in the large bowling ball. 

As you might be guessing, the cork is able to get an even larger movement out of the bowling ball the next time it hits it, if it hits it at the right time.  As the ball is hitting the end of it’s swing, and about to swing back the other way, if the tiny cork hits the ball at just that moment, it adds to the momentum the ball already has, and causes it to swing slightly further.  If this is repeated over and over, a small cork will have set a heavy bowling ball into large movements, full of momentum.

In life we can sometimes feel the same as the small cork.  We have all kinds of bowling balls in front of us that we wish we could move.  There perhaps is no greater time we will feel this way while in treatment at Shadow Mountain Recovery, as recovery, though absolutely possible, can seem daunting and difficult.  We have to remember the principle of the cork and bowling ball.  We won’t be able to solve all of our problems in one go, one try.  We shouldn’t really expect to.  Instead we practice patience and persistence; we take it a step at a time.  We remember that even though our problems seem much bigger than us, we are able to move them over time.

Recovering from an addiction is no exception.  The effect of being in recovery on day one versus a few weeks or even months in recovery can be indescribably different.  It all has to do with the momentum we have built in our recovery.  To build up this momentum we must put in the work consistently, and at the right times.  It takes a lot of learning to recognize the right times to try to build momentum.  If the cork strikes the ball while the ball is on the wrong swing, it can take away a tiny bit of momentum. 

The good news is that even if you miss a good opportunity to build momentum, or if you hit at the wrong time, decreasing your momentum, it doesn’t mean you have lost it all.  Get the timing right again and keep at it.  You can recover what was lost without having to start over, as long as you don’t let it keep happening.  People that are successful in life, at whatever is important to them, have mastered the ability to build and sustain momentum.  People that achieve recovery and sustain it have also mastered the ability to maintain their momentum in sobriety and in eventual full and compete recovery.

The trained and experienced professionals at Shadow Mountain Recovery can help.  They can help get momentum started with you, and help you to know when and how to proceed to add more momentum to your recovery.  If addiction is a giant obstacle in front of you, build up the power of momentum and watch it gradually be removed from your path.

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