It isn’t easy. And as a drunk, it feels like it is too much of an ask. I don’t know why we as a group seem to be born with this idea that the world should change to accommodate us and our ever shifting demands and needs. But we do. We change our values to fit our behavior, where it seems that normal people change their behavior to fit their values. Fundamental difference in the approach to life right there.
I have changed a lot over the years. Like a fuckton. But even with all that I have changed (well, me and God and whole lotta sponsoring and step work) I am still so very flawed and a work in progress. And despite seeing that in myself and others, I still maintain this old idea that someday I will arrive at that place where all the work can cease and I can just rest comfortably in my progress, lifted up and away from all this drudgery of footwork.
Um, we call that old idea a delusion. And it has to be smashed.
My sponsor wrote about this topic today and I so appreciated her words. She is struggling with a seemingly small change but like all change, it only seems that way until you try to actually change it.
This is how my mind operates:
“Hey, why don’t you make a dietary change too. Like quit sugar again?”
“Sure! Ok! That sounds great! Let’s do that!”
I actually begin to do that...
“Hey this blows! Weren’t you over reacting a bit?”
“YES! Totally an over-reaction! We can just go eat 12 candy bars right now...”
And that is how I relapse on any productive strides I try to take in my life. How I have made it this long without a drink or a drug is God’s own private miracle. For which I am immensely and life alteringly grateful!
Changing ANY behavior is hard.
Staying committed to the change is excruciating.
Living with a head that mocks your desire to change is brutal.
I mean, fuck, I have already quit drinking and drugging, what the fuck else does the universe want from me??
Behavior changes? UM, NO!
Lifestyle changes? I THINK NOT.
But, but, it is that foundation of recovery that actually supports all the other growth and behavioral changes. I made this decision to cease killing myself with drugs and booze. So why on earth would I continue to do shit that may kill me slower but will drastically alter my lifespan? Because, as I think I previously mentioned, change is fucking hard. Deciding to do it is hard, actually doing it is hard and living with the decision and all its uncomfortability is fucking difficult.
We change because we are no longer able to survive in whatever container we were previously living in, and we need to transplant ourselves into something that befits our growth. Sometimes it is a divorce, sometimes it is no more sodium, sometimes it is taking small, basic actions that support a larger overall plan. Wait, that is all growth, always.
We do not live sober over night, except we do. We make a decision one day to stop and then the next day we do. And then we make that same decision over and over and over again. And our commitment to that decision, the repetition of that same decision over time, gives rise to the function of being able to continue to make different, life affirming decisions. We do not get well over night, but we begin each day with an opportunity. It is totally up to us what we choose.
Today, I can be the change I want to see in my life or I can choose to live in the exquisite pain of failing to change. The best and the worst part, is that it is really always up to me. And that my friends is the greatest gift and biggest lesson, that I always have the choice towards that which will support my growth or towards more decisions that remove growth from my life. Behavior is purposeful, so it is really up to me whether I move closer to that which gives me life or towards those decisions that take life from me.
And that right there is the hardest thing about living my life: I am in it making all these decisions and often, so often, I forget that without God as the director, I am totally fucked. I pick the wrong shit for the wrong reason...still.
Today, I begin this new day, committed to making changes in my behavior that befit a life that serves universal goodness and that means that I do my best not to hurt me or anyone else today.
Enjoy your path today.