Someone texted me this today:
If something’s not working for you, fix it, change it, direct it.
The comment was not made about trying to be Alcohol-Free, just my life in general. However, I did start thinking about it in the AF sense.
Here I am at Day 4 alcohol-free. I feel okay – not great, not bad, just okay – which is okay for Day 4.
We have probably all had moments of wanting to or wishing we could fix ourselves. If we could just remove the part of us that compels us towards alcohol (or any other addictive substance) we’d be fixed right?
But we all come to understand that we can’t fix ourselves in an alcohol dependent sense any more than we fix ourselves after someone we love dies or leaves.
We can’t fix this. We can only change the way we respond to it. We can only assimilate it into ourselves and go on in a new direction.
We are all here because we want change. But we stall on the how of that change. It’s the reason we go for months or years wanting change but not changing.
Change is hard
Change is hard. It’s not just committing to it, it is figuring out how to do it. And with going Alcohol Free, the how can change daily as we change and as we encounter new challenging situations.
Every time we fall off the wagon can feel like a failure – a failure to successfully change – but every time we climb back on, we prove both that we have a desire to change and that we are changing.
So what of direction. How do we direct this? How do we direct ourselves. Personally I feel more like a Director most days, shooting a movie about a girl who really should have been dead in a gutter long ago, but is still, by the grace of an entourage of angels, standing.
Direction is something I think a lot of us lack. It happens partly because we are really not sure what to do with ourselves, how to live, how to adult, without booze. It’s part of the reason we run back to it. Life without our crutch can be scary. And the need to run back to ‘safety’ is strong.
But that safety is not real. The love of your life is a snake in your bed. He offers you escape from all the big meanies and scaries, while he quietly tightens the noose around your neck and the bindings on your wrists and ankles.
When others try to save you from him, he whispers in your ear
They don’t know you like I do, love you like I do. I am all you need.
Alcohol is an abusive, controlling lover.
Staying on an Alcohol Free course
Plotting a Alcohol Free course is every bit as hard as leaving an abusive lover – take it from me. In some ways I would even argue it can be harder.
Society takes a dim view of abusive lovers. But us? Well we did it to ourselves – no one held our noses and poured the booze down our throats now did they. And we could just stop.
This is why we can cop so much flack from people. The disapproval that alters people’s perceptions of us when they learn the truth, and in turn changes the way they treat and regard us.
Fix. Change. Direct.
We can’t fix our addiction but we can heal ourselves in many ways – heal our view of ourselves and how we treat ourselves. We can also try to heal the relationships we have damaged – this is the nearest we can get to fixed.
We can change. We can change how we view alcohol and our relationship with it, the situations we walk into and how we respond to them, the way we respond to temptation, the way in which we articulate what we want and need to get through this.
We can direct our lives. We can grab the wheel and stop the swerve. We can delete from our lives that which does not serve us and what we want to achieve – the toxic relationships and behaviours.
My challenge for you today is take something in your life, anything, that needs or is worthy of fixing, changing or directing.
Fix it. Change it. Direct it.
When we take hold of the reigns we generate a sense of power – a sense of control – and that in and of itself is a catalyst for change.
Be the change you want in your life.
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