I had the most incredible eight days at home last week and I am feeling more fired up and passionate than I have a long time. It wasn’t just about spending time with the people that matter to me, but also getting the opportunity to stretch myself mentally. Learning and growing intellectually has always been important to me and since I stopped drinking it has become more of a focus than before. I found that when I was drinking I’d get very enthusiastic about ideas when I was caught up in the moments fueled by alcohol, but not feel as excited about my newly hatched plans when I woke up in the morning. What I’ve found though is that now when I make plans they are far more long-lasting and my designs don’t fade in the harsh light of day. Rather my conceptions grow and develop the more time I spend nurturing them.
In my twenties and early thirties I had all sorts of grandiose schemes that I’d conceptualise with friends late at night. Often they’d be hazy the following morning and even feel silly, and within a few days or weeks they’d be discarded to be replaced the next Friday night with something which would prove to be equally fleeting. I don’t think that it was the ideas that were ridiculous, rather that I lacked the self-worth and confidence to follow through on them. And of course bringing plans to fruition takes dedication, hard work and even personal sacrifice, none of which I was willing to undertake while I was destructively fixated on my drinking. Plus these would definitely detract from my drinking (and recovery) time and seemed far too much like drudgery at the time. So I’d flit from one set of goals and aspirations to the next, never settling on anything for long enough to bring it to life.
However, as my sobriety becomes deeper and richer I have started to become increasingly excited about my plans for the future. And the more inspired and motivated I have become the more opportunities have begun to unfold. While I was in South Africa I got the chance to attend one day of a Wealth Seminar hosted by Wright Thurston, which was an event that has opened my eyes to many new and interesting ideas. This event was just one wonderful experience that materialised in the short time I was home. It has started to feel like all the practices I have put in place in my life are all starting to pay off. My personal commitment to practice the “Habit Of Gratitude” on a daily basis is beginning to shower untold personal gifts on me. Yes, I try and stay positive and upbeat, but over the months I’ve also learned how to overcome obstacles in my life, not by trying to ignore them, but rather embracing them and seeing what they are trying to bring me.
Becoming more clear about my goals and ambitions has also brought a new clarity to my future. Rather than wallowing around in a misty fairyland I have started to implement systems into my life that will lead me towards achieving my big dreams. I’m a long way off, but instead of being overwhelmed by the magnitude of the task as I would get when I was drinking, I am invigorated by the steps that I am taking to reach my destination. I’ve started to take more and more pleasure in the journey, rather than wanting the instant gratification in which addiction is so solidly based. Of course there are days when I stumble, but instead of retreating to the closest bar, I pick myself up and reevaluate the situation. This is something I never did in the past and I’d throw my hands up at the first sign of difficultly and move onto the next best thing. The problem with that is that I never saw anything through and never actually got to the point where I was even sure whether these ideas where even something I could accomplish. It being far easier to give up than fail in my mind. I’m learning that failure is not the end of the road, rather just the chance to take stock and decide what action to take next.
So plan, dream, aspire and stretch yourself as you move through recovery and never ever be scared of falling, because it makes you stronger, wiser and more determined when you pick yourself up and keep going!