If Nothing Changes… Nothing Changes

We change at the speed of pain. ~ anonymous.

Lately, I am feeling like I am in early sobriety again. That period of time was so difficult that I could not image any other big changes that I would ever have to go through, besides getting sober. But here it is, again, the change awaits me.change

There are things in my life that I have been dealing with in the same, exact way for a while and I just have come to a completed and udder realization that it hasn’t been working! LOL! I am a slow learner I guess, because it took me about the same amount of time to get sober. But you know, whatever. I am here now and I am ready to make the change, I think…

Changes! Changes… Ugh.

Why is it so hard to make the changes? Why when I know that what I have been doing is no longer working, it still takes so long to get it through my thick head, and make that leap to do something else!?

Oh, I know, I want to change on my own terms. I want to change when I am damn ready to change. I want to change but not actually do the work. I want to change but not go through the pain. Oh, I don’t want to change!

The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance. ~ Nathaniel Branden

And then of course, change requires action. It requires doing something different and unknown. Who wants to do that?! Shoot not me! I want to stay right here, nice and comfy, where I have been forever, even though I am in misery, but damn it, I will bitch and moan and groan about it, and let the whole world know how crappy this is, but hell if I am going to change. Sheesh!

Ok enough of that – I am ready to change!

Life changes all the time. Read that again! Life changes all the time!

Of course when I was drinking I never learned how to deal with ant change, nor did I care for changing anything, or even had the slightest idea on how to change. But… I did get to a point when I got sick and tired of being sick and tired. I was finally in enough pain, that I was ready to change; that was my bottom. I think that I have again reached a kinda of a bottom!

So, how does one change?

Well, I usually start by stopping the behavior that I want to change, and then by finding a new behavior that I would replace it and hopefully give me better results. But often, and the same as when I was getting sober, I don’t actually know that new behavior that I need to establish. All I know in the beginning, is that the old behavior doesn’t work anymore so I want to stop it. This is the same method that worked for me when I was getting sober – just for today I will not drink. That’s all. I don’t need to change my entire life all at once!

Just for today I will not practice that behavior.

bicycle

But, not doing a behavior that I have been doing for a long time, like drinking, is a huge change, and it feels horribly uncomfortable, and even kinda crazy. It’s painful! And I don’t feel better right away! So, I have to remember that it takes tome to change and I can’t expect the instant gratification either! This is a process! It is a hard process! At the same time, I have to make sure that I celebrate each time I successfully do not repeat the behavior – just like each time we don’t pick up a drink! This is really important!

Congratulate yourself! I did it! Woot woot!

I praise myself after each successful day, and I do not beat myself up if I revert to the old behavior. So just like a child that has to practice in order to learn how to read, lets say, I have to continue practicing not doing the behavior, to learn not to repeat it. Then I don’t do that behavior for as long as it takes for it to become a new habit. Most psychologist say that it takes 21 days to create a habit. I believe it is 90 days for quitting drinking, and that is because there are physical as well as psychological aspects to quitting drinking. Of course we all learn at different speeds so these numbers are just guidelines.

Another day of being a better person. ~ Laura

So after I have spent some time not repeating that behavior, I finally turn to making the change. And here is where my support network has been so amazingly helpful! This is because if ask around I can always find someone who has gone through this type of situation before and has either dealt with it successfully or not, but they sure have learned from it, and most are willing to share what worked or didn’t work for them. They also can help me get through feeling crappy and wanting to give up, and encourage me to keep going no matter how difficult it seems. Then after a wile the new behavior just becomes part of my new normal!

And well, that’s it! I repeat the behavior and things get better, and I am happy again, and life is grand! And I reap all the benefits of my positive change and wonder why the heck didn’t I do it sooner! LOL!


If you, or anyone you know, is struggling with alcohol addiction, please click the Find Support link for an extensive list of support groups. Also please check out the links to many useful resources in the sidebar, and always feel free to contact me anytime at sobercourage@gmail.com.

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7 Comments Add yours

  1. mishedup says:

    really good post…
    i identify so much with that knowing there has to be a change but not knowing what’s next….
    just making the change anyway, changing the behavior and waiting to sees what presents itself really seems to work.
    AND the sober network, where I can always find someone who has the same experience…so weird and wonderful how that happens!

    Like

    1. Thank you Mishedup! The unknown is hard to deal with and I am almost feeling today like I have to work on my acceptance more because things are not quite better yet. But I know that this is the right direction and I just need to keep doing it. My network has been really crucial again! And having the support really helps.
      Hugs.

      Like

  2. I love this, Maggie. Like you said, life changes all the time. Change will happen regardless but It takes a real understanding of surrender to let it change us.

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    1. Hi Karen! Thank you. It’s so true, the surrender is so important. I heard some one say that yes when one door closes another opens but I need to make sure that the old door is completely shut. I love that. I can’t keep looking back, this requires complete surrender!
      Hugs.

      Like

  3. You’re speaking right to me, Maggie. As we’ve heard, there are two things alcoholics hate – when things stay the same and when things change. Ugh. I have to remind myself that just not drinking isn’t enough. I can’t rest on my laurels. I can sustain myself on the spiritual food of yesterday. And that involves change. I can think of several things that I would like to change about myself, and some are small and some are bigger. Perhaps starting with the smaller things is where I gain some confidence. I have done this in the past – things like not swearing, or not gossiping or not yelling. I can’t say I am perfect in those regards, but I am a hell of a lot better than I used to be.

    You are right that this requires some courage, and help from others. For me it’s also something I pray about and try to act as if my char defect has been removed. But I have to be WILLING to do it. If I am not willing, why bother? lol

    Great post, Maggie!

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    1. Hi Paul! Yes, prayer is so important. You know I think it is so natural for me now that I forgot to mention it in the post. But it’s crucial. I know my HP can carry me and keep me on the right road. The spiritual part of change is what helps me know that his is the right thing to do- or not, but either way it reminds me also that I can only change my behavior and the rest is not mine. Acceptance is sure the key here for me! Thank you! Hugs.

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