I’m not sure why, but I find it so easy to be hard on myself. I often feel that I don’t measure up to what I should be doing and where I am in life. I still sometimes ‘should’ myself into depression and anxiety. Could’a, would’a and should’a are all expressions that pull me out of the present moment and drop me unceremoniously in the past…PLOP!
Part of it has to do with my impatience. I want what I want and I want it now. If I don’t get it, which is often, it’s because I didn’t do what I needed to do. In other words, my procrastination doesn’t help with my impatience and visa versa. And then I just get down on myself. My program tells me what I need to do: the next right thing. What is the next right thing? I’m learning it’s what I ‘know’ I need to do. I have to remember that ‘Easy does it’ still means I need to ‘do’ it! It takes time to find the balance, but it is possible to get to an equilibrium in life.
I need to remember to enjoy life. Play, joke, go for walks, see a movie, chat with a friend, go out for dinner, walk on a beach, climb a mountain, hug the dog. Life is meant to be lived and we are not a glum lot. Keeping up my spirit is important. I have a tendency to isolate myself from others, not participate in activities and events. Here too I need to find balance. My mind, all alone, can be a very dangerous space if I spend all of my time there. Getting out and enjoying life, playing, creating are ways that I find the happiness and joy in my life.
Another way to be good to yourself is to stop looking at how far you have to go to get to the goals you have in life. Rather, focus on how far you have come. Yes, there is still more work to do in my life of sobriety, especially when I am starting out. I constantly remind sponsees to be grateful for how far they have come in their program. I have to remind myself sometimes how far I’ve come too. Like my sponsees, I still have to apply my program on a daily basis, but I have come very far. I regularly see my character flaws grow and blossom and I think I will never be through with them. I have a choice though: I can become morose about how much work I still have todo, or, I can look back and be grateful for how much I’ve changed as a result of my program of recovery. I am not the same person that walked into that first meeting. That is something to be grateful for.
Finally, give yourself time. We didn’t become addicts and alcoholics over night and we can’t expect to stop one day and find everything is back to normal the next. It just won’t work that way. It takes time to go through the steps of recovery. Be patient with yourself and your progress. Even a relapse can be a very important learning experience.
In order to be a success, all I have to do is get up one more time than I fall. So as long as I’m trudging that road, putting one foot ahead of the other, I’m heading in the right direction and doing just fine!
I am Grateful.