I took a slice off the end of my thumb the other day. Nothing serious, just the top layer of skin peeled back. I still do some work with wood and this is something that happens every once in a while. Yesterday there was teeny piece of dry skin that was still attached to my thumb and was driving my crazy. Every time I moved or did something something caught onto that little, smaller than the head of a pin, piece of dry skin. It didn’t hurt, but I was always aware of its presence. But I was doing some painting when it happened or I was doing some cleaning but for several hours I it was there reminding me of what I needed to do. Finally I got the nail clippers and cut it off. It will still be a week or so before everything heals back.
A teeny tab of dead skin kept reminding me that I needed to do something until I made it a priority and got it done. I was reminded of those things in life that niggle and gnaw at us until we finally do them. Doing them is nothing. It takes no time at all to accomplish a small task, yet I seem to put it off because I am sure that what I am doing right now is more important. Big things, sure, I know they take priority. I have gone to the emergency ward more than enough times for stitches on cuts as a result of my ‘handiwork’. When something big happens in life we usually recognize we need to look after it right away. It’s when it’s small and seemingly insignificant that we let it slide. Let those small insignificant things slide and they seem to add up until we actually do something about them.
In recovery I have seen people live through death and divorce without a relapse; their friends gather around and they receive the support they need to make it through. It is the small little incidentals that add up to a relapse. Missing meetings, not taking to sponsors, not having time for a little prayer or meditation, allowing a resentment to grow. Each little thing, on its own, isn’t much, but they add up. I could resolve them in two minutes or less, but I don’t take the time until it’s driving me completely crazy. When I am in that state, I usually know it, but for some reason the little bit of effort needed for such a small task can be put off for now…then it’s too late.
I read this morning that it’s easier to give 100% to something than to give 98% to it. The point is that when I am fully committed to something, I can stick with it, I have resolve and my decision is final. However, if I am only 98% committed to it, then I have to judge if this is a situation when I have to stick with my commitment or does this fall into that 2% where there is some flexibility.
I know for myself, when I break with 100% commitment it is far easier the next time to give in the next time. About six months ago I committed to not eating food that contain refined sugar. Initially, I was very good at sticking to my decision. But then I had to have a taste, a bit or sliver. Now it’s so much easier to slip or cheat on my commitment not to eat refined sugar. If I had stuck to it a 100% there would be no question, no option or choice. Now there is because I don’t eat refined sugar 98% of the time. And from experience I know that the 2% has a chance to grow to 4% then 7%. You get the picture.
With my addiction I know I have to be 100% committed to it if I want to stay happy, joyous and free in recovery. However, remember that little tab of skin? That can create an opening for the 2% of non-commitment. I have to do the little things to add up to the big thing. Taking care of the details helps to maintain the complete picture. If you’ve let things slip, recommit yourself to 100%. Get back to meetings, talk to your sponsor, connect with your Higher Power. It will be much easier when your back on the road of 100%.