Sunday, October 22, 2017

Time for Reform

Photo by Nine Köpfer on Unsplash

It is interesting how life changes so slowly that sometimes you can hardly see the difference. This happens with good habits, also with bad. After a wake up call that involved me getting really sick for a few days, I finally woke up, realizing it is time to reform.

Last weekend I went out with some friends and had a great time. But I drank a little too much wine, and ate something that didn't agree with me and ended up sick for just over three days. It was a very unpleasant experience, but it also set off an alarm that alerted me of some bad habits I'd been very slowly gaining. This particular bad habit was using alcohol as a crutch to get through the good, the bad, and the mundane.

I've never really been addicted to anything, nor do I believe I was really addicted to alcohol, but now I understand how the dependence happens. It materializes slowly, without you ever really realizing it is a problem.

I do really like wine, beer and spirits. I would drink with my friends and often times with meals as well, just because I could. I slowly began to drink more often and faster, which meant I would have two glasses in the time I once would have one. Then I would not pay attention to my body and have another.

In the moment, it felt good and freeing. I did't really get bad hangovers either, so I didn't even realize anything was wrong. Except, that I started feeling really fatigued and unmotivated. I thought I was just because I was busy. Or that I was having a hard time kick starting myself after the carefree summer months to being being productive again. I'm sure those things contributed to it, but now I realize my habits did not help me either.

It wasn't until I got sick to the point that even the thought of alcohol repelled me that I realized exactly how much I came to covet the substance. Again, I don't believe I was addicted because I could give it up. However, I had to change and I did.

Once I became able to think and function again, I made a pact with myself to stop using alcohol as a crutch. I want to be able to experience life, the good and the bad.

I am thankful that I do not have to quit drinking completely, but I did for a week to let myself recover. Now I can simply moderate my consumption. Having a drink during social situation or while watching a football game is a pleasure. I need to keep it that way, an enjoyable activity, not an everyday indulgence.

This was not a severe case, thankfully it didn't get that far. But this is a serious subject. Simply becoming aware of my situation was enough for me to turn my habit around. I have an accountability partner and write consistently in a journal to help me catch the pattern if it does ever become an issue again.

It was also during this week that I recommitted myself to my writing. I've been writing, but it has been floundering and inconsistent. It was while I felt sick that I started asking myself what I want in life. I want to be a published writer. I want to be able to write with a clear mind. I want to finish these projects I'm working on and then start more. Writing is what I love and who I am. I want to be the best version of myself.

This week, once I could function again, I wrote everyday and made significant progress on one of my projects and created a good foundation for a second. All in only four days. I forgot how much writing means to me, when I find myself in the grind and when I float along feeling inspired. I'm thankful to find that elated feeling once again, one that was muted before.

By confessing this here, I share something very personal to me. However, it is a very significant occurrence for me and I feel a freedom in my heart to be able to write more openly. I'm still embarrassed and frustrated about getting so sick, but I am thankful for the wake up call to turn myself around and choose a new direction.

I want to be healthy, happy and free, just as I want those things for you. I am not proud of my previous actions, but I am pleased to turn it around before I became completely self-destructive. If you or someone you know has trouble letting go of bad habits and need help turning away from them, get it, you and your loved ones with thank you. It is worth the struggle to be free.

Last weekend, I felt confined to the choices I was making, not realizing how they were negatively affecting me. This weekend, I feel free and able to start fresh and see my world in a new light. Finding the good in the bad, I am thankful to be able to turn myself around and begin anew. That has already happened in my heart and now I declared publicly. 

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