“Don’t go to the dark side.” “I’ve been there. It’s not really fun. I’ve been trying my best ever since to not go back[1,2].” Since becoming sober nearly 5 years ago, most of my actions have been about making the world a better place. I’ll act selfishly sometimes to avoid going back to the dark side, otherwise, my actions mostly center around helping others: acting without judgement, lending a hand, or even just not being shitty.
The most frustrating thing for me is seeing people overindulging, having a good time, and most likely acting without concern for others. It might be nice to have some of that lack of concern. Maybe that’s what it means to walk the path alone.
You’ll yearn for others to join you on your path.
At first, there may be none, or at least it’ll be a fight to even start. You just know there must be a better way than this, it must be more comfortable than fighting against reality constantly, often fighting against yourself. Keep on the path.
You’ll eventually find acquaintances, allies, and friends.
Some won’t be as interested in joining you on your path toward redemption and self-improvement. Are they still good and decent people? Can you still learn from them? If not, what use is there in hanging out with them besides passing the time? Which works out alright unless that drags you down.
You’ll start finding the right adventurers for your party.
Some may join you for a quick hello, a conversation on the bus, or a recurring smiling face in an otherwise dreary situation. Maybe you won’t even learn their name, their favorite breakfast meal, or what fear they’d truly like help overcoming. These are great friends, too.
Through all of that, keep on acting in best interests.
Your best interest, unless it negatively affects others, the best interests of your friends and family, unless to help them means being pulled down by their constant negativity or hatred, and the best interests of strangers or people you may never know.
In those ways, you can start redeeming yourself.
Not everyone needs to know you were some angry drunk because some people just don’t care about the past you. They see the good in the present you and that’s what matters. If you can withhold any hatred or negativity you may have long enough to hold a civil conversation, you’re on the right track.
Eventually, you might be able to help others.
I’ve truly found when I help others, I feel better about myself. Even holding the door open for someone as a nice gesture just makes me feel good. That may be hedonistic. It’s just that something as simple as that can do wonders for your sense of self-confidence and self-worth. The nice thing about helping others is the smallest gestures mean the most.
It’s spending time with others on that path that is most redeeming.
Inspirations: Thinking about not being on the dark side of life…