“We plan on keeping on going.” Positive affirmations like this can go a long way. There are times when life is hard and you might be ready to give up. Using your time and energy to give back to people and communities can bring you more than it seems. Shedding the parts of ourselves that we might feel insecure about and focusing on the positives of others or ourselves can make any obstacle worth overcoming.
If life is a highway, the until recently, I’ve been driving in the faster lanes for years. I won’t reveal the exact date and time that thought went off in my head, which said “you will die if you keep driving like this,” but I can assure you that it was within the last six months. I’ve seen too many figurative car wrecks, stalls, and clear collisions to want any of that for myself, thanks.
It’s taken years for me to develop a sort of hardened empathy for drivers. I’ve always understood when people would drive erratically because of mistakes, but ohhhh those people… the ones that cut you off! Surely, they are the most terrible of people! The thing is, though, driving is actually dangerous even when there aren’t other drivers around. Crashes, mechanical failures… anything. Why, then, focus on them? Shouldn’t we rather focus on driving safe ourselves?
My sobriety is like an open secret. No one really knows the true complexity of what sobriety really means; to have gazed through the precipice of that unknown and recoiled before being consumed by it. I have difficulties because of it. I am not the person I was or can be, but the person I am is here, writing this, reflecting on that sort of open secret some of us know but no one knows.
I don’t believe in the power of donating to companies to provide for my community. After throwing myriad items into the trash compactor, some better than what I own, and watching these kind-hearted gestures from you and me become destroyed for no other reason than because these items were old stock or didn’t sell, while I may still donate and buy from thrift stores, it’s with all altruistic façades removed. Sobriety is like that, too.
Sometimes after seeing a show, it will be like all of the motivation and energy is sucked out of me, like I’m sick, but without physical ailments. Maybe it’s expectation versus reality? I get this feeling more often than not when achieving any goal. Once I’ve done it, then what? Find another mountain to climb, another obstacle to overcome, or another thing to see? Sometimes it’s like seeing through someone else’s camera is more exciting.
Was it the child that coughed her throat out for most of the plane ride that made me feel sick today? The weather change? Not stuffing myself in good restaurants? I feel exhausted with the sort of head cold that would make a good excuse to not get out there and do anything at all, because after all, not feeling well is always a good excuse for not doing stuff, right? I don’t quite agree.