Life Volume 1: The Right To Persevere

There are pieces of advice we hear throughout our life, which we might hear a thousand times, but yet, at the same time it is as though we’ve never heard it once. Until one day, suddenly, our ears open and finally, we get it.
The same can be said for the cliche sayings we hear throughout our life, but one day, we hear them differently and just like that, a light comes on, and we get it.
There was a grade school teacher of mine that once remarked, “Everything is impossible until it’s done.”

I heard this as a little boy but as an adult, I regard this in a different way.

Did you ever find yourself at a point that you think so much you swear you can feel the ripples at the top of your brain?
Everything is so intense and heavy
You want to break out and get away from the norm. You want to get away from the same old day in and day out routine that steals your life from you.
You want to get away but your doubt keeps you stuck and your fears keep you where you are.
There is so much to think about and too much to contemplate and thought becomes your enemy.

Have you ever felt as though you are living in the wrong life with the wrong friends, the wrong family, and running around in the wrong circles of influence?

Every have any of these apply to you:
Bad marriage?
Bad job?
Bad friends?
Bad family?
Or, bad living circumstances?

Have you ever felt all of the above and wished with all your heart that you could just step away?
You want to leave.
You want to start over.
You want to start fresh but there is a long list of intimidating aspects, which is part of the process you have to go through; however, feeling overwhelmed by the steps you have to take, instead of escaping and getting away, you return to your predictable routine because this way, as sad as the facts my be; at least this way you know what to expect.

The idea of change is intimidating. The idea to walk away is frightening. This is especially so when the idea of being on your own is as foreign to you as a different language.
The idea of change can be impossible but like I was taught in grade school, everything is impossible until it’s done.

To qualify, I will explain that I once lived in a bad marriage. Aside from living cold and loveless, we were were angry with each other. At times we were outraged at each other and on our best days, we simply tolerated one another to get along.
I remember at night in bed how she was on once side of the mattress and I was as far away as I could possibly be on the other side. Between us on the bed was nothing but cold real estate. God help me if I accidentally touched her in the middle of the night. God help us both if we accidentally wandered into the frigid atmosphere in the center of the bed and woke up, face to face.
At the time, I was living in a nice home, which in all honesty, none of anything belonged to me. I was unhappy in my surroundings and unhappy in my home. I was unhappy with my job and unhappy with my direction in life. 

At any point, however, had I thought about the idea of change, I would immediately give in to the intimidation that the road ahead of me was an impossible one.
I viewed my financial future as an intimidating  impossibility because of all the splits and changes that would have to take place.
I viewed my romantic future as an empty, unpredictable void, which I was frightened of because of the internal whispers that came from my insecurity and told me, “Who is gonna want you now?”

Yes, I was frightened. Yes, I felt like I was a failure.
I failed as a father. I failed as a husband. I was afraid that I would end up alone, or worse, I as afraid I would be unloved.
I was afraid of the explanations I would have to give my family and afraid of the conversations I would have to have with my friends and co-workers about the reason for my address change.

More than my marriage, I was unhappy with my entire life.
Eventually my will and desire to feel better outweighed my fears to step away from the life I had.
Eventually, it came to the point that I couldn’t stand to live so lonely anymore. I didn’t want to feel loveless. And more accurately, I didn’t want to believe that everything was all my fault. And yes, I use the word fault because at the time, I needed to find accountability for my heartache and pain. Truth of the matter is I had forced pieces together that we not supposed to be a match.
In my effort to “Feel” as though my life was a success; and in an effort to create a facade, to be, to live, and to look like I was doing well, I negotiated my worth to accept a value that was less than what I deserved. Simply put, I had settled. I was aware that I settled and now that I was aware, I was aware and able to find accountability which explained my feelings.

The most freeing feeling is this: To slide your chair back, to stand up, push your chair back under the table, and to walk away without ever looking back.

Of all things I have felt in my life, this is one of them that range as most amazing.
At one point, this was impossible. But like my grade school teacher once said, “Everything is impossible until it’s done.

Back when I left a treatment facility somewhere around the month of July in 1991, I overheard a group of men sitting at a table and discussing the recovery of some of the other patients.
I heard them discuss the others and talk about those who would and wouldn’t make it once they left rehab.
Eventually, my name came up and I was unhappy to learn what these men truly thought of me. I was laughed at. I was told I would never make it. It was said by a table of men that were laughing at me that I was a waste and would probably end up dead at a very young age.

A short while later, I was told to go to a group.
As instructed, I arrived in group. This was to advise us about the success rate of people living in long term sobriety.

“Not everyone gets it,” we were told
We were told that odds are against us that our disease is greater than us and that statistically speaking, most of us are destined to fail.

We were told the odds are 1 out of 33 people make it into long term sobriety.
There were 35 of us in the room, which meant, statistically speaking, only one of us would make it.

All else was an impossibility.

I thought about the men laughing at me at the table and predicting my death at an early age. I thought about the people I was around that I allowed to bully me or keep me down. I thought about the life I had as oppose to the life I wanted. More importantly, I thought about that number, 1 in 33, and I wondered what would have to happen in order for me to become that one.

I thought it would be impossible for me to land a real job.
But I did it

I thought it would be impossible for me to find a way to get out and be on my own.
I did that to.

I thought I would never find a way to earn a grown man’s living
But I do

I never thought it would be possible for me to find real love, real happiness, stay clean, and stay ahead of my depression
But yet, here I am and on April 1st, 2019, I will be celebrating 28 years of a life without drugs or alcohol.

Yes, change is intimidating
Life is intimidating (if we allow it to be)

We overthink and we complicate matters. We look to find fault or blame so we can find accountability for our sad emotional mishaps. And when the idea to move on or break away comes to us, at the same time, we both cherish and fearfully resent the idea.

We want it . . .
We just don’t know how to accomplish it
(Or so we think)

To persevere, one needs to create their goal, build a strategy, and then come up with a plan.

Beware of overthinking
Be careful of speculation
Be mindful of the deception of your perception
And watch out for emotional decisions

Otherwise, remember this:
Everything is impossible until it’s done
So go out and defy the odds

This is your right
This is what you were made to do . . .

Aflag

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