I love this quote. Really, I do.
I love the idea of pulling myself out of a funk,
energetically jumping out of bed,
breathing in deep breaths of air from a walk through the fresh Autumn air,
and living the Nike mantra of "Just Do It"...yep.
That sounds great!
Sign me up!
la la la laaaa!
I mean, who doesn’t love the idea of a bubble bath and getting our nails done? But, let’s be real here for a dog gone minute.
Sometimes, it's just impossible. It's totally impossible to do anything more than drag my tired body and sleepy head out of bed. Sometimes, it's impossible to
get myself dressed to walk to the coffee maker, let alone, outside for a breath of fresh air.
I know. Like, I really know. I've lived in a place once, within myself, where I wanted so badly to take care of myself, but my energy was so zapped and drained, that it was impossible. It felt impossible.
Almost every 12-step meeting I attend brings fresh blood. A newbie. Someone, walking into their very first meeting…and they are terrified. They often have that exhausted, frightened and beaten down look on their face. A look that tells me they just want a little relief. Even if it’s just for one hour. In a meeting. The last place they ever wanted to end up. But, here they are…nowhere else to turn, because they have already tried every other way they know to turn life around. They’ve tried it all, so it seems…to try to change things this way, or that way.
At the begging and mercy of friends and family, they’ve gotten their nails done and tried to take a walk and probably even prayed. They’ve prayed to get off the hamster wheel of drinking. Off the cycle of death and despair and loneliness and self-hatred and cravings. OMG the cravings!
“…it is not surprising that our drinking careers have been characterized by countless vain attempts to prove we could drink like other people. The idea that somehow, someday he will control and enjoy his drinking is the great obsession of every abnormal drinker.” ~ AA Big Book, page 30
And, the thought of dragging themselves outside of the comfort of their own home, away from alcohol, and into a room full of stangers, wasn’t exactly where they thought they’d end up.
Neither did I.
The life that I was portraying on social media was a lie. On the outside, my life looked like the picture of perfection. Some may have even been fooled to think that I looked like I had my sh*t together. But, I didn’t.
The days that I woke up and wanted to crawl back into bed were happening more often than anyone ever would have known based on the smile I wore. So, the idea, at that time, of “just do it” wasn’t even a consideration. As though going to get my nails done or for a long walk or playing with my kids or getting dressed in something other than sweat pants and an old t-shirt would get me out of my funk.
But, when I did finally make it into the rooms, I was able to witness with my own eyes, what life looked like for sober people. And, not just sober, but truly “happy, joyous and free” people! I had isolated myself for so long that I had forgotten what that looked like.
If you are new, know this. I get it. I get how foreign it sounds when someone makes a ridiculous suggestion like “ride around town and blast your radio”. (WTF? Give me a drink)
I get that it sounds crazy. Of course, it does. When you’re so lost in your own feelings, worries, complaints and resentments, of course, you can’t begin to understand what it feels like to do more than numb away those feelings.
But, you can. You see, all of those people you meet in meetings aren’t faking it. They really have found a “softer, gentler way” to live life. They do wake up and want to take care of themselves and their lives! The 12-steps give us guidelines to a new life…full of hope and love…and sobriety.
So, when you are scrolling through Facebook and you read something that sounds impossibly crazy like, “take care of yourself”, please, dear friend, know that you can.
And, if you really can’t dig up the courage just yet to try, then just be willing to try.
And, if you can’t dig up the willingness to believe you can try, then believe that I believe you can.
Believe that all of us who have walked through the doors of their first 12-step meeting, frightened and alone, believe in you. We get it.
Walk through the door.
You are not alone.
Just do it.