July 29. Have you ever been doing something and then boom you hit a speedbump, a snag, a hiccup. Probably more than once right. That’s what happened this week for me.
Things with #75HardChallenge have been going pretty well. It is mostly challenging getting the second workout in but I have managed and I am feeling a ton better. My mental clarity is coming back, I feel more emotionally balanced and my insides feel clean and well oiled!
Tuesday morning I woke up and immediately knew something was off.
You know what I mean right, like this nagging feeling that something was about to go wrong or you forgot something. Within minutes I realized I forgot to take my progress picture (one of the 6 things required each day) the day before.
Literally the easiest of all the tasks and I just plain forgot. And I was about to start day 14.
Ok its no biggie right so you have to start over, no real harm in it and tons of people restart even multiple times and its not like after 75 days I want to just return to my old ways, I want to keep it up.
The problem was my thinking pattern. Just as quickly as I realized this had happened my brain went right to thoughts like, “it’s just a picture is that really worth starting over for”, “I can continue on no one knows anyway”, “I literally did all the hard stuff”. And probably some more.
So much so that I even posted in the Facebook group about this mistake wondering if I really did have to start over knowing full well what the answer was.
These thoughts continued all the way to swim practice which is over 30 minutes away. I was sad and disappointed with myself. How could I let this happen I have worked so hard. What a failure. Until I finally started to come back online and stop the spiral down.
I knew it was wrong. I knew the rules, I just didn’t want to follow them. Can you say addiction cycle? #sometimesquicklysometimesslowly.
By the time I arrived and was ready to start walking with a good friend I knew exactly what I had to do and why and was able to process through some of those feelings. They were valid, it is disappointing when we make mistakes and it can feel confusing as we try to understand why that happened.
What wasn’t ok with me though was the thinking pattern. How was this still a thing for me?
After all the recovery work, therapy, coaching, acupuncture, meditation, prayer etc. why was cheating, or covering things up still my nemesis. That’s the part that really got me. And I believe that’s where the true emotion of it all came from, why I was so sad.
I know the difference between right and wrong, and I have a conscience today (one of the many blessing of living sober) but my brains first course of action was to defend myself, get away from the mistake, minimize it.
The progress for me is visible in the turn around time. The time it takes us to realize the issue (in this case my thought pattern), work through the emotions and make it right. All in I’d say in this example I was to the other side in about ninety minutes.
For me that speaks volumes since this is definitely something that used to last for days weeks or months. AND bonus points. I told someone about it. That friend I was walking with is a very wise Christian woman who I respect a lot. And before I could stop myself my mouth opened and all the truth spilled out.
It surprised me how at ease I was able to speak the truth and work through all of this with another human being. This my friends feels like growth. It feels like the soft petals of a beautiful rose with little drops of dew glistening, opening up to meet the sunshine.
This is truly how it works.
I always say we are usually the last to notice the change in ourselves so in this case it’s very likely this has been happening for quite some time and in this instance (likely because of the clarity and focus on my health) I saw the whole process through to the end.
I am so grateful for the ability to do it, living well beyond recovery has given me that privilege. It’s the pot at the end of the rainbow of a huge amount of commitment to myself and the work of emotional sobriety.
Today is my new day 3. But I’m not starting over, just continuing. Love you all.