People ask me all the time: Do you really love yourself?
My answer is the same every single time. Yes. I do. More every day.
That’s not to say I don’t have my moments. I make mistakes. I stew over decisions before and after I make them. I question my actions. I want to lose weight. I need to exercise more. I have bad days. I am a mom of two, wife of one, and owner of two businesses. And, I am perfectly imperfect. I’m human.
What I don’t do is beat myself up. I don’t try to escape the tough stuff. I don’t try to numb my feelings. I go through vs. around. And, I wake up with a clear head every morning.
I live my life completely differently than I did as a person actively addicted to alcohol. I’m still me but I feel like a whole new person. More every day.
Why? Because I have reinvented my wheels.
Contrary to popular belief, reinventing the wheel is not a bad thing. We all deserve a new set of wheels once in a while. Am I right?
Out with the Old & In with the New
Most likely, the wheels you rode on as you bumped along the path to a dead end with alcohol were not in the best shape. I’m not sure how mine were even still spinning. It makes no difference if you hit bottom hard or simply got tired of letting alcohol play a lead role in your life. Chances are the circumstances that led to your ultimate decision to live alcohol free have left you feeling unsteady and unsure.
Whether you are truly addicted to alcohol or just have a tendency to engage in unhealthy consumption, your wheels have built up some rust, the tires are flat, and some of the spokes have snapped. Are you going to scrape off the rust, keep injecting air into leaky tires, and MacGuyver the spokes back together? Or, are you going to replace the rust with the brilliant glow of brand new chrome, mount fresh tires (maybe a little bit wider and easier to balance than the old ones), and swap the spokes for something stronger?
Gearing Up for Life’s Twists & Turns
Your wheels are what carry you through life. You ride on them every day. You rely on them to take you places. Lots of places. ALL the places. But, can you trust them? Not if you’re neglecting them. Bumping into curbs. Hitting potholes. And, if you’ve ignored them long enough, a swatch of duck tape here and a pump of air there just won’t suffice. It’s a fact.
Just getting sober takes everything you’ve got. You focus on one day at a time, just for today. And, you should, you have to, just to keep from picking up. You put faith in the wheels that drove your drinking days and hope you can steer them in the right direction as you navigate sobriety.
Sometimes, you’re rolling along, smooth and easy. Just like a perfect bicycle wheel. Other times a spoke gets bent or nudged out of place. You keep rolling – what choice do you have? – but, things start to feel bumpy. Because you didn’t fix that spoke when it went out of alignment. Then it snaps and you end up stuck in a rut. That’s when you know it’s time for an adjustment. Maybe something more than a simple tweak.
Despite the old adage, sometimes wheels are best reinvented, especially when they’re your wheels and you have a new road you want to travel. With new wheels, you can be prepared for the frost heaves and potholes, the hairpin turns and traffic jams, the construction zones and detours.
Luckily, you are capable of change. You are strong enough to become who you are meant to be and live your ideal life, even as you focus on recovery. Especially when you’re focused on recovery.