Alison's Insights

Accepting Mid-Life Addiction Recovery One Slow Deep Breath At A Time

Recovery: A Process, Not a Project

For far too long I validated my self-worth based upon my daily “to do” list.  I allowed the completion of that list to be the barometer indicating whether I was worthy or not.

All items checked?  You’re good.

Not all items checked off?  You’re worthless.

Not a very good message to fall asleep with, I assure you.  Needless to say, every single day’s “to do” list included a line item about treating my body better.   For over three decades, that line item varied from day-to-day, week to week, month to month, year to year, but no matter what, it would start with words like, “stop” or “start” doing something.  The intent being, immediately start or abruptly stop an action or behavior.  It was an either/or situation.  On one hand it was “stop this forever” or on the other, “start this now.”  In my intention, there was no room for any grey area.  It was either this way or no way.  And like any good perfectionist, if it couldn’t be done perfectly, it wasn’t done at all.

Not once did I reconsider and look to what I was trying to do in terms of a shift change, a stepping stone, or a baby step.  Rather, it was always these abrupt stops and/or starts.  Not once did I consider using the word, “willing” and not once did I think in terms of just today.

I was continuously setting myself up for failure.

Today I’ve become respectful of the fact that I’m human.  If I allow myself the freedom to TRY something today, I may become willing to do it again tomorrow.  Recovery is indeed a process, not a project.

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