Alison's Insights

Making Sense of Addiction Recovery in Midlife One Slow Deep Breath at a Time

Wishful Thinking

I was reading one of my favorite meditation books this morning and came across a line that struck me.  It said, “How easily I can wish for things to change, and in my secrecy, prevent true change from happening.”

I took that to mean how easily I can cause my own false hope.

Before I found my way to getting sober from alcohol and an eating disorder, I was always wishing for some change to happen relative to how much I was drinking and how little I was eating.  I’d tell myself some version of, “I could just stop doing this or that, I’ll be fine.” Yet all the while, deep down, I did not believe change could happen at all. I was providing myself with false hope. Or, perhaps it was more like wishful thinking.

I have to say, I truly believed I had it within me to outsmart my addiction voice. I had a daily battle between forces – that of my healthy self and that of my addictive self. Because both sides were equally stubborn, you can well imagine how powerful that battle became, causing sheer destruction and leaving behind all kinds of shrapnel. I was left to sort through the pieces without really knowing how to figure it all out.

What I didn’t understand was, the things I wished for couldn’t possibly come true if underneath it all would be a subconscious plan to derail the idea.

I was told I needed to become willing to do an honest, soul-searching, inventory of my life.  I fought like hell to keep a cap on that.  However, when healthier thinking prevailed, I heeded the sage advice from someone a lot smarter than me (my sponsor) and, with some fear and hesitation, did the painstakingly, emotional work required.

By doing that I found the miracle of what happens when what’s underneath mirrors my intention, or when wishful thinking becomes powerful action.

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