After making the decision to start living my life, not wasting it, I started a new journey towards sobriety, I decided to make a small change each day, just something simple, all geared towards making me a better person.
I decided it would be too much to change everything at once, so I was to make one change each day, some days I wouldn’t change anything, I would just concentrate on the change I’d made previously, to make sure these changes were sticking and I wasn’t falling back into my old self, I wanted to change, I wanted big changes, but chose to do it all gradually.
One of my early changes was just simple, it was so simple, but somehow it took some doing, I had to keep reminding myself for a number days, weeks and even now months, odd times I still catch myself falling back into my old habit. Quite simply when I walk, as you know I do a lot of walking, I tend to walk with my shoulders slouched and my head down, my gaze focused on just a few steps in front of my own two feet, so I decided I would walk with my chin up and my eyes always forward, looking forward and standing proud.
It really was quite a simple change to make, but I couldn’t help it, it took all my effort when walking to make this little adjustment, but I couldn’t quite do it, I would remember and walk with eyes forward and head held high, but then as my attention weakened I found I was slowly lowering my head and looking back at the ground again, I would snap out of it, quickly lift my head and raise my eyes again, but it would invariably revert back to my bad posture and lowered gaze, it infuriated me, but I was determined I was going to do it, I wanted to change, I had made that decision, so I wasn’t going to let it all collapse just a few days into my new journey, I knew if I could give up on this I could just as easily give on my attempt at sobriety, although at this point I hadn’t quit drinking, but I had severely reduced my intake.
My mindset was to make changes and these changes had to stick, new routines would become just that, new routines, no fads for just a few days, so I was determined that this one would stick.
Give to the wind your fear
Hope and be undismayed
God hears your sighs and counts your tears
God will lift up, God will lift up, lift up your head
(God Will Lift Up Your Head by Jars Of Clay)
I was struggling with it, until one Sunday walking back from karate, with my head down, shoulders were still slouched but not as bad as usual, a song played on my iPod that just changed everything, as soon I heard the lyric “God Will Lift Up Your Head”, my head just snapped up, I don’t actually recall doing it, it just automatically lifted, similar to when you hear a loud noise after nodding off in to a light sleep, my eyes were forward and I was listening, at the point of hearing those lyrics, it was like God had indeed lifted my head, he knew I was struggling with it, so he helped me.
Since that day I have managed to make the adjustments, I walk a lot straighter, shoulders relaxed and head up, I still find my eyes tend to look downward, but as I walk mainly in the dark mornings, that’s not really that surprising, I can’t see much in front of me anyway, but my posture is so much better, I now walk tall.
There were other little changes I’ve made and I will post about them in the future, but I would advise anyone wanting to make big changes in their life, not to try to do it all in one day, ultimately you will fail and maybe even give up on your goal, be it sobriety or whatever, but like I did back then, when I completed my journal each night, I wrote what change I wanted to make the next day, then the next night I would write how well that had gone, if it went well I would set a new one for the next day, if not I allowed myself another day, give it another go, I got annoyed with myself, yes, but I didn’t beat myself up if I struggled with anything, I just kept going, after all these bad habits and addictions form over years, they cannot be just tossed aside and replaced by the click of fingers.
It is mind over matter, a determination to make that change, be it big or small, you have to keep plugging away each day, set yourself goals, but don’t give up if it’s a struggle, there will be breakthrough, that breakthrough could come by the most remarkable experiences, it may just happen and you never notice until weeks after, but just keep going, it will all be worth it in the end.
Yesterday I celebrated (I say celebrated, I didn’t really, but it makes it sound better that way), I celebrated 34 weeks of sobriety, each Thursday I mark off another week in my journal, the weeks keep adding up and I keep enjoying everyone that passes, as each one just gets better and better.
Let’s just say that this week has been fantastic, it’s been inspirational, it will be hard to top this week, but when I make 35 weeks next week, I will celebrate once again, albeit on my own with a Pepsi Max.