"You will recognize your own path when you come upon it, because you will suddenly have all the energy and imagination you will ever need."
- Jerry Gillies
There are moments when we have to make a decision in dealing with life’s circumstances. Do we keep doing everything in the same way? Keeping ourselves comfortable, staying ‘safe’ and staying stuck? Or do we allow ourselves to recognize that what has been ‘working’ for us in the past really hasn’t been ‘working,’ isn’t ‘working’ in our present and never will ‘work’ in our future? No. Political standpoints aside; the inside is where we need change.
Recovery is just that. We realize that we aren’t living. A life ruled by calories, numbers on a scale, how ‘ripped’ you are or the hours at the gym isn’t life at all. We need to get a feel for what life could be, even when the enemy is pushing us down. Personally in my recovery, after my intense, out of control and near-death situation, I thought I had reached the lowest point in my life. I have actually come to (and may do so, again) the conclusion that I hadn’t hit my lowest point, yet. This has been agonizing to realize, considering I am someone that wants to be perfect in everything, including my recovery. I can easily keep going through the motions, tell everyone I’m ‘fine’ and know that I’m slowly letting my hard-earned, third chance at life slowly slip away.
Sometimes, confessing that something isn’t working is the hardest hurdle you have to jump over and deciding to do something about the problem can be terrifying, to say the least. After my most recent, incredibly honest entry, it took me a while to make the decision to move on, again. Ultimately, though, taking action was simply a matter of ‘falling down seven times and getting up eight.’
I have recently been informed that I speak, and possibly have a personality characteristic of the impressionistic-style. Now, the term ‘impressionistic’ simply means speaking with huge words, on a grand scale to wow an audience; yet having little substance in what you say to back up your claims. It left me wondering if my recovery is stalled because I am still at the point of doing things to impress. Cut the bull, Troy. Remind yourself that you’ll be the change in your life to stop every pessimistic thought or feeling that life heaves your way.
Eating disorders, a death in the family, going to college and various transitions can have a powerful impact on one’s life. I’ve stopped and asked many, many times over, “Why did I go through this illness, why did I lose that loved one, why didn’t I realize any of this before, why, why, why.” Listen, we need to stop asking the “whys” and examine, realize and accept each moment and move on. It isn’t about knowing why something happened, it’s about what you can do with the energy put into wanting to know. Change can start with simply drawing a line in the sand of the hurts, on the beach of something different and simply crossing it after you get your feet wet.
I’ve struggled tremendously the past few weeks and different fears surface each time my illness rears its ugly head. But looking back on each time that I struggle, I always find myself thanking God I’ve gone through it. In each person’s existence, I believe we all have a subconscious list of things we want to carry out in our lives, some big, some small. Maybe it is an age you’d like to reach, a destination you’ve got to travel or even pursuing a certain education. Whatever they may be, they are important to each of us, none more or less important than another. Why? Because these dreams help satisfy and create the various quirks of who we are.
I have always wanted to run competitively, but haven’t had the chance due to my addiction, until now. Even during this previous struggle, I committed to a race with my sister this past month. Now, I had a choice during the preparation for and the day of, this event. I could choose to stay stuck or I could allow the opportunity for change in my circumstances. Without going into detail, the race was awesome. It was incredible to cross that finish line knowing I was running for FUN, for ME and for LIFE. I wasn’t running to change the physical, push my body to extremes or give into my addictions. Change had prevailed. Cheering on my sister and watching her accomplish a goal of her own was emotional, too. I don’t know if I’ll ever forget what my two-and-a-half year-old nephew said after the race, “There goes Mommy getting her fitness on and Uncle Troy runs too fast.”
The fact is, I don’t know why I struggle, I don’t know why I’ve gone through what I have and I don’t know why anyone else does, either. After all, it’s difficult for anyone to be happy or thankful and not know why they struggle the way they have. But we must know that there is a reason behind it. It’s an opportunity to appreciate each moment in our lives and finally come to a place where you can build your life from a house into something you can call home.
If we want change, then trade that monotonous exercise routine for rest when you can, boogie down when you feel like you can’t stand still any longer, be a kid when the opportunity presents itself and take every moment to talk to your loved ones, even if they aren’t here anymore. We don’t know how long each storm in our lives is going to be or how rough they will get. So, grab hold of your paddle, position your sails and hold tight to the direction YOU wish to go.
I’m not making any promises about my recovery. It honestly wouldn’t make any sense because my circumstances are different than they used to be. My honesty often scares me when I know it makes me far more vulnerable than I would like. But this is my chance to own my opinions for the first time in my life. I’ve talked about my previous struggles from my past and you can bet that I will share each twist, turn or curve in my future with everyone, every opportunity I’m given.
Change can be an awesome thing in our lives even if we know the journey will be hard. Run from your known to your unknown and chase after whatever goals you may have. Life is an experiment for all of us; so experiment a little and figure out where your existence lies.