The Sobriety of Getting Your Sh!t Together
I am an adult constantly learning how to maintain positive coping strategies and cultivate my personal growth. There is no finish line for me… this is a forever journey. And I’m totes ok with it.
So why should anyone care what I have to say about building a better life since mine still lays in constant progress? I can’t coach you to suddenly feel skinny or convince you to make a vision board of the house you will own in five years. I won’t make you a billionaire with three simple strategies working from home in jammies nor do I possess the key to your financial freedom. No wish system here…just pure honesty from a season of feeling like a fuck up in my not so far away life (sorry for the cursing mom).
I’m just a girl that absolutely loathes looking in the mirror with no clothes on (hello kangaroo pouch) and I face insecurities a million times a week. BUT… I am also proof of something. I’m proof you can survive and you can stay the course towards being your best self. It’s ok this path keeps winding on—this is not a click your heels three times situation.
And honestly…maybe you should also give me a shot because I am not asking for your money or selling you a lifestyle. I want to like you for you and I appreciate that you grant me the grace of reading my work. If I had more time and a bigger house I’d probably invite you over for some coffee and a chat--- getting to know others is my jam. I see the value in the adventure in self-discovery. And…it’s liberating AF. There’s hope. Who am I to sell that? I wanna sprinkle that everywhere!!
Getting my act together after years of being the “mess up” felt exhausting. You can’t just click your heels, make a wish, and all will be better. No fairy godmother comes in to rescue you. Nope…the art of getting your shit organized mirrors fighting off creepy flying monkeys, melting into a puddle of regrets, and learning everything you thought true….isn’t. I wake up every day not only accepting this reality but also embracing it. And for the first time, in a long time, I believe in the power of the authentic me.
Mel Robbins tells folks “In order to kick ass you must first lift up your foot.” And guess what? I’m moving my feet, even when it’s scary.
So here’s my advice on focusing on being better and beating the odds: treat it like your life depends on it because honestly it does. The very quality of your life depends on your commitment to taking specific actions to manufacture your happy. You don’t have to adapt to a life of fake smiling and pretending you enjoy crafting…or like I experienced last week…bowling. I hate bowling. But I enjoy the people I bowled with and that my friends made all the difference.
And what even is “Living Your Best Life?” It is different for everyone. Practice defining a quality of life for yourself…you can’t get there doing the same thing day in and out. The routine of malcontent sucks the happy from you---stop pretending you aren’t being eaten by an emotional vampire. Stop laying there losing your life force. Instead, be like Buffy and SLAY IT! Change your routine. CHANGE, CHANGE, CHANGE! Disrupt your brain. Stop and notice the spring grass starting to spit out from the frozen earth or just notice the Oreo creamer in your coffee really does taste like a cookie. Mmmmmm…cookies. Listen to instrumental rap, meet an acquaintance you met on Facebook for coffee, rearrange your bedroom. Just try. Please?
Emotions and emotional patterns, especially those leftover from trauma and circumstances, can operate in your brain like an addictive substance. We become so engrossed in the drama we lose our ability to operate without it. Our wiring in our brains adjusts as we allow neurons to fire along routes that do us no good. We actually learn to meet our needs by acting out like toddlers that just dropped a popsicle. Or maybe you get a little more aggressive similar to how teenagers behave when you take their phones or ban them from car use. The thing is….we aren’t toddlers or teens. We are adults and we are expected to handle problems like grown people with emotional intelligence and logic.
But what if you didn’t learn to “adult” in the acceptable fashion? What if the adulting modeled to you was pitiful? How can you possibly get it together when every single person in your life lacks “getting it together” talent?
You don’t. At least most people stuck in the pattern don’t. Shit hits the proverbial fan and you have to decide some very important things. Do I want my life to continue on this path or do I want things to change? Am I an old dog willing to learn new tricks? Can I be the parent I needed when I was younger and take care of myself now?
Because growth, my friends, takes way more commitment than paying for a gym membership. You have to show up. Showing up costs some pride. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done and keep doing. It’s work. And your "heart" muscles will be sore.
And don't forget we all make mistakes. Look at Dorothy in my Wizard of Oz analogy. She squashed someone’s sister. I mean, her house smooshed a person. There wasn’t much she could do about it but we can’t just leave a person under a house. Otherwise, life gets real bitter real quick. Fleeing the scene of our mistakes is a tell-tale sign of avoidance. Perhaps you lacked the maturity then; however, I implore you to consider this: Do I have to keep being that immature now? Do I even know what maturity looks like?
The answer? You don’t. Not if you do not want to. I feel like I spent decades smooshing people under houses without even realizing it.
To nurture the delicate child inside you that still cries out from time to time takes the resolve of sobriety. You need to re-train your brain to perceive basic daily interactions in a new light, you need to learn how to redirect your thought patterns, and you need to say “everything is an opportunity to practice” when you falter and try again. I don’t care if you journal, go to counseling or self-talk like a champion, but it has to happen. Move those feet and your soul in the right direction. Make simple goals like remembering to switch the laundry and a soul goal of using “I” messages on the reg. Write it down, tell a friend, tattoo it on your brain.
Something special transpires when you hold yourself accountable to positive change. More change falls into motion. You like your job a little more or applied for another, you saved money for a new phone, or you solved real life big adult problems like a boss. Life starts feeling like it’s working out. Starting over seems less scary. You embrace opportunities and confidently approach conflict. And then it doesn’t matter which road you’re on (yellow, blue, or in a canyon) because the momentum towards “I’ve Got This Town” is well underway.
Get on the road sister. Take it all in. Be so very true to you.