I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: life doesn’t care about your best-laid plans. In fact, there are times when it seems like everything & everyone are out to subvert your personal agenda.
We know, of course, that this is not really true. Our ego tells us our goals (and the linear path we have laid out in our minds to them) are the most important. And consequently, when there is an obstruction along the way, the ego defaults to fight-or-flight, believing a direct attack to be imminent.
For me, alcohol used to be the sidekick in both of those scenarios. Stand my ground, fight through this? Better get good ‘n sauced so it hurts less when I take one on the chin. Turn my heel, walk out the door? Better retreat into the depths of the bottle so I don’t have to think about it anymore. Being that I was sick, I could never see (or maybe could, but remained too buried in denial to admit it) that drinking only exacerbated the stress & the strife. Also being that I was sick, my first consideration almost always was “So how is this affecting my feelings? How will this impact what I want?” Forgetting that there was an entire other person involved, entire other people, who also had feelings & wants. The amount of hurt my responses (in the form of selfishness/drinking) must have caused others…unimaginable.
I think it’s important to note that really, just because I quit abusing alcohol…that does not mean that all my problems were magically and immediately solved. Life is undeniably BETTER for having done that, but not a day goes by that I’m still not grappling with some concept, or feeling, or interaction, or extenuating circumstance…it’s endless.
Communication occurs rapidly and simultaneously, across any number of differing media. There is often noise and clutter on the line. If dialogue truly existed with A & B taking turns listening to each other and then responding one at a time, the conversation would reap the benefit of such impenetrable clarity! But it’s more that A/B are talking nonstop just trying to get their sometimes-incomplete thoughts out, rarely waiting for the other to finish before beginning a new thought or new script entirely, even…and at the same time, C through Z are happening around them, between them, to them. Messages & meanings are constantly lost, and we sometimes get upset because we know that we delivered them, so why weren’t they received??
In this regard, do yourself a favor, and be patient. Be patient with others. Be especially patient with yourself — we are often our own biggest critic. If everyone was really supposed to get everything right every single time…we’d all be dead due to the abhorrently unrealistic expectations that had been placed on humanity as a whole. It’s OK if things go wrong; they’re supposed to.
That’s why it’s crucial to establish a mental, emotional, and physical foundation for yourself // from within – and to continue laying that framework, piece by piece. Patching it when it needs repair. Doing the necessary self-examination when you come to a fork. Then when things fall apart (taking a never-before-traveled path that turns out to be unstable, for example), we just need to remember to keep picking up our feet & moving back toward the solid pavement that we know is beneath us. It may take a few steps to get us there — but get there we will, because we have done what is needed of us, to protect against exactly these kinds of cracks in the pavement. Grateful that my groundwork has been forged of cumulative sobriety, active recovery, & unending support.