“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”
-late great Dr. Seuss.
Wow o Wow- what a wise man. Some of the things he said are of the simplest nature but have the deepest and most significant meanings if you take them apart and analyze them one by one. He speaks a lot about people, places and things and the potential this world has to be good or bad with contingence depending upon what we feed into specifically. Every human being is different. Every human being that has ever lived or is currently living is different, but we all control our own destiny. We are the products of our own actions and for every decision we make- taking the people, places and things around us into account will keep us on that path to righteousness.
It’s amazing how easily the outside world influences us in our decisions at the end of the day. Usually, we don’t recognize it, but the butterfly effect our decisions make carries on to everything that surrounds our world. Every choice we make affects us whether we see it instantly or not. Soup or Salad? Ride with the strange man to get candy or not? Down a 5th of Jack Daniels and smoke a little crack at a party- or have a cup of tea and read a book in bed? These can all be rather extreme scenarios we find ourselves in, some of us of course blindly stumbling into them a little more than others. But back to the main point, is it all depends on the choices we make. You have to make the right choice. As long as you don’t choose, everything remains possible. Yet, not choosing, even that in itself is a choice. Everything could have been anything else and it would have just as much meaning. Bit of a conundrum if you ask me. Making the right choices in sobriety includes every bit of people, places and things that we interact with every day.
Old Sandboxes and Playgrounds
Human beings tend to be influenced from every bit of their surroundings. From the company they keep to the accents they develop or the general style of clothing and way they carry themselves- much of the time, external forces helped drive these things in some form or fashion. Take getting high or drinking for example. The acts of sipping from a bottle or puffing from a pipe are all completely on us- nobody can force you to do something like that, of course. But even as addicts and alcoholics, it isn’t our natural instinct to wake up one day and have this trigger inside of us that makes us search for chemicals and debauchery. We aren’t animals in that sense and having to chase specific pheromones through the air. Getting high isn’t wired in our DNA instinctually where it’s needed to live or procreate or something. Chasing that euphoric feeling is something that was discovered more than likely on accident and soon after the torch was passed as X, Y, and Z, we’re taught to mimic the process. Getting high is almost like a long messed up game of telephone that we develop from the people, places and things we associate with.
When everything comes crashing down, like it does eventually for a lot of us addicts and alcoholics, we enter sobriety and try to pick up the pieces. That’s right- you get back on that horse Derek Zoolander. Picking up these pieces and working a program of recovery consists of making a lot of changes we’re not always super keen to do, yet remains a necessity for some of us to move onto these said greener grasses. As we travel up the 12 steps to happiness and a toxic free lifestyle, we have to start recognizing the things that trigger us and drive us to go back to our old alcoholic thinking patterns. Paying close attention to the people, places and things such as old using buddies and acquaintances can be the very thing that stops somebody in recovery from sticking that needle back in their arm. Gas station bathrooms, certain music and movies, specific neighborhoods or hang out spots, ATMs- these are all things that my mind instantly clicks over and associates with getting high. It’s common for addiction to bring these things back into our lives and trick us into missing that grim existence we called life at one point. It’s odd how that works.
Staying on your toes is of vital importance. Addiction and alcoholic thinking often catch us off guard and can 180 degree your life into misfortune in a matter of seconds. We may think we’re paying attention to our recovery and guarding it with the people, places and things we allow into our lives, but things happen quickly. All it takes is for one of us to be sitting at the gas pump filling gas, whistling the tune from Kill Bill, and then old home boy drives up. Yeah, the one we haven’t seen a while since we got clean. “Yo, you still have my number? Take this down” they say. Almost certainly without hesitation, most of us copy the number down out of habit or even subconscious reservations even maybe. Those first couple smells of chemicals or moments where you see something that makes you uncomfortable and has your heart racing- those will be defining moments in the strength of your sobriety. Point being is that it’s that simple for your soberness to be derailed from various people, places, and things being allowed into your bubble. Changing specific patterns and ways of life may be the last piece to the puzzle that is keeping us away from trouble. Temptation is a demon lurking in every corner, but for us addicts and alcoholics, it never sleeps.
Addiction and alcoholism are one of those things that are honestly a blessing and a curse. There of course are things that the disease limits you form doings, but the things that you do learn from it are ingredients to life that are priceless. Don’t let addiction and alcoholic thinking be your downfall. Turn them around and harness the positive energy out of them. If you or a loved one has been struggling with getting a firm grasp on sobriety and need assistance, please call 1-800-481-8457 or visit oarcstaging.wpengine.com. Our teams of specialists are waiting by to help figure out what options are best for sending your life into a comfortable direction that you can proudly stand behind.