I’m probably saying the same thing I said yesterday but, since I’ve given it a bit more thought, another little piece has fallen into place.
We generally change ourselves for one of two reasons: inspiration or desperation.
It occurs to me that many of my previous efforts to change things in my life were borne out of desperation; that “I have to do something” feeling. The trouble is that as soon as I started doing something, the situation became immediately less desperate and ‘poof’, there went my motivation.
With inspiration, each tiny step closer to the imagined future feels rewarding and provides a reason to keep going. In the past, each tiny step away from desperation felt bitter-sweet at best.
I’m reading “The Sober Diaries” by Clare Pooley at the moment – a wonderful read (or listen in my case) that’ll have you laughing and crying in equal measure, plus it’s full of on-the-wagon-inspiration. In it, she talks about ‘the wine witch’, this voice that taunts her (or used to in the early days of sobriety) saying, “See? You obviously don’t have a problem. Look how long you’ve gone without booze. You could have just one glass…”
I recognise this taunting voice from previous periods of abstinence and now wonder if it was there in part because I began from a place of desperation. Not to say that I would avoid starting from that place again – after all, starting is starting and that’s the most important thing. What I’ve realised, however, is that starting from a place of inspiration and a desire to get somewhere new in my life has, this time, killed the wine witch early in proceedings.
She used to be the bane of my evening when I wanted to avoid drinking. Now, she doesn’t make an appearance – and even if she did, what could she possibly say that would hold any sway?