If you keep on doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep on getting what you’ve always got. -W.L. Bateman
Years ago, my Mom was driving up to the college I attended to visit me. I’m not sure if it was her first time driving on her own, or she just took a wrong turn somewhere, but she got lost, and it took her a while to find her way to the campus (this was before the age of GPS and cell phones). When she finally arrived, she was in a state, and exclaimed, “I could see the college, but I just couldn’t get to the college!” This quote has stood the test of time amongst my group of friends, and we will still occasionally throw it out there.
Fast forward a couple of decades. My husband and I are sitting on a beach and I was trying to open up about my struggles with recovery (this was during the 8 months where I was trying and failing). I said to him, “I can see where I want my life to be, but it’s like it’s sitting across a crowded freeway. I can see the destination, but I have no idea how to get there.”
So what’s the answer when we know what we want, or as the case may sometimes be, what we don’t want, but we’re completely unsure how to enact the right change? In using my own journey of recovery as a reference point, I believe the answer is simply do something. If you don’t like your current circumstances, whatever they may be, then the plain truth is that you have to change something. I can hear the defenses going up…. but what do I change? what if I make things worse? what if I create a new set of problems? I know all of these defenses because I’ve used them all myself, about a thousand times. They are the rationalizations of someone who wants to remain stagnant.
When you make a change, then the outcome is uncertain. But if you know you don’t like the current circumstances, and you refuse to make a change, then the outcome is certain… you will continue to live and feel the exact way you do now. When you look at it that way, the answer is pretty simple!
As someone who really, really, really hates feeling cold, I have so appreciated this balmy 40 degree day (for the past week, we have been living in the teens, temperature-wise, in the Northeast), and it is supposed to get even warmer tomorrow!