Why do troubles always blindside me?
I might not know their exact nature or precise arrival time, but I do know they are coming because they are a regular ingredient of life.
While I’m at it, why do I waste valuable energy and stress attempting to resist troubles?
When has that ever worked for me?
I should either interact with them or endure their temporary presence during my day, week, or month.
Interact? I could engage in the challenge they present by implementing a solution or use their uninvited obstacle as virtual gym equipment to grow and develop my character.
Easier said than done, but that doesn’t make it untrue.
My Brazilian friend, who is on day MIGHTY 20!!! in her AF journey has inspired this line of thought.
PMS slammed her just as she found her groove in this new beautiful world free from the bonds of addiction.
Her cravings to escape her misery via alcohol returned, but she didn’t listen to that vandalizing voice of betrayal! Whoo! Whoo!
It is hard enough to endure or learn from troubles at the best of times, but how do we cope when our very own body and chemistry seem to be sabotaging us from within?
But my friend demonstrates that it is possible!
I have also faced problems in my journey so far.
My biggest client outgrew me, and I lost 45% of my income overnight. So out the window went my financial plans, and colossal disappointment came in.
I do not often argue with my lovely wife (and best friend), but when I do, I feel wretched.
This week I have a challenge at work that I knew was coming and feared greatly. So naturally, I have anxiety over this – a nasty, unpleasant feeling.
There are other examples.
It is in these moments that we need to be on our game.
I know in advance that whatever happens, I will need to feel comforted and rewarded during the process of troubles arriving, being either endured or dealt with, and then leaving.
- Fresh linen
- Tidy a cupboard (I know, shoot me!)
- Favourite foods
- Exercise (I might not like the thought in advance, but I always feel better after)
- Walk outdoors
- Talking books
- Massage (Rare, but wow!)
When trials come to my door, I think of a theatre setting.
On stage are:
- Me – I am suffering
- The troubles – Causing my suffering.
- The voice of addiction – Whispering ridiculous suggestions into my vulnerable ear.
I remember that the issues are temporary, and so is my discomfort, and both will soon “exit stage left.”
I remember that the voice of addiction is a wiley, lying, manipulative force of destruction that I should not enter into conversation with except to roar: “Fuck the right off! I don’t talk to you”.
Do you recall in cartoons the funny moment when one of the characters has a little angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other? Both would be whispering their encouragements towards a course of action.
It’s not funny! It’s real.
The devil is the voice of the behaviour from which I am stepping away, and it doesn’t want me to go.
When difficult times come, this voice is ruthless enough to attempt to seize the opportunity while I may be vulnerable or to catch me with my guard down.
I am prepared.
This life of sobriety is a lovely place to live.
Not without difficult times but worthy of my continued sowing of good seed into it.
I will defend it.
Troubles are sometimes good. They may be unwanted or arrive at an inconvenient time. But, on the other hand, they often bring blessings in their wake.
Whatever they are, good or bad, it is best to box clever!