Small Things

I think I am learning how to let go of perfectionism. It looks something like this: realizing that nothing is ever perfect, that I make mistakes, and that is okay. Trying over when I do not do something the way that I planned. Working at my goals day by day. Chipping away instead of giving up if I do not do it right. Oh, and getting rid of the word right. And the word wrong. And the word perfect.

Except for drinking. I am “not drinking” perfectly because I don’t drink alcohol anymore. It is pretty easy to stay perfect at that goal as long as I don’t drink ever again. Drink, or don’t drink. I choose not to drink. Because I feel happier than I think I ever have, and I 100% believe that getting rid of drinking is the cause. Well, the cause that led to many other causes in a sort of snowball effect from quitting.

Not drinking alcohol anymore makes me feel like I can do lots of good things as long as I take them one day at a time. There is no need to worry so much about the outcome of everything, rather just fill up my time doing things that make me feel pretty good. And some chores, because lets face it, life is full of chores that must be done and not all of them are particularly fun. In fact, a lot of the things that I choose to do are not particularly fun while I am doing them, but they make me feel good and help me in some way. I feel good afterwards because they are finished. How strange.

I have been writing every day, just for me. I have been exercising more. I have been building my little business slowly. I don’t do it every day. Sometimes I spend whole days not exercising or working or writing. I let my toddler watch too much TV on those days. I mope and I am not particularly nice. But most days I do a little more than that. I write a page. I go for a walk. I get up and go to the gym early in the morning. I brainstorm business ideas. I put ideas into practice. I play with my toddler instead of allowing him to be hypnotized by TV. I go out into the world and say hello to people and look them in the eye and try to connect.

These things cannot be looked at too closely or they will fall apart. If I let myself look at the big picture or think about them too much I will panic and shut them down. My inner monologue goes something like this, “There is no way I will ever do this correctly so why even try? My little effort means absolutely nothing when there are people out there doing much bigger and better things. Who do I think I am to take this on in the first place? What is the point of life anyway? Why do humans do so many pointless things? Why not spend the rest of my time here on Earth with my head stuck in a bottle since THERE IS NO POINT TO ANYTHING ANYWAY?”

Sorry to yell, but it gets pretty rough when I travel down that old familiar road.

I can’t allow myself to follow those thought patterns anymore. I am NOT following these thought patterns as much anymore. They are unhelpful and fueled by fear. I try to focus on the positives, and take it one day, one small baby step, one little goal, at a time. I remember that we all matter, we all have things to share, and we are all worthwhile in so many ways. We are worth the effort it takes to make lasting changes in our lives and to be genuinely happy.

No wonder recovery is a lifelong process. I think I am just beginning down this path.

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10 thoughts on “Small Things

  1. “There is no way I will ever do this correctly so why even try? My little effort means absolutely nothing when there are people out there doing much bigger and better things.”

    That’s exactly the way my mind wants to go all the time… how did you start to turn it around?

    Thanks for this post 🙂

  2. this is all very real to me, too. and the big picture can be both scary and meaningless when we try and take it in all at once. perhaps because that is not how we are meant to see it? like trying to make out a pattern from individual pixels?

    read recently (in Mrs D’s book I think?) that we can think of the ‘one day at a time’ adage in the same way as paying off a mortgage. we make a long term commitment to something but we only ever have to deal with it in small instalments, whatever ‘it’ is. exercise. raising a child. trying not to be a jerk…

    communication as ever holds the key, I think. thanks for this post. xx

  3. Good post – I think the all or nothing, perfectionist type attitude is problematic for me as well 🙂

    You posted on my blog today (winecoloredmemories.blogspot.com), which inspired me to read through several of your past blog entries (I’m new to sobriety and the whole sober blogging world – 8 days new). Have you been back to any more AA meetings? If so did you ever begin to find them helpful?

    • I have not been back…I have thought about it at various times but have never gone through with it. I promised myself that I would go before I ever drank again, and sometimes I think I am making it harder on myself by doing this without ‘in person’ support, so I might still end up going at some point! I think you have to do whatever it takes to get and stay sober. Thanks for reading and for your comment!

  4. It is a process. On one episode of the bubble hour they discussed talking back to that negative voice in our head. I tried it. It works for me. Because generally those thoughts just aren’t true.
    Anne

  5. Hang in there. We all have a little flame within that can never be exhausted. (no matter how hard we try) Living life conscious is not for wimps. Keep sharing. And know you are loved. Lisa

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