I love breaking rules. I broke one of the unwritten gender rules imposed on females yesterday afternoon, actually. I have super short hair and have been in dire need of a haircut for a minute now, so I ordered clippers from Amazon and shaved my head last night. Let me tell you that I felt like I have unburdened myself from a million pounds of nonsense! Amazing! Stella’s got her groove back!
Anyway, I logged on to another recovery Zoom meeting yesterday and Tom W. encouraged in his share to break some more hypothetical rules. I figured that here would be a great place to share them! If you’d like to hear the full audio, go here. He’s #72, Tom W., Oakland, CA.
Five Hypothetical Rules We Should All Break Immediately:
- You can’t have anything wrong with you.
- If you do have something wrong with you, get over it immediately, if not before.
- If you can’t get over it, pretend there’s nothing wrong.
- If you can’t pretend nothing’s wrong, “dropout” of life.
- If all else fails, be deeply ashamed that there’s something wrong.
Now I know I didn’t get those verbatim, but I do believe I got the “jist” of what he was saying. While Tom W. was speaking, I just kept nodding and nodding. Have you ever felt this way? When someone asks you, “How are you?” do you feel compelled to answer with, “Fine,”? I know I have. I feel like each time I’ve done that, I’ve not only lied to myself and someone else, but also like the stress of whatever was holding me down just got heavier. Isn’t it weird?
I have no doubt that the most common answer to “How are you?” that I’ve ever given is, “Fine.” Whereas, in my head, I’m constantly screaming, “No you’re not!!” Of course, I wouldn’t take this to the extreme and start answering with a laundry list of things that are bothering me. But just the realization that it’s ok to not be ok is such a relief.
I think it’s safe to say that most of us during the craziness of Earth’s current affairs are not “fine”. I was absolutely overwhelmed with gratitude when I was offered the option of voluntary leave at my company. In fact, I didn’t realize how “not fine” I was until I spent that first afternoon quarantined.
Be honest with yourself. It’s ok to not be ok. If you’re not ok, then take a minute to pinpoint what is going on and begin the work of repairing what needs to be fixed. On the flipside of that, in my opinion, is also realizing that once you see what the problem is, it’s not ok to whine and complain about it if you’re not working on correcting it. This applies to myself too. I’m definitely guilty of sitting on the pity pot. Sometimes it just takes me longer to realize there’s someone that needs to use it more than me.
Another thing I wanted to share real quickly is about “doing the next right thing”. I’m sure I’ve mentioned those exact words in at least one post, if not many more. It’s part of my program of recovery. Step one: don’t drink. Step two: do the next right thing. I know I get hung up in details and semantics a lot, so another person shared this on a meeting:
Sometimes doing the ‘next right thing’ is just not doing the next wrong thing.
The power of that super simple statement hit me hard. It answered a question that I never knew I’d been asking myself, “What happens when I don’t know what the ‘right thing’ is?”
So that’s all I got for now. Love ya’ll! Big socially distanced hugs and kitty kisses to you all!