I recently linked up with a woman I met on Sober Mom Squad to help keep me accountable with my writing. It’s always been in my heart to write a book, so I started writing one but was never consistent with writing it. I even had deadlines for myself. Started to research how to write manuscripts and where to submit, best publishers to start with, you know all the things you do when you have written a book. So here is classic Des trying to get to Z while sitting at A and trying to skip all the in between. I’ve been here before many times; however, this time was different, I wasn’t fully aware I was doing it, but I took it into consideration when someone told me I was. She wrote me back and said, “Why don’t you just start with writing at least 30 min a day and have a blog.” Well, I do have a blog, I thought to myself, but because I was so fixated on the book that it was taking up my mental load and I told myself that the only time I should write is to write my book which was taking away from the enjoyment of writing and wasn’t I supposed to still be in love with writing vs. making it a thing to cross off my to do list? (Are you exhausted from being in my brain yet….)
So, I must start somewhere for me to have a final product and I can’t have a final product without being messy and failing at first because, well, that is where I am going to learn. Which brings me to one of my favorite quotes by Zig Ziglar, “You don’ t have to be great to start but you have to start to be great”
This whole process was the exact way I started when I got sober. I always look at the “end goal” as the place I was to magically be just because I put forth effort for two or three days. I would look for inspiration, for someone to look up to in the direction I wanted to go. And then I try to mimic what they were doing so I can get there and when I didn’t align, I would feel like a failure. I don’t know when my mindset changed on it, but it did, and now I know I can look to others for inspiration, but it is ultimately my journey on how I go about the discovery that will lead me to my own growth and path. Plus, they did the work in between A and Z, I can’t match my A point with their L point. I can reach out to other professionals for their opinion on how they did things, but it might not work for me, so I must try something else, that doesn’t mean I failed, it means I’m trying.
I wanted sobriety so bad, but I wanted it now!! I wanted that instant gratification of having that peace that all the other hosts had when I was having a day and they talked me down from a ledge. I wanted to understand how they did it, how they got there because I wanted it too and I wanted to understand it all at once. But it took TIME. I had to have a plan, I had to sit in the uncomfortable, I had to find alternate coping skills because what worked for one didn’t always work for me. In the beginning the days dragged on like I was walking through sand with a ball and chain tied around my ankles. I hated being there, no matter how fast I tried to walk it still took the same 24 hours to make it to the next day even when I gave all I had to give. I didn’t think it was “enough”, but it was always enough. The days I just napped and made dinner, that was enough. The days I would just sit in meetings and cry, that was enough. The weeks I would share almost daily to get me through another day without drinking, that was enough and that led me today, 825 days alcohol free. It’s when the anxiety started to shed as each day passed and that toxic substance was no longer in my system that I was able to let go of the idea that everything had to happen all at once. I was able to start breaking away from what was weighing me down. All those self-limiting thoughts, anxiety, worry, and fear are all chains that will hold you back from where you want to go.
So now, here I am, embarking on a new journey of writing. Wanting everything to happen all at once but knowing it will take time. I must remind myself to be patient, I am learning new tools and a new habit. My words may not flow so eloquently as others and my first pieces may not be as long as I want them to be because I can’t find the words, but this is just the beginning. I have a new challenge that I want to be great at, but I also must start at the beginning. I need to allow myself time to lean into the excitement as well as give myself grace when things don’t go as planned. But if I put forth effort daily and drag that ball and chain through the sand right now one day, I will have my book in my hands.
So, keep your faith over your fears. Each passing day leads you closer to where you want to be. Take a deep breath, put your hand over your heart and say with me, I am enough, I am strong, and I will conquer!