34 Weeks Sober

Today I am 241 days sober!

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Sometimes it takes a week or two of questionable thoughts and actions to lead to some answers. I didn’t get a definite answer over these past couple weeks of questioning, but I have gained some powerful knowledge and understanding about myself. I came to realize that a lot of the time I’m not appreciative of my life and all those who are in it. By that I mean I don’t take enough time to remind myself of all the wonderful things in my life. Too often I get too focused on something and neglect to take into account anything else outside of that. I blame my Type A personality. Anyway, I had a lot of teaching moments this week that forced me to look at the positives of situations more so than get wrapped up in the negative. I’ve always been an optimistic person at heart, but my optimism is unique. Unique in the sense that a lot of it is very idealistic and doesn’t serve to aid me in everyday life and practical moments whatsoever. I can be optimistic about the future, but I struggle immensely in the present. However, that won’t be the case anymore.

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What allowed me to make the change is a simple act of making some decisions. Decisions concerning how to cure my loneliness and isolation that have started to affect my attitude and emotions. A lot of these decisions, even though many would see as quite simple, were shrouded in fear and doubt because of past failures. This is where that hyper focus ability of mine has been a burden in my life. I’m so convinced that the same scenario will unfold again I willingly concede to a situation or decision I know that I can get out of and change. It’s this passivity caused by past trauma that is something about myself that has been a heavy source of my depression. Ultimately it became so overbearing that I turned alcoholism as a way to quell the shitstorm of competing wills within my head. The storm ended with my sobriety and now I’m just cleaning up the damage left over.

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I surprised myself with how I was able to make these decisions this week with such ease and not fearing the result. It was a moment of great personal growth that I could not ignore. This was a huge change in attitude for me. Optimism has finally managed to permeate my once burdened mind and guide my choices with knowledge that everything will be okay in the end. I can confidently believe I will be okay in the end. I believe this change stems from me coming to appreciate all the positive things in my life that seek to better me. Some of these things include:

  • A revived confidence and inner strength within myself
  • A more realistic view of who I am and where I fit in this world
  • An openness to new experiences and change
  • An intense desire to attain personal fulfillment
  • A healthy body and much more sound mind
  • A fabulous support group of friends, family, and more

In a world where the focus is entirely negative, it has been a challenge to find and embrace the positive. Appreciation is difficult to come by when we submerge ourselves in the negative. To truly appreciate what we have in our lives you have to take a step back and evaluate thoroughly and critically about what it is before you. Then we make decisions. These decisions are acts for appreciation because they seek to acknowledge what is good and eliminate what is troublesome and is of disservice. Consider it like spring cleaning, we all do it at some point in time and despite its burden it really is beneficial to help sort shit out. I believe the secret to embracing the positive an unlocking our inner optimist is to actively reflect on what we value, believe, and appreciate about ourselves and the world around us. Reflection is the key to happiness. Self-awareness is the by-product of happiness.

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Openly Optimistic,

Taylor James

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