I know a lot of people use the statement “I am a failure” to draw pity for themselves. It is always easier to be a victim, especially if you have a drinking or any kind of substance addiction problem; but I don’t want to go this way of being a failure anymore. Tic, tock, tic, tock…Time is ticking away. What’s the end game plan?
My failures aren’t due to lack of ambition but mostly due to some rules that I don’t seem capable of following. Instant gratification is one of them. I am paying a big price for it. I chose to work long hours just because it provided quick money. That’s the only reason I loved working so much and couldn’t earn any kind of degree.
Two to three years of minimum education, for starters, seemed like a long time when the paycheck was coming every week. If not for my sobriety, I would never have learned how much instant gratification is affecting me. Part of saying no to my cravings involves dismissing one of my biggest instant gratifications of all, drinking. But once I started accepting the pain of denying it to myself, it started changing my mindset. Things are becoming possible for me now. Although I don’t think I will ever become free from the pull of instant gratification (let’s face it, it’s fun!), being aware of this force helps me understand how my choices are being shaped. I can finally be mindful about my choices and start questioning them and their costs.
Lack of beneficial habits
Drinking made me into nothing, just empty space. I have no good habits. Establishing them takes work, and instant gratification is ruining everything for me. Besides that, my issue is caring too much. I am scared that I will never turn this ship around, but that’s the only thing right now that makes me care, being scared. I really hope that as time passes, being sober will help me gain back some of the old me.
My plan for establishing habits is much clearer now since I have read a lot of books about it. I literally have binge read the shit out of it. It seems that habits are the brain’s auto system. I would always get frustrated for having a hard time doing what needed to be done on a daily basis. I wondered why. Using a mindfulness approach, I would just observe myself and my daily actions till I found the answer: “New things take will power and it happens to be that our will power is limited.” Yep, limited will power has been proven scientifically, that’s why our brain loves its habits and hates new things. New habit establishment is all about repetition. Forget the motivation. It is too volatile because it depends on our mood and feelings. There is no need to have any motivation. Isn’t that wonderful? Maybe that’s why I have noticed that when I do things out of habit, it’s nothing exciting. It requires no feelings whatsoever! and it’s will free so I don’t use my daily will quota.
So how do we work on repetition? When it comes to repetition, the main problem for me is that I set normal goals. For example: read 20 minutes. To my ego it’s nothing big, but when it comes to repeating the reading every day it becomes tiring. The obstacle becomes just to start reading, and I lose all the work I have put in by skipping it. I have noticed that I usually do things in bursts instead of regularly every day. Luckily I have found the solution. I need to set my habit so stupid low that I can’t fail. When it comes to reading a book, my new habit is just to read one page a day! I can’t say no to that. That way there are no obstacles to starting reading, no matter how much I don’t want to or don’t feel like it. I tell myself: “Come on, it’s one page, let’s get over it.” That just kills any possible procrastination, and once I start I usually read way more than I first intended to. It’s all about tricking my brain into trying new things that take me out of my comfort zone. Eventually it will familiarize itself and it should become a habit that I just do without having to think about it.
But wait, there is more. I did fail at a few of my mini habits, and here’s why: ” all those failed habits had something in common, no meaning behind them.” I find that meaning is very important to me. For example I was able to establish the habit of eating fruit every day, or eating 3 times a day, because I knew those habits would help me with my digestion and ongoing acid reflux problem. The ones I failed were those that I wished I had just because it would be nice.
Arguing with my voice instead of ignoring it
Action is the key, it’s much more important then any big wish I might have. I’m lacking in the action department due to my getting into arguments with my ego voice before I take any action. Unfortunately, my ego wins and I end up in frustration, actionless.
I need to stop allowing the argument to start, and instead just do it. No more bargaining. For that to happen I need to sit down and develop my schedule. I really do not know how to solve this problem at the moment, but it would be amazing if I could just force myself to do things that need to be done instead of ending up in frustration, feeling wishy washy.
I am scared and don’t trust myself
Nothing to add here
My main coping mechanism, my hiding place and pleasure of pure escape that I abuse enormously to the point where I am sick and my head hurts. It needs to stop but I do think it is getting better… better as in a tiny bit better. I have an inability to escape and try something new.
How am I going to do all this?