Death by a Thousand Cuts
The overall theme to my New Year’s resolution was to make myself a stronger person, both physically and mentally. I’m doing this because I have a very grandiose vision of my future and I figure in order for me to pull it off, I’m going to have to be the best version of myself at all times.
With that said, I continuously contemplated giving up alcohol. I figured, if I want to be my best throughout a day, drinking the night before wasn’t going to help in anyway. My typical routine was 1-2 glasses of wine a night, a few days during the week and then anywhere from 3-5 drinks Friday through Sunday. I told myself during the week it is good way to relax after a long day and then the weekends where a reward for a hard week’s work put in. I never drank to excess, so justifying it was easy. It also helps that this is the routine of many people, so it must be OK. So, giving up alcohol remained just a thought, oh, and I really didn’t want to do it, which helped to keep it just a thought.
Another resolution that I was much more committed to was read at least 10 pages a day to get back into my old routine of reading on a regular basis. I had been giving myself the excuse that I have been too busy lately and not reading wasn’t a big deal. *Side note, many of my new routines or resolutions, I start before Jan. 1st, it gives me some time to test the waters and make any necessary adjustments.
During my reading, I came across 2 passages in separate books that stuck with me.
(1) “You are only limited by self-imposed beliefs and ideals. God does not limit you-you limit yourself by immature and undisciplined thinking.”
~Above All Else, Greg Amundson
(2) “In its ability to provide short-term relief from depression, dreaming about the future works much like coping mechanisms that help people deal with extreme pain. Thought processes and behaviors such as denying a problem’s existence or losing oneself in drinking or other drugs have been shown to engender more depression as time goes on. People fall into passivity and don’t actually do much about the cause of their pain; over time, it wears on their mood. Yet short-term alleviation of depression is no insignificant thing.
~Rethinking Positive Thinking, Gabriele Oettingen
# 1 Made me realize I make excuses or justifications for myself. The problem is then I justify not making changes or taking action which leads to me not progressing. Not progressing leads to frustration and anxiety about reaching the end of my life and realizing I just went through the motions and did not use the gifts God gave me to their fullest potential. We do not regret the things we do in life; we regret the things we don’t do.
#2 Even though my drinking was not in excess or anything outside of social norms, it was acting like “a death by a thousand cuts”. I was dealing with stress and anxiety about the future with tiny band-aids. A drink would cover of the bleeding, but not stop it. In fact, over time, I found myself with thousands of cuts, all needing band-aids. Cover up the stress and anxiety which then leads to bouts of depression, and if you’ve ever dealt with that, it’s no fun. It’s no fun for you and its definitely no fun for loved ones, they tend to get the worst of it.
“The ONLY way out is through”
Now the decision is easy. Change my thinking and stop making excuses. If I truly want the things I say I want, then hard things need to be done.
What are you using as band-aids? Alcohol? Drugs? Food? Relationships? Exercise? Porn? Gossip? Social Media? World Situations?
Respond back and let me know. If I can help in anyway, I will. Also, sometimes it helps just to know you are not the only one.
I’m not going to tell you what you want to hear, I’m going to tell you what you need to hear. Quit listening to the people who tell you this is just a “season”, the ones that let you get away with your bullshit excuses. They say this because they are afraid to hurt your feelings or even worse, it’s their way of justifying their own excuses or coping mechanisms. I know that may seem harsh, but this advice is for the people who are ready for it. Those that just got butt hurt, I’m sorry, enjoy your season.
“The ONLY way out is through,
The only way through is TOGETHER.”
Chief Awesomeness Engineer
CrossFit Level 3 Certified Trainer