A healthy program means applying recovery skills to everyday things. What does Zach have to teach us today? Please enjoy another entry from Zachary Brewer, Recovery Navigator, Residential Program.
The following are two completely different scenarios in my life that offer the same teaching.
One // Pain
I live with pain. I have four back diseases. Scoliosis, Kyphosis, Degenerative Disk, and Frailty of the Bones. I have had these diseases most of my life, taking my first rest on the floor because of extreme pain from push mowing the yard at 11 years old. This also coincided with my Mother giving my first “pill” to “fix it” which I was then able to finish mowing the yard and clean the whole house because of – ultimately leading to – well, an entirely different story than what this article is about.
I live with pain. Yes. Some of my absolute closest friends in life do not know that I have those four back diseases. Why?
Because I REFUSE to let it RUN my life.
I don’t talk about it. I don’t let it direct what I can and can’t do. It’s not the first thing I consider before tackling a new adventure. Does it stop me from certain things? Absolutely. I have learned my limitations because of it and killed my ego behind that, but it’s still not running the show.
Here’s the “main” thing. It’s all about Attitude.
I could complain all day, and maybe even rightfully so. I could get enough prescription drugs to sedate a horse as my daily regimen. I could do these things, but I choose not to, and I choose to have a good attitude about it.
Two // Dishes
Dishes could very well be the bane of my existence if I let it. I do them daily at work and daily at home. They never stop. They never will stop. It’s very similar to dust accumulating everywhere in life and Mother Nature slowly creeping back onto the sidewalk, reclaiming itself as the rightful owner of the earth.
“Here I am again, washing dishes.” I could complain, again – possibly rightfully so – about having to do these every day. I could pay someone else to do it and complain about that. I could whine and moan and yell at my family for creating the dishes I have to wash, teaching them that I ultimately despise them for eating and living.
This is a daily task. Maintenance. And although it may not seem like it, it’s actually an important task. After all, I want my family to eat their food off of clean plates – and I GET to provide that for them.
ALL walks of life have daily maintenance. Even where we think the grass is greener, such as a distorted view of a famous, rich actor- they have maintenance that we can’t even fathom. Maybe more stressful things than I would care for, personally. I might just be ok with the dishes and yard work if I truly knew what their maintenance was.
These thoughts, and many more examples, help me shape my attitude – and offer me great perspective. I don’t always think comparing is healthy, but sometimes it does offer me gratitude and perspective for my life – regardless of the hand I was dealt.
I will do the maintenance. My attitude, gratitude, and perception will shape my life.
Additional writings from Zach: LINK