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Day 21 – Don’t Give Up

Day 21 – Don’t Give Up
Day 21 – Don’t Give Up

Last night I almost gave up on my 30-day writing challenge. A while back I decided to try something new, and post a new article every day, for 30 days. Last night was day 20, and it was difficult to get the words out. Granted, I wasn’t in a good head space, but even if I didn’t have that burden weighing on me, I think it still would have been difficult.

Originally, I thought this idea would be a fun way to show you all what everyday life in sobriety looks like. The ups, the downs, the in-betweens. But as time went on, it became more and more difficult to write. I started feeling like my words were falling flat. That I lost my edge. Last night, I almost hit a wall with my writing.

And then I thought, “you can’t quit now. You only have 10 more days left.” Ten days in the grand scheme of things doesn’t sound like much, unless you grew up like I did.

For me, I think it started when my mom moved out, when I was about 10 years old. My parents had dropped the bomb on my sister and I that they were getting a divorce. And that same night my mom announced she was moving out. I hid under my bed with her coat, thinking that if she couldn’t find me, she couldn’t leave. From that point on, if something seemed too difficult, I would give up.

Like the time I was let go from the volleyball team in grade school because my grades were too low. I felt like it was too much work to get my grades back up, and I forfeited my chance to play.

Or, just recently, about seven months ago, I had the idea to start a blog. I got as far as trying to get my WordPress account set up, and it was more complicated than I thought. Instead of thinking through the situation logically, and figuring out how to do it, my immediate thought was to scrap the whole writing idea altogether. Thankfully I talked it out with a few of my friends, and realized what I was doing. Giving up before I had given the writing gig a shot.

If I had given in to the little voice in my head when I first got sober, I wouldn’t be sitting here sober today. That voice that says “life is too hard. Let’s drink!” It’s easy to throw in the towel when things get tough. It’s easy to say “this is taking more effort than I am willing to put in”, and give up. But easy is not always the best policy.

If everything in this life was easy, none of us would grow. We would all still be cavemen and cavewomen, walking around the earth, grunting to each other, and hitting each other over the heads with clubs. Thankfully, that’s not the case. Was it difficult for them to face the hard times? My guess is, yes. But I think they also knew that if they didn’t face those difficulties, they wouldn’t survive.

I have learned that if I don’t adapt to my surroundings, face difficulties with courage and perseverance, and keep pushing on, I won’t grow. If I don’t grow in my sobriety today, I will backtrack. And if I backtrack, I will eventually drink.

So, my message to you dear reader is this: wherever you are, whatever situation you are facing now, keep pushing on. Don’t give up. There are so many wonderful gifts that will come to you in this life, but sometimes you must work for them.

Originally published January 27, 2017 – medium.com

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