Day 30 – Lessons Learned In 30 Days
Day 30 – Lessons Learned In 30 Days
Today is day 30 of my 30-day writing challenge. I made it! I didn’t think I would to be honest. But, I am grateful that I pushed through the hard times. This writing challenge has taught me many lessons, and I hope you have learned some too.
Some of the many lessons I have learned are:
Perfectionism has always been a struggle for me. Growing up in chaos taught me that the only way to survive was to make everything around me perfect, or as close as I could get. But, the longer I am sober, the more I learn that I am imperfect, and that’s okay. A lot of my posts these past 30 days haven’t been the greatest. A lot of them, in my opinion, have been shit. But that’s okay. It’s okay to be imperfect. It’s okay to have a little disorder in my life. It’s okay because being imperfect gives me room to grow. Progress, not perfection as they say in the rooms.
I don’t do well with time management. A minute in my head is an hour in real time. I said to myself so many times “I’ll just sit down and play my game for a minute”, and that minute turned into an hour, or two. Often, I wouldn’t post my articles until 9 or 10 at night because I had put off writing till the last minute. What this has taught me is, if I am going to be a writer in the future, and have that as a career, I must learn how to manage my time better.
This also applies to other aspects of my life as well. At work, at home, or learning new things. If I want to continue to grow, I must manage my time well. I can’t continue saying “oh, I’ll do that tomorrow”, because tomorrow isn’t promised. I must live in the now, and quit procrastinating.
By finishing this writing project, I get a sense of completion. Of accomplishment. It feels good to complete a task. So many of my daily tasks are on-going, like sobriety. I will never be done with the journey of sobriety. That will last, god willing, the rest of my life. But, I can complete small tasks. Doing the dishes, washing and putting away laundry, making a quilt. Those things have an end result. It feels good to be able to accomplish tasks because it gives me a sense of purpose in life. It gives me something to work towards because I know it will end eventually. And, I get the feeling of completion when I am done.
Sometimes, if you want something bad enough, you must work for it. This writing challenge has taught me that I can’t just throw words on a page. Writing takes thought, an idea, and a lot of help from my Higher Power. I also learned that it is harder than I thought to find a good picture or quote to put with my articles. But, when I found the perfect picture, or quote, the hard work that went into finding it made the effort worth it in the end.
Same goes for sobriety. If I want quality sobriety, emotional sobriety, instead of just being sober, I need to work for it. Yes, I receive grace from my Higher Power, which keeps me sober, but I must do the footwork. Going to meetings, being open and honest with myself and those around me, prayer, and meditation. All those things are part of my sobriety. It is hard work sometimes, but in the end, it is worth the effort.
When I first started this writing journey 7 months ago, I dreamed of starting my own blog. Since I write better than I speak, I dreamed of helping people get, and stay, sober through my writing. But, when the idea to start a blog was bigger than I realized, I decided to start small. Baby steps. That’s when I started writing on medium.com, and gave myself 6 months to get my writing feet wet. Now, I am ready. I am ready to reach more people. I am ready to test my helping skills on the public at large. Look out world! Here I come!
Over the past 30 days I lost focus on why I started writing in the first place. Within the past month or two my follower count on medium.com has grown to over 100 people. I can honestly say I am baffled by that. No false humility, just awe. But, as my follower count rose, my “recommends” did not. Instead of going with the flow, I took that to heart. I thought “why are they following me, but not recommending my work?” And then I remembered why I started writing to begin with.
I started writing to share my story. To let others know they are not alone in this sober fight. To help myself stay sober by carrying the message of recovery. Not to get recommends and a million followers. It works the same in meetings too. I may not say something that everyone understands. Quite often that is the case. But, if I help one person out of thirty in a meeting, I know that I am doing some good. If I don’t help anyone, but still share my story, I stay sober. If I help one person through my writing, that is what counts. Quality, not quantity.
With all these lessons comes gratitude. Gratitude for what I’ve learned, and gratitude to you dear reader. If this is the first post you are reading, or you’ve been reading every day, thank you. Thank you for taking time out of your day to read this. Thank you for being a fellow traveler on this road of sobriety.
No matter how long you’ve been sober, the road can be bumpy. There are always twists and turns in life. There are always road bumps along the way to trip us up. But, that’s the beauty of recovery. We find the lessons in those bumps and bruises. And no matter what we are going through, someone else has gone through it too. Happy trudging friends!
Originally published February 5, 2017 – medium.com