There Is No Recipe
I’m a very Type A person. I make to-do lists, I don’t like change, and even though I can’t, I want to control everything and everyone around me.
The subject of this post has come up twice in two days, so I figured it was something I should write about. I was discussing the recovery process and generally how I had evolved from point A to point B over the years.
As much as I would LOVE for there to be step-by-step directions on how to get to a desired result, there is no recipe.
Growing up, learning about yourself, changing destructive patterns, and so much more all take time. Emotional and mental issues are different for everyone and some people reach certain points at different times. Everyone’s journey is different and what works for one person may have no effect on you whatsoever in yours.
I remember the early days of recovery and struggling with emotions I didn’t even know how to identify. The only feeling I could express was that I was “anxious.” I was a little broken ball of fear and anxiety and unable to identify anything beyond that. I was so uncomfortable in my skin and all I wanted was for those feelings to go away. Years leading up to that point had been easy — for the feelings to go away, I simply ingested whatever I could to accomplish that.
I asked people on numerous occasions “just tell me what to do for ____ to happen.” Over and over again I heard “it just takes time.”
I was (and still am) so frustrated that I couldn’t check things off a bulleted list to achieve a desired result. I just wanted to put all the ingredients in and get some cookies.
So I sat. And waited. And put in the work to recover. Little by little and day by day I started to notice some changes. Some days nothing, but other days I could tell that there was a shift in my thinking.
Here’s what I can say to you if you are struggling with any kind of life change — keep going.
Try things one way and see if they work. If not, change direction. In order to be able to get from point A to point B, you need to pay attention to your own reactions — mentally, physically, and emotionally. See what feels right. Sitting still does not mean being inactive.
Keep a journal. Reflect on things at the end of the day. Learn to listen to yourself and trust your instincts.
It’s tough to keep going when there isn’t a definitive end in sight. Do the best you can each day and one day you’ll wake up and things will just click. You’ll realize you made it to your destination even though you can’t exactly figure out which paths were the ones that led you there.
Thanks to Amanda for letting me think out loud today on this wonderfully abstract post. 🙂