Sometimes I let my mind imagine 5 years from now. I have finished my nursing degree, my personal businesses are thriving, and we own our own home with plenty of land for the children to get dirty on. My heart fills with gratitude and happiness. Then, I open my eyes and I’m back in our apartment. I’m starting at a spreadsheet where I have meticulously recorded our budget for the coming month. My heart feels deflated, and my spirit is heavy.
How do we avoid feeling totally defeated, when life is taking longer to get where we want to be? Especially, those of us who spent years of our lives in addiction and battling mental illness.
It is hard not to think “if only I had never used drugs” or “its not fair I had mental illness”. We did the hard work of getting clean and we do the hard work of recovery, but now we may wake up and realize that years were wasted. We have friends and family who have long since graduated and built their lives; all while we were fighting for our lives.
We survived! But, now what do we want our life to be? This is a question many of us never even asked, because we assumed we would be dead and gone. We didn’t have the time to consider questions like that, we were waking up hungry and sick and spend every moment looking for drugs and using. When I was sleeping on sidewalks, I never imagined I could create a life of my dreams.
But it is real. I made it out of that pain and suffering, but now I want to “make it” in life! I don’t want to struggle with paying for Basic necessities. I want financial freedom. I want a home to call my family’s own. I want my business to give me satisfaction and opportunities.
There is NO easy way to get to your dream. Nobody “makes it” overnight. Addicts tend to want everything fast and easy. We aren’t used to waiting, we don’t have experience in strategic patience.
But here’s the thing; one day at a time. One step at a time. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. Never, under any circumstance, give up. The only option is to find a way. When one door closes, you don’t pack your bags and leave! You find another door, and if none exists then you make one yourself!
We once used our resourcefulness for our addiction, now use those survival skills to make it in the real world. We got this 🙂