In my last post I wrote on patience and tolerance, it seems logical for me to move from this subject onto motivation and “The Big 4” as I call them.
Motivation and patience are interlocks within my mind; I need the patience to be sure that progress is occurring. But I must admit after I reach a certain level of education and relative stability in my mind, motivation is required to continue moving forward positively
This program (I don’t like the term “program” anymore) during the very beginning is necessary to call it so, but as I move on, I just consider it my life now.
There is much in life I must work on and at the same time always practicing the steps and recovery process, which never ends. But at this point in my life, I must conjure the motivation to move forward mentally, physically, spiritually and financially which I named “The Big 4.”
As I try my best to practice the “4 absolutes” (honesty, purity, unselfishness, and love) in everything I do now, there are four other factors in life which I need to maintain as goals; and it’s hard to keep the motivation. Gratitude, plus a sense of commitment and accountability come into play pushing me forward. My 9th step almost requires me to show through action that I am truly sorry to those I love for the years of my drug use and addiction. Addiction brought on so much stress to my loved ones, so my actions and dedication are required.
The woman I’m involved with now is a big motivator, and I finally see that a good woman does make the man after so many years of being with a woman that uses drugs. Reaching some status in life (you have to realize I don’t have much of anything materially, it’s all wasted on Heroin for the past decade) at 33 years old is a difficult task, and I have a lot of work to do. But I won’t dwell or regret on all the time I wasted or the mistakes I made, building more guilt and shame is not my goal. I must stay positive and motivated; then when the time comes for the 12th step to flow in and out of my life. I will truly be able to show an example that even the worst junky can change their own lives.
I write this post and think of the possibilities; writing keeps me motivated.
I’ll break down the “Big 4” and what they mean to me. My present, short and long-term goals listed are my focus. I stress a day at a time program, and we all benefit from thinking about our daily sobriety on these terms. Whatever it takes to stay sober at the present moment is always the most important thing. Doing so will eventually open your mind and life up to different possibilities and opportunities as it has with mine. Think of it as just plan of action against using today.
So as I explain there are four major factors in achieving a healthy and happy life that I hope to reach someday. Many successful people have achieved this balance.
The “Big 4”
• Mentally: At the moment I’m trying to stay mentally engaged with this project (thanks to my colleagues Jason and Michelle at the Dailysober.com) keeps me on my toes and involved in my program. Being able to write and possibly reach others is vital to me and I am extremely grateful to have these good friends I recently meet in my life and my family to support me in this endeavor and move forward. I currently read and write as much as I can, stay connected with others and communication/ideas flowing. My short-term goals mentally are basically to continue what I have been doing without stagnating my progress; I realize there is so much to learn, and I must continue to stay open. Another important part of my mental health is to remain stable, neither getting too high or low emotionally and try my best to stay positive and avoid negatively and expectations. Let the things I can’t control roll off my back as I move forward in my life. Step 10 is an excellent practice in immediately removing resentments that rot your soul, so staying honest with myself and my defects of character (along with patience and tolerance) is key for me to remain clear. Checking my motives and keeping up with my maintenance program is also mentally healthy. Long-term is foggy, and I should try not to think too far ahead and let things naturally materialize as my future unfolds. School and some college classes might be in my future and forming a career direction versus just getting a job. I want to continue this life always open to learn more and scale any walls I run into on a mental level.
• Physically: Luckily I’m not far out of shape and have some experience as an athlete and how to properly workout, I understand what it takes, and motivation comes to the forefront again along with discipline. As I age and now reaching my mid-30s, it takes my body a bit longer to recover, and I can’t push myself as hard as I used too. But as long as I’m patent with the process and a workout program that is both aerobic and anaerobic, it will be worth it. Mixed with a proper natural diet is essential and I’m pretty educated on what is good and what isn’t if I have any questions I have many people and books on the subject of diet and exercise. A lifestyle change with small goals. A short-term goal would be to quit smoking (which very soon I will attempt) and to drink more water. One of my long-term goals is to get the cure for my hepatitis C that almost every needle user has, thank God for the modern medicine they now have a cure for the specific genotype I have. Despite the side effects, it is nothing like the old cure that caused all sorts of bodily damage at a 50 percent success rate. So hopefully my insurance lasts the specific amount of time needed for me to be able to acquire these medications. Otherwise, there is no way I would ever be able to pay for it. So overall good health and physical shape is important to me and makes me feel better naturally, loving my risk of future diseases and depression.
• Spiritually: In my last post I wrote extensively on the 11th step, and I must stay motivated to keep reading on my different spiritual interests and theological ideologies. I believe now I have a much better understanding of my Higher power than I ever had, writing and reading every day helps me think more and more about my philosophy. My short term goals spiritually are just to remain focused and read up a bit more on different ideas. Long-term goals would be to feel even more connected and possibly share some of my insight. I would enjoy some history, theology, physiology, and philosophy classes and maybe meet some more open like minded individuals that also study. Possibilities are truly endless within the parameters of spirituality.
• Financially: Last but not least, money management. I have food and a roof over my head this is not an issue for me. To become independent is long overdue and for all the work I put in through the years I could have owned a house, brand new car, and had plenty saved and be financially comfortable. My addiction made me a slave, and everything I made went towards the drug. I am okay now with not having money, but soon I will need to form more concrete plans without overwhelming myself with anxiety. I worked too long in low paying very physical labor and believe now is the time I refocus on another more cerebral path. A career direction is a goal, and a long-term goal would be to have a decent career that I can feel worth spending my time. When money does come, I will manage it much better than I did in active addiction and avoid the many pitfalls and scams out there designed to grab all I worked and saved. I can live a modest lifestyle and don’t need much to make me happy, I’m far from being a materialistic person but still, need to gain more responsibility in everything financial. A long-term goal financially would be to fix my credit, start a retirement fund, have a diverse stock portfolio, maybe eventually own my place and be able to donate to some worthwhile charities. When I look at it, my dreams are not very outlandish or grandiose.
Security is key.
These things I mention just as an example of what everyone should work on a daily basis towards a better life. I have left out many important subjects such as leisure time, relationships and hobbies, which are all different as we as people are. As I always say this is just my viewpoint, and I’m far from perfect in any of “The Big 4,” but it gives me a reason and motivates me to try my best. Improving on all of these major parts of life can only help you and never hurt you, this is part of my positive approach I been trying to maintain (the alternative it just doesn’t work and almost ended me).
Without the consequences of my past and the time lost, I might have never been lead down this path. There are things we need to accept we cannot change; like the past; and things we can; like ourselves and possibly a chance at a better future for not only us but everyone’s life we touch.
Thank you for reading