I just wanted to say thank you for taking the time to read my blog. This is the 100th post on here. Over 100,000 words of, well, stuff. I expected to give up after a few months but I get some positive feedback. I started it because I had experiences to share. Battling addiction. Losing weight. Getting my bank balance in order. To then realising my dream of travelling the world. The feedback people give makes me realise that the bad times weren’t for nothing. They were lessons to be shared. To hopefully help another person get out of the same place or even better to stop them getting there in the first place. I just wanted to let people know that it is possible. That with belief and dedication, it is possible to make a change that alters the direction of life. I have been the change and seen the results.
The naysayers will say that it was easy for me. It wasn’t. I just kept going even when it seemed like a stupid thing to do. I wanted to see what would happen if I kept going. Would it be worth it? Would the sacrifice produce enough rewards? A resounding yes. Adventure. Experience. Serenity and peace. All of them became available. But to get there it was hard choices. I had to sacrifice short term gratification in the hope of finding genuine fulfilment. The relinquishing of old habits and old mindsets. Spending nights reading instead of partying. Dragging my arse out of bed to exercise even when I didn’t want to. Forcing myself to buy healthy food instead of the shit I used to eat. Then repeating it over and over until it became a habit. Of course, it was hard. But it was worth it.
It would be easy to claim glory and pump my ego with the belief it was all me. It wasn’t. It was the people who supported me. Who fought my corner and encouraged me. Who saw in me what I didn’t see in myself. It is in us all. The beauty I saw in others yet ignored in myself, is in us all. We have to believe it. The knowledge that no matter what you can keep going to make that change. It is down to how much you want it. How much do you want to know what you could do? I couldn’t imagine the outcome would be this rewarding. It isn’t always happy and joyous. There are hard times. Thankfully, there are underlying gratitude and contentment that emanates the warm glow of self-belief. Even in the hard times, there are enough things to keep me on track.
Life can dark sometimes. Times can be hard. The world can feel bereft of life and love. It can seem that it will never change. But it can. Small steps. Set a goal and head towards it. Be flexible. Don’t give yourself a hard time. It isn’t helpful, it only hinders progress. Belief isn’t born in a place of self-hate. The catalyst to change is a small goal. It leads to large changes. A small accomplishment is a realisation that more can happen. Eventually, you will be standing in a place you thought was impossible to reach. I only know that because I have been down that road. I spent a large part of my life with a debilitating mindset. One of worthlessness. It caused me to put obstacles in my own way. It was a fear of failure. A fear of looking stupid. Don’t let fear dominate the simple things.
Take a moment to realise that one day it might not matter. Think of issues in the past that seemed serious then but now has lost its hold. Over time the power diminishes. Life without alcohol once seemed like an impossible achievement. Slowly, it became normal. Slowly, the old began to drift into the ether. It was replaced by new behaviours. Through repetition, they cut new neural pathways that led to positive thinking patterns. A revelation after years of being a prisoner to my own negativity. Change was the key to the shackles of harmful routines.
I cannot do it for you. But I can show you it can be done. From being deep in a pit of darkness to bathing in the light of possibility. From scarcity to an abundance mindset. So pull down those mental mausoleums of misery that celebrate the worst of mistakes. Tear down the statues of the dictator that has controlled our mental language for far too long. Freedom awaits. This isn’t some pop psychology nonsense designed to look good on a meme. This is the advice of someone who was restricted by his own outlook. Lacked self-belief but was forced into change by the tragedy of his own life. Don’t wait for the tragedy.
I was unfortunately lucky enough to be forced into change by my failing body. My screaming liver demanded to be treated right. That put an end to the overindulgence in alcohol. Years before, my enormous BMI demanded I made a change. I’m grateful to have seen the error of my ways but I am a little sad it took so much punishment before I saw the value in myself. It was standing at the cliff edge of destruction that made me question if I should try a new approach. It didn’t have to be that way. It was the lack of inner love that made me continue to want to destroy myself. I believed I had nothing to offer and thus nothing to lose. Utter nonsense. I knew. I felt shame, guilt and remorse often. All of which I tried to suppress with more alcohol. It was a war I wouldn’t win.
After getting a handle on my drinking thanks to the wonderful support I never felt I deserved. I began to realise the message that was playing on a loop in my mind. My inner chatter was the dialogue of fear. Projecting into an unwritten future and painting all the positives with a coat uncertainty. Yet, illuminating all the negatives and elevating them to certainties. I was paralysed not by the unknown but by the guarantees that my mind presented. It was an illusion presented as fact. It was the mental gymnastics of addiction. Using fear to keep me leased to a life of misery. But it was a manifestation of my mind, I could change it. It just took time and patience. A lot of reading. Meditation. Facing the fake foes that used shadows to make themselves more imposing. They ceased to create fear once the light of introspection was shined on them.
I don’t talk about success in financial terms. I am not a careerist. I am not motivated by positions of power. My most cherished certificate is the Compostela from the El Camino de Santiago. That is the reward for making the changes. Without them, I would never have made that walk. Without getting in physical, mental and financial shape, I wouldn’t have made the 775km distance from St Jean in the gruelling heat. It reminds how far I have come. My pursuit has been an answer to the chaos that punished me internally. I wanted to bring an end to the obsessive mind that leads me through life from one catastrophe to another. It was the pursuit of peace that brought the pain. Anything that brought temporary relief from life was sought in abundance. Overindulgence is rife with problems when practised for long periods. The answer isn’t in the fleeting escape. It is the re-writing of the neuropathways that lead to mistake after mistake. It is the conquering of the inner bully who demands everything but offers nothing. It is hard to find self-worth with an inner narrative of worthlessness. Life is hard enough externally without making it an inner war as well. The path to peace isn’t in escapism. It is only possible by clearing the chaos and conquering the demons that keep us trapped in perpetual misery.
There is another way. There is positivity. There are adventure and fulfilment. I hope that you can take that from the 100 posts on this blog. They are all true. My life was a chaotic mess. Now, there is peace.
The moments of calm are a reminder that change can happen. If you want it, that is.
Thank you for reading. I hope you can take something from these blogs.