“Fall down seven times, stand up eight!”

The shock. The disruption. The worry. The concern. The stress. The anxiety. All are present at the initial point of destruction. As life seems to fracture into dust and be swept away in the breeze. “What am I going to do?” “How am I going to go on?” “I won’t be able to do it!” “I’m not strong enough!” All reasonable responses. Yet often false. The best part about failure is proving yourself wrong. Being forced to adjust course through choppy waters makes us learn lessons. And also, to learn valuable lessons about ourselves. 

One thing I have learned through life is that I have inner strength greater than I could ever have imagined. And I know that is true of many others I have met along the way. See, it is difficult to progress forward whilst carrying around the weight of the past. Burdened by unprocessed hardship. Restricted by the narrative of someone else’s perception. It’s hard to see a clear path through the blurred eyes of a drunken haze. What do you want? Well, take the steps to see it through! Fear will keep you prisoner. Worry will consume your energy. Anxiety will paralyse. But all you have to do to rebuild is go one step at a time. One foot in front of the other. One minute without a drink. Then one hour. Then one day. Then one week. Then one month. It happens. But the same process can be applied to other avenues of life. Success, whatever that means to you, can be achieved through the same process. There will be blips and bumps. Knocks and setbacks. But the process of rebuilding allows for change. There is no requirement for rigidity. If one way doesn’t work then there is another. And another. There is no failure, there is only not finding the right way.

I was once master of destruction. Caused by a combination of my chaotic behaviour and my fear of achievement. It was easier to destroy than it was to fail. It’s often said that people who are used to pain, disappointment, misery etc in life will revert back to those patterns through familiarity. It made me understand why so many people relapse at around 90 days. Better the devil you know. But that level of knowledge is difficult to shake off when it has been the coping mechanism for so many years. I would wait for things to go wrong. And when they didn’t go wrong I would make them do so. Then I could exclaim “I knew that would happen. Everything always goes wrong in my life!!” Victim mentality nonsense. Things do go wrong. Sometimes quite badly. Times were I think I can’t start again, again. I’m too tired. But slowly the fire returns. Slowly the intensity to try again burns. All from a simple place; to prove the doubt wrong. I doubted myself for so long. Stopping drinking liberated me from that mindset. Purely because |I thought it would be shit and that I would be able to do it. Each achievement. Each milestone. Combined to make me realise that it was possible. So, then, what else was possible? You would be surprised how much of that crap you believe about yourself isn’t true.

Since quitting drinking I’ve learned music. I’ve travelled. I’ve got in shape. I’ve found and lost love. I’ve faced adversity. I also always wanted to try painting but was convinced I would be shit so never tried. Then I thought why does it matter if you’re shit? TRY. So I did. (The thumbnail is my first attempt). But it just shows how restricted I/we are by our own interpretation of ourselves. It doesn’t matter if we fail. It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t work the first time. It matters that we learn and go again. It matters that we realise the narratives we carry are often false. They are often the internalisation of an external influence. Contorted and twisted through our own psyches to become solidified as fact. Disprove them. Break them down and pack them away. Push the boundaries of the self and allow your soul to expand. To not try is the greatest failure of all.

Life is tough for some people. Some have it legitimately hard. Some have it hard by their own making. Carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders crying foul at every opportunity. Seeking misery to justify their outlook. I know. I used to be just like that. Crushed by illusionary problems I had adopted. Even the weather used to give me an excuse to moan. Dragging my feet through life. Sniffing out problems to adopt mike some kind of misery pig. Then I could retell them later at the bar as justifiable excuses for my drinking. Insanity. Life is short. Life is hard sometimes. The best I can do is the best I can do with what I have. Sometimes I get a break sometimes I get knocked back. That’s life. I stopped seeking happiness all the time because it was making me miserable. Sometimes the sun shines and sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes I can afford to help out others sometimes I can’t. Ebbs and flows like the tide. And since I’ve realised I am just a small part in this big thing called life, a weight has been lifted. I feel liberated. There will be trials along the way but I categorically know, that even when I doubt myself and hard times are on me, if I keep going forward it will be okay. That’s all I can do. Once I was left with a pile of rubble that was masquerading as life and slowly I cleaned it up and built something new. I was full of doubt and crippled by fear. Yet in spite of that, I worked out better than I imagined… even when it didn’t work out.

Keep going, you are more incredible than you could begin to realise,


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