Returning

Old habits

Cling like vines

Their furry tentacles curling

Pulling me back in time

To get somewhere new

Is not a roundabout route

Instead it is through

And in this

Lies the problem

I don’t get to change

Overnight

Wake up fresh and exactly as how I would like to appear

Instead it is a constant trudge through

Who I used to be

Sometimes

The tunnel I am digging collapses

On top of me

Procrastination

Avoidance

Urges and cravings

All of these things

Don’t simply disappear

Just because we bid them to leave

Becoming different

Takes a long time

And it is easier

If I simply accept that

And keep going anyway

*A lifetime of bad habits and behavioural patterns doesn’t disappear overnight

Just like weight – it took many years to develop

And will take some time for the unhealthy vibrations to leave the body and new improved ones to take their place

In the meantime we are in the no mans land of not quite here and not quite there

This is where many people (myself included) fall back into old habits and then in a week or so remember they are sick of the bad habit and try again

The mind in limbo is uncomfortable

It seeks the comfort of the old and familiar

It wants certainty above all else

And it will push for capitulation

All of this crap is very uncomfortable

I gave up smoking many times before I finally stuck to it – sometimes the gaps were a year long …I can’t tell you how frustrating it is to go back to a bad habit after a year without it, you feel such a failure! Now I hate the smell of cigarette smoke and wouldn’t consider touching such a toxic drug

I gave up drinking alcohol many times before I was able to stand in a group all drinking and not miss it – now I don’t even think about it – I love not drinking, there are so many benefits not the least of which is being free to drive whenever I want and not making an ass of myself

Well, due to alcohol – I still make an ass of myself at times but not because I have been drinking

I’ve been really hard on myself lately for things like procrastination and avoidance. I wasn’t treating these things like the habits that they were.

Yesterday I had one of those awful moments like where your child is having an absolute melt down because they want the damn chocolate or toy in the grocery store, and everyone is watching and you have to try and coax them up off the floor and out to the car

My inner child was a bit like that and I was standing there thinking “I am never going to win”

But of course you do and as with my own kids (though they rarely had a tantrum of that proportion) I just hauled it up, tossed it over my shoulder, had a bit of a chuckle and kept going

I woke up this morning realising, because I have thrown myself so far ahead in my life this year there are some patterns of behaviour that simply haven’t caught up

Suddenly it all made sense

Procrastination, avoidance, disorganisation – all these things are just as toxic and addictive as smoking or drinking

They are habits of buffering and we use them to give our brain some comfortable shoes to slip into

I can accept that I will still feel the pull to fall into distraction instead of work

Still feel the pull to let disorganisation encroach on my spaces

Still feel the pull of many things

But one day – like smoking and drinking I won’t even think about these things anymore

I’m currently in no mans land

I just have to keep going

So that is a big ramble but just wanted to share in case anyone else is feeling that sense of “I am never going to get any better at this, why am I my own worst enemy?” feeling.

You’re not failing, it’s just that you have run a little ahead of your old habits (which is great! Well done you) but until the new more desirable habits are ingrained you are going to be an easy target for your old ways of thinking and being:

Keep up the reinforcing and eventually you (and I) will be where we want to be – it could take a little while, you may slip up, go easy and be kind to yourself

Growth is possible and change is doable – the option to remain as you are is just that

Optional

8 thoughts on “Returning

  1. Kate this is so undeniably true. Plus it has arrived in my inbox for me to read today, a reminder “don’t be too hard on yourself”. Perfect timing!

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