I heard of a hospice counselor offering advice, to the sibling of a loved one lying terminal, in an effort to relieve the upright and concerned of self-imposed expectations in the care for the dying. “Most people die the way they lived.” This statement, while not made to me or about anyone I know, made me sad; sad to think that I, until a year and a half ago, led a trite and meaningless existence; an existence governed by fear and policed by addiction.
Often I have heard of people asking themselves, in order to gauge the worth of their lives, who would be at their funeral. I used to work for a man that was adamant in expressing his belief in the importance of leaving behind a legacy after his death. These mindsets used to strike me as being full of conceit, to be self-absorbed. However when I held in my hands one of the most powerful tools that I possess, when I forced myself to look in the mirror with sober eyes l saw an empty life; a life without quality, without depth, meaning, direction and action. There were few memories that made me smile, few memories that left me centered, that gave me a sense of being whole. I felt broken.
If I were to be counting the last of my days now I would be terrified that this is how I lived and this is most certainly not the way I would want to die. I am learning to accept my fears, to master my fears, to shift my fears to my advantage. There is an untold amount of strength to be found in redirecting the energy fueling my fears into fueling my will learn, to immerse myself in passion, to surround myself with positivity, with my future, to love and to be loved. A new direction has been born of the marriage of sobriety and recovery. A solution was found and it was found within me. A shift in mindset. Change.
Time is my most precious resource and with it I am learning to be resourceful. Time to laugh and learn, think and do; above all else do. Take action. Move forward and learn to fail well with an open mind and heart. Do this with those I love and who love me. These are the people with whom I am shaping my life, making my memories. These are the people who would find comfort to know that I will die much the same way as I lived.