Shift Commit Succeed

Whether something I am endeavoring to see to its end is a failure or a success I know that I have succeeded in my commitment to the venture. Not the success when everyone gets a trophy for having shown up to all the practices, once with the orange wedges, or receiving the over-patronizing verbal pat-on-the-back for having done something that truly is, or should be, expected of someone as the most basic of functions for participating in life. The kind of success I am referring to is overcoming self-limiting beliefs to pick a path, take action and fail as often as it takes to realize the positive outcomes for those actions; all the while learning not only from the mistakes but about myself; how I tick, what I am made of, when I am coming up short and what direction to take to improve as a person. The commitment to the process is the key to my success.

Take this blog for an example. A measurement for success would probably be hundreds of views, dozens of comments and scores of followers. Conversely, few views, fewer comments and nary a follower could be seen as this project having failed. However, it is my commitment to the process of fully disclosing the challenges, the trials of living a life in recovery with hopes to reach someone who needs to read it  that rates this action of communication as a success.

There was a darkness that impaired my ability to see how much I hurt myself, how much I hurt the people around me while living a life of substance abuse. It truly was a life that was built around substance abuse. Fear is at the core of my matter. Fear of failure. Fear of rejection. Fear of being ostracized. Fear of not fitting in. Fear of what I am, what I want, what I think I am supposed to be. The cruelest of ironies is that I abused whatever substances I could get my hands on (alcohol was my go-to on any day) to avoid my fears, to hide from  them, but the abuse of substances and more importantly the mishandling of my self-limiting beliefs exacerbated the problem. It is a frightful, truly frightful, cycle in which to be caught; running to alcohol to remove my self-limiting beliefs only to find that those fears, those beliefs simply remained and in fact grew worse with time. This led to greater abuse of more substances which of course led to an even more fragile mental and emotional being and so on.

It was my decision to exact change, to shift my life to seek a new direction that allowed me to find freedom from alcoholism. Sobriety came at a great cost in more than a few ways but my commitment to the process is what allows me to be a success. Commitment wasn’t easy for me to muster. There seemingly are countless instances over the past year and a half of my sobriety that I have wanted to run and hide, that I have felt myself shrinking away from simply an idea, that self-limiting beliefs, fears have crept into my head reminding me that confidence in myself is not innate. With great effort, not in pushing fears down, but in embracing them, recognizing them and understanding why I have them I find my strength to fail forward. To commit. To succeed.

Of you I ask feedback. Tell me what’s up. Please comment and let me know what you think, good or bad. Your feedback helps me to grow.

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16 thoughts on “Shift Commit Succeed

  1. Fine, I’ll leave a reply, jerk. Seriously though, amazing stuff. I don’t even know what to say for a thousand reasons. Your posts stick with me throughout the day.

    1. Thanks man. That means a lot to me. It’s a struggle to get stuff out of my head and it comes out pretty clumsily but I have never been known for grace.

  2. I would disagree with your thoughts coming out clumsily. Just the opposite. You are clear, simple yet extremely profound. I am in awe and inspired by the amount of commitment you have. The perspective you are gaining and have gained I believe to be rare. I enjoy reading about the journey. Thanks for sharing Glen…

    1. It’s nice to see you and to see that from you. Thank you Lindsey! It’s a crazy far cry from a couple of years ago; slinging as many drinks into my own snore hole as I was serving.

  3. Well put Glenn. I have found that true success in life is failing and moving forward. Failing means you are trying and whether there is fear there, you are not letting it bind you. I have an amazing book by the Dalai Llama which talks about compassion. Compassion for yourself, enemies and so on. The part of the book that I thought relates well to your post here is the part where he speaks of resistance. Without the “haters”, or people who care to try to keep us down we would not have learned to persevere and in turn grow. With all the challenges in life, whether external or internal, our moving forward in a true “clean” way will allow us to actually use those experiences as a positive as opposed to letting them cripple us. I myself am sober and chose to be so many years ago. I enjoy having a clear head to move forward. I wrestle my own demons, fears in myself and though these things may never go away I know exactly what they are.

    I think at this point I have rambled a bit. So I will cut it short. Basically, great to read this, and I hope that you share more. You are definitely not alone in these feelings.

    OK. One more thing. I am a big Salvador Dali fan. Painter, in case you didn’t now. There is this great quote of his that I have on my wall.
    “Have no fear of perfection, you will never reach it.”

    Our beauty is in the imperfection. Being ourselves.

    Thank you Mr Watt. =)

    1. Thank you so much Bryan for sharing here such an inspiring message.

      It is easy for my head to become clouded with too much information and trying to work it out all at once. Having you post such a thoughtful piece really helps to slow things down for me and gain a fresh perspective.

      I am glad to see that your choices have put you in a position to best help yourself find beauty and to succeed. These can be difficult choices to make but once realized are decisions worth fighting for.

      Thank YOU.

  4. Hi Glenn,I realize you don’t know me but your words brings tear.Its is a victory just to be honest without shame.Having people I love that fight the battle everyday.So sad that people who don’t understand cause more hurt in there lack of understanding.This isn’t about good person bad person.You are breaking the mold speaking out and standing proud in your daily walk.I wish you everything that makes you happy.Thanks for sharing it brings hope too families that wait for there loved ones to find there way.

    1. Ellie, thank you so much for your feedback. I understand your plight and your pain. I wish I had never brought it upon those that I love. I am massively grateful to have the oppurtunity to be a better person for me and in turn to those loved ones. Addiction is truly a horrifying disability and blindness. I hope with all my heart that those in your life that need to find strength and change can do so. Please stay strong for them and be well.

  5. Hi Glenn – I remember you well only from 5th grade so I am sad to learn that the cute, smart and witty kid I admired has gone through so much hardship for so long. You have lots of old friends who are so glad you are back in their lives! It was very good to see you the other day. I hope to see you at more high school related events and informal gatherings. Let us all help you create some great new memories. Thanks for sharing your experience and insights through this blog – you are a fantastic writer. 🙂

    1. Anita, thank you for the warm welcome and the touching post. It’s funny how much things and people can change over time. Being ten years old I had no idea what kind of decisions I would be prone to making and the awful consequences of those choices. I am grateful that I eventually came around to decision making that puts me moving forward (almost thirty years later). I am thankful to have ao recently seen such friendly faces and am hopeful to see them again. Thank you for taking the time to communicate here. It helps to make this worth while.

  6. hi glenn,

    something to ponder is that most of us are drunk on thoughts (not even substances) all the time and are not even aware of it. with this in mind, what you are writing about speaks to the masses. but even if you reach only one person and even if that person remains anonymous and chooses not to comment, what you have shared is worthwhile.

    i know this will sound strange and i’m sure you won’t see it this way, but in a way, you are lucky because through your extreme experiences, you have reached a perspective where you can see that your thoughts have been driving you. now, you can stop to inquire and examine the source of those thoughts and take control of them and accept them rather than drowning them out and pushing them away. you can acknowledge those thoughts and then choose not to get entangled in them and not to allow them to drive you. some people never reach that point.

    it’s nice to see you moving into the light or rather seeing you become aware of the light that you are, which has always been present even when you felt like you were in the darkest of places. you are so worthwhile.

    a nice thing to do when you wake up each day or when you start to feel cloudy or bogged down, if you’re up for it (and maybe you are already doing this), is to take a breath and think about at least 10 things you are grateful for.

    and and and… here’s another quote to add to your collection: “your task is not to seek love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” -rumi

    thank you for your openness, for your honestly and for expressing it so well.

    sending love your way and hugs. 🙂

    1. Alyssia,
      Your words are exactly what I needed to read just now. I was busy exploring some rather negative material while mashing buttons on my smarty device trying to work through a future post and your reply popped up. I have nothing but sincere gratitude for you, your thoughts and the time you took to share them. It can get a little dark hanging around the shady corners of my mind and I appreciate you bringing around a little light. Please take care and be well Alyssia. Know that you are appreciated for being you.

  7. i stumbled across this blog via mutual facebook connections. your honesty and insight, ability to be both objective and subjective, and willingness to put all of that out there just floored me. to find other people who think like this, who strive for better, who are WILLING to be fully transparent–tell the truth about themselves TO themselves (at least), and actually do the work needed to even ATTEMPT change inspires me. i’ve struggled on both sides of substance abuse and reading something like this was exactly what i needed today…and countless days before now. thank you.

    1. Diana, this is a big reason why I have started to, as I call it, get the crazy out. Not only is the action of transfering thoughts to text super helpful and therefore important to me but if I can touch someone with those thoughts I feel a little closer to whole. Thank YOU so much for sharing here and giving me feedback. I appreciate you and hope for you nothing but the best.

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