This transformation that I’ve been experiencing over the past little while is something I’ve had the joy to witness in someone else I met about six months ago. This young man started going to CODA meetings just before me, and every week he’d share about how downtrodden he felt, how depressed he was, how he could not get out of his funk. It was hard to watch, and at times I thought, Pull yourself together, man! Because that’s what I do when other people don’t learn their life lessons at the same time as I did, or immediately after I did. I forget how I spent most of my life depressed and focused on why me, and why did life turn out this way, and what was wrong with me, and why couldn’t I be like everyone else who seemed to have their shit together or at least okay with the fact that they didn’t, and how life dealt me a bad hand, and that I didn’t have what it took to survive or thrive in this life. That was the attitude I’d had for most of my life, up until a few years ago.
This young man who I’ll call Ben not only has a new outlook on life, but he even looks different. He looks awake. It’s such a blessing, a treasure, to watch this person change. In support group meetings people say they can see the change in you before you can see it in yourself, which is true. When I was new, after some time people said I had grown, and now some people even think I’m confident, though I might have them pretty well fooled. But maybe I do have more confidence now than I did before.
Everyone who lives in my area seems so nice now. I’d dreaded moving back to this town north of DC because I’d decided I preferred my old hood down in PG County (Prince George’s County, near the University of Maryland) with all the lower income people who are friendlier and artsier and more academic. But up here in my new old town located north of DC they were always snooty to me when I lived here before. But something happened and everyone got friendly. When did y’all get so friendly? Surely all Marylanders are totally closed off, devoid of eye contact, too busy with their lives to give a damn about yours. Somehow they were all friends with each other at the gym but no one had time for me, and ditto for those in 12-step meetings. But now suddenly people have time for me. What happened?
I’ll tell you what happened. What happened is that I changed. My perspective changed. It’s not that everyone suddenly became friendly; it’s that I became more open. And it all started with my recovery program, and then got put on the fast track with Mom’s death. My life feels so different, in a positive way today. I want to explain to you how this happened so you can do this for yourself. I want you to know everything I did, everything that happened, so that you can try it for yourself. I want you to know that it is possible. Change is possible, and life can get better than you ever dreamed possible. Just believe in it. Have faith. Know that it will happen, and sooner than you think.
Listen. If I can do it, anyone can. I spent my entire life, starting in childhood, feeling sorry for myself. And I’ll write all about this in my upcoming post(s), and I wrote a bit about it in my previous post. Here’s a hint: you don’t have to be in a 12-step program, you don’t have to be religious, you don’t have to do everything I did for this transformation to happen for you. I believe that. I know it, because I know others who’ve grown and changed without these things. So stay tuned.
Here’s a song that helped me get through hard times after I left my marketing career to find myself, when life felt mucky, like quicksand, to trudge through each day, when I felt so lost I didn’t know what to do.
Here’s a clue: There is hope.