You Get Out What You Put In

There is a saying that floats around quite often in the meeting halls, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result.” I did not quite understand the concept when I first started out but it makes much more sense to me today. It would be like planting sunflower seeds, watering and nurturing them expecting roses to grow, and being disappointed, frustrated, flabbergasted, and furious when sunflowers sprout up out of the ground. Then continuing to plant more sunflower seeds with the same expectation for roses. Crazy, huh? That was my life for many years before I was gifted with sobriety. Doing those same things repeatedly and always expecting the end result to be different. My intentions were always genuine in my own head but I basically kept getting those darn sunflower seeds! So why would I, with all of the evidence to the contrary, continue doing the same things expecting a different result? I don’t know that I have a clear answer for that question, but what I have discovered is that my addict mind is very impressionable. My moods, emotions, energy, etc. are all powered by whatever fuel I am putting in the tank. For example, if all day long I am hanging around people (even normal people) drinking, doing drugs, or anything that is associated with that life, it does not take long for the brilliant brain that I have to come up with the idea that I can successfully join in and that this time it will be different. Additionally, outside of the standard people, places, and things that are generally suggested to be areas those in early recovery should make changes, the things I put into my mind and my body are equally as important. This was something the people in recovery that I looked up to showed me early on in my journey. They weren’t going to bars to “listen to music,” or hanging around their old friends who were still using. They weren’t substituting other drugs with the justification that “at least it’s not booze, heroin, meth, cocaine, etc.” They weren’t laying around on their butts not doing anything. They weren’t walking around whining about all the problems they had and how the deck was stacked against them. They were, in fact, putting in very positive things. Things that uplift the spirit, not keep it anchored down. Their perspective was along the lines of “my situation might not be ideal, but what can do to change that fact?” They were surrounding themselves with other positive people and carrying a message of hope not helplessness. They presented themselves with a victor’s mentality as opposed to the ever popular victim mentality so prevalent among alcoholics and drug addicts. Essentially they were putting in positive things and getting positive results. My primary counselor once told me that as I progressed in recovery I would be able to look back at things with a different perspective and appreciate the distance I have traveled; not only physically, mentally, and emotionally, but spiritually as well. It dawned on me at some point that to get the results I was seeing in those I admired, I needed to follow the same path they the were walking down. Today I put positive things into my mind and body (for the most part, I have an Achilles heel with fast food). I start my day with meditation to get my head in the right place. When I feel myself drifting to that dark part of my mind where all the negative lives, I get around some positive people or go somewhere to clear my head. Basically, I want positive results so I put in positive fuel for the fire and to this day it has not failed me. I am not always positive, but understanding how to get myself from the BS to the good stuff is a huge part of my battle plan. Thanks for reading, I wish you all the best!

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