Message in a Bottle
6/25/2020 by Chris Cobb
You ever wish you could go back in time with the knowledge and wisdom you have now, to change your path? To manipulate choices and events to twist yourself into a better version of you? Well, I have wished this very thing many times before. The reality is, you cannot change the past. It is no longer in existence. But what if you could somehow tell the younger, innocent version of yourself what to do, what not to do, and of the consequences of the lifestyle your not so innocent self has chosen… What if you could write your past self a letter? What would this letter read?
This is actually a tough one for me. Even though I have had a fairly tough ride from childhood to where I am today, I feel as though all the difficult trials have made me the person I am today. I don’t really know if I’d want to change that: but then again, I have been a pretty rotten human being in the past, while in my active alcoholism. From DWI to battery charges, to being homeless in big, unfamiliar cities, having my jaw shattered in an altercation gone horribly wrong, and driving drunk with my own son in my car… Those things, I certainly would have never known if I’d never taken that first drink.
So yeah, maybe I would go back and grab myself by the arms and say “listen up!” The first thing I would tell myself would be not to drink alcohol, obviously. I would talk about all the things I have lost, or given away as a result of my poor life choices. My own business, houses, cars, relationships, friends, respect… I’ve had people tell me they hate me over the person I had become. I’ve been arrested 12 times, under the influence of alcohol. I slept under bridges, on bus stop benches, in bushes and abandoned buildings. I’ve come close to the brink of death multiple times, some of those times being an attempt by my own hand.
Even without drinking, I’ve done and said things I wish I hadn’t; pain that could have been easily avoided by the biting of my tongue. Now that I know how to handle situations in a proper manner: if I had known how to all along, how different would life be for me today? Would I be grateful for the small things? Would I be battling depression and anxiety? Where would I live? Would I have a squeaky clean record, a million dollar home and a Lambo? Who knows. I guess realistically if I am finally proud of who I have eventually become, and happy with the direction my life is now heading, the most important thing to tell myself would be “Keep your mouth shut, your head up, and your hands to yourself, no matter what. What anyone thinks of you is not your business, just keep your side of the street clean and keep moving FORWARD. No matter how discouraged you may feel, don’t ever stop working towards your goals.”
Overall, life can be quite unpredictable, and regardless of our past, it’s never too late for change. The best advice I can give, just keep doing the next right thing.
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