I want to fast forward everything…but I’m patiently doing work.

Triple 7's. Wheel of Fortune. Megabucks. Black Jack. Craps.

I’m in Vegas right now, but I’m not much of a gambler. I am an alcoholic/addict though and winning one of the big money prizes on a slot machine would be a dream come true! When I was still drinking, I would daydream fairly often about winning the Megabucks or the lottery. This is funny because a) we don’t have the lottery in Hawaii and b) I don’t travel to Vegas very often. But I would fantasize about all the details of winning big: A portion gets taken out for taxes, another amount goes into an investment account so that I can live off of the interest, a percentage would go towards more aggressive investing, and then there is the money to blow on the fun stuff. My life would be totally different, no more selling cars, worrying about paying bills, or any responsibilities! I figured I would be so content and happy…I pictured living in a nice centrally cooled condo and drinking all day :)

I’ve had similar daydreams since planning this trip to Vegas, only now that I’m in recovery, the last part of that daydream feels different. The money would still get broken down the same, taxes, investments, fun stuff. Only, part of the investments would be to hire help to build Active Recovery Life. And instead of drinking in a climate controlled environment, the “fun stuff” would consist of starting a non-profit organization to promote research and work in the addiction treatment field and make help more accessible to alcoholics and addicts, like me. If I were fortunate enough to win that kind of money, I would not quit my job immediately or move to a fancy condo with central air conditioning, as I previously daydreamed.

Wait, what? Why wouldn’t I? What’s happened to me?

I realized that winning a huge sum of money would not change my goals, it would accelerate them. But that was only breaching the surface. This fantasy made me realize once again, that I’m happy as I am. It is difficult to come to terms with this realization. When you are the type of sad, lonely, self-destructive alcoholic with low self-esteem that I am, “happy” is only something you see in the movies.

Bog Burg’s quote above relates to the part of my journey where I’m working to accomplish small things behind the scenes. In fact, I have already done a ton of things that no one knows about or probably ever will. I have had to work constantly on my personal development and self-education to get to this point in my recovery where I can share my story without being irrationally afraid. It’s only taken three years!

This quote reminds me about patience. Something that I continue to work on and will need to keep working on so I can achieve inner peace. It also reminds me about my weight loss and fitness journey. I’ve lost 100 pounds and 50 pounds on two separate occasions. Each time there were many things that occurred behind the scenes: The four miles of running before work. The hours of food preparation. The looking in the mirror some mornings and asking myself, “Why the hell are you doing this again?” You know the feeling right? That feeling where your body is sore, energy level is moderate, and you feel like you don’t have much time. These are some of those small things that I’ve had to work through and they suck!! However, the beautiful part is that they help to create a level of mental conditioning and a habit of taking action that are in the direction of your long-term goals, even if it causes discomfort in the short-term.

Be well, my friends!