Before I had known any better, life often carried with it stress and frustration, and if followed me everywhere. I seemed to live in a world where I constantly reacted negatively to things in life that I had no control over. Although those things were usually not happy in nature, I myself was in a position to have little power over them. For the most part, I just was not in a place to make them better or do anything about it. I hadn’t had the ability to be able to differentiate between things that I did have power over, and things that I did not have power over. I didn’t even know that any difference would matter.
I started to change my thinking when I had begun to get deeper into sobriety, and further away from my dark past; mostly a past of drug addiction and evasive out of control mental health issues.
In sobriety, one of the best lessons that we need is one that relates to self forgiveness, and gaining the ability to not destroy ourselves with self loathing, related to all the hurt and pain our addiction caused. Not in ways to lessen, or downplay the destroyed lives we may had contributed to. But still, it had to be a self forgiveness that was solid solid enough, if we ever expected to gain and grow forward into the future, leaving behind shame and guilt.
I came across some work, which was called “Choice Theory,” and its creator and author was Dr William Glasser, MD. That right there, was my golden ticket. His work was right up my ally, and I quickly came to believe that I would get much needed help from learning as I studied his teachings.
His theories and lessons had amazing philosophies that I really needed. I saw a way out from being stuck on pause, when it came to my mental health, and self care in sobriety.
One of the main, and simplest things I ended up learning, was that I cannot negatively react to the things in life that I have no control over. It was that one thing I needed to help with straightening up my emotional life. I quickly came to learn and realize, that I had experienced a lot of undue stress all the time in my life, the majority of which, I truly, was not in control of.
What a wonderful and clear concept it was. I was surprised how fast my stress levels went down, when I changed, putting all my focus into the things I controlled, and could change.
This entire concept can take a couple different routes, at least from my own perception. As already mentioned, it takes away my stress, and perceived worry from those things I cross in my life that I can’t control. Anything from annoying traffic jams, to negative people I must pass each day in a worklife, to a rude boss or teacher, etc etc.
Secondly, it helps with alleviating stress and worry about the future. That fuss about what’s to come, or about a stressful day coming, a week, or a month down the road. The kind of things that may themselves be stressful. A future court date, a really long, boring training day in the office coming soon, etc etc.
We can learn that we don’t need to live in fear and worry about things to come. Even if we are facing that tough day in the future, we can learn , we don’t have to get sick with negative emotions, over things that have not come to pass yet.
I highly recommend Dr William Glasser to anyone who wants to dig deeper into similar problems that I discussed. The less stressed state that I live in now, is a direct result of having a new understanding about the things in life that I have the ability to control. Without putting much focus into those daily stressors, or that upcoming rough day, I have more strength to handle those things in life that I can change.
is a Trenton, New Jersey Author, Publisher, Editor, Columnist, Advocate, and Recovering Addict, covering topics of mental health, addiction, sobriety, mindfulness, self-help, faith, spirituality, Smart Recovery, social advocacy, and many other motivational topics. His articles, memoirs, and stories are geared towards being a voice for the voiceless. Helping others out there still struggling.