Have you ever gotten through a tough fight with someone special, or maybe a complicated project, and at the end you thought, ‘Well, I’m glad that’s done, because I’d probably never be able to work it out the exact same way again!’?
The emotions, details, and shifting tides of life somehow seemed to all align in your favor at just the right time. Trying to retrace your steps would be like trying to recreate from scratch a book you’d just finished writing and then accidently deleted.
I wrote this in late 2014 (while high):
“It’s been three days since I’ve used weed.
“I feel great.
“I feel like this whole process of facing addiction and sharing my experience is actually working.
“Looking at my weed stash, it’s obvious that using far less often means I’m spending far less money, so it definitely feels like a big financial weight has been lifted.”
I was feeling pretty good.
About a week later, I got high one night at work. I remember finding and eating this random tray of cookies before sitting down to calculate roughly how much I’d spent on weed since my last estimation.
The results were staggering. Combined, I figured I’d spent over $8,000; and that was just the money I could specifically account for.
I hadn’t really been paying close attention to cash flow when using all day every day. I just knew almost all my money had literally gone up in smoke.
I suddenly had a strangely detached vision of my own life at that moment. I saw how I’d yet again abandoned my poor family to go smoke alone at work (and eat cookies), still giving precious time and money over to compulsions I’d already known for years had been holding me back.
“This can’t happen anymore.”
I hate the idea of having to repeatedly shout the exact same warnings at myself over and over.
But I see now from preparing to share my experience that I truly am moving forward overall, gradually making progress I know won’t ever be lost.
I regret my mistakes, but I know they’re really only momentary setbacks along the path to balance and maturity.
I’ll put it this way: I wouldn’t trade where I’m at right now for anything. If someone were to offer me $8,000 (or millions of dollars) to erase my story and the perspective it’s helped me gain, I wouldn’t even consider it.
Nothing is worth more than your experience.
After all, the experience of your life is all you really have, right?
Though I could never see trying to make the exact same progress I’ve made the same way again, I know I’ll never have to.
That’s the beauty of sharing your experience: It lives before your eyes forever to keep you from ever really falling too far back (as long as you keep sharing).
Yes, you fall down where you’re at sometimes; but you also see so clearly why you can and should get right back up, dust off the ash and cookie crumbs, and just keep moving.
Let’s never stop moving forward together.
Tomorrow: more on not listening to my own warnings.