In my previous article, I wrote about choices. I told the story of how I lost myself and my beliefs, and how I realised that I had only myself to blame. I then went on babbling about how happiness is attained through making good choices consecutively. It suddenly dawned on me that whilst I was lost and completely out of my depth, it wasn't even possible for me to tell a good and rotten egg apart, let alone a good and bad choice in the whirlpool of chaos I was cast in.
People have different ways of dealing with heartache and pain. I, like many of the thirty something people I know, avoid my sorrow by running from one party to the next, drowning my pain in alcohol and blocking out loneliness by entering into cheap chit chats with the hordes of new people I meet. Others might become hermits, workaholics or gym junkies in order to flamboyantly side step the issue that is causing them discomfort and pain. I surely don't have all the answers of how to get your life in order; all I can do is to tell my story in the hope that someone will be able to identify with it and somehow find their way back to their true selves. I have come to believe that as soon as one lose the element of balance in your life, it will be inevitable to neglect key factors that plays a vital role in creating an environment of peace, prosperity and happiness where you as human being can flourish as an individual. It is impossible for me to determine what the correct balance is for your life, but this is how I found mine.The major culprit causing an imbalance in my life was the consumption of copious amounts of alcohol. I didn’t drink everyday, but I did consume alcohol frequently and when I did, I practised the “art” of binge drinking. I would wake up morning after morning with a hangover from hell boasting the most intense emotions of guilt, shame and anxiety; to mention but a few. Continue this behaviour for a year or so and you too would be left jobless, faithless and ambitionless, face down in a pillow covered with sorrow and regret. The first step to establishing a balanced environment in my life was a no brainer: STOP DRINKING. On the morning of the 31st of December 2010 I made a cognitive choice to vast alcohol for forty days. I did it for religious reasons, but yours may just be to give up that one thing that YOU are doing to stop yourself from reaching your full potential. Soon I realised how much of a crutch alcohol had become in my life and how often I was tempted to reach for just another “innocent” glass of wine. It wasn’t easy to say adios to my great pal, but that is the point, it shouldn’t be. During my vast, I forced myself to attend social affairs and continue living life without the luxury of my comfort zone. It was by doing this that I received a new perspective on life as I knew it. I recall one specific night in Hermanus where everyone around me was drunk as skunks – having a blast of course! I, on the other hand wasn’t enjoying my company, my drink (cola tonic and soda) or the music (perhaps it had something to do with the fact that the entire club was bouncing around to the sound of “Nelly the Elephant”). I felt alone; I felt uncomfortable but most importantly I felt oh so proud of myself! I couldn’t help but notice how awfully unattractive a girl looks when she is staggering from one shooter to the next, or even worse, from cheap worthless attention to the next meaningless conversation.
A few months prior to this evening, I had a heart to heart chat with a very special man, who seems to have found the balance and rhythm of his life. His words to me was so hurtful but profound and while I stood in that Hermanus club, it was rambling through my thoughts. He said: “Amber, now that I’ve got to know you, I have discovered that you are a woman with integrity and good values. The problem that you are faced with is that you are constantly out and about, getting drunk with your guy friends. The good guys are also there and they are not noticing you because of your behaviour. It is a shame, for you are worth a stand up man, but you don’t show it.” The experience in that club, combined with my newly found knowledge opened my eyes to what I looked like in the past. I saw countless of beautiful and smart human beings pouring their potential down their throats, wasting precious talent. The message that I’m trying to convey is that you and I are filled with passion, talent and potential, whether you will realise it or not is the important part.
I challenge you to take up this first step to finding your balance. In order to do so, you must first lose your obstacle. Determine what is keeping you from becoming the best [insert your name] you can be and kick the habit. All my articles have a ‘you can do it!’ undertone but THIS one is screaming: “GO and do it already!” I’ve been there, so I know it is not easy, but I also know that it can be done and I’ve had the pleasure of reaping the rewards!
Good luck! Now go and conquer!