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The hardest thing about recovery is the realization that things don’t always go to plan. Certainly not for me. Maybe though, that’s because my plans don’t take into consideration that I have limitations. I didn’t know that humans were allowed to have limitations. Humans have limitations for a host of different reasons. We are told on a consistent basis that we can be anything, do anything. If it doesn’t work out then we didn’t work hard enough or secretly didn’t want whatever it is we are working towards, bad enough.

Equal work doesn’t always mean equal success

I know now, from experience, that’s a crock of shit. You cannot be anything or do anything. The hand that life deals you will determine what it is you can and cannot do. Circumstances and things outside of your control will ultimately determine your fate. Maybe you are reading this and you have everything you wanted from life. You worked hard to get where you are and now you sit right where you want to be. I can guarantee you, that there is another person who worked just as hard as you and didn’t make it to where they want to be. The reason for that is circumstance and limitation. Not because they didn’t try or gave up. Not because they have no talent or determination. Somewhere along the journey the person who didn’t make it got derailed by something outside their control.

And that’s alright! Not making it doesn’t mean that your talent is diminished or that you don’t deserve to be where you want to be. Not making it doesn’t lessen your value as a human being. It just means that you made it somewhere else for your own personal reasons.

I’ve redefined making it

I’ve done my fair share of trying and striving. To the point where I’m now so depleted, I have surrendered to where I’m at. I’ve learned all about myself – every nook and cranny – every shadowy realm. I’ve looked at it all intently and met all areas of myself with open arms. I am who I am and usually too much for most. I’m not where I planned to be and I’ve been saved from that. I’ve realized that I don’t need to be where I had planned, to be happy and content. My success comes from knowing that. I’ve redefined making it in my own life. I’ve survived my own life, circumstances and limitations.

And that’s something pretty courageous. Everyone starts at a base point when they come into this world and everyone’s starting point is different. The game of living life is unfair and unequal. Each person’s life skill is different and unequal. Nobody tells us that as children, unfortunately, but we learn as we go along. Some of us learn to love ourselves through our difficulties, others learn to feel shame and berate ourselves. I’ve been in both places, sometimes at once. It’s hard to play the game of life when we don’t have all the information.

Maybe it’s better that way

And maybe that’s what living life is all about – uncovering all the information for ourselves. We then have the task of applying that information correctly to our own lives and putting all the pieces in place. Quite the task don’t you think? A life’s work I would say. But I’ve never given up on myself or on survival. Something inherent drives me to move forward regardless of the constant struggle. I am happy where I’m at. I have love, gratitude, wisdom and a lifetime of experience that’s been both tragic and entertaining at the same time. Things don’t always go to plan but maybe it’s better that way!

1 Comment

  1. Thank you for this article. It really helped me today in particular. I struggle with immense guilt over everything, surely the result of some codependency and ACOA issues. Often I don’t “see” the effects of this inheritance until I stumble upon an article such as this and realize that it’s okay if the past few days have been just awful and that a relationship has crumbled despite what I really thought were my very best efforts.

    I truly appreciate the perspective and fresh air that these words have provided me and I thank you.

    Ruby W

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