Often, when people try to change, it’s because there’s something they want to get rid of: they want to get rid of their compulsions, they want to get rid of some weight, they want to get rid of a terrible job, they want to get rid of a toxic relationship, etc.
But reacting to something we don’t want, rarely leads us to the place we want to go. Change that’s fuelled by avoidance and fear and worry and obsessing about what others think doesn’t go anywhere positive. It often leads right back to the place we wanted to leave.
Dealing with OCD and addictions made me want to get rid of lots of unhealthy things. And it was extremely important to ditch those compulsions. But what I quickly learned was that I needed to switch from just getting rid of unhealthy things, to bringing healthy things in my life. Getting rid of unhealthy things left a massive hole in my life. After years of practicing unhealthy behaviors, it would have been so easy to just fill that hole with the unhealthy things that came easily to me. To make change stick, I had to make healthy behaviors easy so I could fill that hole.
Recovery became more about being who I wanted to be than avoiding who I didn’t want to be. It’s an important shift that’s helpful to make in pursuing big changes in our lives. An illness might be the trigger for seeking health, but we quickly need to switch from fighting the illness to pursuing health.
Have a healthy weekend!