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Sooooo I‘ve talked about plateauing in some pieces like Complacency Kills and If It Ain’t Broke. I even specifically said in Complacency Kills that if I’m not continually checking myself I remain susceptible to settling. What I didn’t say, or realize for that matter, was how easy it is to revert back to old comfortable habits.
In my attempt to find a work-social(life) balance I’ve realized the pendulum has swung hard back the other way. Since there’s enough content on the site to have different reads every week for the better part of 18 months and I’m not fending off a desire to drink pretty much at all; I figured it safe to incorporate more social interaction to be more balanced, more “normal”. So around late January I started this deliberate venture (Got Balance) and roughly six and half months later I’m leaning so much more toward the social than the productive.
Then, barring an actual event (i.e. birthday, dinner party, etc) I went out one Friday a month, if that. Now, I plan on going out most Tuesdays and Fridays and then stopping in here or there any random day when I take my dog on her night walk after work. The subtlety of the shift was in the enjoyment. I’m in this establishment or that getting to share my experience and knowledge in things like sobriety, self-awareness, and spirituality. It’s almost hypocritical because what I was missing was the awareness that my self was reverting back to pre-sober Ben behaviors. I’m revelling in my positive social standing and perception but not attending to or building on what generated it.
My increased time out has mostly contributed to the noticing of lacks in areas of my life that don’t directly contribute to my core betterment. They do however contribute to a much more familiar version of myself that thrived on surface level, external validations. I was chilling on the patio at a bar last week and a guy walked up and people clapped, like actually applauded! I don’t get jealous, like ever, but it triggered memories of the eruptions I received upon arrival. Honestly, I missed it (insert that green vomit emoji). Being out and the heightened interaction with women in that environment can promote the importance of companionship over the quality of companionship. Truth is, two years and nine months of changed wants, thoughts, and behaviors can be negated in an instant and those perceived lacks can be remedied with one simple yet catastrophic compromise.
I point that out to illustrate how deceptively slippery a slope a plateau can be. Honor accomplishment but value work (the process). Assess where alterations need to be made but never lose site of purpose. The lower version of ourselves loathes the best version of ourselves (our purpose pursuit) and will never stop fighting for an active place in our existence. Accept that this is a lifelong battle but take solace in that “we are granted a reprieve contingent on the maintenance” of our self-awareness and continual practice of the actions that propelled us forward from the beginning.