Several readers have asked, “What actually happens in life coaching?”
While I talk about different issues with everyone, the questions and answers are shockingly the same:
- What are your principles?
- Are you willing to live within them?
- How can you set it up so you can succeed?
When you leave I will see you in a week or two or twelve, depending where you are on your journey. I give you (or you give you) action steps to take to get your life moving in the direction you say you want it to go. After the session I send you on what we discussed, thoughts to be pondered, and a plan of action to be undertaken. At week one you aren’t trying to change the world. You’re trying to breathe and stay sober … that’s it!
Below are notes sent to a client with only eight days of sobriety. Day 8 was harder for him than day one and two. At day’s one and two he had a reason to stay sober. At day eight he was hating life, himself, me, and sobriety. See if you relate to any of this. (This was definitely me with day 8 barely under my belt.)
Action/thoughts to ponder for the week:
- Stopping and staying stopping drinking sucks, is hard work, totally un-enjoyable AND we don’t drink anyway.
- Do not give yourself excuses to drink. Stop having a conversation about drinking or not. Check it off the “to do list” first thing in the morning and be done with it. You are your own enemy when you engage in dialogue that is destined for failure. The subconscious mind it too powerful to be reckoned with. You are no match for it. It will win every time. It will try and get you alone and get you to drink. That is its job. Our subconscious mind is built for survival. It is not interested in the right or wrong of what we are doing. It is simply trying to keep you alive. For an alcoholic like me and you that means, “DRINK today or die of the pain.” Do not, I repeat, do not try and manage this alone.
- The only thing you need to do today to stay sober is not drink. You are the only one that can do this. No one can accomplish this feat for you. It has to come 100% from within you.
- Don’t bark at yourself and don’t bark at others … walk away, count to ten, scream in a pillow, journal, exercise. Stop taking out your sober anger on people who love you. You’re destroying things you may not be able to fix.
- Be kinder to self. Beating up self over past mistakes is futile and it reinforces the subconscious position of “drinking to survive in this big, bad, difficult, unfair, unsafe, unloving world.”
- Identify one thing that brings you pure joy today and do it. No excuses! If you can’t find one then you are to journal about what you think might bring you joy. When you are finished journaling, ask yourself why you do not do this for yourself.
- Write, write, write, this is the way of recovery! Until you dig in, feel it, see it, experience it … “IT” is not going away. It will be there to haunt you every time you quit drinking … for the rest of your life.
- I know this is not the life you want. You told me through tears as you sat in my office.
- Stop saying how much you miss drinking. You abhor drinking. It brings you only misery. You hate drinking.
- See you in one week—still sober.
- You don’t get the joys of eight years sober, you get the joys of eight days sober. Stop being miserable over stuff you haven’t earned. We earn peace of mind because we have learned to receive and act in accordance with peace.
- Ask someone with zero sober days if eight days would be great. They would love to be where you now stand. Stop acting like it is no big deal.
- You CAN do this, so get your ass in gear.
- I love you. Feel free to love yourself too. We are not our mistakes.
Anyhow, on the coat-tails of of this post I wish my readers to know I get it. I get early sobriety! Let me know if you want notes from someone with three years. We no longer talk about wanting to drink, cravings, raging behavior, irritability, confusion, black-outs, or our spouse’s limited perspective on sobriety. We are engaged in life. We are living fully. We are contributing. We are evolving.