stop assuming the new thing will suck

As this day goes on, i find myself asking pretty typical questions: what do i want my life to be like? since i’m driving this sober car, where am i going? am i driving or just coasting along enjoying the scenery. is there a difference and who cares?

I had a super great series of coaching calls today, where some themes repeated throughout: yes it gets better, you can’t tell how much yet because it’s too early. yes, you can be fun, have fun, see fun, create fun if you’re sober. yes, there will be tragedy, chemo, suicide attempts, and kids going to college. Yes you will put the dog to sleep, or get bad news about your mother, or sell your home. you don’t have to drink about it, and it’s probably better if you don’t.

yes it’s ok to have feelings and not automatically try to numb them, to escape, to hide. yes, being angry is a perfectly normal response in that situation. so is crying.

and fear. i heard fear in today’s calls. but i heard hope, too. a lot of hope. a lot of ‘this time i’m doing things differently so that i’ll have a different outcome.’

and yeah really … what is fear? (she asks herself, then answers the question as if someone else has asked…)

Fear is looking into the unknown (and the unknowable) and assuming it will suck. ha ha ha ha. we NEVER think it’ll be better in the new life, we just automatically assume it’s going to be rotten.

Thankfully we don’t have to live the scary ‘rest of our lives’ all at once. we get to eat the elephant one bite at a time. i am clearly writing this entire blog post to myself. i can hear my business coach now. it’s like i can channel you, kathleen. when i call you tomorrow, you will say “why do you assume that growth will be bad? why does it have to upend your balance? Who says that if you publish a book you can’t still have mid-day baths? Why is it EITHER / OR with you?”

and i’ll say hahahaha because i’m a boozer, and black and white thinking is how we roll.

so now that i know all this, it’s my job to begin to think differently.

note to self:

stop assuming the new thing will suck.


I want to put this online, to hold myself accountable. I want to document the noise in my head. I'm tired of thinking about drinking. date of last drink: june 30, 2012

  • timely post for me on the black-and-white thinking – thanks, Belle. I’ve been reading up on it and was interested to find out that black and white thinking can be attributed to the primitive fight-or-flight response under stress…. so if we revert to it in situations where we are stressed then perhaps part of the answer is to lower our stress levels and let our higher brains have a chance to get in on the act?

    also the Wikipedia entry for b&w t made me chuckle – apparently the opposite of the b&w t fallacy is the golden mean fallacy – the fallacy that the correct answer is always the average of two extreme solutions. Also known as …. the fallacy of moderation 🙂

  • I was once told “not only” was a good thing to say to yourself when you get stuck in either/or. Works for me! I think you should not only write a book but also take baths!

  • It is hard to think that things will not suck. I think it is something about expectations, if you don’t expect too much, there will not be any disappointment. But, there will probably also be less joy. So Belle, I am also going to stop and rethink my response to the future. Instead of thinking I will fail or there will be a catastrophe if I don’t worry about every possible thing, I am going to try and be positive and watch how thing unfold.
    Thanks for all your great posts and support