"My life had become unmanageable." 

A line that immediately seems to result in a fight/flight response; namely- denial. 

The external means and objects by which a person manages their feelings are not evil. Demonizing them is no more useful than the denial that accompanies the first sentence above. 

As the negative consequences of our choices continue to stack up, it becomes more difficult to stop using the external means and objects to manage our feelings. This is the everlasting cycle that keeps us stuck, sick, and not progressing toward our vision for the future. 

At first glance, the “un-managed” aspects of our lives are easily spotted. The unpaid bills, evictions from our homes, repossession of our vehicles, calling into work, losing our jobs, repeated doctor visits, drug seeking, loss of relationships. Repeated dead-end jobs. Lack of regard for self. Always putting others before our own needs. 

Underneath the tip of THAT iceberg? A black hole. A wound. The desire and craving for connection. Something is missing. 

How can we begin to manage our lives? How can we get our power back? Being present. Practicing mindfulness. Living in the moment and experiencing it for what it is.  

Have you found yourself shaking your head in agreement with the above? Can you identify with the feelings of unmanageability? 

To live in the present and be more mindful you can begin by doing the following: 

  1. Identify what you want to change. Is it drinking, eating, or drugging? Do you spend too much time on electronics or watching pornography? 

  2. Identify what has stopped you from making this change. Is it fears of not fitting in? Do you worry the joy in your life will be gone? Do you wonder how you will cope without it? 

  3. Identify what you get (gain) from not changing the behavior. Cutting relieves me. The chocolate chip cake is delicious. I feel powerful when I am gambling. 

  4. Identify what you will lose if it doesn't change. Will you be in prison, a lunatic asylum, or a grave? Will your spouse leave you? 

  5. Identify what you will gain if you make the change. My relationship/health/job will improve. 

  6. Are you willing to do whatever it takes to have this healed, changed or transformed? 

Get a journal or a fresh notebook page and a pen. You need to write this down. 

Stop living in the past, focused on the problems and "why" they began, or exist. Start from right now, where you are. You are powerless to change the past. What has been done cannot be undone. Accepting your current status is empowering- you can affect your future, but not before acknowledging your inability to control the chaos that is destroying your life. Your soul. 

All is not lost. This train can be redirected. Are you ready? If you aren’t sure, you may want to read Powerless and see if anything resonates.