When I drank it was easy to blame my depression and inertia on other people and my limiting beliefs. Instead of looking inward for a way out, I stopped at the barriers I unwittingly constructed myself. Art was a bust because of my dad’s unwillingness to put me through art school. My writing would never be as good as the literary stars on my map. And why would anyone try to sing and play guitar when there’s Joni Mitchell?
These self-defeating patterns of thought ruled my days all throughout my addiction. Even after just four months of clarity, with my brain slowly coming back to life, I see how this kind of thinking held me back from being myself.
In the book, The 30-Day Sobriety Solution, the chapter on how limiting beliefs can make you stuck resonated with me. A light went off.
Your beliefs determine your decisions and your behavior, which in turn, create your future. A belief can be so powerful that if you are exposed to information that contradicts that belief, your brain will actually filter it out.The 30-Day Sobriety Solution
For years my limiting beliefs surrounded me, holding me in, bolstered by drink. Instead of painting, because I thought I could never be any good at it, I drank. Why finish that short story when no one will read it? Open a bottle instead. Guitar lessons cost money (but never mind the amount of cash I threw away on wine). These beliefs became so ingrained that any time I mustered up the courage to create something, it wasn’t long before gave up. I did keep trying, however, and I have the scraps and remnants of unfinished ideas everywhere.
It’s time to pick them up, dust them off, discard what doesn’t work, keep the rest, and start new things. I am done waiting for some kind of miracle to land. The change has to come from within, and the first step is to get rid of the weeds (my limiting beliefs) and plant my own damn flowers.