• Dayne Bartlett

What is change???? Old Life vs New Life

Sooooo much talk goes into the age old subject..... CHANGE. No, not the change you carry around in your pocket. Here's my two cents though when it comes to change ;)

Just hear me out for a second, so when it comes to anything about our life that maybe we're not super satisfied, with we find things that rub us the wrong way and upset us. Could be a job, a significant other, a friend, a family member, our house, our car, our clothes, or some other thing we find to complain about. But really though, the big ticket items are the ones we really want to change; like substance use, mental health, our body, our physical health, our legal situation, or our spiritual health... We can all relate to this more than we want to admit.

Lets simplify things for a minute. CHANGE really does boil down to 2 simple equations. It's simple, but not easy. Here it is:

- old thoughts + old feelings + old relationships + old activities = Old Life

- different thoughts + different feelings + different relationships + different activities = New Life

Now ask yourself: Are you living the best life ever and couldn't ask for much more? Odds are, if you're reading this, it probably isn't. Lets be honest and admit what we don't want to admit.

We WANT WANT WANT all these new things for ourselves. Happy thoughts, happy feelings, pleasure, purpose, excitement, good health, fun activities, money, skills, tools, and resources. The tricky thing is though, why don't we have these things????

My theory is that we are in denial of the fact that in order to obtain the new, we have to put an end to the old. This is where it's simple but not easy.... We do NEED (no question, absolute fact, not optional) to DO DIFFERENT THINGS. We NEED to cut down, cut out, change, and COMMIT to actually participating in a different life. This means different people, places, things, thoughts, and feelings. Here's some examples: (going to go straight to the heart here)

- Want to quit drinking or drugging? Cut old people out of your life and replace them with new people. Talk to people who want you well (not sick) and ask them what you should do to change. Go all in and go to treatment, then get into a sober house in a new area, closer to successful people, get a mentor/sponsor, and tell everyone that you're sick of how your life was (lonely, isolative, unproductive, full of pain, and that substances was the cause of it) and tell them that you are creating a different life for yourself. You are changing your self identity and quitting your old life. You are embracing different people, activities, looking for new jobs, trying different things. You're trying new things you thought were stupid before or not fun before. When you slip back into old behaviors (isolating, watching tv, not working, not going to meetings, not spending time outside, not exercising, not dieting, not spending time with family, not going on vacations) don't be surprised when you're back in your old life. Want a successful life? Get around successful people and accomplish goals.

- Want to change your mental health? Try and commit to new coping skills, try out spirituality, try out religion (oh no he didn't..), change your behaviors, try new things, try yoga, try diet, try exercise, quit watching tv so much, volunteer, get a new job, get a pet, GET A THERAPIST LONG TERM, get away from stressful people, take a break from complicated family members, try some medications.

Those are just a few little things we can chip away at ;) Trust me, if you want a different life, you have to do different things. Create a different life for yourself TODAY, RIGHT NOW. It's that simple.

Thanks for reading :) What's something new you can try this week?

- Dayne

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