A lot of people struggling with addiction feel hopeless. Just climbing out of the massive hole they’ve dug themselves, kicking their addiction, and putting their life together can seem like an insurmountable challenge – forget about actually accomplishing goals and being happy. Everyone wants to know – “I’ve been wasting away my life for the last X years, how do I even BEGIN to put things back together?”
Here’s one way of looking at it – be the hero of your own movie.
How To Be The Hero
Pretend for just a moment that you’re the hero of a movie. You wake up one day and look around – your head is pounding, their are bottles everywhere, you’re on the floor. Grime and dirt is everywhere. Your rent has been past due for almost a month, and you’re soon going to end up on the streets. You’re filled with self-loathing and disgust as you look at yourself in the mirror. Your body looks sickly and frail. There’s no one to turn to, so you reach for the bottle to start another miserable day of existence.
But instead of taking that drink, you stop. You realize you are not your past. You realize you’re not the person who got drunk last night and made a fool out of yourself. You’re not the deadbeat dad. You’re not the person who has alienated themselves from everyone they love. You’re not the person with no job and no money. You’re not the person who’s hopelessly ravaged by addiction. No, you are the person who has had those experiences, suffered, and become stronger for it.
You are just you, right now, in the moment. You can choose, right this very instant as you are reading this page, to take massive action to change your life. You can be the hero at the beginning of the movie – the one who wakes up at the age of 45, realizes they’ve been wasting away their life and wows to make make a change. All your struggles, heartbreak, and pain? Those are just the plot points that make the movie great.
Just for a moment, pretend that you have a camera on you. Pretend that you’re in the movie of your life – this is the movie that your grandchildren, great grandchildren, and the generations after them will watch in awe. What would you do right now to make them proud? What would do right this very moment to make them think, wow, my grandpa/ma was a certifiable badass. No matter how much life kicked him, no matter how bleak things looked, he still did what was necessary to become great.
Does it feel like everyone has it better than you? Do you feel jealous at how easy they have things? Don’t. The hero of the movie never looks at what other people have and feel envy – the hero looks at what other people have and feels inspired to surpass them. The hero doesn’t expect life to get better by chance, the hero goes out and bends the world by the sheer power of his/her will.
From this point on, your journey only goes upward. Yes, there will be setbacks as in any movie, but just like in any movie, the hero finds a way to overcome them. The next time you encounter a challenge or obstacle, pretend you’re that hero in the movie, pretend future generations will watch how you act in this very moment and judge you for it- then do what the you know the hero would do. Very likely, the hero will take whichever path is the toughest.
If this post hit a chord with you, you might try being the hero for a day, a week, or a month. Eventually, you’ll get to a day where you feel weak. You’ll ask yourself, what would the hero do? Am I doing what the hero would do, or am I taking the cowards way out? In order to justify your own inaction, you’ll tell yourself – this is silly. I’m not in a movie, no one will judge me.
But don’t be fooled. You ARE living in the movie of your own life right now. So who are you going to be, the hero? Or just another extra in someone else’s movie?
Let me know in the comments how this works out for you, I’d love to hear about it.