One thing that is certain about life is that it will continue to unfold around us, no matter what. Life happens. We may even wish for things to standstill, so we can catch up, overwhelmed by the feeling of things unravelling around us – things that we cannot control. The thing is, you can get stuck in what you can’t control – or you can shift your focus to what you can control.
When you love an alcoholic or an addict, an unhealthy behaviour that we all inevitably have in common is trying to control our loved one’s drinking or drug use. I remember looking everywhere for bottles, and I would find them in the strangest places. I’d even find vinegar bottles filled with vodka. I was obsessed with calling my husband out. We can get so lost in this, spending a disproportionate amount of time trying to control the situation, neglecting our own well-being.
If you feel this happening, shift your focus by finding three things that you can control.
You can control how you feel
It is possible to change how you are feeling, despite any chaos happening around you. This requires awareness of how you are feeling in the first place. You Can refer to this article if you need some help with how to identify your emotions. Once you are aware of how you are feeling, you can shift it, changing perspective to focus on something that evokes positive feelings. I would always think of my kids, their smiles and laughter. BY controlling how you feel, you are in a better position to deal with things differently. Now I know this sounds crazy, as some circumstances can be so chaotic. But that’s where controlling how you react comes in.
You can control how you react
It’s possible to control how you react to situations. Taking a few moments to breathe, so you don’t react harshly can change outcomes. In a calmer state of mind you are better able to think more clearly, and chose a reaction that is helpful, rather than one that adds to the chaos or difficulties in the moment.
You can control what you think about
Circumstances around you will inevitably lead you to question, why me? Why does this keep happening? Why can’t I just have a normal chaos free life? Why did life turn out this way?
Try to start asking different questions. Instead of why is this happening to me? Ask, how can I change my life for the better? Or how can I react differently to this situation? How can I calm my anxieties? Or what do I need right now?
Shift your focus to what you can control. There may be other things that are within our control. Make a list and next time you feel stuck in a perpetual cycle of uncontrollable circumstances, refer to your list – reminding ourself there is always something within your control.
Everyone’s healing journey is their own, but you don’t have to travel it alone. Join the Blossome community for support and encouragement to build healthy new habits, stay accountable and help you keep moving forward with your healing. You are worth it.
Kim Moore is the Founder of Blossome CIC. She lost her husband Chris to alcoholism in 2017. She faced a difficult journey while raising 2 children alone, with her family living on the opposite side of the world. Kim founded the Blossome Community and The Pathway to Peace healing journey so no one would have to feel alone while enduring the trauma of a loved one’s battle with alcoholism or addiction. She is also on a mission to end the generational cycle of alcoholism and addiction in families.