As I reflect on my journey over the past eight years, one step facilitated my transformation to where I am today. It was the moment I realized how broken my life was by my son’s addiction and made a conscious decision to do something about it. I could not have predicted, nor did I anticipate the impact of that solitary decision; but, looking back on it today, I realize how incredibly powerful that one decision and commitment has been.
If you don’t know the story, you can read it here. My transformational journey began the day I accepted and personal challenge to ride my bike for one hour a day, for one hundred days. There were two objectives behind this challenge:
- Create an environment where I am strong for my son when he was present and stronger for myself when he was not. I was committed to being there for my son when he needed me. Unfortunately, I wanted him to need me more than he did, and often inserted myself into his situation even when he didn’t want or need me to. When he didn’t receive what I had to offer, I felt failure, hurt and disappointment. My commitment to being stronger for myself helped me discover healthier responses in those times when my son remained active in his addiction and was not in a place to receive a father’s love.
- Challenge myself to do something I had no idea if or how I would accomplish it. Imagine being tasked with giving up something you have become uncontrollably attached to for the rest of your life. I was challenging my son to embrace such a notion when talking about his commitment to recovery. Unless I have walked a mile in his shoes, I would have no way of understanding what I was asking or expecting of him. Challenging myself to ride my bike for one hundred consecutive days, though easier in many ways, was relatively comparable to staying clean for one hundred days. I had no idea if I could do it, or how I could do it; at least I could experience the difficulties associated with making the same type of commitment I am asking of my son.
The 100Day Challenge put me on a path which completely changed my life:
- I found peace in the solitude and quiet of the daily bike rides.
- It facilitated a healthy separation from the chaos of my addiction driven life.
- It gave me time to think, reflect, and organize my thoughts and strategies.
- It provided me with a sense of fulfillment as I celebrated the completion of each ride.
- As I moved closer to my objective, I found confidence in my ability to navigate my life through this struggle with my son’s addiction.
If you are broken, beaten, frustrated, or at your wit’s end by addiction in your life, maybe it is time to step out of the tornado and do something for you. I know it is more productive to make time to take care of yourself, than to embrace all the reasons why you believe you can’t.
What is that one thing you know you could do for you on a regular basis that would move you to a healthier physical, emotional state? What challenge could you commit to for 100Days to simply discover where it may lead? It doesn’t need to be big or complicated, it only needs to be what your heart is telling you to do.
If you would like to learn more about defining your healthy self-care activity, I would encourage you to listen to last week’s podcast. In it, I provide helpful tips and suggestions for engaging in an activity that will most assuredly change your life.
If you need more guidance or assistance, please contact me: dave@100Pedals.com and I will help you walk into it.
Want more insights from this blog? Join me on the podcast “100Pedals Talk: Inside the Blog” where I delve deeper into this post and share personal stories or reflections behind the article. (Note: The podcast relating to any particular blog is release two or three days after the blog was posted.)
I would love to hear from you. What issues are confronting you today? Where are you currently experiencing fear and shame relating to the struggles in your life? I have some pretty cool tools to guide you and would love to help. Please let me know: dave@100Pedals.com.
Dave Cooke is going on the Road! Learn more about this year’s cross county cycling trip, Cycling for Recovery 2017.