The Only Way Out is Through – Robert Frost
I was talking to one of my (gambling anonymous) sponsors the other day and I was telling him that I was having difficulty getting through the day without thinking about gambling. Living with an addiction that you’re trying to get rid out of your system is very arduous. Not being able to gamble might be easy for others, for me it’s like getting a mosquito NOT to fly towards a bright light.
Los Angeles has a ton of Casino Lights that seduce me while I’m driving to and from work on the freeway. My head and hands sweat as my brain is trying to thinking of excuses to exit the freeway and SPRINT into the casino.
I really want to stop Gambling because it’s not only going to ruin me financially, but it’s also going to ruin the potential I currently have: am I willing to risk the rest of my 20s – MY LIFE – on cards?
So I called my sponsor and began to tell him how I wanted to pounce to the casino: the URGE IS SO STRONG. It’s weird it was like the casino was calling my brain to visit her. I was actually in pain because I wasn’t visiting her. You could say it felt like a bad breakup. I was venting these thoughts to my sponsor when he said, “Jonathan – The Only Way Out is Through.”
The Only Way Out Is Through
Like anything, be it the decision to Stop Gambling – to work your ass off to get that nice paying position at your job – to establishing your own business – whatever… there will be many times where you’ll feel pain. The question is, are you going to give up or are you going to push yourself to get through the pain?
Saying it is easy, but actually pushing yourself is the hard part.
What does it take to push through? I may not have the perfect answer, but I’m understanding that:
You cannot do it alone. The ability to reach out to others for help takes a lot of courage because you’re essentially putting aside your own hubristic ego that you are perfect. You’re not. You need help. Regardless if it’s an expert, a mentor, a partner, or even a friend… as long as you’re reaching out for help – you’re one step closer.
In addition, having someone know what you’re going through is in itself making yourself accountable because now you have someone looking out for you, besides you. It’s reassuring but also adds a little bit of pressure at the same time.
You have to be willing to do the work. This basically means, are you willing to sacrifice certain things in your life so that way you can spend extra time on that one thing you’re working on? For example, I’ve sacrificed Yoga with my friends every Monday – Wednesday to instead go to my gamblers anonymous meetings.
Or another example, instead of living with my girlfriend in Northern California – I’m staying in Los Angeles over the summer to work on my business project because I know that I’ll get more done in LA: I’m surrounded by smart minds who help me get better – I’m also saving money – it’s an investment for my self-worth. It sucks because I really want to be with her… but that’s life.
Make the pain hurt you.
Everyone has a different versions of pain. My version makes me want to cry, squirm, and at times do something violently destructive: burn things, rip my shirt off, throw chairs, etc.,
What I’m learning is I need to make sure that I do not run away from the pain. I need to sit there and take the beating. When the pain arrives, be it from gambling or my struggles with my business startup, I just need to let the pain affect all sides of my body. I need to be able to just close my eyes and just wait until the pain passes: some may call this meditation.
I may not appreciate the experience, but I’m now beginning to really understand that pain does pass – it just takes time. Therefore, I know that if I keep working hard enough at whatever I’m working on – I can get through the struggle.
To those who are experiencing pain – if you keep working at it and doing the right thing – it’ll pass. Sometimes it takes longer than others.
You have to go through the pain to feel the reward.
I’m not saying that pushing through means that you shouldn’t give up on what you’re doing or where you’re at (a job you hate). I’m saying is that you should NEVER EVER give up on yourself. Again, what are you willing to sacrifice and work hard at to get where you want to be?
You got this.
Thanks for reading.