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Everything You Think You Know Is Wrong!

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“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal;

nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”

—Thomas Jefferson

When I arrived at rehab I was sure I knew it all

who I was, what was going on, and what I needed to do about it. But I was soon to discover that I was completely wrong about everything—about how to behave in the world, how to feel good about myself, and to live a life that was happy, joyous, and free of fear.

 
My thinking had become terribly distorted by drugs, alcohol, and depression

It had happened so slowly that I never saw it coming. In fact, as they say, it was my very best thinking that got me into this mess in the first place.

 
Everything you think you know is wrong

 I don’t mean stuff like how to change a tire or drive to supermarket, but how to live a healthy happy life.”

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I don’t have to do it anymore

 

              The next morning, as Mike and I walked the path through the woods to the treatment center, the sky was overcast and gray.  It seemed as if a thousand-pound weight was hung around my neck.  Just looking up hurt my eyes.  Mike took pity on me.

              “Did somebody run over your puppy dog this morning?” he asked.

              I mumbled a response but didn’t feel like talking.

              “I guess this is probably the low point in your miserable life,” he said.

              I glared but did not speak.

              “Drugs of choice: cocaine and alcohol, I’ll bet.”

              I glared louder.

              “There is one good thing about all this.”

              “What?” I barked.

              “You don’t have to do it anymore.”

I denied my addiction

Still knowing everything, I rebelled against her advice.  But she was right. My rebellion was only my denial.  Little bit by little bit, with small steps taken slowly, I could see where I had gone wrong.

 

I needed a new way to look at the world

As my head began to clear, I could understand the mistakes I had made and why I had made them, and I knew she was right. Everything in my head had become distorted.  I didn’t need to fix just one or two things.  I needed a whole new way of looking at the world, a whole new way of living.

 

A life based on integrity, sobriety, and honesty

That sounded like too much to handle all at once, and it was, but my guide was patient. As I became willing, I found I could listen to the helpful words of others. I learned to reject my destructive old ideas and to replace them with new useful ones. A few bricks at a time, I could begin building a life based on integrity, sobriety, and honesty.

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“The world we see that seems so insane is the result of a belief system that is not working.

 

To perceive the world differently, we must be willing to change our belief system, let the past slip away, expand our sense of now, and dissolve the fear in our minds.”

William James 

Text and original photos copyright 2017-2020 by Linville M. Meadows