Hey, Spiritual Warrior-Scholar fam! I have good news and bad news. The good news is that I’ve still been keeping up with my NFAN and I’m still learning many lessons from it. The bad news is that I have failed to abstain from one of my “NO’s”.
That’s right, I failed. Which “NO” did I violate? The NO alcohol. Now, although I did fail to uphold this NFAN “NO”, it wasn’t as bad as you’d think, and I learned some valuable lessons from these past 2 weeks.
Did I get drunk? No. I went out with a few of my best friends and I had two drinks with them. Only two drinks were all that it took for me to fail, and I did this twice in the past two weeks. I learned that if I really wanted to succeed in my resolutions, that I would have to avoid those people in my life who support the habits that I am trying to break.
This is perhaps the most difficult part of killing a habit which means alienating yourself from some of your friends. Some of my friends who knew what I was doing outcasted me as well. I knew this wasn’t all happening because I didn’t want their friendship or that they no longer wanted my friendship, but it still hurt.
Human beings are social animals and as much as I’d like to say that I can be a lone wolf and that I don’t need anyone else, I would be lying. I love my friends and enjoy their company. Joking, laughing, and telling stories is a way that we de-stress and live and love a little.
This lesson ties in with the first and it’s that you discover the reality of your relationships with other people when you try to change yourself. I found that certain “friends” that I had wouldn’t want to hang out with me once I told them I wasn’t smoking or drinking anymore. Is that a real friendship? And if certain friends only want to smoke or drink to be around me, then is that person even good for me?
You’ll start learning who is helping you forward and who is holding you back when you start making changes in your life.
Don’t let yourself become intoxicated by initial success and let your guard down. I felt great and so accomplished after the first week of NFAN that I lowered my defenses. All of that success under my belt was used by my lower self to deceive me and allow me to think I deserved a little recreation, and as I took that recreation I consequently lost my momentum and it only became easier to break my resolutions because I had already failed.
This used to be a problem that would frequently occur with my martial arts training before it became a habit. I would have a great week of training and give myself an “off” day, which would stealthily turn into off days and I’d have to start completely over. Think long term and don’t let your guard down.
I discovered what my true problem was. What was it? Marijuana. Now, I’m not claiming that weed is bad and that nobody should be using it, but that marijuana use was a problem for me. One of the biggest differences between alcohol and marijuana, for me personally, is that I cannot support an alcohol habit. I’m a lightweight and cannot seem to get drunk without my head ending up in the toilet. I cannot handle hangovers and being productive and healthy and exercising are held in much higher importance in my mind for me to ever be motivated to be a consistent drinker or an alcoholic for that matter.
However, marijuana was insidious for me because the effects are much more subtle and leave far fewer traces. I could smoke weed all day and wake up just fine the next morning. I could still be competent and be productive at work or have a good workout, but I realized after not smoking weed for almost a month now that it was just slowing me down and causing me anxiety.
I wasn’t benefiting from marijuana use. Being high made me paranoid and doubtful of myself. So why was I even doing it? I think I was just stuck supporting a habit and lifestyle that I wasn’t benefiting from because all my friends did it and marijuana use is incredibly popular and glorified nowadays. I was trying to convince myself it was okay yet every time I’d get high I’d become anxious because my heart was trying to tell me that this wasn’t good for me.
Now that I’ve stopped using marijuana I feel clear-minded. I’m sharper and quicker to the mental draw and my memory has drastically improved. My body image and overall feelings about myself have also enormously improved and I wish now I had stopped sooner. I tried to convince myself that weed gave me a perspective I couldn’t achieve without it and that it made me more spiritual, but it was all a lie.
Never give up. Don’t let failing a few times be your excuse for giving up completely and forgetting your resolutions. Remember and hold fast to the Virtue of Perseverance and aim to succeed but don’t fool yourself into thinking you’re Superman either. If your goals are set high and worthy of accomplishing, then you are bound to meet failure along the way. The only way that you can be defined by failure is by allowing it to stop you.