How To Stop Falling Off The Wagon
I was chatting to a friend the other week and I asked her how she was going. She replied with ‘good, but I have fallen off the wagon again’. That damn wagon! You know the one, no doubt you’ve had a ride. I know I’ve ridden it and fallen off it dozens of times in the past. But do you want to know a secret? I no longer ride it. It is too bumpy, I feel too pressured to hold on, and then it really hurts when I fall off. Unless you have named your husband ‘Wagon’, don’t ride it baby! It is merely a high expectation of how we think we should do something – usually used in reference to a regimen of self-improvement, such as dieting or exercise. So, to stop falling off, don’t jump on to begin with!
When we make the conscious decision to live wagon free, knowing that we will, on occasion, dip and sway and ebb and flow, we give ourselves permission to just be. We give ourselves permission to take each day for what it is, as it comes, rather than collectively piecing together a long track that we feel pressured to stay on. Again, we all know how much it hurts when we come off the rails right? Fuck the wagon, fuck the rails. The Urban Dictionary defines the idiom falling off the wagon as ‘when one resumes an addictive/compulsive behavior that they are trying to control’. Funnily enough when we stop trying to control everything, we usually gain more freedom, acceptance and happiness than we thought possible. By giving up control, we are giving ourselves permission to just be. By letting ourselves simply be, we remove judgement and unrealistic expectations that we have placed upon ourselves, so when things do go a little pear shaped or unexpected perhaps we can instead observe, learn something from it and keep moving forward. No painful falls required!
Next time you feel like you are ‘falling off the wagon’, just remember that you can only fall off if you decided to jump on in the first place. Remind yourself that you are exactly where you are meant to be in this moment, and things are playing out exactly as they should. Expectation is the root of heartache, so give yourself permission to ebb and flow gorgeous, dip and sway. Life is a lot less painful, and a whole lot happier that way.