Is it time?

Is it time?

Sometimes life works out differently to what you expect, but what is hard, is learning to accept that it’s time to walk away.

One of the greatest things I have learnt from coaching is that it is OK to walk away from people, places and situations that affect your wellbeing. Nothing is worth your peace of mind.

In March I walked away from teaching for the second time. I did this originally in 2013 when my mental health was suffering after 14 years of working in FE. It took a huge amount of courage to walk away from the great pay, regular money, security and structure but it was absolutely necessary.

When we think about self-care, we often think about pampering ourselves, spending time on ourselves or adding something to our lives, but how often do we look at taking OUT something which is damaging to our wellbeing?

Over the 13 years 7 months of my physical recovery from alcohol I have had no choice but to change my life in order to stay sober, but over the last 6 years my focus has been on my emotional sobriety and the necessity to protect it just as much.

So what did this mean? It meant I had to learn to say No!. Saying no to doing things with people who were no longer part of my recovery. It meant distancing myself from people who did not have my best interests at heart and that did not share the same core values.

It meant saying goodbye to old behaviours and keeping a check on my emotions whilst looking at my reactions. It meant asking myself what did I really want from life and the big one. Am I happy?

My mother was a wonderful lady but extremely unhappy. She didn’t have the strength to say NO, or the words to express her unhappiness. She died whilst I was in treatment for my drinking and when I came to write about my biggest fears in life, it was to be unhappy.

I have a wonderful life today but it has taken great courage! I have had to learn the words I needed to express myself, I have had to seek guidance on ways to say NO and stay in line with my core values of respect, love, fairness, honesty and congruence. It has meant listening to that small voice of intuition or even the large dramatic voice which says…. GET OUT!!!

In April I read a book called The Four Tendencies by Grethen Rubin. There is a quiz where you can find out your tendency. It can be found here>>> https://quiz.gretchenrubin.com/

According to the four tendencies website it says that “knowing our tendency can help us set up situations in the ways that make it more likely that we’ll achieve our aims”. So I took the quiz. It started to make sense as to why I had left roles when I had reached a certain point.

I turned out to be an Obliger. Even that word makes me feel less empowered but it does say we can be a mix of the four. As I read the book it talked about Obliger Rebellion…. This was the bit that made sense to me as I read it while recovering from the decision to leave teaching. It explained to me why, again, I had reached a certain point and said no more!

‘Obligers depend on outer accountability to meet both their outer and inner expectations; if that accountability is missing, they struggle. At the same time, however, if the burden of outer expectation becomes too heavy, Obligers may show ‘Obliger Rebellion”: they meet, meet, meet an expectation, then suddenly they snap and refuse to meet that expectation any longer. Acts of Obliger-rebellion can be small and symbolic or large and destructive.”

So, I got to the point of saying no more, not dissimilar to 2013 only this time I recognised it quicker. The problem was the destruction that remained. The destruction of friendships and to my mindset as I sought a path that felt right to me. that supported my decision and aligned with my values.

I reached out to friends, my Coach, my sponsor, my challengers and Confidants and really looked at myself, my thoughts and actions. I realised I hadn’t listened to my GUT. That inner voice that says…. ‘maybe this isn’t a good idea’ ….. People who know me loved me enough to help me see the truth. They shone a light on areas I couldn’t see for myself.

Then came acceptance for myself, the decision I made and that a door to friendship that had closed.

After acceptance came gratitude for the amazing learning I have had and I began to love the person I am. The person who can say ‘no more’, and who continues to measure every experience in their life against their core values, regardless of what that takes. I remain true to myself and my happiness.

We are not necessarily going to please everyone with all our decisions, but that is not my job. My job is to do everything I can to live a good life, a happy life, a true life. That life includes both physical and emotional sobriety as my primary purpose, and to help others to believe they deserve that too!

If you feel you need help to find out what your core values are, or help to find your voice to say ‘No’ get in touch. We all deserve to be happy! Yes, all of us, including you!

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