Sometimes, making changes to our thinking or behaviour makes us different to our family or friends, which for many is a strong deterrant not to. Being different, not taking those party drugs or drinking that beer or wine, when all of our friends are, can be challenging.
The impact of serious chronic or terminal illness and major crises has the chance of making or breaking us too. We can choose to learn from the pain, the loss and grief, the challenges presented. We can also choose to stick with old habits that in truth often encourage or attract the things that hurt us, rather than look in the mirror honestly and make changes.
I’m not saying we want to get sick, or want to get divorced, or want to be abused if in a violent relationship, but I am saying it is up to us how we respond, whether it is positively or negatively, and that we do have a choice. As I try to do the best for my brain an body living with a diagnosis of dementia, there are many who discount or even dispute the positive impact it might be having on me. I’m not prepared to let them deter me.
We can make changes to attitudes, changes to the way we react, changes to the way we speak to others (and ourselves), changes to what we will accept from others… If we are overweight, we can improve our diet and exercise more. If we smoke or take other drugs, we can stop. If we are addicted to anything – sugar, cigarettes, alcohol, other drugs, sex (in my DH’s dreams!!) , arguing, abusive relationships, etc – there are support systems and even clinics in place to help us change our thinking and behaviour. The key here being, is to want to change.
We are however, very set in our ways and generally very stubborn, and most of our behaviours, including reactions and impulses have been learned or have developed out of habit. Many of us have learned to behave or respond to situations based on our own experience of childhood. Violence in a home is proven to have been learned and repeated from generation to generation, if the newest generation of parent does not actively decide to change.
OMG, I wish it was that easy!!!!