People ask me, and it’s a natural enough question, what was that one moment when you realized you wanted to turn your life around?
There really was one moment. But, if I had to pick one or two, this would be one of them.
I was living in a trailer on Sebago Lake in Maine. This was at the height of my last great drug binge. It’s funny now, wasn’t so funny then, but I had plenty of money for dope, no money for heating fuel. A junkie’s priorities may be different than yours.
At any rate it was a cold winters night, and she gets plenty cold out by Sebago Lake. I had just set up my ghetto furnace, because we didn’t have enough kerosene in the tank to run the heating system, and talked myself in under my blankets and sleeping bag.
If you don’t know what ghetto furnace is, it’s when you turn your oven up, open up that open door and on the open door you put whatever you have around for a little electric fan. Nice, huh?
Anyway, all was well until I woke up to take my morning piss. I slid open the door to the bathroom, and started to relieve myself when I noticed that the toilet was completely frozen. How the pipes didn’t freeze and burst I’ll never know.
I literally had to take a screwdriver and chip the ice out of the toilet so it could flush.
I was genuinely pissed off at myself that day; I knew I didn’t want to keep living this way.
I didn’t quit that day though, he took a few more months of stupidity before I’d really had enough.
My greatest moment of enlightenment, was probably the night I smoked a bone. That might sound funny to you since I’ve already told you that I was heavily abusing drugs. But the fact is, I just didn’t smoke a joint too often, I couldn’t get off on just a joint. At that point, to stay high I had to smoke anywhere from six to a dozen straight bong hits every day, plus whatever other drugs I did to stay awake, go to sleep, or get my ass in gear for work.
As it turns out this particular night, some friends were over and they were passing around a joint. When it came to me, I proceeded to Bogart that joint and smoke it down to a roach. Even then I didn’t think I’d get off on just the one joint.
As it further turns out on this particular night, the dealer we bought that pot from had laced that joint with angel dust. I do remember trying to jump out of a glass louvered window we had and I remember my friends tackling me to keep me from jumping. And I sort of remember trying to smash my head through the refrigerator door, apparently I was hungry and at that moment didn’t realize you should open the door before taking the food out.
All I remember clearly, is waking up the next morning in my bed, bruised and with bits of dried blood all over me, apparently my friends had restrained me and somehow got me into bed.
That was the morning I literally looked into the bathroom mirror and said, “this shit has to stop.”
And I did quit cold turkey that day. I fell off the wagon a couple times after that, but I consider those gimme’s. You got to realize when you’re trying to make a significant change in your life, like getting off drugs, quitting smoking, or even losing weight, you got to forgive yourself if you fall off the wagon from time to time.
The people who succeed in getting off drugs are not usually those who never fall off the wagon, it’s the people who get back on the wagon after they fall off.
It’s the same when you’re trying to improve your life or create success. Vince Lombardi once said, “The champion isn’t the guy who never gets knocked down; he’s the guy who keeps getting back up after he gets knocked down.”
That’s what were talking about when we talk about the black belt mindset characteristic of perseverance.
NOTE FROM JIM: You never know what a treasure your darkest moments are until you have the benefit and wisdom of hindsight. If I had not experienced these desperate times, I may not have been able to turn my life around. I could very easily have ended up dead.
Of course, you don’t want too many moments like these! What is important in hindsight is that instead of feeling guilty or regretful, you simply acknowledge where you were and appreciate the worst of times as the beginning of crafting who you want to be.
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TAKE YOUR FIRST STEP TOWARD SELF-CONFIDENCE. JIM BOUCHARD SHOWS YOU HOW…