Why are some transitions so difficult? Changing jobs and relationships are high on the list in terms of stress, and moving to a new location can be a complete bear. I know Iím not alone in my dislike of this activity.
On the other hand, some transitions can be amazing, such as graduation from high school.
Perhaps itís the change in routine and loss of familiarity that comes with transitions that so unsettling. For instance, we know where our coffee is stored, we know exactly where the grinder is and can brew a cup in no time. This is not always the case after moving.
We donít remember where the coffee is packed, so it takes extra time to even get prepared to make, what was before, that easy morning cup. We find that weíve lost many of the little things we could count on in the past. I recently moved, and I can tell you that is true from my experience.
The good news is that we do adapt and overcome these challenges of transition. However, it does take some internal motivation for this to work. My motivation for coffee allowed me to make it a priority, and Iím happy to report coffee is being made at my house again. Turns out this goal was important enough that I was able to accomplish it in pretty short order. But without internal motivation, it would have been much more difficult.
Internal motivation is a powerful ally in the process of any transition. Take snowboarding, for example. My first experience on a snowboard was filled with falling and embarrassment. I couldnít even get off the chairlift without tumbling. My tolerance for this steep learning curve was ultimately short-lived, and I went back to skiing the next day. At that point in my life, I had no interest in learning this new skill; especially because I had been a proficient skier for many years. Although snowboarding was the hip thing to do, I really didnít have the internal drive to learn it. Thus, I have snowboarded just once in my life.
Now, consider the transition from using drugs and alcohol to not using. For many people with addictions, the internal motivation to stop using and remain clean can be hard to maintain.
We go through points of strong motivation to change and times when our internal drive is less. Add the physical dependency that can develop along with the psychological addiction, and our prospects for change donít seem good at times. This is why it is so important to also find help from others when we need it.
Fortunately, our community has support for sobriety. Self-help groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous meet frequently and professional assistance is readily available. So, if youíre ready, I encourage you to get started today ... while your internal motivation and interest in change is the strongest.
Mark White is a special contributor for Axis Health System. Axis Health System can be reached at 259-2162.