I want it. I got it. I want it. I got it. Repeat. New car. New clothes. New shoes. Holiday. Christmas. Birthday. Repeat. Repeat, Repeat. Repeat, Pause……I want it. I got it. I want it. I got it. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
What happens in the pause? And when do we pause? I don’t know about you but I’ve never paused in my life – until now. Is midlife too late to pause? Or is it the most natural time? I got married young, bought a house, had a baby, new car, another baby, new house. Then divorce. Pause?No – I want it. I got it. Repeat. Men. Drink. Party. Sleep. Pause. Repeat. I never paused and I regret it now.
When do we pause? After a divorce or a breakup? No. Society positively encourages us to go out and party, drink, spend and get a new man as soon as your panicking little feet will carry you in those new shoes. I’m going to be honest. I still hadn’t learnt to pause by Divorce Number 2. I want it. I got it. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Clothes. Shoes. Men. Drinks. This would have been a perfect time to pause. Hang on!
Can I go back? What was I doing? Instead of pausing, my behaviour got faster and faster towards car crash. My 360 circle spun around faster and faster until I was out of control. The strange thing is – everyone laughs at your behaviour post break up. You only live once! Mid life crises? Why not? You are one of us! No one ever suggests that you pause.
I am suggesting that you pause.
The 361 recovery programme was written and developed over the 3 years that I paused. I stopped the 360 merry go round and I got off. I moved to the sea and this is when my recovery began. It is very solitary on a beach in January. It’s a pause.
If I rest still and stop running I can hear myself, rest in fear of myself.
I had written this in 2016 – on the 360 wheel – so deep down I must have known why I couldn’t pause. If I had paused I would have had to feel pain. If I had paused I would have had to make changes. I was scared of emotional pain. I was scared of feeling anything. I was scared of change. It’s strange isn’t it? You can be really unhappy but still prefer it to changing. We all fear change. Go on admit it….Better the devil you know..
I was scared of losing the parts of my behaviour I knew the best – drinking and men. Now, 4 years on I have neither in my life and I live a full positive life. But then, I was really scared of giving anything up. And very defensive. I would not have liked the 361 recovery programme because it is an opportunity to pause. Because when we pause we gain clear sight. We begin to see what we are repeating – and more importantly why. The 361 asks – is this the version of your life you really want? I want it. I got it. I want it. I got it. Repeat. Could you march to a different beat? I did – and I had thought it was impossible for 3 decades. If I can do it, anyone can. Could you discover a way to live that would make you happier? Pause. With the 361. Repeat.
Find out more at 361lifesupport.co.uk or listen to the 361 programme on our 361 Recovery podcast.
Alice Smith 2021