In class tonight, we did a thought-provoking exercise involving just a single sheet of paper. I tore my sheet into a dozen small pieces, then stacked them into 4 piles of 3. On the first 3 sheets, I had to write 3 names of people who mean the most to me. The next 3 sheets had 3 possessions that I cared about. Then 3 activities I really enjoy. Lastly, the 3 attributes I would choose to best describe myself.
I should mention that the class is a graduate social work class about substance use disorders. In the span of 2 minutes, the professor described a series of substance use related events that would combine to drastically impact a person’s life. Starting with something fairly innocent like staying at a party later than you said you would, because you were drinking. Next, using instead of keeping another commitment. Then, a DUI. Then, tardiness and absenteeism from work or school. Finally, a more serious substance related accident, leading to jail time. Each time one of the events occurred, sheets of paper had to be torn up and lost. Until the things you cared for, the things you liked to do, the person you thought you were, and the people you cared about, were all lost.
Yet, from this challenging exercise, I draw motivation. I could picture myself losing everything. But, I have a say in who I am and what I do. I am empowered to make the choices and live the life that draw me to and keep me on the path I want. I strive to be the person I imagine and live the life I desire.