Who remembers Veruca Salt from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, the fabulous 1971 film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic children’s book Charlie and The Chocolate Factory? Just in case you’ve forgotton, here are her finest few mintues:
I have been reminded of Veruca this past week or two as I’ve had a touch of the Veruca Salt’s myself. I haven’t been demanding a golden egg, or a pony or some such – owning stuff has honestly never done it for me – but I have been hearing “I want” voices in my head.
This is new territory for me.
Previously any “I want voices” were drowned out. Literally. By me, accidentally on purpose, for years. They were drowned out, or stuffed down and I zoned out with fingers in my ears. But with sobriety, my head is clearing and the load I carry is getting lighter. It feels like I have the physical space and time to notice that I want things. I’m not talking about wanting material things (that’s you out of this conversation Veruca) but rather I want to implement changes in my life. There are things I want to do, become, achieve. Eric from From Struggle To Strength wrote this the other day in his post The World Owes Me Nothing, “I have been blessed to find a new way. A way that works as long as I get involved and not sit back and act like I am owed something. It works when I am an active participant in my own life. When I strive to make a difference and take part in the active change of my own situations and circumstances and see the difference in the outcomes.”
Acknowledging that I want to make a difference and be actively involved in life has the potential to overwhelm me. I can sense The Fear, waiting in the wings, listening out for its cue to march on stage, grab the spotlight and root me frozen to the spot. The only way I can think of to combat The Fear and move forward positively through my life, is to apply what I have learned so far from living soberly. And that’s this: all we have is the here and now. This is the moment that counts. This is our world and the actions we take and choices we make right now lead to and shape the future. If we want change, or to make a difference, or achieve, then action – a first step – is needed. You can’t magic “I wants” into real-life accomplishments suddenly and without commitment, effort and moment by moment involvement. This is what sobriety is teaching me. And for this lesson I am truly grateful.