A friend of mine, who we will call Mary, is currently going through a tough time in her life.
She has made some bad life choices, there is no doubt about this.
She left school with no qualifications because she had a daughter at 15, then proceeded to have twin boys aged 20 with a different father. She has had breakdown after breakdown, broken up and gotten back together with the twins father. Lost her licence and had to redo her driving test. Got a job but can only work one day a week because the father of the twins says that he can’t cope with both of them at once and her daughter doesn’t see her father because he was teaching her phrases from Radical Islam videos…… Her life, without a doubt, is very fucking depressing.
And it really got me thinking how easy it would be to improve her life, or my own life, or anybodies life for that matter. How easy would it be to sit back and write out a to do list that, if followed down to a T, will drastically change your life for the better.
For Mary, I made a “6 steps to improve your life in 6 months” plan.
Step 1) END YOUR TOXIC RELATIONSHIP!
This girl is helplessly unhappy in her relationship. He cheated on her early on, they broke up, got back together, they have 2 kids together which she cares for 6 days out of the week because he “can’t cope” with both of them together. He’d rather spend time at the gym than with her and their kids. He doesn’t attempt to connect with her daughter, and from what I’ve heard he makes this very obvious. They are now engaged only due to the fact that she won a wedding on facebook, and they are due to be married next year.
Toxic relationships…. are exactly what it says they are on the tin…. toxic. I was in one, and I’m not blaming her for it at all, I treated her terribly and in hindsight I should have ended the relationship. I didn’t, we got engaged and moved into a flat together. When you add further baggage to a toxic relationship, you will make it worse. If someone gave you a bottle of bleach and told you to drink it and you add a little bit of sugar to the bleach to sweeten it up, it won’t stop the fact that you are still drinking bleach. No matter how much effort and time and emotion you put into a toxic relationship, it will eventually eat you alive and leave you as a shell of the person you once were.
Dump your man, Mary. You will initially be upset and will probably want to get back together with him, like you have done in the past. But, you need to work through the heartache, you and everyone around you knows you shouldn’t be with him.
Step 2) Stop trying to give your kids the childhood you didn’t have.
This isn’t a bad thing to do, any parent would do this, I’m sure. However you are spreading yourself thin. Spending money you don’t have. Your kids can see you sitting there crying every day. And, you are burning all your energy that could be used in improving your life.
If you work on yourself first and better your own life, in turn your kids lives will become better. You’ll be happier and subsequently so will your children. Children aren’t stupid, they know when something is wrong.
Step 3) STOP drinking alone
Alcohol is a depressant. Everyone knows that, and if you say it isn’t, then you’re fucking stupid, and you should stop reading this blog, climb into a box and mail yourself elsewhere…. just go.
People who sit at home drinking are doing so because they’re bored, have nothing else to do and are sad. They’re sick of being sad, so in an attempt to feel anything else they drink. This amplifies your feelings, happy or sad.
Best way to stop doing this? Stop buying alcohol to have at home. Wait until the weekend, have a drink with your friends. It gives you something to look forward to and will also lower your alcohol tolerance, saving you money on a night out in the future.
Step 4) Hobbies
Get a Hobby for fuck sake.
There are so many decent hobbies nobody thinks of that are easy to fit in around a busy lifestyle. It doesn’t have to be Stamp Collecting or Knitting. Not at all! Photography for example (im not saying do it, It’s an example), carry a camera everywhere you go. Your mind will be on the lookout for photo opportunities without you realising it and it will provide you with something to do/ be passionate for.
Everyone thinks hobbies are for old people, or for boring people. No, they keep your mind active, gives you achievable goals to accomplish and gives you a passion. It may get you out of the house. But, it will definitely distract from your mundane day to day life.
Step 5) STOP treating yourself “because you deserve it”
There is no logic behind feeling shitty about your life and then feeling you need to treat yourself to make yourself feel better about your shitty life by getting your hair or makeup done, or some clothing you can’t afford, or buying a big ol’ bottle o’ booze, and then having no money left which causes you to stress out which causes you to treat yourself again when money does come in…. and so on and so forth.
Can you see the vicious circle here?
Step 6) Actually do all of this
Don’t pick and choose what you like about this list to try and improve your life. This is a step by step guide to be followed. Not a raffle of ideas to improve your life.
Imagine making a loaf of bread and deciding not to put flour in the recipe because you don’t want to create that kind of mess in your kitchen. You’re left with a bowl with water and yeast in it….
You need to be harsh with yourself.
If you want to make little improvements to your life, then you need to make little changes.
If you want to make massive improvements to your life, then you need to make massive changes.