I'm starting today's blog with a story that doesn't relate to addiction or recovery, but I hope that you'll get why I chose it when I'm done telling it.
In January 2015 I was on the lookout for a new car. Actually, I was looking for a very specific car. I was looking for a white Toyota 86 GTS in manual drive. I had saved up and my finances were in order. I was ready to buy one, but I needed to find one first. There aren't a lot of them over here - it's one of the worst selling cars in South Africa. Still, it was what I wanted so I set out on a mission to find one.
In our entire province (or state as it's called in USA) I found only two. The first was automatic and the second had a lot of mileage on it. I finally found one in another province on the opposite side of the country, so I took an airplane up to go view and test drive it. It was exactly what I was looking for. I bought the car and flew back while the dealership was processing all the paperwork.
The next weekend my girlfriend and I flew up to fetch the car. We got up while it was still dark and took an Uber to the airport. After the two hour flight we took another Uber to the dealership and picked up the car. Then came the fun part: road trip! We drove the car through the country over the course of 16 hours. We stopped a few times in between for snacks, bathroom breaks and lunch. The roads were scenic nothingness that stretched to the horizon. When we finally arrived home at 4am that Sunday morning, we were so tired that we immediately dropped in bed. It was one of the best weekends of my life.
A few months later I was attending a BBQ at a friend's house. A guy who I hadn't seen in years came up to me and started saying how the 86 really isn't a good car and that I should have bought something else for the same money. He had obviously prepared his argument before he came over to me. He stated that it was slow and the horsepower was lacking. Finally he asked "Why did you buy an 86? You could have gotten another car for the same price!". "Because I like it", I answered. He was flabbergasted and looked at me in disbelief. He probably thought I was an idiot. I didn't care.
This brings me to today's topic. Unless it's a very close friend or relative, you don't owe anyone an explanation. I have a ton of reasons for getting that car. From the way it looks to the pure pleasure it gives me when shifting the gears. I could have explained all this to him, but why do I need to? It's my car and it's my life. I made the decision to get it, and it's brought me nothing but happiness. So what if other people don't feel the same way about the car? It's not theirs and it really does not matter as long as I am happy with my decision.
This was a story about a car, but it translates to anything you want to put your mind to. It made me think about something that often comes up in discussions. It's different, but I can find similarities. What should you say when someones asks you why you don't drink? Tell them you don't drink because you don't want to.
People can be selfish and insecure beings. For some reason the guy who asks you why you don't drink will feel better about his own drinking habits. If he can successfully get you to sweat under the interrogation, he will start feeling better about himself. As if his drinking is totally normal and justified. It's a way to cover up insecurities.
In the end it does not matter what people think. What matters is your health and your happiness. A real friend will understand and respect your decision without needing to second guess or question it. If you tell them that you've made a decision and you're standing by it, they'll support that. Be careful of the rest who try to cover up their own insecurities.
Thank you for reading the post. It was a bit different today, but I hope you liked it.