Guest blog by Life Education Queensland and Ocsober Ambassador Jimmy Morrison.
Writing this blog as an ambassador for Ocsober 2018, I can confidently announce that I have grown to respect the man I am becoming. Sobriety has become my greatest achievement and the lessons I am forever grateful for the lessons it has taught me. My hope now is that by sharing these lessons with you they may help in finding a similar sense of empowerment.
It now makes sense to me that in order to live a life of honesty and respect for others you must first spend time practising on yourself. I believe a huge part of my own personal growth through sobriety was due to practising these virtues on a daily basis and finally starting to fully understand and appreciate them. Although my internal honesty came from a breakdown, I give thanks for its unveiling none the less. It was through the brutal honesty that I had become a horrible human that I gained enough respect for myself to not let it define me.
During Ocsober, show yourself enough respect to be completely honest about who you are and who you need to become.
If you truly want to see into your future, just take a step back and look at who and what you surround yourself with. I lived in bars, clubs and taxis of a weekend – constantly surrounded by people and places aligned to the common goal of self-destruction, not self-development. Whether you’re conscious of it or not, the environment you choose to live, work or play in will aid in determining who you are becoming. You will adapt to its routines and influences and before long – like me – it will just be the norm and you will settle for it. I had to separate myself from all negative environments and people in an attempt to salvage my soul. This was extremely tough and very lonely; however, it allowed me to eventually take control of my environment and assisted in determining who and what I let in. If a negative environment can have so much influence over who you are becoming, imagine the possibilities of promoting only healthy and positive environments for yourself.
During Ocsober, control your environment don’t let it control you.
Once I had escaped my environment I was faced with the realisation that I was becoming my true self. Gradually over the years – and in particular through my 20s – I moulded myself into the person I thought I wanted to be without ever taking the time to understand who I actually am; I became the result of ego and lived my life through everyone else’s perception and or expectations of who I was or should be. All I had become was drunk.
Being social was extremely hard at first. Even talking to people as myself was brutal, but over time it became easier. As I grew in respect for who I was becoming, so did my confidence to be myself. Just because people think they know who you are is not a good enough excuse to remain that person, particularly if that person is not someone to be proud of.
During Ocsober, become the person you were destined to become.
The greatest loss I have ever experienced was that of my drinking ego – greatest as in the most welcomed. This loss has allowed me to realise that there is something bigger out there than just me; allowed me to make myself vulnerable in service to others; allowed me to accept who I am and be proud of it; and above all, it has allowed me to not care about what other people think of me – only how they act as a result of me.
During Ocsober, lose the ego.