Afraid to Fall

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When I failed in my recovery…

I was scared.

I was so scared. Scared that it wouldn’t fix me. Scared that I was unfixable.

Scared that I would fall.

I did it anyway.

I recently took a big step. A step toward facing my problems, healing my heart and soul — changing my deeply rooted habits. And taking the step felt like change. It felt like “better.”

A lot of days, it still does.

In fact, upon starting, I went longer than I had in five years without reverting to old habits — self-destructive tendencies.

I was on cloud nine. This was it.

I was better.

But I wasn’t.

Because then I did it.

For a multitude of reasons that I won’t discuss here, I fell back. Back into old habits, old thought patterns — old destructions.

And that’s when it hit me.

My biggest fear — what I had been most scared of — it had come true.

That my work toward getting “better” wouldn’t save me. That I’d still have bad days.

For a minute, I was more afraid and terrified than I had been in my entire life.

This wasn’t going to work. This was what life was going to be like.

But then I realized something.

I was still here. The lights were still on. Work still started tomorrow.

A new day, minute — second was still in front of me.

I was still here.

And life was going to go on.

I realized that life isn’t a straight path of perfectly placed steps. It’s windy, there are hills, sometimes you stray so far you can’t find your way back — yet somehow, you always do.

I realized that you fall. I realized that you fall, but all that matters is that you get back up. I realized that sometimes you fall more than others, sometimes you stay down longer, and then, sometimes, you find yourself falling less and less.

Until one day, you find your balance.

Until one day, you stop being so afraid and you start to see your path.

I’ve been falling less and less lately, and at this point, I think that’s all I can ask for.

At this point, I know to not beat myself up when I fall, because I know that I’d rather help myself back up.

At this point, I’m going to focus not on not falling — but on maybe, just maybe, falling less and less.

Because falling isn’t scary.

Falling is scraping your knee after falling off your bike but getting back on anyway. Falling is striking out on a business deal you took a chance on but continuing to become a successful career person anyway. Falling is getting rejected from a dream school but applying to more anyway. Falling is getting ghosted from a job but continuing to build your resume anyway.

Falling is perseverance. Falling is building a life. Falling is experiencing.

Falling is living.

So maybe I’m not scared to fall anymore. Maybe it doesn’t make me less than or a mistake.

Maybe it makes me human.

Maybe it means I have amazing places to go.

Because each time you get back up you get stronger. Each time you get back up you say “no” to your demons until they can’t push you down anymore.

Each time you get back up you see a new side of life you had never seen before.

So get back up.

Fall less and less.

Don’t get discouraged.

Keep on striving for better and taking chances on the unknown — chances on what could be on the other side of the hill if you just, get, back, up.

And, the most important thing I can say to you, is don’t be afraid to fall.

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