You CAN change if you want to

For years I thought and felt that we all had a slot in life or mold, which was predetermined for us and we just had to accept our lot in life. Almost like a beehive or ant colony.

Everyone had their role and that was that.

I must have been a Communist in my last life 😂😂

I think it was because I was trapped in an addictive headspace or mindset, that I could not see the “wood from the trees”. My life was set as was my comfort zone, even though it wasn’t that comfortable, more like a recurring nightmare going on in my own head and heart.

I needed to change my life, I wanted a better life & deep down knew that things had to change, they couldn’t remain the same as it was just nuts and was getting worse.

I did what every self-respecting alcoholic did:

I did a geographical, in fact, I did many of them. I changed my jobs, changed towns, accommodations and even countries. I was searching for sanity in my not so sane life. My quest for peace, happiness, Love, success & money lasted for years, but in all, I was degenerating not advancing and running away from myself. Stupid thing is you can’t run away from your own head, can you?

My search was outside of me.

looking for something, anything, waiting for a miracle.

The miracle I was waiting for wasn’t outside of me, but in me. I had the solution to my problems. It took me 33 years to figure it out and although my life took a massive swing then when I got sober, it was only just the start of the Journey that is called ME. I’m still on that journey exploring as I go, experiencing both the ups and the downs of life.

What have I learned?

Life is fickle, and it is not as straight forward as I had thought in my youth. Life is not predestined or predetermined and you don’t get given a role and have to stick to it. Life is freedom and meant to be lived freely, and that freedom is not what is outside of you, but what is inside of you. But shit, living life outside of the “comfort zone” box, now that is a scary concept.

We have immense power inside of us and we have been conditioned for eternity, through the generations not to believe it.

We have been conditioned to be controlled, manipulated and lead by the nose. If you want to know what’s good for you, Stay in your box and don’t ask questions, don’t even breath, unless we tell you to.

We are all driven by FEAR, and my first reaction was to blame, blame my parents, blame my teachers, blame society, blame anyone or anything. But what is the point!!

It is ironic how we came from Love, only to be molded by Fear.

Blame is irresponsible and gets you absolutely nowhere and only keeps you stuck in the whole poor me resentment pit. Life is life, I was brought up in an alcoholic home, as were my parents. They did the best they knew how and I’m sure in their own insane way so did my grandparents. I hope and pray that the addiction or dysfunctional cycle has been broken.

Change is easier when you’ve had enough crap, or does it?

Both my sister and I are in recovery, my kids are still young but my niece and nephew are both overachievers and not the awkward half wits we turned out to be. Thank God for that.

My sister and I changed as we wanted to, we both got “Sick & tired of being sick & tired”. In Alcoholics Anonymous, they call this rock bottom. I count us as the lucky ones, as our eyes where opened, but unfortunately many are still wearing blinkers.


Working as an addiction counselor for the past 12 years, I have experienced first hand, motivation in individuals, or lack of it. I’ve listened to some horror stories that would scare any thoughts of drinking or using forever out of most people, but many go straight back to drinking and using. Baffling indeed.

The reason this happens is that they don’t see the problem in them, but out there, again “if everything and everyone else changed first, then so would I”. But isn’t that what society has told us, just look at our political system. We are supposed to live in a democracy, but that has just turned into a mud-slinging blame game and no one takes responsibility or is slow to take action or turn a blind eye. Climate change comes to mind.

Crisis motivated

Only when something bad happens, like a natural disaster or terrorist attack, do we move, and then only for a limited time. We are externalizing again. So we do change, are moved and motivated, but easily revert back to our old selves post-crisis.

As a society, we do this time and time again, but as a society, we never seem to learn. We conveniently forget in time, the last crisis and do the same again. Never ever deal with the problem, only clean up after the event.

We need to influence Society

Society will NOT change unless we change ourselves first. Everyone has to come out of their comfy little comfort zones, and start to take the bull by the horns and take responsibility for themselves. Change is easy if you do it properly.

Work smart not hard as once it becomes hard you quit. Most people take on too much too soon, become overwhelmed or stressed and give up. Change takes patience and time and has to be implemented one step at a time.

When you start to change yourself, you will be surprised at just how that change can influence others to do the same, as they get inspired, and want to emulate it.

We instinctively respond first to emotions, long before thoughts or words. We can all sense the tension when you find yourself in a hostile situation, or if someone else is in a bad mood.

How to change?

Remember it is progress, not perfection and life is a process, not an event. We are ever evolving beings and have to develop grow and evolve to survive as a species.

  • List everything you like about yourself.
  • List everything you want in your life.
  • List everything you dislike about yourself.
  • List everything you do not want in your life.
  • Look at all the negative aspects from above and look at how you can turn around those negatives to positives or let them go.
  • Once you know what you like and want, focus only on that.

In no time you will start to see a change in yourself. Keep it simple, as this is not to be a complicated exercise, focus on one thing at a time until you turn it around and move to the next. This is what I do and it works for me

At the end of the day, how you go about implementing change, is totally up to you. There are endless lists of self-help gurus on Youtube, so shop around. The most important thing to know is not necessarily the HOW, but the knowledge that you CAN.

Once you feel outside circumstances and other people begin to manipulate or control you, then know that you don’t need to follow suit, as you are in control of yourself and have a massive power called CHOICE.

It takes 66 days to create any habit, either good or bad, make sure it is a good one.

Thanks for reading my article, if you’d like to leave a comment please do so on my website.

Have an awesome day (because you can)

Dermot Mc Donough

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