Would you say you’re mostly the same type of person you were 10 years ago or would you say you’ve changed dramatically since then?
I’ve heard quite often so many say that people really don’t change much as they age, that at their core, they’ll always remain the same type of person, that essentially a person isn’t able to ever change their stripes. While there are some personality traits I’ll probably have for the rest of my life that have been a part of me since I was a little kid, who I am today is a far better person than the person I was 10 years ago.
10 years ago, at this very moment in time, I was a very unhealthy man due to addiction still ruling my life. Back then there was a guy named Andy in my life who I had become completely consumed with, or far better said in my addiction recovery terms, romantically obsessed with. I idolized this guy so much that I literally sat around at my home constantly waiting for him to call, where most often he didn’t. The irony in that connection was that he wasn’t even gay or bi. Rather, he used me knowing he could, knowing my feelings for him, and got a lot out of me financially and emotionally, yet never offered me hardly anything in return except stress and anguish. I was truly living in insanity then, all of which led me straight into the doors of a mental institution about four months later. And even after a five-day stint in the nut ward, I’d return to that insanity for almost an entire year before I finally woke up and began a shift to a much higher vibration in my life that I’m still working on cultivating to this very day. That shift came solely due to my relationship with God, as back then, I was still focusing more on what God needed to do for me, rather than even caring about what I could do for God. That’s because at my very core, selfishness and self-centeredness continued to consume me, where Him meeting my needs, wants, and desires was the only thing that mattered to me. The fact is, God knew I was a manipulative, hidden agenda-based, dishonest, and self-serving type of individual on most days and yet I still fought against Him changing it.
So, how did my stripes change then? Why is it today I care more about the needs, wants, and desires of others than my own and go out of my way to help another without any hidden agenda? And, how come I don’t get entangled anymore in romantic obsessions and remain dedicated to a life of 12 Step recovery?
Well, I can definitely say it didn’t arise out of my own thinking or was due to any promises or resolutions I made with myself. All of that got me nowhere actually. Ironically, the shift was born out of the very thing I was using addiction to avoid feeling, that being my chronic pain. It was indeed the very catalyst that eventually led me onto my knees, begging God to transform me into a better person. While I still bear the weight of a lot of chronic pain even to this day, it continues to have one positive effect upon my life. I seek God greater now because of it and ask Him every day to guide me in all my thoughts, words, and actions. It truly did take something Greater to shift me into the person I am today. And while I don’t believe I need to remain in pain to remain the better person I continue to become, I am thankful I’m not who I was 10 years ago am living proof that a person can truly change their stripes.
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson