If you’re a meth addict, you’re probably thinking: SQUIRREL! It’s time to find a cheaper drug dealer.
If you’re a former patient of mine, it means something entirely different.
But a title like that is very accurate to the content of this story.
During my days as a practicing psychotherapist, I was very good. I was the king of creative clinical interventions. When traditional methods couldn’t effect the change I wanted for my patients, I made up my own. I was like the McGyver of the counseling world.
More often than not, dealing with people who are addictive, compulsive and stuck in ruts of undesirable behavior patterns was not all that difficult. Solutions were relatively simple. It was the remembering of those solutions and the keeping of the good intentions between sessions that was the problem. We all know what we should do but the problem is worse when there’s nobody else around except us. No accountability. No reassuring voice. Nobody to help you say no, except a rock.
Actually, it was a very small pebble. And people would pay me a fee of $125 for it.
Addict or not, we all have goals. To start something. To stop something. To remember our goal and keep it when our bad self would rather opt for immediate gratification only to regret it the moment after.
Enter the pebble.
Muhammad Ali once said “It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out, it’s the pebble in your shoe.” With all due respect, I must disagree.
We all know the small but nagging discomfort of that teeny, tiny something that somehow gets lodged in a shoe we’re wearing and despite the shaking and shuffling it is that ever present something bordering on nuisance but not quite enough to warrant a momentary sit down for removal.
Pain is an excellent reminder.
Funny how the presence of just a tiny little pain all day long can help us keep our commitments. It reminds us of our goal. It is that inimitable little conscience that tells us the true meaning of sobriety at the times we’d rather not remember.
Funny how good it feels to remember the high you get knowing the difference between where you are now and where you once were and to let that tempting moment pass, bringing you just a little bit closer to being the kind of person we truly yearn to be.
It’s a small price. A little nuisance really.
If you want to keep your promise to yourself,
a little pebble can really rock your world.
And this session is on me.