Success is not merely about your luck or fate, it deals with more of clarity of vision and purpose. I never treted success with more or less money. I used to hold a that more you are of help to other the more successful you are. This thought lead me to help kids who had no family of their own. I went ahead to help them provide the basic needs like books,food and clothes. Although I was able to help a few but that made me happy and a feel of being successful in my own eyes. And that is what success is. You need not to show others that your are successful, you should feel that on your own.
I think the beginning of my story is pretty common, I started sneaking beers from fridge in the garage when I was in my late teens. Like a lot of high school kids, it seemed like the thing popular kids were doing and – though not in the upper echelon of “the in crowd” – I gave in to the social pressure to be part of the group. Like anyone else, I didn’t realize how that seemingly inconsequential decision would affect the rest of my life. The toughest thing about making a decision is the inability to project into the future. We have to run down the rabbit hole to find out what the consequences are, good or bad. I was simply trying to fit in. I had no idea alcohol would come to run my life.
As I moved off to college, it became a bigger part of my week. Thursday through Saturday nights were spent at parties and Sunday afternoon was all about beer with my buddies and football. It was slow, but I eventually got to the point that, during graduate school, I was having a drink to calm down while studying for exams. The stress involved with researching a thesis, teaching classes, grading papers, and trying to make enough to support my wife became an excuse to open a beer or pour some wine – something I continued as I moved on to a good job at an accounting firm and our family grew.
I didn’t think of it as a problem, I wasn’t out driving drunk or becoming abusive to my spouse or children. It just helped me to level out, took away the tension of a long day or lunch with a prospective client. There was never a time when my family sat me down for an intervention like they do on TV. Only one person issued an ultimatum – my daughter. She and I had a private moment before I walked her down the aisle, a quiet minute to take in the fact I was officially losing the role of most important man in her life.
My brain was foggy and, something in the way she said, “Daddy, your breath smells like alcohol” struck a chord. It was like, for the first time since that can of Coors in the garage, I realized how much drinking was associated with everything I did. Over the next several months, I attempted to use willpower to overcome it. I attempted a gradual reduction, not having anything at lunch and cutting back at dinner. Looking back, I can see the signs my wife realized what I was trying to do. To her credit, she went about finding places I could get help without me knowing that’s what she was doing. I was too proud to ask for help, yet after another year or so of trying to do it all by myself, I finally broke down.
I had relapsed again after a business trip. I’d cut back to about three per day, then went away to a conference and – entertaining associates and making connections – slipped back into the old pattern. I was so angry at myself, frustrated and ashamed that I’d failed again. Somehow, she knew it without me even saying a word. “How was your trip?” had a different ring to it and I couldn’t hold back any longer.
“I drank so much…” I started crying. “I can’t do this anymore.” We pulled over and, God bless her, she listened to me tell her everything she already knew. How long I’d been trying to quit. How many times I fell off the wagon. How much I needed support. She just let me bawl like a baby, holding my hand and drying my tears.
The next morning, we sat at the breakfast table looking through the options. She’d found out about several different organizations and gave me the choice of which route to take. She encouraged me to visit each one and even offered to come along. Eventually, I found comfort in a group started by my church. I’d been going almost every Sunday for years, but the power of community – being surrounded by others who had been or were going through the same thing I was – felt more real there than anywhere else. Something about the fact it wasn’t a true “twelve-step program” made me more comfortable and the honesty everyone shared their emotions with gave me permission to do the same. Between those men and my wife, I was able to find my way out of the bottle. Every sleepless night or panic attack in search of a drink was relieved by having people I knew would not judge me listening.
Seven years on, as a man in his mid-fifties, I can honestly say I’ve never felt better. My relationships are more meaningful, both at home and at work. I feel like I’ve got a real life now, I don’t go running for something else to avoid pain or amplify celebration. Sure, there are some tough days, but we all have those! I wake up every morning happy that my little girl said that sentence. Without it, I’d just be a slave to an unfair master.
After the exhilaration of leaving the job subsides, it’s common for retirees to feel the blues settle in. The certainty that what you do matters – long attached to work or family commitments – can wane to the point you feel miserable. As the emotion remains, it’s natural to consider consulting a doctor, but would like it if someone came along and said, “This is how I treated depression without medication.” What if there were a way to care for yourself with only positive side effects instead of dealing with symptoms of nausea, restlessness, and decreased libido? Though it’s important to remember severe cases will probably require some pharmaceutical intervention, more and more research is being done into non-medical methods to produce results. If you have a mild form, give these natural activities a try – just be sure to consult with your physician if there are no signs of improvement.
Get some exercise
A lot of people, once settled into retirement, think “slowing down” means coming to a complete stop. Instead of carrying on – or adopting – an active lifestyle including regular exercise, they take up a spot on the couch or in a favorite chair. There can be little doubt physical activity carries with it a long list of benefits for body and mind, so take a minimum of thirty minutes at least five days per week to break a sweat. The increased blood flow and feel-good hormones will be great for your brain.
Spend time with others
Retirement is a unique opportunity to fill your time with loads of new social connections. Going out of your way to see fresh faces is stimulating, both from the point of encountering different ideas and simply working to learn names. Human beings are hard-wired for communication and contact, which means a lack of significant relationships is a major problem to us. Avoid looking for reasons to hide behind the curtain – get out there and share your experiences, whether within your own peer group or as a volunteer in the local school system.
Hit the hay
Sleep has a powerful restorative effect. After years of pushing it aside to meet deadlines for the sake of your employer and then rising early to get back to work, it’s very likely you will have adapted to fewer hours of rest than you actually need. This creates a stress response in your brain, which affects overall function. Find a way to develop better habits by intentionally getting to bed around the same time every night. If you have trouble settling down, shut off the TV and read a book or thoughtful magazine article – think The New Yorker instead of People – for a half-hour before lying down, too.
All that said, it’s crucial that you monitor your feelings. If you are struggling to see any difference after a few weeks, then you would be wise schedule an appointment with a medical professional to be certain there aren’t other factors at work. Though none of us likes to have our happiness tied to taking pills, sometimes it’s necessary.