Are You a Priority?

young woman stands in red leaves forest stretching practicing yoga
by Vance Larson

I see it a lot in the addictions community. And every now and again I see it in my practice. It’s the person who is never on time, or that never shows for their appointment. In the addictions field, this is pretty common, for many are not invested in their recovery. But what about the person who “self pays” for a program? They do the research, pay for the program, make the first appointment and then ghost you. 

When you’re not a priority, you play a game with yourself. I like to equate this mentality to those who jump on the new years resolution bandwagon. Come the first of January, they sign up for the gym, start a diet, quit smoking and any other thing that they are not happy with. Well intentioned, they jump head first into it. While they maybe strong out of the gate, by mid to end January, they are right back to where they started. And why is this? It can be for many reasons, but I bring it back to not being a priority. 

When you’re not a priority, you’re not taking care of yourself, and it shows via your actions. So you set up an action plan to start making corrections, because you want better for yourself. That’s the easy part. But just as late January rolls around, you trick yourself into believing that your life wasn’t so bad, or off course, so you revert back to old ways. Because old ways are easy, while change demands discipline. And discipline requires work. And when we’re not a priority, the work won’t get done.

The usual path to become a priority is more often than not pain

So what is a priority? Well, a priority is something you place value on. It is something seen as important. Most of us would see a job as a priority, because we need money to survive. So the trade off is hours for dollars. But what happens when we don’t see ourselves as a priority? We may engage in a less than desirable relationship. We may not keep the healthiest of diets. We may drink to excess, smoke or do drugs. There are countless ways that show we are not a priority. And the usual path to become a priority is more often than not pain. You see pain often prioritizes things for us. Not always. But for most of us it does. 

You take that undesirable relationship that you’re in, and you begin to question all of those arguments. Or worse, you come to the realization that the abuse is too much to handle. Or, the years of reckless eating has you 60 pounds overweight, siting in the doctors office listening to them tell you that you have high cholesterol and diabetes. And then we find ourselves in a AA/NA meeting not because the drinking and drug use was more than recreational, but because a daily habit. This is what not being a priority looks like.  

Being a priority doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. Not does it mean that you will be exempt from bad things happening to you. But what it does mean is that your health (both mental and physical) comes first. And because it does, you are disciplined when it comes to it. You show yourself the very respect needed to ensure your worth.

So affirm yourself today. Take care of yourself. Be kind to yourself. Because you are precious and worth it.  

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