328 Steps Forward, 2 Steps Back - My Quiet Cave Inc.

Posted by | June 14, 2013 | Brandon Appelhans | No Comments

I am writing this post in regard to a few comments. I have been asked recently if I was in a funk. The answer is not really. But recently I have spoken a lot about taking 2 steps back. I have spoken about getting sick, and struggling. So the question came: are you ok?

Anytime we take a step back, it is easy to talk about how we have fallen from something more. If I were in sales, and had sales of a $1,000,000 per year, but then fell 25%, I would have taken a step back. However, I would still be selling $750,000 per year.

The problem is that often, I don’t focus on what I have achieved but I focus instead on what has happened recently. In the case of the salesman above, he lost $250,000 in annual business. In my case, I talk about getting sick over the winter and trying to stay stable.

But what about the steps that I had to take for that to be an issue in the first place? If I am struggling to stay stable, that means at some point I have been stable. In my case, I have been mostly stable for 12 years. If I am struggling to maintain my identity as true and rooted, it means that I have developed an identity that is true and rooted. I have been working on this for the last five years.

I say this because recently I have spoken about the trials and the losses, but not about how I got to a point where I had something to lose. To take the steps back I did, I had to take countless steps forward in order to even have a place to step back to.

So what about all of those steps?

Sometimes I forget that to be where I am has taken years of intentional trudging. It has taken years of counseling, after years of hard work by myself, after years of intentional work to stabilize. If I were to count the number of large steps that I have taken forward, I am not sure I could. I have taken too many steps.

Recently I heard that there is something fantastic about a long walk in the same direction. In many ways, that defines my walk with bipolar disorder. Some days have been 2 steps forward, others 2 back. Some days I have not walked at all. However, over the course of these last 14 years, I have taken hundreds, maybe even thousands, more steps forward than I have taken back.

This winter, being sick was not ideal. However, I was still me. I still knew who I was (that took many steps forward), I knew how to take care of myself (which took many steps forward), I knew how to get better, how to grow, what was important, and what was going on.

The fact of the matter is that I took a couple steps back, but, like many of our journeys, I did not make it back to where I started. I made it a couple of steps back from where I had been, which was miles away from where I started!

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