Day 18: Falling Off

“My attitude has always been, if you fall flat on your face, at least you’re moving forward. All you have to do is get back up and try again.” 
– Sir Richard Branson

Okay, let’s talk about it, the elephant in the room. Let’s talk about falling off of the Dryuary path. It happens, and we all know it happens. So instead of pretending no one falls off, or hiding when we do fall off, let’s just talk about it.

Dryuary is an individual path undertaken by a host of people. We all have the same undertaking, but we all have to do it in our unique way. We can support one another, prop each other up, offer words of encouragement, holler out directions, but each person walks their own path. And sometimes a person will walk off of their intended path.

That detour might look different for each of us, and different even at various points on our pathway. There is the daydreaming-not-watching-where-you’re-going meander off the path. There’s the oh-jeez-I’m-scared-and-stressed-and-my-eyes-are-darting-everywhere stumble off the path. Oh, and then who can forget the ever popular hey-I-know-a-shortcut zip off the path. And one of my personal favorites, the in-the-name-of-everything-holy-I-cannot-do-this-one-more-second flying leap off the path.

So let’s face it. Falling off the Dryuary path happens. What’s important is what we do about it.

Feeling a little embarrassed and blue is fairly normal. Who wants to ‘admit’ that they fell off? Pretty much no one, so let’s address that first. The word ‘admit’ means to ‘concede as true or valid.’ Concede as in a contest. And this is not a contest, not even with ourselves. When someone tells the group that they fell off Dryuary, they display courage and self-awareness. They also have no idea how their words may comfort another who fell off and doesn’t feel ready yet to share. Sharing our foibles, though, is what might give courage to the next person, so share away (but only if you want to).

Whether we decide to share our progress (our fall) or not, we still are faced with the choice about what to do from there. Many times (most times?) the first inclination is to just think something along the lines of, “Heck. This is too hard. I quit, and I’m just gonna sit here in the brambles and be done with it. Come to think of it, I actually like brambles.” Ah, how familiar are those words?

Another choice is to go it alone in the retracing of our steps and navigation back to the path. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this choice. Sometimes it takes a village, and sometimes we just need a little solitude to get our head on straight. This is definitely a valid way to go.

We can also call out for help. Yeah, we each have our own unique path, but asking for guidance from others who have faced similar pitfalls and unplanned detours is downright smart. Why not take advantage of the experience and wisdom of compassionate friends? We never know what little nugget someone might toss out that we are ready in that very instant to hear and utilize to lever ourselves back up and over the hazard onto the main path. Works for me.

Here’s where I say loud and clear: Standing up, brushing off the seat of our pants, and moving forward is REALLY, REALLY HARD. If we thought Dryuary was hard, try falling off and getting back up and on the path again. It’s hard as all get out, so anyone who finds themselves making that choice to start again deserves huge accolades. So stop apologizing and take a bow.

So. Let’s assume we’ve passed on choice #1 (sitting in the brambles) and moved on to choice #2 or choice #3. Next step is deciding what to take with us on our way back to the path. We can bring big loads of Guilt, though I’ve found lugging around a heavy burden of guilt to be unnecessary and actually detrimental to my hike back to the path. It’s hard enough anyway without all that extra weight. I’d say pick up one little piece of guilt that is particularly meaningful to you, wrap it softly in a silk cloth woven of the threads of your good heart, and pack it carefully in your knapsack. You’ll know it’s there if you need it, but bringing it out to inspect every day will keep you from seeing where you want to go.

What I have found helpful to bring with me on my little hike back to the path is that tiny golden nugget of resolve that boosted me ever so slightly to encourage me back up onto my feet. There is my strength. That’s what I want to carry around, the resolve to get back up and start again. That little gem right there is what I hold in my hand, keep in my pocket, roll around in my fingers, and let my gaze linger on. That bit of truth will see me through the other bramble bushes and pot holes, and will guide my steps where I want to go.

So yeah, falling off Dryuary is a thing. We can talk about it with others or not, as we choose. We can go it alone or ask for help, whatever feels right at the time. We can sit and stew in the brambles, or we can scrabble around to find that little jewel of resolve, and commence our trek back to our original path. Our choice.

Post Submitted By: HorseLover, MM Member


  1. This article, Falling Off, was very well-written and very compelling. Personally, I have not yet been tempted to fall off. But I know the craving could strike at any time with a vengeance! Reading this article, I felt more secure. Each day it is a choice. If one day I choose to drink, I know that I can find my way back quickly because I’ve already rehearsed it in my mind. Interesting stuff to think about here.

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