The Wrong Wolf

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.

“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

For my entire life I had been feeding the wrong Wolf, I was filled with anger, envy, regret, sorrow, self-pity, inferiority and guilt. I needed to work out how to feed the right wolf.

Life was still hard, but DBT was helping, I managed to move away from people who offered nothing to me but the ability to take, to cope better at work, feel closer to my family again, but life was still pretty void of any happiness, it couldn’t fix everything. I was still failing to function in basic ways, I felt I couldn’t do the things “normal” people did and was consumed by this thought “I am not normal”.

I started to take stock of my life, barely an education, dead end job, still living with my dad at age 30. What was I going to do with my life and how do I make such fundamental changes?

I thought a lot about my previous attempts to change, the sudden frantic need to change everything right now. Asking so much from myself the only possibility was failure.

So the first goal I set myself this time was simple, it was to function normally, to get up go to work, get washed, eat enough, sleep, to have some kind of basic daily routine so life felt less chaotic and then maybe just maybe my mind could focus on something other than the negative and start to feed the right wolf.

And in the space of a few weeks my new routine became normality.


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