Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Tool of Gratitude

I sat in a great meeting last night where the topic was gratitude.

A word I used to cringe at.  Thankfully (pun intended), I started writing gratitude lists at the end of every day, and even sometimes on this blog when I can feel my perspective get skewed.

What I realized last night while listening to everyone was that gratitude as a tool is a perpsective shifter.  Much like when I first came into this program and my perspective was shifted.  It shifted from I HAVE to drink, to I don't HAVE to drink.  That opened an iota of possibility that maybe other ideas & pre-concieved notions I had may also one day reverse themselves....sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly.

Gratitude is my way to get there.  If I suscribe to the belief that what I talk about I get, then if I focus on the good in my life I will invite MORE good.  The opposite is true. I spent years YEARS focused on all the things I wasn't getting, all the life that was going on around me that I couldn't connect to and thinking about that next drink.  I don't HAVE to do that today, it's a choice.

And while a lot of external things are fantastic for me, it's the insides that changed that made that possible. The only way to keep it is to keep my insides in check, a fit spiritual condition they call it.  I'm grateful to strive for that today.

Monday, October 24, 2011

It's True What They Say

pg 89 - Alcoholic Anonymous "Practical experience shows that nothing will so much insure immunity from drinking as intensive work with other alcoholics...."

I had the commute from hell this morning, or rather through other eyes it would have been the commute from hell.  Luckily in NY these more than one way to get most places even if it requires a bit more walking.  I got to work 40 mintues late and had about an hour to get a whole bunch of stuff done prior to sitting at the reception desk. I wasn't quite frazzled but maybe teetering on the edge of frantic & rushed. 

The phone rings, I think I can just call them back later, but the number is from someone who is new and who reached out for help at a meeting a went to last week.  I pick up, we talk for a bit, nothing urgent no emergency - just one alcoholic talking to another about getting through a Monday.

I hang up, my breath which I had been holding flows easier, I have a smile on my face and I have been right sized.

I love this program.  Now off to enjoy a delicious Cortland apple.  There is NOTHING like NY State apples in the fall!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Instinct

I sat in a great meeting last night where the speaker read a couple of passages from Step 4 out of the 12 &12.

I was struck by the word instinct.  When I think back to my drinking days and even into sobriety my instincts are/were to lie, steal, hide, cheat, get away with something, run, deny, and to passively play the victim.

I thought about it further and realized that all of these instincts, these reactions are completely and utterly based in fear. That same old record of, if I told you what I was really thinking, you'd run away and never return.  Sadly, that record can still play today.

I'm starting my first step today for the second time in sobriety.  I decided to read through the chapter in the 12&12 on Step 1 - one of the first sentences is:  'Every natural instinct cries out against the idea of personal powerlessness'

...and there it is again,  that INSTINCT, but for this alcoholic, my instincts are tainted because they are based in fear & ego.  Powerlessness is not something I like to admit, and while I know I am powerless of alcohol, it's interesting to look at other areas in my life and how I CLING onto them for dear life trying to control. 

This re-taking of the steps is coming at a good time for me and I am ready to learn more & delve deeper at least I think I am - here goes nothin!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Refreshing

I am not sure why I live in a place that I need to take a break from, but that's just how New York City is, trust me ask anyone who lives here...a break is always needed.

Luckily for me I got to do that this past weekend.  Chris & I returned home (Fayetteville NY) for a wedding of a dear friend. I was also blessed to be able to see my Mom & sister who flew in from Colorado as well as many other family friends. We had a fantastic time.   We visited with old friends, ate out A LOT, when to an apple orchard and really truly enjoyed each other.

We danced our asses off at the wedding and had so much FUN....SOBER!   I had this huge fear when I first got sober that I wouldn't ever have any fun (black & white thinking much).  One of those situations arose this weekend: the FAMILY wedding!  On the way to the reception I even had the thought 'these people know me as fun, dancing, drunk Jeremy'  when it comes to weddings. I pushed that aside and thought allowed myself to believe I can still have fun.

 I tell you now I had more fun at this wedding than I can recall at any previous wedding.  I wasn't covered in guilt the next day. I didn't say or do anything I regretted and I didn't have to hide.    Thanks to this program & the people in it - I have learned how...