Sense part 2

Gratitude List 31/05/2018

Continued from yesterday, I now move onto my hearing. My hearing has never been 100% but even right now I can hear colleagues talking and some keyboard tapping. In fact, I’m going to get up and turn on the radio, it’s too quiet…… Blur – Country House, that’s better 😊. Which brings me nicely on to my list:

– Hearing music. I can’t imagine life without music. It brings me joy, brings me tears, gets my fingers and feet tapping, gives me goosebumps and has the ability to take me back to a specific time and place.

– Hearing nature. It wouldn’t be the same if the birds didn’t sing, the waves didn’t crash, the rain didn’t patter or the leaves didn’t rustle in the wind.

– Hearing laughter. Whether it’s someone I know and love or a complete stranger on the bus, if someone is laughing it instantly brings a smile to my face. When someone is laughing uncontrollably, I can’t help but start myself πŸ˜‚.

– Hearing shares. I know exactly where I would be had I not heard the magic of similarity, experience, strength and hope. It is not a good place.

– Hearing everything else. Can’t imagine not being able to hear. I know things can change so whilst I can I will do my upmost to appreciate every single thing.

Sense

Gratitude List 30/05/2018

Yet again, I woke up this morning with all my senses intact. I pray that they last the day. If they do, I will thank my higher power from the bottom of my heart before I sleep tonight. My senses have featured on my lists many times before, but this time I’m going to give them their just deserved and spend more time on each one. Starting today with my sight, because without it I wouldn’t get to see:

– the beauty of nature and changing seasons,

– a loving embrace between two people,

– my children growing up,

– the joy in someone’s face,

– colour, light,

– a tear in someone’s eye,

– where I am going,

– what I am hearing (etc),

– the sky, the moon, the sun, the stars,

– photos of the past,

– the words in a book,

– change.

I assume, I also wouldn’t get the serenity and calming sensation when I take a deep breath and close my eyes.

Through

Gratitude List 29/05/2018

For every setback is a comeback – an opportunity for me to learn and improve. This is very evident in my life thus far. At no point have I experienced a low without, in some way, getting stronger as a result. Sure, there are some lows I wish I didn’t have to go through to gain this strength, not everyone will, but I did. This was and is God’s plan for me.

Today I am grateful for the strengths I have found.

– Through my mum’s passing I have learnt to tolerate, forgive, love and appreciate my dad.

– Through losing love I feel love again.

– Through the absence of my children I have found a deeper appreciation for their presence.

– Through my recklessness I have gained responsibility.

– Through witnessing pain I have learnt to support and be there.

– Through my masterclass in manipulation I have discovered vulnerability.

– Through fear I have found courage.

– Through my addiction I have found recovery.

– Through my relapse I have found powerlessness and a stronger desire.

– Through my huge ego I experienced a thunderbolt when discovering my higher power.

The great thing is, thanks to recovery, I now have a greater desire to learn and improve as a person. Challenges in life are inevitable and I will try to embrace each silver lining, but maybe, I can now find the strengths in other ways.

Vulnerable βœ”οΈ

Gratitude List 28/05/2018

Life in recovery is as miraculous as I’d hoped. I wouldn’t change it for the world. But, in some ways, being in recovery has made me vulnerable. But is that bad thing? I don’t think it is, I try to embrace my vulnerability even if it hurts sometimes. Some examples of this feature in today’s gratitude list.

– To be able to cry when something is sad.

– To feel guilt and regret when my defects cause harm.

– To hurt when someone harms me.

-To miss my children when I’m not with them.

– To feel unprotected by not lying.

– To fear the consequences of a wrongful act.

– To be open to judgement and criticism.

Today, I would rather experience these feelings than be emotionally numb. In the past I used to surpress them or hide them behind dishonesty and manipulation. It can be tough at times but this definitely resembles a normal way of thinking and living. For that reason, I am truly grateful.

My weekend

Gratitude List 27/05/2018

Again, my gratitude reflects on a lovely weekend with people I love. On Saturday, we had another long walk round the beautiful Trent Park followed by a nice meal with the family. Today, the thunder and rain held off and we managed to fit in a couple of hours having fun at an outside swimming pool. There were some amazing moments I just have to write about.

– Our shared interest in going for long walks in the parks and countryside. Also, a shared appreciation for nature’s beauty and stunning views.

– Witnessing the relationship between my children and my dad grow in strength. They are becoming close and it makes me so happy.

– Being with my sister and her husband. Two absolutely phenomenonal people. My other brother and sister couldn’t make it but both were doing incredible things. So proud of them all.

– Seeing my teenage son show my girlfriend a funny video before me. Does it bother me? Not in the slightest, I love seeing them get on.

– Watching my girlfriend and my daughter splashing around and laughing in the pool. Again, I am so lucky.

– The cuddles and kisses I get with my daughter and the slightly awkward but nevertheless loving teenage embrace I get from my son.

– The love I feel from all. I’m extremely lucky and ready to give it back tenfold!

Not my time yet πŸ˜Š

Gratitude List 26/05/2018

Another year down and I’m still here! I am truly blessed to be living the life I am and today is a perfect opportunity for me to express gratitude for the simple, often forgotten things, that keep me alive.

– my beating heart,

– the air I’m breathing,

– the blood in my body,

– the lack of disease,

– the food and water within my reach,

– the safety of my city,

– being in the right place at the right time,

– my desire to live,

– that it’s not my time.

Love to you all ❀️

Maybe, just maybe

Gratitude List 25/05/2018

“Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of thy power, thy love and thy way of life.” This line is part of my prayers morning and night and one of my favourites.

‘Take away my difficulties’ – sounds like I’m asking for something for myself, a selfish request maybe. But then it’s quickly followed by a reason. A reason that reminds me I am praying for the removal of my difficulties, because doing so will benefit those around me – ‘that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of thy power, thy love and thy way of life.’

Thanks to my higher power’s strength and guidance, these difficulties are beginning to lift. As a result, people around me may see the changes, feel the benefits, and via attraction, who knows, they maybe positively influenced.

Maybe, just maybe…..

– my children see a more patient, grateful and loving father,

– my partner sees a more responsible, tolerant and loving boyfriend,

– my colleagues see more maturity and less procrastination,

– my siblings see a more connected and supportive brother,

– my parents see a more kind, forgiving and loving son,

– my friends see more unity and less manipulation,

– the cashier at Tesco sees a smile and is greeted with ‘have a nice day.’

– the bus driver sees a more thankful passenger,

– the bank see a more responsible client,

– even the spider doesn’t get whacked with a shoe,

– my fellows see a more honest, open-minded and willing me.

What a relief

Gratitude List 24/05/2018

I used to carry all sorts of resentments around with me and big or small the experience was disabling. Don’t get me wrong I still suffer from resentments today, but they are far less often and much shorter lived.

Today I am grateful I am currently NOT feeling:

– like my head is spinning,

– angry and frustrated,

– self-pity and self importance,

– intolerance and arrogance,

– like the world is against me,

– hate (what a horrid feeling).

I am therefore also grateful for the action I have taken to alleviate this burdon:

– I had the courage to be absolutely honest,

– I was willing to let go of any ideas I had and allowed myself to be guided,

– I found humility,

– I was willing to let go of any ideas I had and allowed myself to be guided,

– I followed some simple directions,

– I was willing to let go of any ideas I had and allowed myself to be guided,

– I read some literature,

– I was willing to let go of any ideas I had and allowed myself to be guided,

– I wrote things down on paper,

– I was willing to let go of any ideas I had and allowed myself to be guided,

– I shared it with someone else and my higher power,

– I was willing to let go of any ideas I had and allowed myself to be guided,

– I prayed to be heard and meditated to listen,

– I was willing to let go of any ideas I had and allowed myself to be guided,

– I was willing to let go of any ideas I had and allowed myself to be guided,

– I was willing to let go of any ideas I had and allowed myself to be guided,

– I was willing to let go of any ideas I had and allowed myself to be guided.

No mistakes, just a reflection of how important that part was for me.

A day in numbers

Gratitude List 23/05/2018

A day in numbers.

– From several bets per minute to 888,660 minutes without one.

– The 663,840 minutes spent in recovery. (My second life)

– The 12 steps that have opened my eyes and turned my life around.

– The 3 kilos (of manyπŸ˜‚) of weight loss.

– A few days over 3 years with my amazing girlfriend.

– My 2 loving children.

– The Β£**** my friend did not lend me.

– 141 Cleveland Street

– The 4 hours spent with like minded fellows each week in contrast to the minimum of 30 hours I spent alone and causing destruction.

– The 15 minutes it takes to do my gratitude list, the 5 minutes it takes to pray morning and night, the 5 minutes it takes to do my inventory, the 15 minutes it takes to connect with 3 fellows, the 10 minutes it takes to read some recovery based literature, the 10 minutes it takes to meditate. 60 minutes out of my daily allowance of 1440.

– The 1 minute it takes to plan my day around the above.

Just worked out

Gratitude List 22/05/2018

When I was faced with a decision, dilemma, resentment or fear, my mind got busy creating a way out. Unfortunately, the plan normally involved a form of dishonesty or manipulation or both. It was hard work and I’d spend days stressing about it and instead of making things better, all I was doing was digging a bigger hole.

I now pray each morning and night for relief of the bondage of self so that I may better do the will of my higher power. Despite this, depending on the challenges I face, my ‘self’ can easily retake control and as a result I can find myself handing over my will throughout the day too. What is really evident is that every time I have handed something over – it has worked out! So simple! The solution invariably involved me in some way but I had nothing to do with the planning of it – it just came to me.

Today I am grateful for those moments I have handed over, moments that have ‘just worked out’….

– a fear I had over something I had no control over. Stopped thinking. Let go. Ended well.

– a huge resentment I had with a member of my family. Stopped thinking. Let go. Ended well.

– a fear I had over telling a loved one something I knew would go against their values. Stopped thinking. Let go. Ended well.

– deciding when to make amends. Stopped thinking. Let go. Ended well.

– when procrastinating over something important. Stopped thinking. Let go. Ended well.

– deciding whether or not an act is the right or wrong thing to do. Stopped thinking. Let go. Ended well.

– when someone said something that hurt me. Stopped thinking. Let go. Ended well.

– when procrastinating over doing some written recovery work. Stopped thinking. Let go. Ended well.

– deciding the best way to be honest with someone. Stopped thinking. Let go. Ended well.

These successful experiences have strengthened my faith and courage. And at each successful end I always ask myself ‘what was I worrying about!?’

I can’t reiterate it enough – almost every time I have tried to manage a difficult situation it has not ended well. In contrast, EVERY SINGLE TIME I have handed over a difficult situation it has worked out well without causing anyone, including me any harm.

I used to think this way of dealing with things was a sign of weakness and a lack of courage and responsibility. I’ve learnt this is far from the truth and that handing my will and power over is the bravest thing I’ve ever done.