2018

Gratitude List 31/12/2018

I am very grateful for 2018. How my life has changed has been miraculous. It’s the first full year I have been in recovery and God willing not the last. I have become more accepting of my past, more appreciative of my present and more hopeful of my future. I have spent more time with a smile on my face and peace in my mind than I can ever remember. My relationships have evolved in strength and love. I am a better partner, a better father, a better son, a better brother, a better friend, a better colleague and a better fellow. I am not perfect and never will be, but as I have expressed before that means there is no limit to my progression.

To put it simply I am learning how to love life and love myself too. I can say with a degree of certainty that none of this would have been possible had it not been for certain things.

Today I am grateful for the existence of fellowships and for the people who started them all off. I can’t imagine my life without them.

For every single person who has attended and shared with honesty, open-mindedness and willingness. For those who have told my story.

Unity Step 5. I needed to hear a strong message and I have still needed to hear that message throughout the year. This message quite simply saved my life. One of my purposes in life is to share the same strong message.

To those who have done service. Without these people who give their time and effort I would have nowhere to go, no-one to share with and no-one to relate to. I would be on my own.

My sponsor continues to be there for me 24/7. His wisdom and guidance has saved me from my self many many times. He is one of my greater powers and a true friend for life.

Not forgetting my sponsors who have taught me more than they can imagine. Passing on what was freely given to me has been a huge part of my recovery. I hope I do the program justice and hope to pass it on to as many people as possible.

To my God. My connection through action and faith has grown in strength. A true blessing and probably the most important thing I have gained in recovery. I never feel lonely even when I am alone and as a bonus I feel more connected with and closer to my mum.

For my now fiancee for supporting me and showing me a great deal of understanding throughout the year. I would have struggled without it.

A special mention to AA and their introduction of the of the 12 Step Recovery Program. This program is a working miracle and it is working for me. Quite simply, a new design for life. A beautiful life worth living.

Happy New Year everyone

Relapse…..thankfully not

Gratitude List 30/12/2018

Complacency had returned

Cunning as it is

When? I do not know

Welcomed back with open arms

I was home again

Comfortable

Logic went out the window

Harm was forgotten

‘It’s okay’ I told myself

Back and forth

Back and forth

Guilt, shame, regret eventually dawned

What happened? Where was the fight?

Who can I tell?

No-one

Home now resembled a prison

With open doors I remained

Fuck it

Today I am grateful it was just a dream.

The right circumstances

Gratitude List 29/12/2018

I read a gratitude list today and like many times before, the contents inspired me and got me thinking. I am currently recovering from the emotional illness called – me. As a result of working the recovery program with a sponsor, I feel truly blessed with how my life has turned around. My list today reflects on the circumstances I found myself when I began my journey of recovery. It could have been so different.

When I reflect on some of my decision making I can’t believe the choices I made. Despite this, I am grateful for how sane I was. I had enough sanity to make the best decision of my life so far.

Less fortunate people who acted in the same way as I, have found their liberty restricted. I am grateful I had my freedom. I was free to put the time and effort my recovery required.

I have no doubt and need no further proof that this is a life threatening illness. Today I too am grateful I was still alive.

Stonehenge

Gratitude List 28/12/2018

Yesterday, we had a lovely day at Stonehenge. There was so much to be grateful for.

I am grateful I had the patience to drive there and back. To say I don’t like driving is an understatement.

I am grateful for the beautiful weather. At one point the mist on the way was so thick I wondered if we’d see the stones at all. It cleared up perfectly.

I am grateful for England’s history and for all the people who took the time to record events in time.

I am grateful for the people who work at these sites, from the volunteers helping with parking to the educated man telling us about the different types of stone on display.

I am grateful for the spiritual story behind the stones. Something I wouldn’t have had any interest in a couple of years ago. Yesterday, it turned out to be a beautiful place to connect.

I am grateful for the company I was in. So much love for the people I was with. Yesterday, I spoke of some defects, as always, there were strengths on show too – many of them. I’m glad I didn’t react to the negatives.

I am grateful for the recovery program for enabling me; to enjoy what was in front of me, to pass the tests that challenged me, and to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.

What a day

Gratitude List 27/12/2018

After a day of witnessing others displaying defects I am grateful for my own levels of:

– tolerance

– patience

– consideration

– whatever the opposite to self-pity is (self love?)

– forgiveness

– serenity

– happiness

– calmness

– acceptance

– courage

Most importantly I am grateful for my humility. Despite noticing these defects I wasn’t quick to judge. I am fully aware I too didn’t have a defect free day, plus I have displayed far worse in the past.

Qi

Gratitude List 26/12/2018

Last night, during a game of Scrabble, I remembered a very handy word. A word I knew was in the dictionary (because I’d used it in a previous game) but had no idea what it meant. For validation I was asked to Google the meaning. This is what I found in the Oxford dictionary:

‘The circulating life force whose existence and properties are the basis of much Chinese philosophy and medicine.’

And….

‘Origin

From Chinese ( Mandarin dialect) qì, literally ‘air, breath’.’

Jedi talk comes to mind but there’s also much resonation with how I would describe my higher power. When I connect I feel I am connecting with a force that flows through everything.

Today I am grateful for that feeling.

Thank you

Gratitude List 25/12/2018

Christmas day won’t stop me doing this list.

Today I’d like to express gratitude by giving thanks to the fellowship for showing me how to:

– enjoy myself

– appreciate the company of others

– take it all in

– be present. It’s the best ever gift

– see and acknowledge the smiles

– see the good in people

– notice what is beautiful

– dance to Michael Buble

– live life on life’s terms

– love others

– love myself

Serenity

Gratitude List 24/12/2018

The reflection of the day spoke of the uncovering of ones serenity. I’m not sure when that uncovering happened for me. I pressume it was subtle and progressive as I worked the program. However, I do remember that lightbulb moment as I smiled and thought ‘wow, where did this peace of mind and happiness come from?’ I was genuinely happy, as I am still.

Today I am grateful for the fellowship for giving me my first taste of serenity.

For my fellows, especially ones that keep coming back week after week displaying serenity in the way they act, behave and speak. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

For my sponsor and the 12 step recovery program. Together they progressively maintain and improve my serenity.

That my serenity does little to no harm to those around me. In contrast, like smiles, serenity through the law of attraction can be contagious.

That my serenity puts my mind and soul into a place whereby I can accept the things I cannot change. Without the serenity I would no doubt struggle.

For the suggestions and necessary action that keep my serenity topped up during the hours and hours between meetings.

That with serenity comes happiness, peace of mind, smiles, joy, gratitude, forgiveness, faith, connection, spirituality, calmness, love.

That serenity fills a void and protects it with it’s strength. A void that otherwise would be vulnerable to all types of defects.

Reminder

Gratitude List 23/12/2018

Since the days of desperation, my illness is such that it tries to convince me it’s in hibernation, or gone altogether.

Today I am grateful for the reminders this evening gave me.

That my illness is still there and always will be.

That my illness is patient and will wait for as long as it takes for me to get complacent.

That my illness makes me forget.

That my illness does not sit around getting weaker during my abstinence. It’s out there doing press-ups.

That my illness manifests itself in many ways.

That my illness doesn’t watch Netflix.

That my illness is ready to harm me and the people I love.

That my illness knows no bottom.

That my illness doesn’t do half measures.

Joy

Gratitude List 22/12/2018

I know what it’s like to live with very little joy. When there was joy, it was often a mask for my true feelings. Today, I have a life whereby many joys are within my reach. I am currently sitting in the living room. Nothing out of the ordinary or particularly special is happening (although Return of the Jedi is on) but I am enjoying everything. There’s so much to enjoy. I truly am blessed. In the past, my mind would have been preoccupied with my addiction or my stinky thinking.

Today I am grateful I am aware of what there is to enjoy.

Today I am grateful I am more present and therefore able to enjoy what is happening around me.

Today I am grateful I experience joy on a daily basis.

Today I am grateful the simplest of things can bring me joy.

Today I am grateful for seeing others enjoy themselves, this never fails to bring a big smile to my face.

Today I am grateful my joy does not depend on any stimulant.

Today I am grateful I enjoy the company of others.

Today I am grateful I can enjoy my surroundings.

Today I am grateful I know how to enjoy myself.

Today I am grateful the joy on my face is authentic.

Life is worth living.