Update….

Further to yesterday “Can we have a chat later?”

So yesterday’s chat came and went. The content of the conversation was what I expected. I can say with a degree of certainty, based on personal experience, that had that conversation happened maybe a year ago, maybe even less, the way I reacted to it and the way the conversation flowed would have been completely different. I am not going to go into the nitty-gritty of what was spoken but it’s safe to say my old self would have hated the situation. Defects of character would have burst out of me like fireworks – arrogance, Intolerance, impatience, anger, self pity, judgement. These are just a few. Yesterday I spoke of how different my thoughts and feelings were in the build up to this conversation. I felt incredibly connected yesterday and it’s this connection that enabled me to think like that. Because the preceding hours weren’t filled with fear and self I was able to prepare spiritually and put into practice all of what the 12 steps have taught me. Subsequently none of those defects of character came out. Instead I sat, I listened, I really listened, I considered, I understood and I learnt a great deal. No harm was felt and none was caused. Feeling very blessed.

“Can we have a chat later?”

This morning I was greeted with that dreaded question…

“Can we have a chat later?”

This is never good news, is it?

Based on personal experience, no, it is not good news. What have I done wrong now? What faults are she going to bring up? What situations can I bring to the table to counter hers? These are just a few of the questions that would be spinning around my head in the meantime. That is if I allowed it to be delayed till ‘later’. Normally, I would insist that she said what she needed to say immediately. Why should I be made to wait and suffer?

Well today, I am grateful to have not reacted this way. How I’ve reacted goes to show how far recovery has taken me.

These are just a few of my thoughts…

– This is probably an opportunity for her to get things off her chest and share how she is feeling. Something I am blessed to do several times a week at meetings.

– This could be an opportunity for me to listen and learn from whatever she has to say. Another chance to progress.

– This could be an opportunity for me to practice strengths of character like tolerance, patience, consideration, love and humility.

– This could be another opportunity for me to make amends if I have caused any harm.

– This is an opportunity for me to use the ‘meantime’ to pray and meditate and prepare myself spiritually, rather than acting on impulse (self).

– This could be an opportunity for her to bear witness to my difficulties being removed and see God’s power shine through.

– This is another opportunity for me to accept the things I cannot change and have the courage to change the things I can.

– This is another opportunity for me to let go and live life on life’s terms.

There is nothing for me to fear. Furthermore, when reality plays out, there is rarely anything to fear in the first place.

In any case, wish me luck 😉

Gratitude for Gratitude

As I’ve previously mentioned, I have decided to not post my daily gratitude list anymore. In doing so, I have to admit, that my gratitude lists have become more authentic.

It’s not that I ever listed something I was not grateful for, but what I wrote was influenced by the simple knowledge that I was posting it for others to read. What I realised, is that I began to write lists to be of service to others and carry a message of recovery. I also took into consideration how someone might react to certain things and would therefore be careful about what I wrote and how I wrote it.

Neither ‘being of service’ or ‘consideration for others’ are bad, in fact they are two things I thrive for on a daily basis. But despite my good intentions, they did have an effect on what I wrote and therefore my gratitude wasn’t always entirely authentic. I can continue to be of service to others and continue to use consideration, but in other ways.

I have also come to realise that ‘people pleasing’ had a huge part to play in this. If I didn’t suffer from people pleasing then my gratitude lists would have stayed true. They wouldn’t have been swayed in the way they were. Again, wanting to please people is not a bad thing, unless by doing so it effects my own recovery, and through tainting my gratitude lists, it had.

Today I am grateful that my gratitude contains gratitude and nothing else.

Gratitude for gratitude.

And just like that, I feel better

It’s been a funny day so far. In fact it’s been a funny week. I feel like I’ve been walking a tightrope and the smallest of gusts have been able to knock me off. Despite the beautiful English weather it has been a bit breezy!

It’s not global warming bringing this unwanted force, but the unrelenting force of nature commonly known as ‘self’. I’ve been a tad off my program, mainly due to being super busy at work, but boy have I felt the difference. Quite simply, less of God’s will and more of my own. I think God has a sense of humour, because life’s challenges seem to coincide with my occasional dips. Consequently, I don’t tend to deal with these as well as I would like. Or, is it the fact that when I’m on my program and I am spiritually well, I deal with the same challenges that much better that I don’t even notice them? Food for thought.

Either way, upon reflection I can take some huge positives. In comparison to just a few years ago I am a walking, breathing miracle! My instinctive reactions have progressed so much and my awareness of arising defects has too. It is in these struggles that recovery really shines through.

Quick side story, so into this blog that I’ve just missed my stop!! I need to focus otherwise I’ll do it again on my return route, I have previous in this!

Anyway, after writing this I am in a completely different mood. Feeling blessed.

A loooooooong day

Wow I had a long day at work yesterday – pushing on 19 hours! As I reflect on it, there are certain things I am proud of.

I worked hard! No procrastination and no laziness. Industrious is not a word I would often use to describe myself but I most definitely was yesterday.

I suffered no fear! In the past I would have dreaded telling my partner I was coming home late. People pleasing was (and still is sometimes) a real issue for me and this, for me, leads to dishonesty. To protect people’s feelings!? Oh the irony!

I held no resentments! Because of my fears, I would normally resent my job and my supervisors. My mind would be spinning and cursing.

I didn’t moan and whinge! How the old me would love to bring everyone down a notch by complaining about everything.

In summary, I am happy with what I brought to the table yesterday. Despite being at work all day I did my bit for the stream of life.

Something new….

Yesterday was the first time in a long, long time I didn’t blog my daily gratitude list. It’s not that I didn’t do one, I just decided not to post it. The lists will continue to be a vital part of my recovery program, but from today, my blog will look somewhat different. I’m not entirely sure what I will blog about, I’ll just have to wait and find out….

Saturday just gone took me and my partner to a friends 40th birthday party. Prior to going we had already resigned ourselves to the fact we were going to have a few drinks and promptly booked a room to assist in our post night out rehabilitation. Both my partner and I are blessed in a sense that we do not (currently) have an issue with drinking alcohol. We don’t drink that much, on average we drink a unit or two every couple of months and nights out like this are a rare occasion.

So Saturday came and went and despite my amateur status I surprisingly held my drink well. I was able to control the amount I was drinking – control being something I cannot exercise in other aspects of my life. As a result, I felt feel physically well (ish) in the morning.

It’s now Monday morning and as I reflect on my Sunday I have realised how much the alcohol had indeed effected me. Although I didn’t suffer with the stereo-typical physical symptoms of a hangover I did suffer spiritually and emotionally. I just wasn’t myself all day. I was argumentative, snappy and bloody lazy! Although the latter can be a common Sunday occurrence.

I’ve always known that alcohol is a drug, but yesterday was the first time I’ve really felt it and admitted it. It shouldn’t be a revelation but like many other ‘in your face obvious things’ I’ve discovered in recovery, it was.