How I look at others

Gratitude List 09/01/2019

Through the Recovery Program, I am learning how to look at others completely differently. By doing this, my serenity is less affected by their actions. It is a learning process and there’s a long way to go still but I’m grateful for the progress I have made.

Today I am grateful for how I respond to harm done to me. Rather than letting any resentment drag on and fester, I have the tools to deal with them, and the love to forgive them.

Today I am grateful I consider that no one is perfect, nor should I expect them to be so. As such, each person has their own challenges and only they can tackle them.

Today I am grateful I see the good in people. Yes, I often see the bad too but at least there is now a positive counter balance. I try to remind myself of their qualities when I’m seeing their defects. Not easy in the heat of the moment, but it works for me.

Today I am grateful I accept that others are entitled to their opinion and it doesn’t need to be the same as mine. Right or wrong, I don’t need to offer mine in return.

Today I am grateful that I am not envious of the the ‘Mr Perfects’ of the world. In total contrast to me reacting with a good ‘piss take’ I am now genuinely happy for them. Instead, they inspire and motivate me.

Today I am grateful I am trying to stop controlling how others think, behave and act. I do a terrible job controlling my own life, why would I want to control anyone else’s?

Today I am grateful I accept that someone’s values do not have to match my own. I’ve realised (through my sponsor) that many disagreements, arguments and subsequent resentments are formed as a result of values clashing. Values are important to people and I have to learn to respect them.

Today I am grateful I am learning that I cannot and do not have to please everyone all of the time. The fear of letting people down is slowly but surely playing a lesser role in my life. My very next step may not please everyone and I’m learning that’s ok. I no longer fear being honest and as a result do less harm.

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Just a nibble

Gratitude List 08/01/2019

I wanted to bite last night.

Today I am grateful I didn’t.

Today I am grateful for my tolerance levels. They could be better but they definitely have been worse.

Today I am grateful that temporarily raising my voice was my reaction to my emotions. I didn’t make things ten times worse.

Today I am grateful for my consideration of others. Something I never ever had. To consider why someone is behaving the way they are is new to me.

Today I am grateful I had enough serenity to think before I spoke.

Today I am grateful it was over before it started.

Today I am grateful I haven’t woken up with an emotional hangover.

Today I am grateful for the recovery work I have done over the last two years. Work that educated me about myself and better prepares me for life’s challenges.

Today I am grateful for the positive actions I put in throughout yesterday. Actions that I believe gave me serenity and enabled me to handle this resentment.

Today I am grateful for God’s will. I’ve noticed that even when I resume control, His will has had an influence on mine.

This wasn’t a big situation, but one of the many small challenges I could face on a daily basis. But it was proof again that this program works. The tools can be used to all situations, big or small. Its why I do the program, to make a difference, no matter how small it maybe.

Spiritual

Gratitude List 07/01/2019

‘Progress rather than perfection.’

A phrase I have heard, said and referred to many times. A phrase I have used in gratitude lists in the past. It appears in the ‘How It Works’ reading. Or does it? I’ve read or listened to ‘How It Works’ numerous times but, like many other common passages, it takes a while for me to take in every word. What it actually says is ‘We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection.’

Today I am grateful I accepted that this is a spiritual recovery.

Today I am grateful for an understanding of what spiritual can mean.

Today I am grateful for finding a spiritual connection and taking that leap of faith. ‘Why not’ I thought.

Today I am grateful I have the tools to make that spiritual progress.

Today I am grateful for how good I feel when I am spiritually connected.

Today I am grateful for witnessing spirituality in others. Even if they don’t recognise it themselves.

Today I am grateful I no longer resent spirituality.

Today I am grateful I no longer fear spirituality.

Today I am grateful I now embrace my spirituality. I’m proud of it.

Up the downward escalator

Gratitude List 06/01/2019

Recovery, and life too, is like walking up a downward escalator. Well it is for me anyway. I’m not complaining, far from it, it’s not too difficult, not too tiresome and a couple of years ago I didn’t even know how to.

Today I am grateful for the tools I have acquired that keep me progressing upwards. Steadily and one day at a time. There is much to do but I am capable of doing what is asked – I just need to put in the action.

Today I am grateful I am not trying to run before I can walk. I haven’t forgotten how far down I have come from. This will be slow and in depth, I don’t care for short-cuts.

Today I am grateful I am aware that my emotional illness is the driving force behind the escalator’s downward direction. Its does not stop and never will. If I stop however, quite simply I’m going down with it.

Today I am grateful I have experienced that by doing the bare minimum I will not progress, and by taking my foot off the pedal completely, I will slowly but surely regress. Also, the longer I continue to do nothing, the escalator seems to speed up.

Today I am grateful I know there is no limit to progression. There is a limit to my regression, something, God willing I won’t experience. Some have.

Today I am grateful that my progression thus far has meant when I do stand still, I am higher up that escalator. As long as I recognise and admit my dip, I can act and soon progress to where I was…. and beyond.

Today I am grateful for unity and service. The togetherness, serenity, selflessness, spirit and humility that I get in return along with the will of my greater power are like two big hands pushing me up from below. Supporting me all the way and ready to catch me if I fall.

Today I am grateful I do not fear or dread the uphill task that lies ahead of me. I have no problem putting in the work it takes for me to progress. Like I said its not too difficult, in fact the further I progress the easier it has become. If recovery and life keeps giving back the way it has done, I am more than happy to walk up a downward escalator for the rest of my life.

Working with others

Gratitude List 05/01/2019

I love working with others. Not only do I get to pass on a life saving, life changing message I also get so much in return.

Today I am grateful that by working with others I naturally take myself out of self-mode.

Today I am grateful I get to re-read the miraculous literature. Certain passages were magic and had a huge impact on me.

Today I am grateful I get to witness recovery and change from close up. Getting inspiration at the same time.

Today I am grateful for the extra hours I get to work the program and practice the steps.

Today I am grateful I get to learn from the others. I’m grateful for my humility which enables me to remain teachable.

Today I am grateful for the serenity I get in return. For me, each meeting is a spiritual experience.

Today I am grateful to be part of such an amazing miracle. I’m just a small ripple in a huge ocean but I am so proud to be part of it.

7 from 11

Gratitude List 04/01/2019

Yesterday I reflected on the 20 questions with gratitude. Because of yesterday’s abstinence I answered ‘no’ to all twenty. A good day? In terms of my gambling, most definitely. A day without the negative actions and behaviours caused by gambling is of course a blessing.

The problem is, I suffer from an emotional illness. Some of the twenty questions are quite specific to gambling. But what if, where possible, I replaced the word ‘gambling’ with ’emotional illness’. The results are quite interesting.

Just for today, did I lose time from work or school due to my emotional illness? Yes, I was a bit lazy at work. I procrastinated quite a bit and found myself choosing to waste time on my phone rather than being productive.

Just for today, has my emotional illness made my home life unhappy? No. Today was a good day, although I didn’t actually spend much time at home. What time I did spend at home was happy.

Just for today, did my emotional illness affect my reputation? Possibly, I’m sure my colleagues recognised I didn’t do much work today.

Just for today, have I felt remorse after displaying my emotional illness? Yes, I do look back and wish I hadn’t been so unproductive.

Just for today, did my emotional illness cause a decrease in my ambition or efficiency? Yes, as above.

Just for today, after a win did I have a strong urge to return and win more? No!

Just for today, did my emotional illness make me careless of the welfare of yourself or my family? Yes, I still use my phone sometimes when I drive. I did today. This is both careless and reckless.

Just for today, have used my emotional illness to escape worry, trouble, boredom, loneliness, grief or loss? Yes, I definitely ate too much bad food and wasted time on social media to escape boredom.

Just for today, have I ever committed, or considered committing, an illegal act because of my emotional illness? Yes, I used my phone whilst driving.

Just for today, did my emotional illness cause me to have difficulty in sleeping? No, this is something I rarely struggle with.

Just for today, have I considered self-destruction or suicide as a result of my emotional illness? No, thankfully not. Although, the way I ate could be viewed as a form of self harm.

This isn’t a ‘beat myself up’ exercise, but yet more proof that gambling is just one of my symptoms. I answered ‘yes’ to 7 out of the 11 possible questions and on other days it could quite easily be more. My gratitude goes towards this awareness, the humility I now feel and the fact I am working a program. The latter means I have experienced many days with fewer ‘yes’s’ and even some with a clean slate of ‘nos’.

20 no’s

Gratitude List 03/12/2019

I’ve done this before but I think it’s a great reminder – a mixture of ‘Just For Today’ and the ’20 questions’. This time, a slight twist as I have used the 20 questions used in the States.

Just for today, did I lose time from work or school due to gambling? No!

Just for today, has gambling made my home life unhappy? No!

Just for today, did gambling affect my reputation? No!

Just for today, have I felt remorse after gambling? No!

Just for today, did I gamble to get money with which to pay debts or otherwise solve financial difficulties? No!

Just for today, did gambling cause a decrease in my ambition or efficiency? No!

Just for today, after losing did I feel you must return as soon as possible and win back my losses? No!

Just for today, after a win did I have a strong urge to return and win more? No!

Just for today, did I gamble until all my money was gone? No!

Just for today, did I borrow to finance my gambling? No!

Just for today, have I sold anything to finance gambling? No!

Just for today, was I reluctant to use “gambling money” for normal expenditures? No!

Just for today, did gambling make me careless of the welfare of yourself or my family? No!

Just for today, did I gamble longer than I had planned? No!

Just for today, have I gambled to escape worry, trouble, boredom, loneliness, grief or loss? No!

Just for today, have I ever committed, or considered committing, an illegal act to finance gambling? No!

Just for today, did gambling cause me to have difficulty in sleeping? No!

Just for today did arguments, disappointments or frustrations create within me an urge to gamble? No!

Just for today, did I have an urge to celebrate any good fortune by a few hours of gambling? No!

Just for today, have I considered self-destruction or suicide as a result of my gambling? No!!!!

What a beautiful program this is. 🙂