I chose the porridge

Gratitude List 12/01/2019

Today I am grateful I chose the porridge.

You’ll have to excuse me today. Trust me, there’s a point behind what follows, hopefully I’m able to put it into words and make some sense. In short, the other day, I went to McDonalds with my son and ordered porridge. I do struggle with what I eat and my powerlessness over food highly resembles the lack of power I have over gambling – so this was a big success for me.

A previous reaction I only know too well would have gone something like this:

– I would have accepted, before it even happened, that me eating junk food was inevitable. As far as I was concerned the deed was done and it was pointless trying to fight it.

– I would have convinved myself that this would be my treat for the day and for the rest of the day I would eat healthy and make up for it. ‘I am a normal eater,’ I would have told myself.

– I would have told myself to keep it sensible and try to be semi-healthy. Then at the vital moment (at the counter) I would order whatever I craved and even something extra, something sweet. Along came the first thoughts of ‘what am I doing?!’

– I would then sit down and not even enjoy it. I’m sure I scoff down junk food because I subconsciously know it tastes awful.

– I would then ponder the questions ‘Where was the fight? What happened to the promises I made to myself? Did I even have a choice?’

– I would then leave and as I did the following thought would have suddenly popped into my head ‘ah crap! I could’ve ordered the porridge!’ A good idea but too late now. If only I had thought of that earlier.

– I would then, with a degree of certainty, have carried on eating in the same way for the rest of the day. I had already hit that f**k it button so what’s the point. The day was ruined anyway.

As I write this, the similarities between my powerlessness over food and gambling are clearly highlighted. The spiritual malady is exactly the same.

Today I am grateful my day didn’t pan out how it has done so many times before.

Today I am grateful for my few days of abstinence. Abstinence that gave me a bit of strength.

Today I am grateful for the action I’m putting in. Going to the gym, recording what food I am eating and sharing my food compulsion stories with another like minded fellow. I can still do more.

Today I am mostly grateful for my recent efforts to improve my conscious contact with God through meditation and prayer. It’s this improved spiritual connection that fought (and won) against the spiritual malady. I genuinely believe that’s why I made the logical, rationale and sane choice. I believe its why I had a choice in the first place. I believe it’s why that choice came at the right time. And I believe it’s exactly the same spiritual connection and its power that will stop me putting on that first bet.

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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.

Spectacular

Gratitude List 25/07/2018

Today, I was yet again blessed with spectacular views, this time the surroundings of Wasdale Water including England’s tallest mountain Scafell Pike. In the past, if I was able to drag my mind away from my addiction, albeit for just a brief moment, I would have been able to enjoy the sight, sound, and smells of such scenery. Thanks to recovery and practicing meditation (in particular, mindfulness), today I was able to fully take in and appreciate my phenomenal surroundings for a more prolonged time.

Today I am grateful for:

– mindfulness

– my senses

– the present moment

– meditation

– fresh air

– vibrant life

– tranquillity

– colour

– silence

– serenity

– the awe of nature

Nature and its beauty

Gratitude List 20/05/2018

This morning, my girlfriend and I had a walk in Trent Park in North London. It was an absolutely beautiful walk. Full bodied trees, budding flowers, an abundance of different birds, tranquille water holes and lots of people having fun and enjoying the beautiful weather. I’ve always had a soft spot for nature and its not surprising that nature can represent one of my higher powers. So, today I am grateful for….

The light from the sun that produced all the magnificent colours on display.

The beautiful sounds of birds, water, laughing and the gusts of wind.

The perfectly blue sky, only spoilt by the occasional artistic cloud.

The spiritual experience when my feet felt connected with the earth – grasping new roots. Yes, I am standing on Earth!

The fresh air filling my lungs.

Watching every dog appreciating the simple things – happiness, joy, fun and love for their owners.

Being with my girlfriend who shares my love for nature and its beauty.

The miracle of life that absolutely surrounded me today, I was engulfed it.

The Little Moments

Gratitude List 24/04/2018

On 16th February 2017 my life began to turn around 180 degrees. I turned my back on a life of immaturity, destruction and misery and headed towards a life of love, recovery and hope. In a way, my life has also gone full circle – back to my childhood where I was happily being guided by others and enjoying each moment with very little fear. Have I returned to living in the now? With this new design for living I find myself once more enjoying little moments throughout the day, moments that passed me by because my mind was preoccupied with stinky thinking, moments I’m not going to miss anymore.

Having breakfast with my girlfriend.

Enjoying the company of my family, friends and colleagues.

Learning something new.

Listening to a story.

Laughing at humour.

Tasting good food.

Seeing beauty.

Getting inspired by a share.

Feeling an embrace.

Being there for somebody.

Taking part.

Relaxing by myself.

Connecting with life.

Have a blessed day all