Gratitude List 24/06/2019: Time

Gratitude List 24/06/2019

When in action, I always find time to feed my compulsions. My responsibilities are thrown out the window and with them goes my chances of living a happy, joyous and free life.

Why is it then, when in recovery, time seems to dissappear? Of course, as an addict in recovery I am more responsible. No longer am I dishonestly creating time to act out. I often told work “I need to pop to the bank” or text my girlfriend “Sorry, I have to do overtime”. Nowadays, when I should be at work, I’m at work. As such, some of the windows of time I used to have are now shut with this new found maturity.

I was once deviously clever with creating time. Now, I can still be clever, but in a sincere way. I have to, my life and happiness depend on it.

Today I am grateful I can create time by going to sleep later.

Today I am grateful I can create time by setting my alarm earlier.

Today I am grateful I can read and write whilst commuting to work.

Today I am grateful I can call if I’m driving (using hands free of course).

Today I am grateful to have an opportunity during my lunch break.

Today I am grateful I can read and write whilst commuting back home.

Life is life and it may not be possible to do all of the above but I have learnt to make use of the opportunities when they arise. If I procrastinate and leave it till the next opportunity, it may never materialise.

Today I am grateful I can choose to fill the voids in my evenings with recovery.

It doesn’t mean I can never watch TV, it doesn’t mean I can never go to the gym, it doesn’t mean I don’t get to spend quality time with my loved ones. But as my life and everything in it depends on whether I am clean and abstinent, I must choose to sacrifice things on a daily basis. It may mean I need to delay watching TV, it may mean I have to ask the kids to play in their room for a bit. If I’m clever and wise and make the most of my opportunities, I will still have plenty of time each day to enjoy life.

If I find myself struggling to fill these voids with something productive:

Today I am grateful I can recognise and admit when I am suffering with laziness or procrastination.

Today I am grateful I can hand over my will to my greater power and ask for His strength and guidance.

Today I am grateful I can surrender to His guidance when that ‘gut feeling’ tells me I should be doing something else.

Lastly, I mustn’t forget that doing recovery work is good for me!! It’s not a chore!

Gratitude List 23/06/2019

Gratitude List 23/06/2019

Today I am grateful for the lovely walk around the beautiful Walthamstow Wetlands.

Today I am grateful for the shots of blue and orange as a kingfisher darted across our viewpoint.

Today I am grateful for my colleagues at work. The teamwork and comradery is amazing.

Today I am grateful for the messages I receive on a daily basis from like minded fellows.

Today I am grateful I was able to surrender to God’s will tonight and listen to His guidance.

Today I am grateful I am not sleeping on the street. Over the last few hours, I’ve seen many who are.

Today I am grateful for the tube drivers who are up early and ready to take me home!

Today I am grateful for my bed. I am looking forward to climbing into it.

Today I am grateful that my girlfriend, my children and their love will be there when I wake up.

Today I am grateful to get on my knees and thank God for everything I have and for his continued guidance and strength.

Walthamstow Wetlands

Gratitude List 22/06/2019

Gratitude List 22/06/2019

Right now, I am exhausted and as a result I am super irritable. Time for some simple gratitude.

Today I am grateful I am not gambling.

Today I am grateful I have nothing to worry about.

Today I am grateful I am not in a rush.

Today I am grateful for the clothes on my back.

Today I am grateful for the food in the fridge.

Today I am grateful for my health.

Today I am grateful for the opportunities I have.

Today I am grateful for the beautiful weather this morning.

Today I am grateful I have plenty to be grateful for.

Today I am grateful I have some answers.

Today I am grateful I am alive, I have my freedom and I have my sanity.

Today I am grateful for each breath.

And hey presto! I feel much better! These gratitude lists, as well as other recovery tools I have gathered along the way, have the ability to change the direction of my day. All I need to do is surrender to God’s will when He plants a thought of action in my head, instead of of surrendering to my own self-will telling me not to bother.

Gratitude List 20/06/2019

Gratitude List 20/06/2019

Today I am grateful for waking up on this beautiful morning. I’m glad to be alive.

Today I am grateful I have woken up with all my senses intact, I can see my children fast asleep, I can hear the kettle on, I can smell the toast, I can feel the life in my hands, I can feel God around me.

Today I am grateful I have got up early enough to have a shower and do a bit of meditation.

Today I am grateful for the lack of pain I am currently in – both mentally and physically.

Today I am grateful to read up on some messages that have been posted already this morning. Forever grateful for this.

Today I am grateful I have some more fellowship to look forward to this afternoon/evening. I can’t wait to take my seat.

Today I am grateful for all the people in my life. I pray for their health and happiness. I pray I can be of best use to them all.

Today I am grateful for spending some quality time with my children. I love having them round and I cherish every second.

Today I am grateful I made time to help my daughter with her revision. Something I haven’t been great at but I’m progressing in the right direction.

Today I am grateful there is an extra spring in my step today.

Gratitude List 19/06/2019: Feelings and Emotions

Gratitude List 19/06/2019

Today I am grateful for my feelings and emotions. I used to walk around like a zombie, numb to life. The feelings and emotions my mask used to portray didn’t always tell the truth. Today, if I look happy it’s because I feel happy.

Today I am grateful I can feel joy.

Today I am grateful I can feel love.

Today I am grateful I can feel grateful.

Today I am grateful I can feel spiritual.

Today I am grateful I can feel proud.

I’m also grateful for feeling the perceived negative emotions. Feeling them is not negative at all, it’s part of life and from them there is always an opportunity for me to grow.

Today I am grateful I can feel upset.

Today I am grateful I can feel guilt.

Today I am grateful I can feel regret.

Today I am grateful I can feel shame.

To an extent, I am grateful I can feel pain.

For me, these feelings and emotions are natural. If something upsets me, I should feel upset, if I do something I regret I should feel regret. It doesn’t mean I have to dwell in these emotions, because I have the tools to bring me out, but I don’t have to block them out completely either. I’ve learnt through my past that surpression is not the answer.

Gratitude List 18/06/2019: The ones with feathers!

Gratitude List 18/06/2019

As you’re probably aware by now, I have a keen interest in birds (the ones with feathers!) It’s an interest that was passed down from my father. I’m not embarrassed to say that watching them go about their day gives me so much joy. I’ve always thought to myself I need to learn something new. And I do, but I realised (only this morning) that this is an interest I have learnt about and have continued to learn about over the years, especially since being in recovery.

Today I am grateful to see the three types of Tits (resist Dean resist). The differences between a Coal Tit, a Blue Tit and a Great Tit are at first subtle, but once learnt they are clear and consistent.

Today I am grateful to lean back and take in the spitfire-like-flight of the swifts above. So elegant and…. well ‘swift’. Rarely seen out of the air, in fact they often sleep in flight. Confused with the Swallow but has less of a ‘V’ in its tail.

Today I am grateful to hear the calls of both the Collared Dove and the Wood Pigeon. I enjoy recognising the difference between the Collared Doves smooth three piece call and the rougher edged five piece of the Wood Pigeon.

Today I am grateful to have witnessed how a male Wood Pigeon attracts a mating partner. In true Planet Earth fashion, the male stepped and hopped along the fence over to his target, before performing an elaborate bow and chest-puff combo. One male failed. Another tried and clearly scored better.

Today I am grateful for the forever migrating Starlings. Often seen as a nuisance but they are spectacular looking birds. What other birds literally glitter? I have seen a few juveniles recently, at first I thought they were females, they are browner in colour but again, very beautiful.

Today I am grateful for the industrious House Sparrows. This time of year they are always busy feeding their young and perfecting their nests. If I’m lucky I get to see a group of them perform a fluttering dance in and out of the vegetation of the garden.

Today I am grateful for the Carrion Crow. If these birds weren’t so commonly seen, maybe we would appreciate how beautiful they really are. Large in size, gloriously jet black and apparently one of the most intelligent birds out there.

Today I am grateful for the vibrantly coloured Goldfinch. This petit member of the Finch family is a combination of brown, white, black, red and gold. If one arrives so will many others. His chirp is distinctive and therefore easily distinguishable between other garden birds.

Today I am grateful for the beautiful red breasted Robin. He has an absolutely poetic chorus (I can hear one right now). Incredibly tame birds which will eat from your hand if trained. The king of the English garden in my books.

Today I am grateful I get to see all of this in my garden. All I need to do is take the time to take it in and read a bit. If I want to broaden my viewing all I need to do is step out into a nearby park, woodland or common and take my book.

Today I am grateful I have loved passing on this knowledge to my children. As I have, I hope they remember some of it.

Gratitude List 17/06/2019

Gratitude List 17/06/2019

Today I am grateful for my morning prayers. My first and vital practice of the day. One practice leads to another.

Today I am grateful to have prepared my lunch for the day. I need to stop buying take-out food and this helps hugely.

Today I am grateful for a hard truth from my partner. She did it with love and care in mind and today that’s how I received it.

Today I am grateful for my free coffee and croissant. Thank you Vodafone.

Today I am grateful I had the will (through my greater power) to hand the croissant to another.

Today I am grateful for the £1 in my pocket. Cards etc have been left at home so I don’t spend money unnecessarily.

Today I am grateful I gave this £1 to the man collecting money for the Children’s Hope Charity. It would have paid for a bag of crisps.

Today I am grateful to have spoken to my daughter this morning. I selfishly snapped at her this weekend, I wanted her to know how much I love her.

Today I am grateful to be sitting here doing this list and the serenity I am experiencing.

Today I am grateful for my abstinence and my current levels of sanity, motivation and happiness.