People, places and things

The following is based on my experience….

A person very close to me has been showing symptoms of compulsive behaviour. Symptoms that are recognisable to an addict like myself. This compulsion has been progressing over the last couple of years and despite my good intentions the effect I have had over it is minimal at best. Over the last week I have spent a lot of time with this person and subsequently seen first hand how far his compulsion has developed.

For the first four days or so, I had decided (emphasis on the ‘I’) not to act and instead seek guidance from those with experience at the end of the week. As a result, I allowed his compulsive behaviour to continue on the basis that I had no idea how to deal with it so why bother trying. At the time I genuinely believed this to be the right course of action. And maybe it was, maybe I had to do something wrong (or paradoxically right) to learn from it and progress.

I continued to pray and meditate around this subject and by the fifth day, an answer began to dawn on me. I became aware that I had been feeling an almost constant resentment in the form of frustration and disappointment towards this person. I could also sense two others were holding similar resentments towards him and further resentments towards me for not doing anything about it. I then resented them for resenting me! Last but not least, the person himself could feel the negativity that surrounded him, so probably resented the three of us in return!!

So, in this particular situation (because every situation is different) by doing nothing, I had allowed the situation to fester. Four people were now suffering with resentment – a crippling defect of character. The four of us ended up, in a way, against each other. And why? Because I feared for this person’s welfare. I feared failure. I feared powerlessness. I feared making this person unhappy. I feared being disliked. I feared I would ruin the time we were spending together. I feared a negative effect on the impossible perfection.

This sudden, somewhat obvious, realisation slapped me round the face (not the first time recovery has provided this kind of wake up call). I realised that ‘I’ had made the decision to do nothing. This decision was born out of fear and not out of the powerlessness over people, places and things which is what I originally thought. And ever since I did, I had unintentionally made the whole experience about me. I hadn’t been thinking of this person – the one who is actually struggling, or anyone else involved at all. Just me and my fears.

Along with this realisation was a guidance towards action. I still need to explore the available help and support from someone with experience, but I also needed to act now – in the form of being honest with this person. Being truthful can sometimes be tough for the person on the receiving end, but some situations warrant hard truths. I needed to pray for my fears to be removed. I needed to pray for the courage to change the things I can – by being honest. I needed to pray for the acceptance that I might not be this person’s ‘favourite person’ for a while.

So, on that fifth day, the honesty card was played and I can confirm I wasn’t this person’s ‘favourite person’. But only for an hour or so.

This resulted in vast improvement. Firstly whilst being honest I felt (for the first time) that I was actually thinking of this person and the others involved too. Secondly, the person took the hard truths on board and showed a degree of willingness and desire to progress. Thirdly, everyone seemed happier.

I must add that this particular action is by no means set in black and white. It is of my opinion that each situation is wholly different no matter the similarities. Action or no action, acceptance or courage, form the greyest of grey areas. Especially when it comes to people, places and things. It is why I continuously pray for ‘the wisdom to know the difference’. That said, being honest is very rarely the wrong thing to do. One exception I can think of is being honest to save my own skin.

Gratitude List 14/06/2019: Law of attraction – thank you!!

Gratitude List 14/06/2019

Law of attraction – thank you!!

Yet again, I found myself in a place full of wonderful like minded people last night – like a flock of geese flying in the same direction ;). There were so many strengths of character on display, I cannot begin to explain how much inspiration I get. Through the law of attraction, these strengths filter into me. All I have to do is take my seat, open my mind, listen and soak it up like a sponge.

Today I am grateful to witness honesty.

Today I am grateful to witness vulnerability.

Today I am grateful to witness acceptance.

Today I am grateful to witness courage.

Today I am grateful to witness wisdom.

Today I am grateful to witness humility.

Today I am grateful to witness spirituality.

Today I am grateful to witness faith.

Today I am grateful to witness hopefulness.

Today I am grateful to witness selflessness.

Today I am grateful to witness love and kindness.

Today I am grateful to witness unity.

How can I not get inspired after being around all of that? Love it!

👍🏻😊💪🏻🙏🏻❤

Gratitude List 31/05/2019: Motivation refill

Gratitude List 31/05/2019

As always, I came away from a meeting full of inspiration and motivation to smash this recovery of mine.

Today I am grateful for this who do service and make these meetings possible.

Today I am grateful for everyone’s experience, strength, hope, honesty, open mindedness and willingness.

Today I am grateful to see the change in people – it’s miraculous and inspiring.

Today I am grateful for all the signs laid out before me by my greater power.

Today I am grateful I eventually stopped resisting these signs.

Today I am grateful I faced some truths that I’ve denied for a couple of days.

Today I am grateful to get them down on paper through my daily inventory.

Today I am grateful I told another.

Today I am grateful to get down on my knees last night and this morning to pray hard.

Today I am grateful for my mistakes and the arising opportunities to learn from them.

👍🏻💪🏻🙏🏻❤😊

Gratitude List 29/05/2019: Again and again

Gratitude List 29/05/2019

Again and again.

A very thought provoking piece of writing that was shared yesterday, made me think of all the things I currently do to acknowledge and respect my powerlessness over certain things. The idea behind it, as I understand, is by taking on specific actions I am once again admitting my powerlessness over my compulsions. And these humbling acts can be the difference between me staying clean and me ‘acting out’. For each one I am very grateful.

Today I am grateful for picking up the phone and calling my sponsor. By doing so I am asking for help, admitting again and again that I am powerless over my addictions and that my life is unmanageable.

Today I am grateful for writing this list. By doing so I am practicing gratitude, admitting again and again that I am powerless over my addictions and that my life is unmanageable.

Today I am grateful for reading some recovery based literature. By doing so I am learning more and more, admitting again and again that I am powerless over my addictions and that my life is unmanageable.

Today I am grateful for completing a daily inventory. By doing so I am having an honest and fair look at myself, admitting again and again that I am powerless over my addictions and that my life is unmanageable.

Today I am grateful for calling two members. By doing so I am uniting with fellows, admitting again and again that I am powerless over my addictions and that my life is unmanageable.

Today I am grateful for prayer. By doing so I am handing my will over to my greater power, asking for His guidance and strength, admitting again and again that I am powerless over my addictions and that my life is unmanageable.

Today I am grateful for meditation. By doing so I am taking the time to improve my conscious contact with my greater power while I open up my heart and mind to Him, admitting again and again that I am powerless over my addictions and that my life is unmanageable.

Today I am grateful for attending meetings. By doing so I am practicing unity, hearing and sharing what I need to, as well as contributing to the welfare of the meeting and the fellowship as a whole, admitting again and again that I am powerless over my addictions and that my life is unmanageable.

Today I am grateful for working the steps in my daily life. By doing so I am changing who I am, admitting again and again that I am powerless over my addictions and that my life is unmanageable.

Today I am grateful for taking on service. By doing so I am being selfless as I think of others, admitting again and again that I am powerless over my addictions and that my life is unmanageable.

Gratitude List 18/05/2019: an amazing human being

Gratitude List 18/05/2019

After expressing gratitude towards my girlfriend and daughter, quite naturally my list today reflects on my son and the amazing human being he is.

Today I am grateful for the relationship we share. Despite his teenage tendencies, we are very close.

Today I am grateful for our shared interests, in particular Game Of Thrones which we also share with my girlfriend.

Today I am grateful for how much he cares for his little sister. Despite what can seem like constant bickering the love quite often shines through.

Today I am grateful for how he still cracks up laughter. It’s not often but sometimes he can’t help himself.

Today I am grateful that he always has a story to tell when I collect him. There’s always something he’s been looking forward to sharing.

Today I am grateful for how accepting he has been regarding the situations he has found himself.

Today I am grateful for how he reminds me of me. That thought used to scare me, now it’s a comforting thought.

Today I am grateful for the courage he has shown. The bravery he has shown is phenomenal.

Today I am grateful for his honesty. I know he’s found it difficult but I am grateful for the release he gets when he gets things off his chest.

Today I am grateful for the understanding and forgiveness he has shown towards me.

Gratitude List 08/05/2019: Hard truths

Gratitude List 08/05/2019

Despite the surge of judgement, self-pity, self-centeredness, resentment, anger and arrogance….

Today I am grateful I am able to hear some hard truths.

Today I am grateful for another’s courage to deliver them.

Today I am grateful for honesty.

Today I am grateful I can quickly park any ill feelings.

Today I am grateful for big servings of humble pie.

Today I am grateful for another lesson learnt.

Today I am grateful I know how to deal with arising fears.

Today I am grateful for guidance and strength.

Today I am grateful for the guided plan.

Today I am grateful for doing what is right today and only today.

Gratitude List 16/04/2019: Action

Gratitude List 16/04/2019

Yesterday the obsession was on top of me. The inevitability was strong. My will-power was about to collapse. Fortunately, I listened to God’s conscience.

Action:

Today I am grateful to have a knowledge of recovery tools.

Today I am grateful I had the strength to use this knowledge, pick up my phone and connect with a like-minded fellow.

Today I am grateful I shared with him exactly how I was feeling.

Today I am grateful I then called my girlfriend and was honest with her – how I was feeling, but also how I had been deceitful.

Today I am grateful I thanked my greater power for His guidance and strength.

What I got in return:

Today I am grateful my utter weakness was being replaced with a power greater than myself. This power came from unity, honesty and humility. As I spoke, I could feel the strength flooding back into me.

Today I am grateful the power was far stronger than the obsession. It only took a few minutes before it was completely lifted.

Today I am grateful for how connected I suddenly felt. Not only did I feel empowered I felt serene, I felt at peace.

Today I am grateful my call was a welcome one. Without me knowing, the benefits were working both ways.

Today I am grateful this was not an obsession of my primary addition. Even so, the powerlessness I felt took me right back. I am grateful for that reminder. I’d like to believe the very same tools would have arrested that addiction in the very same way.

Today I am grateful for how the direction of my day was changed. Not just my day, but potentially my week or my month.