Gratitude List 22/02/2019: Greater Powers

Gratitude List 22/02/2019

I hope this makes sense…. There’s a point in there somewhere…

Came to believe in power greater than myself. The second step in the program and one I used to stumble on.

Step one was far easier – admitting I was powerless over my addiction and that my life had become unmanageable. But by completing step one, hadn’t I already acknowledged a power greater than myself – my addiction? I’m not suggesting that anyone should hand their lives over to their compulsions, that’s what got me into trouble in the first place. But what of the polar opposite – recovery? In my own experience recovery has overpowered my addiction, it is stronger. Therefore the concept of ‘recovery’ can definitely be one of my greater powers. Recovery is a God of my own understanding. Like my addiction, recovery has given me experiences I never thought possible, so making a decision to turn my will over to the concept of ‘recovery’ is an easy choice and one I have faith in.

My addiction is but one of the many things I can struggle with. My life was unmanageable because of them. Each of them can overpower me if my spiritual connection is low. But today I am grateful for the fact that every negative has an opposite which is positive and even more powerful. I am therefore, surrounded by things that are more powerful than me.

Where there’s addiction there is recovery.

Where there is insanity there is sanity.

Where there is fear there is serenity.

Where there is isolation there is unity.

Where there is self there is selfless.

Where there is dishonesty there is sincerity.

Where there is arrogance there is humility.

Where there’s hate there is love.

Where there is a rock bottom there is hope.

Where there is death there is life.

I would happily get down on my knees and pray to any of them. And do it with a faith that help will come.

Gratitude List 14/02/2019: Loving life

Gratitude List 14/02/2019

Today I am grateful for another stunning sunrise. Absolutely beautiful and a strong reminder of where I am.

Today I am grateful for my girlfriend. An amazing person sent from my higher power. Many others wouldn’t have been up for the job!! I’m truly blessed to have her.

Today I am grateful she is also the perfect step mum. While I was working until late la’s night, she was looking after my kids, teaching and having fun.

Today I am grateful I am becoming a better partner. I must’ve been such hard work in the past. I admire her resilience.

Today I am grateful I feel more spiritually equipped for a relationship.

Today I am grateful for my daughter’s face this morning. She has the most vibrant smile and cheeky laugh!

Today I am grateful she thinks it’s funny when I call out in front of her school friends to say ‘I love you!!’ She’ll be an embarrassed teenager soon so getting it out while I still can.

Today I am grateful for my teenage son who has shown amazing maturity lately. I honestly admit I have learnt a lot from him recently.

Today I am grateful for the kindness and generosity of a very good friend.

Today I am I’ve experienced the dark days. It makes me appreciate my happiness even more. Maybe I wouldn’t have found gratitude. What a beautiful day it is today. Much love.

Gratitude List 08/02/2019: Spiritual habits

Gratitude List 08/02/2019

My life thus far has created my lifestyle and within my lifestyle there are many things I do on a daily basis out of habit and not necessarily because I want to. Life is like that. I brush my teeth because its good for their health, I go to work because of the income and security, I’ve done exams to further my education and qualifications. I didn’t do these things because of the joy I got in return, I did them because in there own individual way, they are good for me.

Recovery has taught me how my spiritual health is good for me. Very good for me. I’ve learnt there are many things I can do on a daily basis that that will enhance my spirituality. Most of the time I want to do these things because I enjoy them and I feel fantastic afterwards. But I am only human and my list today reflects on the things that like brushing my teeth have become habitual. If I only did things when there was a desire, I wouldn’t get much done.

Today I am grateful that prayer is becoming a habit.

Today I am grateful that meditation is becoming a habit.

Today I am grateful that being honest is becoming a habit.

Today I am grateful that connecting with others is becoming a habit.

Today I am grateful that being selfless is becoming a habit.

Today I am grateful that reading recovery based literature is becoming a habit.

Today I am grateful that being considerate, humble, forgiving and loving are becoming habits.

Today I am grateful that doing things I enjoy is becoming a habit.

Today I am grateful that sharing and listening are becoming habits.

Today I am grateful that practicing gratitude is becoming a habit.

Gratitude List 05/02/2019: The Simple Things

Gratitude List 05/02/2019

When recovery becomes such a big part of one’s life, its hard not to include it within a gratitude list. Well it is for me. Today I will express in words the simple things I should be grateful for on a daily basis.

Today I am grateful for my living body – my beating heart, functioning organs, pumping blood, breathing lungs and active brain.

Today I am grateful for senses – my sight, touch, smell, taste and my hearing.

Today I am grateful for the possibilities, opportunities, choices and my abilities and freedom to take advantage of them.

Today I am grateful I can be at peace and sleep well. (the one question I answered ‘no’ to)

Today I am grateful for the food in the cupboards and the water I have on tap.

Today I am grateful for my job – the income, the security, the knowledge, the skills and the camaraderie.

Today I am grateful for my home sweet home – my dry bed, the hearing, the hot water, the comfort, the memories.

Today I am grateful for the people I have in my life – my children, my girlfriend, my family, my friends, my colleagues, the bus driver and the people I pass on the street.

Today I am grateful for my upbringing – my education, the love, the support, the guidance, the safety, the memories.

Today I am grateful for my life and the lessons its taught me so far.

Today I am grateful for my characteristics, in particular honesty, tolerance, consideration, selflessness and unity.

Today I am grateful for my emotions – in particular love, forgiveness, empathy, serenity and happiness.

Today I am grateful for my greater powers – their support, their guidance, their direction, their strength, their power, my open-mindedness, my willingness, my belief, my faith.

Today I am grateful for life. An absolute miracle that surrounds me and my world.

I could go on and on….. And yes, without recovery I wouldn’t have acknowledged any of this. So recovery has made it again! 😉

Gratitude List 04/02/2019: Continued…

Gratitude List 04/02/2019

Further to yesterday.

I woke this morning feeling a little drained, emotionally drained. Yesterday, I was met with my biggest test yet since being in recovery. Despite the challenge, as time has passed, I have been able to see plenty of positives. That has continued to be the case today and, upon reflection, I am full of gratitude.

Today I am grateful that this challenge has not led to me acting out in a negative way. Who knows what this could’ve led to. Working the program means I was less vulnerable.

Today I am grateful that my humility and consideration overpowered any resentments that briefly came to mind.

Today I am grateful I have been in recovery for the last year. Had I not been, I seriously believe I would be in a very, very dark place today.

Today I am grateful that my reaction has been to carry on as normal – which has been to work the program in my daily life. Being in recovery means that no desperate or drastic changes to my behaviour were necessary.

Today I am grateful I intuitively knew how to deal with this test (that would’ve previously baffled me). On reflection, the tools I have gained through this program were working without any conscience thought of my own. It was a miracle.

Today I am grateful my ego and self-will was not in control. Instead, my greater power carried me through. Under pressure, it would’ve definitely been the other way round. Does this mean my natural behaviour/reactions have changed?

Today I am grateful that this has reinforced my faith in this program and that ‘it works if I work it.’

Today I am grateful for that ‘moment of silence to remind myself why I am here’. I’m here because I need to be!

Today I am grateful I am not alone. Thanks to the honesty I have practiced, I have been able to share this situation with my partner, my fellows and my sponsor. Such a blessing to have this support instead of suffering alone.

Today I am mostly grateful that two people, who I severely harmed in the past, have had some release. They have been suffering and this would have been a big lift for both of them. I pray that my future conduct will assist in further amends.

Gratitude List 29/01/2019: My illness v Recovery

Gratitude List 29/01/2019

My illness v Recovery

A daily battle in my life. Today, the victor was ‘Recovery’. Let me share with you how.

I needed to be honest and tell someone something. My illness created a fear and projected the worse case scenario, as it always does. This led to procrastination which then allowed time for me to become agitated and uncomfortable. Before I knew it, my head was spinning with devious plans to escape.

Prior to working the recovery program, I would have had no answers. I would have continued to suffer in silence. I would have slipped into self-pity and self-resentment. These defects would have festered inside of me and evolved into intolerance and anger. Once boiling point was reached I would have gone about it in completely the wrong way, at the wrong time and hugely harmed this person in the process. I would have stormed off, arrogantly certain I was in the right. That was of course, until the emotional hangover slapped me round the face the following morning as I started to comprehend my actions. ‘What was I thinking?’ I began to ask myself.

Today I am grateful I did not react in this way. Recovery’s counter attack to this fear was to first take me to a meeting, practice unity and give back to the fellowship that saved my life. Once there, the option to chair the meeting was made available to me. Knowing how much selfless acts including service can help my recovery, I wasted no time in grasping this opportunity. Shared experiences reminded me of how far I’ve come and made me realise how small this fear is in comparison to the ones that used to dictate my life. Further service followed as I chose to share the message and not the mess. A suffering newcomer needed to hear it. Leaving the meeting inspired, motivated and spiritually connected I wasted no time in praying to my greater power to remove my fear and direct my attention to what He would have me be. Almost mantra style, I also humbly repeated the third and seventh step prayers. Each time I said them, I felt my serenity, courage and wisdom build up. By the time the conversation came around, I was calm, composed, confident and connected. It wasn’t all easy but the conversation couldn’t have gone better. I was able to remain patient, considerate, tolerant and be 100% honest. I didn’t harm myself and as far as I know, I didn’t harm the other person either. Afterwards, I honestly reflected on this and the rest of my day by doing a daily inventory, promptly admitting when I was wrong. More prayers followed including a sincere thanks to my greater power for my abstinence and recovery. Finally, this list and sleep. It really works if you work it. Sweet dreams all.

Gratitude List 26/01/2019: Exactly where I should be

Gratitude List 26/01/2019

What if Bill’s brother-in-law took him to a different hospital? One without Dr Silkworth?

What if Rowland and Celebra went to the wrong court house?

What if Bill never answered that call from Ebby?

What if Bill wasn’t compelled to help another alcoholic in Dr Bob?

What if the fellowship didn’t publish the Big Book?

What if there wasn’t a chance meeting in January 1957?

What if the publicity by a prominent newspaper columnist and TV commentator wasn’t favourable?

What if GA decided not to use the 12 Step Program derived from AA?

What if my friends had lent me the money I begged for?

What if ‘Question 20’ was more than just a fleeting thought?

What if I didn’t attend the meeting when I heard that strong message? When the coin finally dropped?

What if my now sponsor wasn’t present to witness my desperation?

I am where I am today because of everything that has happened. The above situations are just a few that have led me to recovery. If just one went differently I may not be enjoying life as much as I am right now. I might still be in action. Furthermore, outside of recovery, millions of scenarios, good and bad, have played out and each one has had a bearing on my current circumstances. I truly believe I am exactly where I should be, doing exactly what I should be doing.

Today I am grateful for my past and where it has taken me.