Windows of Opportunities

Windows of Opportunities

My experience in the fellowship has been one full of opportunities. I have taken many but missed many too. Nearly every time, the window of opportunity opens up before me without warning and if I don’t take the leap of faith and grab it with both hands, before I know it, the window will close and the opportunity will be gone. Through trial and error, I have learnt the importance of taking these opportunities as soon as they present themselves.

This is best summed up in my experience of getting a sponsor. A taken opportunity that has turned my life around.

I came back to the meetings in September 2016 after relapsing from several years of abstinence. At that point, I was a mess, I had found another rock bottom, I had caused a huge amount of harm to the ones I love and I would’ve done anything to stop. I had ‘the gift of desperation’. Had I been directly offered sponsorship on that first meeting back I may have taken it. (It should be noted, unlike today, the chances of being offered sponsorship on your first meeting was slim at best) For me, I can say with a degree of certainty that first window closed on me with the serenity prayer that very same evening. Why? Because the magic of that meeting worked, the obsession to gamble lifted, I felt better, I felt strong, I felt recovered, I was cured. I didn’t need the steps and sponsorship. Life was great again. Window closed. Clearly the obsession that I am not an addict got the better of me once again.

For others, that gift of desperation may have lasted for another week or two. Everyone is different, but it is my belief that sooner or later the window will close. I had to wait another 6 months before this particular window reopened. Thankfully I kept ‘coming back’ to meetings. Eventually, the consistent message of recovery coincided with another gift of desperation in the form of a sudden realisation that I, despite my past and present abstinence, had not changed a single bit. I was still the same fearful, resentful, lustful, dishonest person. I didn’t like who I was, gambling or not, and I was desperate for change. The window was ajar for the second time.

That evening, I never had the courage to ask for a sponsor but I gave the most honest and desperate share of my life. At the end of the meeting, and before the window shut in my face again, God placed before me my sponsor, who promptly proceeded to give me a clear idea of what being a sponsee entailed. I’m genuinely not sure what came over me, but despite my many reservations, I took that leap of faith, something I had never done before, and took the opportunity that presented itself. Had I not, I have no idea how long that window of opportunity would have stayed open. Knowing me, not long.

This is just one of many examples. Some windows come along every few months or so, some on a weekly basis and some every single day. Whether it be an opportunity to attend an extra meeting, or reach out to a struggling member, or make amends to someone I’ve harmed, or tell someone I love them, I try to take the opportunity before it disappears for some reason or another – because it will.

When God speaks to me, however I hear his words, I need to act before the idea of not doing so becomes an overpowering comfortable one.

Windows of Opportunities….. I assume they call it Windows because they open……. And close.

Gratitude List 05/05/2019: What an opportunity!

Gratitude List 05/05/2019

Another day has begun. Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, the present is a gift. Once today has gone, it’s gone forever, I will never get it back. Today holds endless opportunities and I am grateful for each and every one of them.

Today I am grateful for the opportunity to be positive and productive.

Today I am grateful for the opportunity to enjoy life, be happy and smile.

Today I am grateful for the opportunity to love and forgive.

Today I am grateful for the opportunity to be tolerant, considerate and patient.

Today I am grateful for the opportunity to unite with like minded fellows.

Today I am grateful for the opportunity to strengthen relationships.

Today I am grateful for the opportunity to draw a line and change direction.

Today I am grateful for the opportunity to improve my conscious contact with God.

Today I am grateful for the opportunity to work the steps in my daily life.

Today I am grateful for the opportunity to be of service to others.

Today I am grateful for the opportunity to progress.

Today I am grateful for the opportunity to practice ‘just for today’.

Today I am grateful for the opportunity to spiritually grow.

Today I am grateful for the opportunity to look after my health.

Today I am grateful for the opportunity to be the best fiancé, father, son, brother, friend, colleague and fellow I can possibly be.

These opportunities and many more are all there, waiting for me to take advantage of them. All I need to do is hand my will over and pick up the tools that have been laid out in front of me. If I don’t, one of these priceless opportunities will be wasted as I pick up something self-satisfying instead. If I do, I have little doubt that the most will be made of today, no matter what it brings.

Gratitude List 21/03/2019: Right this second

Gratitude List 21/03/2019

Right this second I am tired. I have another long day ahead of me. I’m fighting the urge to eat a crappy breakfast. I have a few niggling fears. I can’t be bothered. It’s cold. It’s grey. Yes I am a little grumpy!

But…

Right this second I am grateful for all the seconds in my day. If need be, each one is an opportunity to change my direction, flip my mood, look with different eyes and bring a smile to my face.

Right this second I am grateful to have the knowledge and tools to lift my spirits.

Right this second I am grateful to be alive.

Right this second I am grateful to be abstinent from my compulsions.

Right this second I am grateful to be in recovery.

Right this second I am grateful to be in good health.

Right this second I am grateful to be on my way to a job.

Right this second I am grateful to have a home to return to.

Right this second I am grateful to be able to walk, talk, taste, feel, smell, hear and see.

Right this second I am grateful to have food in the cupboard, water on tap, money in my pocket and clothes on my back.

Right this second I am grateful to be sane and growing in serenity.

Right this second I am grateful to have a Higher Power in my life.

Right this second I am grateful to be writing this list. It has the power to change my mood.

Right this second I am grateful to be grateful.