Maturity

I had a birthday a couple weeks ago and found myself stuck reminiscing about life. Maybe stuck is the wrong word, because I was not uncomfortable, in fact, I felt quite the opposite.

For so long I relied on new years and resolution to start over. Before I knew it every day needed to be a new start. The weight of responsibility overwhelmed and I feared I would be crushed under my own expectations.

As a new year of my life starts I’m able to stand upon the mountain I have climbed so far and look at the valley before. Wow, what a view! I have never given myself enough credit for my accomplishments. I’ve always been looking for the reset button but my recovery has given me a foundation to build upon.

One of the groups I attend ends every meeting with the statement “Keep Coming back It Works If You Work It” I love looking at the faces of visitors as they don’t quite understand why people want to keep coming back and maybe if they do they don’t know “It Works” means. It feels so ambiguous.

So I’ve adopted that statement and the  “It” for me is happiness. I know that when I take care of myself I don’t have to stay low. That doesn’t mean I walk around smiling saying “Happy Monday”, but I know that if I get in a funk there is a way out.  Finding a solution is so much easier than constantly starting over!

 

 

Strength Together

I never knew how much dealing with the pain in my life could help others. I often realize that I’m given the choice to let life beat me down or try the best I can to move forward. Sharing my recovery with others has been great for personal strength but I’m often humbled by the impact my life has on others.

Parts of my life felt like looking up from the bottom of a well. I could see a way out but didn’t know how to get there. I’m learning more and more how to draw strength and recognize the obstacles that I have over come. Opening up in the right settings have ignited conversations I thought I would be too scared to have.

It’s amazing how giving a little bit of me can win the trust of someone else. The other night someone pulled me to the side and shared something very private with me. After they finished sharing they looked down like a child who had done something wrong now awaiting judgement. I was careful not to have to big of a grin on my face but I could so relate to their share. The next twenty or so minuets were so much bigger than me as I saw this individual smile by the end.

I don’t believe I’m a leader but I do believe it’s important for me to serve others. There were so many people who saw me at the bottom of that well I described and lowered me a rope. Though i had to build the strength to climb out if it were not for the guidance of people in similar situations I would have spent a lot longer maybe forever staring at the world above me.

Life can be scary and confusing but we don’t have to do it alone. I don’t recommend telling secrets to just any stranger but I do suggest reaching out to people with similar situations. It is amazing how opening up just a little can give me more meaning as if expanding the way I once saw the world.

My world these days is as big as I allow it to be!

Trying to Become Uncomfortable

Breaking cycles and changing my behaviors has been challenging to say the least. Part of what made me sick is being comfortable with what I had. Even when my life was unmanageable, it took me a long time to accept as fact.

I love the Febreze commercials about being “nose blind”. The idea that your car or home may smell find to you but stink in reality. That concept has been so true in my life and another motivation to keep company of people who are also trying to better themselves.

It’s amazing to me how much i pick up just by listening to others in meetings. Sometimes it’s scary how similar my life seems to theirs. I think this is further testament to the disease. It’s so easy for me to write something off but listening to how the same thing has affected other people I’m more aware of what might be off.

Challenging my self to do something new has become essential. In the beginning I can remember being able to play out my whole day before it happened and that in it’s self stressed me out. I sucked up all my time trying to keep up normal. I’ve  learned over time  that change has helped me even when I didn’t see it by pushing me to trust God rather than myself.

I’ve started looking at the world as taking a walk on a bridge, but at some point the bridge is broken not allowing me to get to the other side. Recovery has taught me to try God to complete the journey even if the bridge appears unfinished. For this I picture the Indiana Jones movie where he is walking on a path invisible to the eye.  The relief in taking chances  is most wrong steps don’t lead to death like they do in the movie 🙂

Today each new day can brings something new to my life and when I find that maybe I’m relating to Bill Murray in Groundhog day, I  should think about making a change. Recovery takes time and can be intimidating, but I’ve come to learn that trying is better than not trying. Learning to trust God has opened many door I believed I had lost the keys for.

Looking Back

I never realized how much of my life I had simply Forgotten. Especially my childhood. Now don’t get me wrong I had a pretty good up bringing but for some reason I was full of anxiety. I desired to be My version of Perfect and I always feel short of it.

Recovery has given me the ability to look back at different points in my life like I never have before. Even in times that felt awful then I’ve been able to abstract something positive.  I often find myself reflecting on a semi-crazy situation and laughing even if it’s just to Thank God I’m no longer there.

I think it’s important for me to Look Back but never to dwell there. The past can really help me to understand my part in things and to accept my role in situations. The most important thing for me to realize is that I can’t do this all at once. It takes time to cope with things and life is to big to deal with all things at once.

As I grow I feel that I gain access to memories I had once locked off. Like a sweet smell that reminds me of standing in my Grand mothers kitchen, certain words resurrect long buried moments. It’s amazing to discover why I might react defensively in certain situations and seeing the root cause lose it’s power over me is so freeing.

Ghosts from the past only haunt me when I allow them too. Working a program of recovery has given me the gift of forgiveness, not just to other people but myself. For so long I was weighed down by guilt. Now slowly I’m feeling my soul rise from the ashes.

We are all beautiful creations of God and deserve to see that. When we don’t we only hurt ourselves. History was always one of my favorite subjects in school but not my favorite subject in life. I’m amazed at how I’m learning to know who I am by accepting where I’ve been.

 

Improvement by Acceptance

I’ve always been fascinated by seeing how things work, until I realized I was the subject that needed to be observed. If I was ever going to stop being angry or upset I had to figure out why I was to start with.

Meeting the real me was a proposition I thought about not accepting. The fear of not being who I thought I was haunted me. If asked I would always tell you I’m a nice person, but what if I discovered that was only a lie I told myself to feel better at the end of the day.

I feel complex although when I break it down my decisions are simple. There is always a reason behind and action. For me this has been the key to living a better life. What makes me tick? Why do I do the things that I do?

Questioning my motives have become second nature. For every decision I make I’m learning to review my reasoning. If I find I’m doing something to influence another’s behavior then maybe I should rethink my actions.

Recovery has taught me that I am only responsible for me and in understanding that I must remember to make decision based on me not others. I know I get into trouble when I try to control an outcome rather than just learning to accept what happens and move forward.

It can be painful addressing wounds that I have, but overcoming the fear is freeing. Fear I have discovered can be a major player in decisions I will live to regret, so rather than hiding, I’m learning to pray when I don’t understand.

I’ve yet to discover something about me that was so appalling that I couldn’t move forward. In fact I’m a pretty average person. Understanding that I don’t have to be right or wrong had been a major weight off of my soul.

Today is all about doing and giving my best. If I’m doing this and still not getting the results I want I have to let it go. Faith in a power greater than my self has been a huge relief knowing that failing is only part of the process.

 

 

Writer’s Block

Every now and then I hit a wall. It’s like my brain doesn’t allow anything else to come through. I also just have trouble deciding what to write, so this is to help break that cycle.

Recovery has taken time an effort to see growth in my character but one thing is sure it doesn’t happen on it’s own. If I want to see results I have to put in the work. One of my favorite little sayings is “Fake it til you Make it.” So basically even if I’m not loving something but I know it’s for the best I just go.

My goal is to keep posts regularly to this page. Why? Sure I hope people read it but ultimately this is for me. Sharing a version of my recovery through stories or thoughts is therapeutic. Writing is one more release towards helping me grow and stay strong.

I challenge you to seek out what makes you a better you and do it. Trust me I know it’s not easy. I’ve deleted 900000000 thoughts that never made it out of my head and all it hurt was me. Fear of Judgement is always out weighed by the Feeling of accomplishment or being apart of something bigger than self.

We all have gifts so don’t be afraid to use them. And when you find yourself stuck like me just try or ask for help. God always delivers so much more than I expected. Thank you for reading and remember to keep at it. Life is all about what we put into it!

Would the Real Me Please Stand Up

I’ve never thought of myself as a liar, but the recovery has taught me some interesting things about myself. For example, I’m pretty good at manipulating a situation by playing the victim role.  Feeling as if I’ve been wrong has freed me from certain consequences making it easier for me to bend reality.

Most of my life has been lived out in my head. I spent most of my time visualizing outcomes rather than participating. All the way down to playing sports as a kid I never wanted to admit that I got beat, I just often took a laid back approach to convince myself I could win If I wanted too. In fact, I’ve always been way more comfortable losing than winning.

Recovery has introduced me to all these new obstacles that involve taking responsibility. I no longer feel comfortable playing off of someone else’s decisions even if I still do it naturally a nagging feeling is now there. It sucks to looks at something and knows there is another option only until I realize the other option leads to new endings.

When everything began I felt as if I could predict every ending of each day. Spoiler alert most days really sucked. Being that recovery is teaching me a new way of life I’m having to let go of the handicap railing and Trust My Higher Power to catch me if I fall. It’s imperative that I take no more than one step at a time because even after several years in the program, I’m still building up strength.

Embarrassing my new way of life starts to form certain muscle memory. I realize that I’m gradually reacting in a different way that sometimes I don’t recognize. My scripted responses are being replaced by logical reactions. I’m allowing myself to feel and experience what God has to offer me rather than running life through a skimmer.

 

The Climb

Acceptance has been a key to my recovery, while fear has been a provocateur. When I look at facts I’m able to make decisions, however when I worry about the what ifs I’m left stuck somewhere in the middle. The hardest part is admitting that sometimes I’m comfortable not ripping the band-aid off.

Pain always comes before healing, but so many times in my life I forget about the pain. I don’t give credit to where I come from. I’m quick to judge my reactions rather than look at the meaning behind them. Before I can truly grow I have to accept where I’ve been.

Healing takes time. This is a fact I like to leave out. It’s easy for me  believe that I’m unbreakable when I’m already broken.  Recovery is showing me how to piece my life together and God Is the Glue.

So much of my life now days is about faith. I’m at a point where I know what I need to do I just have to rely on strength from my Higher Power to get there. When I accept it’s going to be a long day I learn to eat a good breakfast, pause during the day to think about something besides my agenda, and pray. When I prepare I often see better results even when something goes sideways I’m in a better position than where I started.

The idea of progress not perfection is so important for me as I’m a former perfectionist. There is no such thing as perfect for me any longer it’s only doing and not doing. If i find myself procrastinating I need to let go and If I find myself being critical over something I’m doing I need to breathe and relax.

One step forward is one step forward. When I don’t hedge bets on the future I’m more likely to not go broke. Small gains accumulate to great wealth and sometimes the journey along the way contains all the value.

Into The Unknown

I’m afraid that one day I will wake up and won’t recognize my life anymore. I feel a certain comfort when living in chaos and drama. In fact pain and suffering are common terms I had commonly used to describe life. Recovery has started changing that definition.

My Higher Power has been showing me my whole life that I can be happy, but it feels like climbing up a cliff face I know I’m eventually going to fall. The good thing about Recovery is the support. I feel harnessed knowing that if I slip I don’t have to fall that far and this encourages me to take steps I would not have before.

Fear ruled my life for so long that it made sense to lie in the shadows. I often half-heatedly attempted relationships knowing that they were doomed to disintegrate eventually. As I grow stronger I’m learning not to stake so much into things I can’t control.

By knowing myself and taking care of myself, I have a better Idea of what relationships should look like for me. I’m learning to take things slow and set boundaries so that I don’t climb to far to fast.

Progress not perfection has been words of wisdom that I have learned to apply to all aspects even my relationships. I know that I constantly have to check my motives when engaging with people to assure that I’m being genuine and not manipulating or getting over my head.

The support i get in recovery helps me to connect with the world. Knowing that when I don’t know what’s best for me I can throw it out there and listen to others experiences. More and more Fear is being replaced by common sense. If it feels off then it probably is.

The beauty of life is taking chances and discovering what is on the other side. In recovery I’m actually experiencing new things rather than circling in denial painting over what rusted and full of holes.

Day of Rest

Sundays are supposed to be the day of “rest” and I’m happy to say that slowly I’m able to take advantage of this concept. For the longest time, I didn’t know how to make the world stop. Something was always keeping my mind on overload and as much as I wanted to relax I could only stress.

The serenity prayer talks about taking care of what I can control and letting go of what I can’t and the more I grow in recovery I realize there is so much I don’t need to worry about. It’s relieving to know that the world doesn’t hinge on my every decision. In fact, the world moves on pretty well without my input.

I love the fact that I’m learning to sleep and not only that I don’t constantly have nightmares. When I drift off at night I’m able to wake up refreshed ready to see what God has in store for me. Now if I was an Info commercial this is where I would say you can do it to for a low price of $19.99 but it’s not that simple. What has worked for me may not work for another. However, I will share some tools that have helped me the most.

  • Just for Today- This slogan of recovery reminds me that I only have to get through one day. My mind always wanted to live two weeks ahead but the recovery has slowly brought me to the concept of One Day at A Time. Just for Today, I will see what happens, trusting that my Higher Power has control of everything else.
  • How Important is It- Everything used to stress me out, Even the details that I made up in my head. By asking myself if something really matters I’m able to index what’s a big deal and what to let go. This one for me has been best done with talking with a Sponsor or another individual Grounded in the program because they usually can relate and help tell me how they handled something.
  • Let Go and Let God- This goes back to the serenity prayer learning to understand where I stop God begins. It’s freeing to know that I’m only responsible for a small percentage most of the time I just have to give my problem to God.
  • One day at A Time- Recovery takes time and all I have is now. By dropping Expectations and just taking life at face values I’m able to see that things aren’t as big as they used to appear. If I have a looming obstacle I remember that I each day can be used to prepare and overcome. Rather than trying to eat a T-bone steak all at once It’s better If I enjoy it one bite at a time.
  • Practice not Perfection- When I began my program of recovery, I felt that all my bad habits would go away instantly. I’m here to say that Is not true, but I have been given tools to help me be aware of my behaviors. I am learning to collect data from each event and see my part in it. When I realize I could have done things different I jot down some mental notes and try to do better next time. I’m no longer beating myself up for mistakes rather using each challenge as a way to collect data for how to be closer to My Higher Power.

These tools are just a couple things that help my mind break down the impossible. With the Strength from my Higher Power, I’m finding that I stall out less and less. I don’t believe I will ever be perfect, but I know that these tools help to keep me connecting to A Loving God who will guide me through the fire If I allow him. I don’t believe my Life will ever be without challenges but in recovery, I can learn to relax rather than wait for the next thing to go wrong.

Enjoy Your Day!