Monday, June 22, 2009

Dealing With Negative Personalities

What do you do when there is someone in your life that tries to bring you down to their level every chance they get? Do you play into their negativity or do you rise above?

I am dealing with life on life's terms these days. My happiness is contingent on my sobriety and my ability to work on my disease of addiction. If life is lacking then it most certainly has to do with something I am putting off or avoiding. This time around I have jumped into the program with vigor or as they say, jumped into the middle of the boat. The issues I deal with on a daily basis are much easier to process now that they don't involve using and/or drinking. Many problems came out of that lifestyle. Many triumphs are coming out of this sober lifestyle. Many friendships, insights, spiritual moments, quiet moments, happy and sad moments, and genuine life moments are streaming through my soul today. I am touched by the little things and don't take my life or my blessings for granted. I am sober by God's grace and love. And my side of the street is clean and is in a constant flux of repair and change.

As hard as I work on my spiritual connection, the wind is taken from my sail time and again. I have always had to deal with people trying to put my light out, it has been happening since I was a child. Why do they have to bring me down? Why is it so important for them to make me feel like they do? Trust me; I used to feel worse than you did. If someone was in high spirits I would do things to bring them back down to earth. Nasty things. Things I wouldn't want done to me today. Things I don't accept any longer in my life. I treat people how I want to be treated. My grandfather, may you rest in peace, taught me that proverb when I was just old enough to remember. It is a simple lesson and works when you work it.

If someone steps over my boundaries, I try to let them know about it. I talk to them in a nice way, instead of getting violent and violating their space. I explain that they are only hurting themselves by extending hatred and resentment my way. When I get mean looks, just got one this morning at my home-group, I just smile back at them and give them a little nod. Just letting them know that it really doesn't affect me the way they want it to. I decide who gets to make me feel happy or sad. I have control and power over the way I feel, thank God. Can you imagine if other people could control how you felt? I don't think any of us would have gotten sober.

In reading this, I hope you learned that you decide how you feel and nobody else. We are all children of God, or the Universe and we are one. Have a blessed life and a blessed sober day!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sharing is Caring

On June 14th I will be celebrating my 90th day of consecutive sobriety. To me this is no small feat. If you aren't familiar with the world of 12-step recovery this might sound like no big deal. When I hear non-addicts/alcoholics utter doubtful phrases like, "What is so special about a sobriety date anyways", or "why can't you just stop on your own", or "do you still need to goto thosemeetings", my heart sinks a little. The wind is temporary taken from my sail. I force myself to be reminded that not everyone has the same self-awareness and perception as I strive to possess. To be patient and to not be so quick to judge or anger.

"What is so special about a sobriety date anyways?" To this I would say, it's special for many reasons. For too long I was trapped within the confines of my disease. It never let me out to truly see the blessings all around me. In the first month of my new sober life, everything was a struggle. My emotions were like a house of cards. If someone said one wrong thing to me I was either very angry or very sad. I would announce my days clean every single morning at my homegroup, and the people would say...keep coming back. I kept coming back and kept coming back. We celebrate sobriety because we celebrate life. Our achievements are so important because we have come so far and are not slaves to a chemical any longer. We are all walking miracles.

"Why can't you just stop on your own?" Just this morning at my 7:15am homegroup meeting, a woman that is new to the program had just announced to the group that she was changing her sobriety date to last weekend. She had relapsed on O'Douls, which technically has alcohol in it. I applaud her honesty. I talked to her before the meeting because I noticed that she was crying and asked what was wrong. She said that someone explained to her that she should admit that she had relapsed and get honest. She didn't like this too much at all. So she spoke up about her discomfort during our group discussion and explained that she was proud of the time she put together and that it was from her own self will. Her own self will! In my mind I automatically said the phrase, 'more will be revealed. It seemed to me that my own will got me in so much trouble and that it wasn't until I admitted defeat that I finally got sober. I remember the moment when I was ready to accept Gods will for me. I was sitting in my garage, dope sick and tired of it all, when I looked up and asked for His help. I pleaded with Him and said I was done running the show. I believe that he answered me that day and has every day since. Putting my trust in a Power greater than myself simplifies my life beautifully. If something is in my control to fix or do I don't hesitate to do it. I thought early on that God would take care of everything, but I actually had to do some of the work. Who would have thought;)

"Do I still need to goto those meetings?" The answer to that one is a big YES. This time around I was successful with doing 90 meetings in 90 days. And without having a car. If I had my own transportation I would have been able to do many more. My favorite homegroup, yes I have more than one, is filled with people that would give me the shirts off their backs. I have noticed that they keep showing up everyday, even after they have reached 20 years of living a joyous sober life. The old-timers have so much knowledge and wisdom, not just about sobriety but life in general. I am so fortunate to have these literal 'pearls of wisdom' in my life today. A man with 23 years has been a really good friend to me. Especially early on when I was so shy and didn't know if I should even be in the rooms. His kindness made me want to come back. His gentle and caring nature made me feel welcome when I felt as if I would break down and cry at the slightest suggestion. It is a pleasure to surround myself with people that love life and want to continue to learn and grow. If people only knew what Alcoholics Anonymous was really about; I think they would want to go.

If you could see me as I was just a year ago I think you would be amazed by my transformation. When I look through old photo albums that display my old self, I almost have to say the serenity prayer. I don't like seeing myself with lifeless eyes and gray colored skin. Sure it shows me how I've progressed but it's hard to believe that God gave all of this to me unconditonally. He loves everyone, no more no less.

I know we haven't met but that doesn't mean I don't care for you. Quite the opposite. You are the most important person in my life, the ones I haven't met. Have a blessed day and please be kind to all you meet.