Remember that pivotal scene in Bridget Jones’ Diary when she tells her friends that Mark Darcy has told her he likes her “very much – just as you are“? They react with wide-eyed amazement. “Just as you freakin’ are?” one of them repeats with disbelief. It’s so simple yet rare to have that kind of love, right?
Be honest with what is needed and wanted… Be specific in my desired outcome… Stretch myself in ways that feel challenging, empowering, and also doable… Be willing to use my will and my Higher Power / God’s will to continually envision the desired outcome… Be gentle but firm with myself (like training a puppy.)
Pretty much every recovering addict knows about 12-step meetings, sponsorship, working the steps, and going to therapy. And much of the time those tools are enough to establish and maintain early sobriety. Over time, however, addicts inevitably encounter situations where those highly useful forms of support are not available. In such cases, it is wise to have at least a few other tools of sobriety on which to rely.
We are entering the time of year when parties, family get-togethers, and excessive eating, drinking and merriment can create difficult or at least tricky situations for those in recovery. Thanksgiving in particular can be a challenging time. Family interaction is often expected and it may be the first family get-together in a while.
For a second I forgot that I am not running the show. Phew, what a relief! My house on Thanksgiving will be a house divided. About half the people showing up are happy, the other half horrified with the election results, mimicking the nation’s mood. This will be the first time this particular constellation of people will be together.
Immersed in an energy of addiction for the past year and a half, it’s been about the campaign, the debates, and the “panels of experts” on CNN, and at the end, even Fox News. I sensed I had crossed the line at that point. And then there was the election itself. I did enjoy hearing various opinions on both sides – I hope I can reclaim that in a healthy way.
How grateful am I to have a roadmap called the 12 steps. The spiritual principles they’re built around have become embedded in my own spiritual program. They serve as my guideposts to help me know I am on track. Basically they are honesty, acceptance, faith, courage, integrity, willingness, humility, forgiveness, sincerity, perseverance, serenity, and service.
The season of gratitude is upon us, and I wanted to start the month off right with a list post on that very subject! The gifts of sobriety are, of course, too many to enumerate. But that won’t stop me from trying . . . Each one of these bullet points could be a full post – or even a book – unto itself. I have attempted to capture a universe of meaning in a sentence, and trust the words will resonate with you at a deep level. Please feel free to add your “gratitudes” in the comments. Oh, and I want to be sure I mention how very grateful I am for you!