I like this quote. It is a good reminder to practice gratitude every single day. Right now I am grateful for 78 days sober, a long afternoon baby nap, the fact that it is Friday, and the beautiful leaves changing colors outside. What are you grateful for today?
Today my goal is to start a practice of loving kindness. I think many alcoholics/addicts can be hard on themselves; I know that I beat myself up sometimes for not doing enough/doing too much/being altogether unworthy/etc. Loving kindness means that you are giving yourself the gift of unconditional positive regard. You are viewing yourself from a detached point of view, and treating yourself like the perfect grandmother-figure would treat you in a perfect world (that’s my perspective of it, at least). You can also extend these feelings and thoughts to others, or the whole world, the entire universe, on and on.
Here is a loving kindness meditation if you are interested in doing it, too! There are many versions of this meditation, but I like this one for right now. Simply sit in a comfortable position and focus on your breath for a few moments. Repeat the following phrases as many times as you want. I will have to read them out loud until I can memorize them. No pressure, though. The goal is to create more happiness and peace in your life, not to create stress.
May I be happy, well, and at peace.
May I be open to things just as they are.
May I experience the world opening to me just as I am.
May I welcome whatever arises.
I had a big falling out with a friend a few months ago. She approached me for a serious discussion about my drinking, and it made me really upset. Sounds like a classic case of an alcoholic in denial, right? Well… yes and no. She told me some things that were true, but she did it in a insensitive and hurtful way.
I quit drinking a month later, and I am still trying to figure out what it all means. I had been thinking about quitting drinking permanently for awhile at that point, so she doesn’t deserve the credit for all of my hard work. Her words did trigger something, though. I mean, I pretty much obsessed over our conversation non-stop for the next week, at least. Letting our friendship go has saved me from drama and stress that she brought into my life. In fact, I think it has been easier to stay sober without having her around. But she helped me see things more clearly about my drinking… things that I was trying so hard not to see.
I am so, so grateful that circumstances in my life have changed since then. I have examined my priorities and am working on being my best self, sober. I feel much more confident than I did a few short months ago when it seemed that if you looked at me too hard you would see all of the holes I was trying to hide. Holes in my confidence, holes in my story… you get the picture. This situation is a good reminder to me to be mindful in my communications with others, because you never know what they are going through. You have to be careful how you approach people when it comes to delicate situations, like confronting alcoholism or whatever the issue is, or it could just make things worse. There are ways to approach people that are helpful, and ways that are not so helpful. And always remember to be kind. It is so, so important.
** I edited this post on 10/11/13. For some reason it made me really uncomfortable in its original form. I think I shared too much, too fast. I will return to this subject at a later date.
I have caught myself holding my breath a few times today, so this is a good reminder of what I need to do.
Stay calm, keep going, and don’t forget to breathe. All is well.