Little over three months ago, I committed to teaching a Math class for people who are trying to get their GED. Tomorrow is the last class with this group.
In my first year of recovery I had very little energy. I slept until 9 or 10 in the morning and went to bed at 10 p.m. I was still tired all the time.
Before getting sober, I was always looking for something to fix me. I thought there was something outside of myself that could bring me everlasting happiness. It turns out that if I’m not happy with who I am there’s no place, thing, or person that could ever make me happy.
A few days ago, a friend came to my place with a guy who had just left residential treatment. This was his first outing in “the real world.”
I told them that I was hungry and asked them to join me for lunch. I proceeded to cook some burgers. It was a very ordinary meal.
We finished our burgers. We watched some YouTube videos. We talked a little about recovery and then decided to go to a 6 p.m. meeting at my home group.
During the meeting, the guy that my friend had brought to my place shared about moving to a transitional house after completing 45 days in rehab. He expressed how grateful he was to be sober.
He also said that he had just enjoyed a wonderful lunch, “a real meal,” he called it. He seemed happy to be alive and sober. His words made my eyes moist with tears.
I had always thought of hamburgers as something you ate when you where starving and wanted something quick and simple to eat, not a “real meal.”
This reminded me how fortunate I am that I can pretty much eat anything I want when I want to. I enjoy freedoms that many people don’t.
Like the freedom to stay sober contingent on maintaining my spiritual condition on a 24-hour basis. I am convinced that I am not cured of alcoholism/addiction but that my disease is merely on remission.
May you be happy. May you find true love. May you have a long life.
I keep a picture of my nephew in my wallet. I also have pictures of him all throughout my place. There is nothing he could ever do that would make me love him any less.
I learned early in life not to get too excited when good things were happening around me lest I jinx myself into disappointment. I was always waiting for something negative to occur after a period of happiness.
If I was going to the beach with my family for example, something would invariably happen to tarnish the trip. All enjoyment came with a price. There was always a storm after the calm.
I still have a hard time allowing myself to get excited about future plans. I still can be too careful not to show any degree of success in fear that it gets taken away.
It’s not easy for me to let myself get excited about a future event. I don’t know yet how to be happy about a plan without worrying about life punishing me for being too happy.
I wanted to shield myself from getting hurt so much that I ended shielding myself from joy. Brene Brown says that one of the ways we can stop this behavior that she calls foreboding joy is by practicing gratitude.
This Gratitude practice in my own experience shifts my focus from what I am lacking to the wonderful life I have.
A feeling of doom came over me as I wrote the part about “my wonderful life” but I forced myself to type it. I make a decision every day to be happy no matter what the external circumstances are in my life.
Some days are harder than others. Some days I prefer to enjoy my misery instead of taking action but now I am aware of my propensity to forebode joy.
Happiness is not something I can buy or find outside of myself. There is no person or thing that can give me everlasting happiness. I can only be happy when I stop thinking only about myself and start giving back without expectations to those around me.
I’ve been sober for over three years and single for one so I’ve begun to wonder if it’s time to start dating. And if so, what type of person I want. A friend suggested to write a list of personally traits I would like to have in a partner.
It turns out I want somebody who is available, supportive, faithful, loyal, intelligent, loving, dependable, spiritual, confident, secure, funny, romantic, kind, and honest. Not a lot to ask, right?
The idea is to compare this list to a potential romantic partner. This way, I can see if this person meets my “requirements” instead of worrying about who I need to become to be in this relationship.
I’m usually attracted to good-looking people who are emotionally unavailable. To put it in snacking terms, I tend to go for the quick and easy candy bar that has lots of calories but little or no nutritional value thinking, “I can turn that candy bar into a healthy apple!”
My zeroing on people who are unavailable could be due to being raised by a distant mother and an absent father but whatever the reason, now that I’m aware of this pattern, I can take action to change it.
So I am powerless over candy bars and believe that a power greater than myself can restore me to sanity so I’m turning my will and my life over to my own conception of God.
But sometimes I get the irrational fear that I’m never going to find another person who loves me not in spite of my flaws but because of them. Mathematically speaking, the odds are in my favor but what if this fear becomes true? Would staying single be so bad?