Sat in front of a laptop stressed, trying to multitask between emails, telephone calls and project tasks it dawned on me; I don’t like the way my day is going so I’m going to start it again.
I relied heavily on alcohol as a reward, a crutch and a friend that never disappointed me. The satisfaction of knowing I was going to drink was enough to sustain my discontentment and irritability. When I did drink it soon developed into a hopeless destructive nightmare. Today I don’t seek oblivion or avoid responsibility, however this changed behaviour has consequences. I’m emotionally ill-equipped to deal with challenges life throws at me. I’ll suppress anger and resentment. I’ll bury that shit so deep I actually think i’m happy.
Whilst I was doing Step work with my sponsor I learned about being able to start my day again. I automatically sensed this was going to be profound, simple and really difficult to do.
I resist the lessons I need to learn to live a better life to the extent that life teaches me through experience. I recently experienced a very busy time in my life that resulted in some familiar patterns. A few really late nights watching TV until 2am followed by a really early night where I went to bed at 8.30pm. I had hardly exercised all week, my diet consisted of junk food and coffee. I was headed towards something very negative. In the past it would’ve meant relapse, but this time it meant an encroaching argument, shouting and bickering. Perhaps it could’ve manifested in becoming reclusive, standoffish, uncomfortable in my own skin and wanting to escape.
I decided to start my day again, yes it was the middle of the afternoon and yes my intrusive thoughts were trying to convince me it was an idiotic thing to even consider, but I discarded these thoughts in favour of trying something different. I stopped what I was doing, took a deep breath, and started fresh. I relinquished the feelings of dread and anxiety that were consuming me and accepted that to get the most out of my day I must be kind to myself. In that quiet moment of solitude and reflection I got my balance back and my view opened up to a panorama of possibility.
I have learned how to live a fulfilling and hopeful life since recovering from alcoholism. In addition to being able to start my day again at any given moment there are other methods of affecting my outlook positively. One way is to contemplate and have faith that your God/Higher Power has gone before you to prepare your arrival. I personally use this thinking when faced with challenging situations. I don’t like walking to the train station in the early morning before dawn. Urban streets became a maze of danger, each corner hiding a potential danger before I emerge to scan the surroundings with heightened vigilance. Now I minimise the fear by thinking positively about what’s around the corner. My Higher Power has prepared the future for my arrival so I don’t have to concern myself with it.
Another method of adapting to a more harmonised world is to smile. The simple gesture of sharing your smile, especially with those who can’t afford one of their own, is magical in its effectiveness. It says you’re approachable, friendly and it dispels the negative self talk that aims to corrupt recovery progress and revert you back to addictive behaviour.
Keep it simple, Let go; let God, share your smile.