Be Thankful for the Bad Things in Life…

Thankful for Bad Things

 

Can’t think of many things in my life that were “bad”.  Have way more “not-so-good” things.  So when I delve into myself searching for “bad” I think of where my alcoholism took me.  I also think of being afraid of my dad.  He was an alcoholic.  So I guess alcoholism is the “bad” thing that comes to mind.

Yet today I am a “grateful alcoholic”.  When I first heard that term I thought, “For real?”  But, yes, today I am a “grateful alcoholic”, thus alcoholism has opened my eyes to the good things I wasn’t paying attention to before!  Therefore, I am thankful for alcoholism, mine, not Dad’s because he died of this disease before my ever knowing how it affected him.  I was more fortunate…I am here today to write this.

Were I not an alcoholic I probably wouldn’t have paid much attention to what the disease is or what it entails…how it affects millions of people and their loved ones.  Were I not an alcoholic I probably would never have done a Fourth Step and found what makes Dee tick, and how fear-based I had lived most of my life.  And were I not an alcoholic I probably wouldn’t have realized how many good things I have in my life that I wasn’t paying attention to before, or appreciate them, and cherish them.

At the end of my “active” disease I no longer had a choice of whether or not to have a drink.  I don’t even remember it ever being “fun”.  I only remember I battled in my head whether or not to drink today, or this morning, or before work, and the answer was always “yes”.  At that point life was getting in the way of my drinking.  Really sucky way to live.  I didn’t care about my husband, my kids, my family and friends.  I didn’t care about my home or my job or how blessed I was to be living in Lake Tahoe.  Hey, I wasn’t homeless, drinking from a brown paper bag, living in a dumpster, prostituting myself.  But I surely didn’t care at all about myself.  That is where the active disease took me.

And thinking today about the fear I had of my dad I can see that he scared me, he was not loving, he showed us no care or concern, as he was in his “active” disease and if it were me, I, too, would be feared.  I wasn’t nice when I woke up hungover.  I wasn’t nice when I needed a drink but knew I shouldn’t.  And I definitely was mean.  My kids told me so.  And I could not show you care or concern or love because I had none.

Today…one day at a time…I no longer have to live that way.  Nor does my dad.  When I was hitting my bottom my dad pulled me up by the boot strings and guided me to seeking help.  Seek help?  That wasn’t in my vocabulary.  I had self-control and was strong-willed.  Why would I need your help?  Because I am an alcoholic and to nip this disease in the bud takes others…this is a WE program!  And when I relapsed over 13 years later my dad once again nudged me back into recovery which is where I am today and seeing for the first time how good “everything” is around me, and within me, that I wasn’t paying attention to before.

A.A. and the fellowship, and the Big Book and the Steps and Traditions have totally changed me from that “bad” person living that “bad” life to who and what I am today.  Today I have a Higher Power in my life.  Today I don’t have to be in control or think I am because today I realized that I never was!  Today I have a tool box in the Steps and Traditions that show me a better way to live.  Today I am surrounded by many who truly love me for who I am and do not judge.  Today I have and share love and concern and care as I finally am able to love myself, thus, I am able to love you back.  Today I am thankful for the bad things in life.

With that, I truly hope that all of you find a place in your life where you find peace and contentment and happiness.  I am here for you.  Thank you for being here for me.  Until next week, have a mighty fine day!  With much aloha…Dee

 

For those interested in Inspirational Gifts in Recovery or Hawai’i Art, please check out my website at www.DeesignsByHarris.com.  Mahalo!

I Love What I Have, And I Love What I Don’t Have…Byron Katie

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I’m always looking for ideas about which to blog, so my first love is seeing quotes that get my blogging juices going. This quote by Byron Katie was one of those quotes.
Today my life is good. I love what I have, good and bad. Actually I’ve learned that there is no bad, that even the occurrences that come that I do not choose, that initially cause me agitation or anguish, despair or resentment, they’re good too because they are reasons for growth and learning and becoming a more accepting and patient human being.
Today I am so in love with my sobriety, the contentment, peace and freedom it has provided me each and every day. And this gets stronger daily just like I have been taught, “One day at a time.” With that foundation comes a love and respect for myself that I never had until sobriety. And the new found love I have today for my husband is the hugest and greatest gift. Since we sold the truck and he is no longer driving cross-country, since we once again are able to live under one roof and share each other daily, this is a gift that impacts me greatly! My family once again holds the priority it should. And my friends and fellowship keep me balanced.
We have been invited to live in a home that is so spiritual it’s magical. To be able to start and run a business here is icing on the cake. Imagine being excited to wake up every morning to do something about which you’re passionate (for me stained glass), see the ocean, always be outdoors in the warmth of Hawaii, and have cows and wild pigs as company. Pretty awesome dream come true! Throw in a meeting and some daily chores and commitments because I have been gifted early retirement…need I say more?
Now for loving what I don’t have. This is why I attend meetings and surround myself with fellowship regularly. You see, I need to be reminded constantly how much I love that today I don’t have to drink. That wasn’t always the case. Back in ’98 when a Power Greater than Myself thought, “That’s enough for Dee. It’s time for her to share her experience, strength and hope”, I had to drink daily, oftentimes throughout the day. It was no longer fun nor pleasurable. It was necessary. I know now that back in ’98 my dad who died from this disease wrapped his arms around me then gently gave me that push that only a dad could do for his suffering child and nudged me to ask for help. My life has never been the same since.
Yes, I love what I don’t have, that necessity, that obsession, that compulsion to drink. That way of living where life was getting in the way of my drinking, that is no longer here. Magic?We think not. Today a Power Greater than Myself in my life is what I love having the most.
With that, have a mighty fine day! With much Aloha…Dee.

For those interested in Inspirational Gifts in Recovery or Hawaii Art please check out my website at www.DeesignsByHarris.com. Enjoy and Mahalo!

Communicate…and Take the Power Out of It

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   When I was younger I found it very difficult to communicate.  I know now after numerous Fourth Steps that it was fear that caused me to feel less than and to be worried and ashamed what might come out of my mouth and embarrass me.

   The first thing that came to mind when I read this quote was that 10 months ago, whilst in a relapse, had I not communicated I would not have heard what I needed to hear to get me back on track and right-sized.  Just so happened that during this relapse I still kept connected with the program and the fellowship as I knew, I had been taught, that no matter how much I was enjoying the drink today that wouldn’t last.  Eventually the disease would catch up to me again and I would no longer have a choice but to drink.  Life would once again get in the way of my drinking.

   Not only did I hear what I needed to hear that day (I did not like it and I copped a resentment) but I took the suggestions of a sister in sobriety and did everything she suggested I do.  What choice did I have?  Going to meetings, talking to my sponsor, staying close to the fellowship just wasn’t cutting it.  What did I have to lose?

   By picking up the 50-million pound phone that day and again telling on myself that I didn’t want to stop drinking but was scared of what was going to happen, my life today is better than I ever knew it could be.  By communicating.  By asking for help.  By not giving up on myself.  By desperation.

   Communication can be uncomfortable and uneasy.  But if I don’t talk about what’s going on with me, whether in writing or orally, it will eat me up alive.  Yes, by simply sharing it with someone or putting pen to paper, it takes the power out of it.  Just like I was taught in the fellowship.  It’s like writing that Fourth Step and sharing it with another human being, how healing is that!

   I don’t want to be bitter.  I don’t want to be lonely.  I am anything but that today…one day at a time.  With that have a mighty fine day.  Until next week, Aloha…Dee

   For those interested in Inspirational Gifts in Recovery and Hawaii Art, please check out my website at www.DeesignsByHarris.com.  Mahalo!

True Brotherhood

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We read this Daily Reflection at a meeting Saturday morning, then I read it again this morning in Turkey Bone Heaven’s blog.  These words touch me as I realize now how important the brotherhood, or fellowship, is to me today in my recovery. I realize how important people are to me today.

I can see that until now I never truly felt a part of.  Throughout my childhood, adulthood, working, playing, even after my very first meeting, I never quite felt truly connected, like an outsider looking in.  Why?  I guess I wasn’t ready.  I guess it wasn’t my time.  But something has happened and I do now feel truly connected.  Not only to the fellowship and to any and all human beings, but more importantly to myself.

I’m going to have to say this all came from my relapse, a new gift in recovery and sobriety, as I did not have this deep-down gut feeling throughout my first 13+ years of sobriety.  This feeling became strong and apparent when I got back into the rooms having stepped away for a few years when I “thought” I was okay with my Big Book and my Higher Power.  I didn’t feel lonely at that time.  I felt happy and content.  But when I walked back into the rooms with my tale between my legs and once again said “I need help”, that was it, it was time, for that true sense of connectivity and brotherhood (or sisterhood, ’twas a women’s meeting).  And that fulfilling feeling has not left me sense.  I like it.  I intend to keep it.  I cherish it.  I am grateful for it.

With that I am off to that same women’s meeting now, for if I don’t give it away, I know I shall not be able to keep it. If I don’t stay connected to the fellowship and newcomers, I shall drift, back into myself and my head.  Don’t want to go there.

With that, have a mighty fine day…until next week…Aloha, Dee.

Thank you, Turkey Bone Heaven, for your most excellent blogs!

For those interested in Inspirational Gifts in Recovery and Hawaii Art, please visit my website at www.DeesignsByHarris.com.  Mahalo!