Every once in a while, I can lose perspective.
I think it’s safe to say I am in one of those periods in my life. I have been working too much and spending too little time taking care of myself.
Eventually, that little demon inside starts talking to me. I look around at other people. I start thinking about what I don’t have…
- How come that guy gets to travel so much? Must be nice….
- Those people’s relationship looks so great. How do I get to that place in my relationships?
- They have more money.
- They have a nicer watch.
- They have pie and I really want pie. (Yes, it gets bad)
I can put anything on this list. In reality, it’s not about what they have or even what I don’t have. It’s about perspective.
The fact is that no one’s life is perfect. Everyone, regardless of appearance is struggling with their own problems. That’s just the way of the world. That’s life.
When I get in these positions, it’s important for me to take a step back and look objectively at my life. I like to remind myself how good I actually have it.
I am grateful. At the end of the day, I am healthy and sober. There is so much to be grateful for. Here is a little reminder.
1 – I am Grateful for my Strength
A few years ago, I wrote an article entitled “The Advantages of being an Addict.” I still feel very strongly that my struggle with addiction is the best thing that ever happened to me.
It taught me how to deal with pain.
No matter what I am going through, no matter my struggle, I know that it could never be worse than those days of addiction.
I can cope. I can deal. I can keep perspective on what is really going on and I can look at any situation and say “if I can get sober, I can do anything.”
I am so grateful for that.
2 – I am Grateful for a Still Mind
Okay if I am being honest, my mind is rarely still.
Some nights, when I go out and look at the stars, I get a feeling of peace and calm. Most of the time my brain is spinning.
However, nothing will ever compare to the way my mind used to race.
It was exhausting. No matter where I was or where I was going I always wanted to be somewhere else. If I was talking to people I wanted to hide in a corner. If I hid in a corner I felt left out. I would try to be outgoing only to feel as if I were faking it and so I would go back in the corner and wish I were somewhere else.
It never stopped. It was exhausting.
When I lie my head down at night, I truly am able to close my eyes and fall asleep. My restless mind used to keep me up for days on end. I’m not exaggerating. I thought it would never end, but it has.
I am grateful for that.
3 – I am Grateful for my Family
My family is nuts. It’s no wonder I turned out the way I did.
But I love them so much. Both sides of my family are just amazing. Sometimes I talk to my friends who may have lost their parents or lost a sibling. I couldn’t imagine what that would be like.
I am 30 years old and I am lucky enough to have both my parents in my life. I have my aunts and uncles and my sister and I can call them and depend on them at any time.
It wasn’t always like that. Recovery gave that to me.
I am so grateful to know that I can call my family and they would drop anything at a moments notice to help me. They know that I would do the same for them.
4 – I am Grateful for my Health
I am very healthy.
My health has always been so important to me. When you’re strung out and broke, managing your health is pretty far down the list of priorities.
Even if you wanted to, being healthy is just so difficult in that frame of mind.
I would eat shitty food. I would drink way too much. I wouldn’t take care of my lungs and my heart. I was always dehydrated and I managed my headaches with more unhealthy choices.
Health is a blessing. I am in a position where I can afford nutritious food. I can afford a gym membership. I have extra time in my life to go for runs and hit the weights.
In our world and in our country, obesity remains a huge problem. Addiction only compounds the problem. I have the resources and the self-awareness to make healthy choices in my life.
How fucking lucky am I? I am so grateful for my good health.
5 – I am Grateful for a Higher Power
I admit, when I hear people talk about “Jesus loving me” I still cringe.
I have given up trying to understand what God is, or what it means to other people. I used to spend sooooooooo much time looking up at the sky and asking myself what I was doing here.
“What is the point of all this?”
After embarking on a spiritual journey with myself, I am glad to have answered those questions within my mind and my heart. It wasn’t easy, but it was extremely gratifying.
I won’t bore you with trying to explain my understanding of a higher power. All I am saying is that I have it. When I look up at the night sky, I no longer feel lost. I feel a part of. I feel connected to the happenings around me.
I am grateful to belong.
What are you grateful for?
The Holidays are here. This is a difficult time for many people. But counting your gratitude is the best way to keep perspective and to stay away from a drink.
What do you have? What have you been given this last year? What is it that you can contribute to the world?
P.S. – I have been so busy it has been a long time since I got deep. I appreciate you all!