- Gratitude for change

Gratitude for change




Help for alcohol abuse addiction alcoholics who want to stay sober

Gratitude for change

Postby Jackie » Sat Jul 19, 2008 12:02 am

Hello Everyone!
I attended a meeting tonite and one of the readings was about gratitude for change and upon reflection I have a lot to be grateful for.
I look in the mirror and I see a physical change, no blood shot eyes,no dark circles under the eyes, and even the veiny lines are subsiding.
What I see mostly is that I am an alcoholic and I always will be, but instead of averting my eyes from the reflection I can look myself in the eye and say "Yes I am and I'm doing something to put this disease in remission!"
As I crawled and fought thru my first few months of sobriety I didn't give much thot to changes in my life, now as I really look back I can see
stuff that was not apparent to me.
I'm grateful for my NEW friends in AA, I'm grateful that I have changed enough that I do not have to have a drink for the crisises in my day,not that it doesnt pop into my mind but somewhere along the line I have aquired the tools to throw that thot out and carry on.
On the lighter side I'm grateful that I can remember what I did the day before and know even if I loused up it was not because of alcohol. I don't go into a panic attack if a police car is following me when I'm driving,I may get a speeding ticket but I won't be blowing into a breathalizer.
I can see my family beginning to trust me a little more each day for this I am enormously grateful. And I'm starting to trust myself a little bit, to make better decisions and act with a bit of common sense, to accept the things I cannot change.
For people like myself that are into the 6 mos. sober stage when you start to wonder if you are just on a dry drunk or are you really making some progress into changing your behavior so you don't have to use alcohol as a crutch, try looking back and see all the things that have CHANGED because you are trying to change, and like me you will be amazed at all the little things you have accomplished.
Maybe this is a little of my Buzz I get from a meeting but I wanted to share some of my hope and my gratitude for being sober today.
Jackie
 
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Postby tj » Sat Jul 19, 2008 7:23 am

Jackie,

Thanks so much for the post. I am so glad that you are alert, awake and aware enough to see all of the wonderful changes that are taking place in your life and very grateful that you shared your experience, strength and hope. I went back and read one of your first posts from a couple of months ago--what a difference!! Please keep coming back and sharing your journey.

Manette
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Postby Dallas » Sat Jul 19, 2008 11:30 am

Nice to hear from you, Jackie.
Nice to hear from you, also, TJ

Thank you both for sharing.

Yep. It's all about change. :wink:

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Postby Dallas » Sat Jul 19, 2008 10:39 pm

When I was about three years sober, I had been having newcomers come over to my apartment in North Hollywood, CA, and we would make up about two hundred bag-lunches (sandwiches, cookies & an orange) and take them down to the skid-row area of Los Angeles, and hand them out to people who were down on their luck, living on skid-row.

Whenever I had someone who was at the jumping off place, we would continue the night with buying happy-meals at McDonalds, and take them out to give to people that were sleeping in the streets.

Each of the newcomers that participated in those adventures are still sober.

One Saturday or Sunday morning, after just waking up, I headed to my bathroom, and stopped by the sink. Suddenly, I saw myself looking at myself in the mirror.... and thinking about the night before, passing out meals to those in need, and working with newcomers, my thoughts flashed to "Gees. Dallas. This is so not you!" And, it was like I started having some kind of spiritual experience. I started crying. I was in awe of the change in myself. Then, the thought came that, this is the guy I was when I was a little kid... A person that cared about others and was willing to give and share what I had with them.

I felt such a rush of gratitude for what A.A. had done for and to me. It really felt awesome!!!

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Postby Susan » Tue Jul 22, 2008 3:39 pm

I am also deeply grateful for AA. Application of the steps has improved my life immensely. I can still be a jerk from time to time but I am a much better person. :D
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Postby RobinC » Tue Jul 22, 2008 5:19 pm

Thanks so much for the perspective on the gratitude reflection. I read that yesterday and just had to share it with a fellow member that is 2 weeks ahead of me and we are both at the 6 month mark. At times we confide in each other when we don't know that we don't know what to ask :?

He smiled and we both LOL and felt pretty good about where we are at just for today!

Thanks!

Robin
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Postby markyb » Tue Jul 22, 2008 6:51 pm

Funny how coinsidance happens all the time in recovery!!!


I just flicked on this post and its all about gratitude, and tonight a meeting i have just come from was full of it..

A guy who hadnt been to this particular meeting for a year had his moment of clarity just being their and shared beutifully about it and how in his 20 so months of recovery he has seen his life change beyond any dreams he had ever had... He recalls at 26 years old he had all but thought his life was over, he had buried two friends through alcohol and drugs and sat in the window of a bar wishing he had the lives of others that passed by... This set a chain reaction of gratitude in the meeting which made me feel such an intense joy for my fellows and A.A as a whole, I had been sitting on my pitty pot all day and to hear this give me a stark reminder of where i have come from ,who i was then, how i have changed, and who i am now, and wow how i have changed, and i can have nothing less than gratitude for that and for each individual day that i wake sobre and free from the insanity of it all, and reading your posts has compounded this.... so thankyou and thanks to A.A for keeping me sobre :D :D :D :D :D :idea:
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Postby garden variety » Wed Jul 23, 2008 11:38 am

Dallas wrote:One Saturday or Sunday morning, after just waking up, I headed to my bathroom, and stopped by the sink. Suddenly, I saw myself looking at myself in the mirror.... and thinking about the night before, passing out meals to those in need, and working with newcomers, my thoughts flashed to "Gees. Dallas. This is so not you!" And, it was like I started having some kind of spiritual experience. I started crying. I was in awe of the change in myself. Then, the thought came that, this is the guy I was when I was a little kid... A person that cared about others and was willing to give and share what I had with them.

I felt such a rush of gratitude for what A.A. had done for and to me. It really felt awesome!!!


Man bro, I can TOTALLY identify with what you said there.

It still happens to this day. I honestly think God speaks to us just to make us pay attention to the changed men and women we've become. Otherwise, I'm so busy doing the "action" things that I'd probably overlook who I am today and how I've changed. Who I am today is based SOLEY on knowing what I am: an alcoholic who is hopelessly doomed without having a vital "psychic change" as the result of the 12-steps. And if I forget what I am, it won't be long before I forget who I am.

I've added a couple things to my daily "end-of-day" inventory that I picked up from a Jesuit priest. It's part of the spiritual excercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. But it's more like a universal spiritual principle than Catholic dogma. I guess you could say this is somewhere within step 10 and step 11. I ask my Higher Power a couple questions as I review my day from morning until evening.

"What have I done that was constructive?"
"What have I done that pleased you most?"

So many times, I'll "think" something I did was real significant, but I'm ususally wrong. Most of the time, my Higher Power will enlighten me about something I did that seemed small and done almost automatically, or in passing. Something as small or as simple as letting the cat in the house while I'm hurrying off to get to a meeting or to work. Yes the cat can go under the porch when the rain comes, but to the One who designed the cat and breathed life into the cat...let me just say it's been my experience that God as I understand Him is moved sometimes by the smallest of things - things that go unnoticed under my ego's radar. And when He points them out to me, I say the same thing as you, Dallas. "That was so much not me". I know in my heart that I can't take credit for it.

Another way of looking at it are in the words that a certain carpenter used some long time ago when he spoke about his Higher Power.

"What I'm saying is true. In as much as you have done unto one of the least of these...you have done it to me."

Man! Do little things ever count.

It is a humble and beautiful experience to look into the mirror, like you said, Dallas, and realize that what has happened is the transformation of an utterly self-centered human being bent on the consumption or destruction of anything "good" for selfish reasons - we get transformed into a man or woman fit for maiximum service to a Higher Power and those about us. That is nothing short of a miricle.

Then multiply that miracle by counteless others in this fellowship.

Awesome. Completely awesome. That sure does inspire gratitude in me, too.

Thank you all for your wonderful words and expressions of gratitude. You've helped me today.
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Postby Dallas » Wed Jul 23, 2008 4:28 pm

Thanks to all of you for sharing your experiences on this topic.
You helped produce a vital Spiritual Experience for me! :wink:

Early in my sobriety, as a newcomer in A.A., my daily Gratitude List literally saved my butt over and over and over again. It's a daily routine of my actions... that I've let become inactive... probably because I have such smaller problems today than the problems I had when I first came to AA, and was first getting sober.

Life is much better today. And, I realized through your sharing, my life would be even better today... if I'll get back to doing the daily gratitude lists.

Here's more of my "Moment of Clarity" that you helped produce.

Recently, I've lost most of the vision in my left eye as a result of glaucoma, that I didn't know I had. :wink: I thought (misdiagnosed my problem) it was a cataract and I'd simply have it whacked off to get my vision back. The doc said "Wrong! It's permanently gone." :shock:

This weekend I'm heading down to Hot Springs, Arkansas, for the Old Granddad AA Convention... (a really big deal for me)... and my eyes are totally red from the drops that I have to put in them, my pupils get dialated so that it looks like I'm on drugs or something... a big ### looking thing grew in my eye yesterday... and I look kind of like a stoned out monster... but I really am sober!!! :lol: :lol: :lol:

Talk about Ego smashing???? I'll really be able to impress them this time! :lol:

And, as I was reading your message... the thought suddenly came to me, that: "Dallas... why haven't you been practicing gratitude for your eye problems?"

Now... I know that really sounds corny to include my eye problems on my gratitude list... but it's one of the key principles that was passed on to me by some fellow AA'ers in my early recovery... "Learn to have gratitude for everything. And, when you can't do that... at least fake it till you make it and do it any way! Eventually, you'll see why we're telling you to do this!"

So, they had me learning to take actions and practice gratitude for ALL THINGS... not just the things that I thought were good... but, also for the things that I thought was a problem and was bad. (Kind of like how we offer to God, our whole selves, good and bad... in the 7th Step Prayer).

My early gratitude lists saved my butt. It helped in producing the vital psychic change that was necessary for me to recover. And, it make my life a whole lot better.

So, now... I guess I'll look like a goofy One-Eyed-Purple-People-Eater in Hot Springs, in the middle of a couple thousand A.A.'s ... and me doing dumb things like being being grateful that I'll look ugly and have eye problems!!! :lol: :lol: :lol:

By the way... my sponsor tells me "Don't be so stupid. Other AA's are not looking at your eyes and thinking about you... they're too busy thinking about themselves to give a damn about your eyes! Stop thinking about yourself and move on to something else." :lol: :lol: :lol:

Thanks Y'all!

Gratitude. And, I really am grateful for all of you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dallas B.

P.S. Paul...

GardenVariety wrote:I've added a couple things to my daily "end-of-day" inventory that I picked up from a Jesuit priest. It's part of the spiritual excercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. But it's more like a universal spiritual principle than Catholic dogma. I guess you could say this is somewhere within step 10 and step 11. I ask my Higher Power a couple questions as I review my day from morning until evening.

"What have I done that was constructive?"
"What have I done that pleased you most?"


That's in our Big Book, too... pages 84-88. Obviously St. Ignatius had a big influence on the Pioneers of AA. :wink:
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Postby Dallas » Fri Jul 03, 2009 3:11 pm

Hi Jackie! When are you going to check in with us?

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