- How to have a good day

How to have a good day




Topics related to AA Meetings - and alcohol addiction recovery

How to have a good day

Postby Dallas » Fri Nov 02, 2007 11:28 am

I believe that many of us have asked the question "why am I sober? how did I get to be one of the alcoholics that has been able to achieve and maintain sobriety?"

Sometimes, we can answer that question with a litany of answers, such as
I didn't drink, I followed directions, I became responsible for my recovery, and I've gone to any lengths to not take the next first drink.

Haven't other alcoholics did that -- and they failed at staying sober?

I believe that they have.

So, what's the answer to the riddle?

I believe that in addition to I didn't drink, I followed directions, I became responsible for my recovery, and I've gone to any lengths to not take the next first drink.... each of us who have been blessed with A.A. sobriety, have a real purpose in life. And, our sobriety is contingent on living our lives of purpose.

And, what is our purpose? The answer is found on page 77, of the Big Book: "Our real purpose is to fit ourselves to be of maximum service to God and the people about us."

In another spiritual book, two great commandments are mentioned: To love God, and to love those about us.

How can I love someone -- and not be of service to them?

And, maybe... for those like me, who may have a hard time understanding love... perhaps if I focus on the actions of being helpful and being of maxium service to those about me, I'm loving them, whether I understand it or not.... and, thus fulfilling my lifes purpose.

When I begin to think of my sobriety in terms of "it's all about me" -- it doesn't take too long for me to start having some difficult moments -- and difficult moments can lead to difficult days.

However, when I'm not thinking of myself and my needs and wants -- and I remember "what is my job here, anyway?" -- I can turn my thoughts back to the actions that I can take to be helpful to those about me. And, when I'm doing that -- it produces good moments that seem to flow with life, rather than paddling against the stream of life. And, those good moments can lead to good days.

Dallas
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Postby garden variety » Fri Nov 02, 2007 1:38 pm

This topic drew me in like a moth to a flame.

"How to have a good day" is just like "finding happiness" - impossible. If I sit down and try to figure out how to have a "good day" or how to "find happiness", I'll go nuts. It would be the same as me chasing after a puff of steam. How frustrated I would get if I spent any time chasing after a puff of steam.

But the answer to the "riddle" was right there in what Dallas said. Dallas is 100% right.

Why can I never "have a good day" or "find happiness"? Because a "good day" and "happiness" are byproducts. Just like steam. Steam is a byproduct of a process - a process that involves "work" or "action". What I have learned is that I never, ever, have to try to have a good day or try to find happiness. A good day and happiness are byproducts of a life well-lived.

This topic reminded me of a saying of Confuscius, which is just another way of saying what Dallas said which is basically that when I find my purpose, my life will have a new meaning. And my "purpose" in life is to take actions that help others:

"He who wishes to secure the good of others has already secured his own."

I love it when things are this simple!
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My name is Anne, I'm an alcoholic

Postby musicmode » Tue Nov 13, 2007 10:31 pm

As simple as holding a store or bank door open for another person, even if you're there first. Enjoy the line-ups, instead of stomping impatiently...line-ups (and traffic tie-ups) are a chance to stop. Just...stop. When I get 'wrapped up', I miss the big picture.

Peace,
Anne
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Postby DebbieV » Thu Nov 15, 2007 11:14 pm

"Our real purpose is to fit ourselves to be of maximum service to God and the people about us."


This is the thing I am learning in A.A. (fellowship and the book)

I have found that a few things had to happen for me before I could even start to be a MAXIMUM service to the people about me.

1. I had to come to believe in a power greater than myself.
2. I had to surrender to that power. (That I now call God)
3. I had to learn to love God.
4. I had to learn to trust God in all of my affairs.

When I do the things above, I start to have compassion for others around me, in and out of the program.

Then, after the compassion starts to come, I start to have trust in the people around me in and out of the program, because I trust that God will take care of all issues that caused me not to trust in the first place.

Then, after the trust, I learn to love the people around me, in and out of the program, (not all of them, I am not a saint) because I feel the love inside for God and the love he has for me, and it automatically affects how I look and feel about people.

I have learned in the last few months, this nifty little tool.....I am sure I was told, but the stubborn person I am, I have to live and experience it for myself, before it sinks in.

For me, helping others keeps me sober (along with various other things)
and to do that, I have to start with "Came to believe".

Kind of neat how the steps work. :D

Debbie
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Postby littlemiss » Fri Nov 16, 2007 10:38 am

[quote="garden variety"]

Why can I never "have a good day" or "find happiness"? Because a "good day" and "happiness" are byproducts. Just like steam. Steam is a byproduct of a process - a process that involves "work" or "action". What I have learned is that I never, ever, have to try to have a good day or try to find happiness. A good day and happiness are byproducts of a life well-lived.

Spot On... :wink:
Ya know, being new, I ponder WHY some folks Stay Stopped-Sober and MANY just don't...I've heard soooo many in-&-out-&-round-about stories in meeting rooms the past few months...
Just yesterday a woman had 7 months...& then for WHATEVER reason (was the world series & her husband had a bottle of opened wine on the table)...she drank the sucker...She has "no idea" why...

Thank God that there is NO alcohol in my house unless *I* am buying it... :lol: I don't have to contend w/ a boozing spouse & don't have boozing friends...(but my H. does have boozing clients...OY!...but I don't have to go see them much...)

ANYWAY,
Most of the stories are waaaay worse than that lady's...And guess what? *I* don't want to be ONE of them...
My sponsor says to "stick with the winners" & I AM...and I have to have Hope in myself & God & the Program cuz my dear sweet mother who has 27 years of sobriety (& who was had progressed waaay more into our disease than I have YET) has not gone out in her 27 years...& she still goes to 2 meetings a week/retreats/ & is very active in A.A.

BUT, those crazy stories get my attention...& I'm just listening to what I DON'T WANT to happen to ME...


Thanks Dallas & everyone for your shares...

p.s. - I threw out my alcohol-esque mouthwash, Dallas!... 8)
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Postby Dallas » Fri Nov 16, 2007 11:55 am

:lol: :lol: :lol:

Hang in there Anne Marie!!!

I think you're on to something!!! :wink:

BTW: I use a mouthwash that has peroxide in it. I've never been tempted to swallow the peroxide! :lol:

When I was new the first time in A.A., I used to eat a lot of lemons... and I used Binaca drops. I had a fear of having bad breath. I mean, you know... somebody might have wanted to kiss me, way back then! :lol:

I didn't give up the Binaca until I got a full-blast of what "powerless over alcohol" actually meant.... and I got a second-shot at sobriety. I kept eating the lemons... hoping. :lol: Then, someone showed me some stuff I used to buy in health food stores that was like the Binaca drops, but the active ingredient was chlorophyll and mint. All natural. No alcohol.

Maybe, that's what has kept me sober for 21 years!

No. Not the breath drops and lemons. :lol: I mean getting serious enough about my sobriety and recovery... that I really am willing to go to any lengths to not use alcohol in any form at all. (Not even the dried substitutes!). I've been willing to change my diet, ask before I eat, read labels, keep my eyes open... and... get a sponsor, take the Steps, work the Steps, go to meetings, keep active in A.A., and follow directions! :lol:

And, it's not that difficult now. Sobriety has become a habit. Living sober has become a habit. A good habit. It helps to have a good foundation when starting a new habit. With some discipline and structure, the habit is easy to acquire. Then, it only takes "check-ups and inventories" to make sure I'm hanging on to my habits of sobriety and recovery! :lol:

Take your sobriety seriously... and it will begin to pay you huge positive dividends and rewards and bonuses.

Dallas
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Postby littlemiss » Fri Nov 16, 2007 12:28 pm

[quote="Dallas"]:lol: :lol: :lol:

When I was new the first time in A.A., I used to eat a lot of lemons...


Ya know. I THOUGHT that when I stopped drinking (VINO!) that that yucky taste in my mouth would go away...
Um, not so for ME...
SO, now I'm thinking it's the dang coffee! Ya know coffee is very acidic (not good for the system) & gives us yucky breath ...but I haven't quit coffee yet (only drink 1 or 2 cups a day...)
Has anyone had experience here? I'm thinking of trying ONLY tea (I love tea, also...)
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Postby garden variety » Fri Nov 16, 2007 3:57 pm

Hi Anne Marie,

Glad to see you asking those questions. Keep on asking until you get answers. I know at some meetings they might bite your head off, but you can always bring your nosey behind here and we will just give you the truth in a loving way. That's because we have "backspace" and "edit" features. Too bad we never had those features while drinking, huh?

littlemiss wrote:Ya know, being new, I ponder WHY some folks Stay Stopped-Sober and MANY just don't...I've heard soooo many in-&-out-&-round-about stories in meeting rooms the past few months...
Just yesterday a woman had 7 months...& then for WHATEVER reason (was the world series & her husband had a bottle of opened wine on the table)...she drank the sucker...She has "no idea" why...


Here's one you don't have to ponder - it's a "no brainer". I'm glad there is such a thing as "no-brainers" because folks like me with no brains would be lost without them! :roll: Anyway, the woman in your group picked up a drink again after 7 months for one simple reason: she is an alcoholic. Alcoholics have lost the ability to choose when it comes to alcohol. If it is there in front of me, I will drink it. So will every other alcoholic in this forum.

You see what I'm saying? When I became addicted to alcohol, drinking was never a decision. I just did it. I came up with all kinds of rationalizations, but the bottom line was I had no choice in the matter. I drank because that's what alcoholics do without an active program of recovery at work in their lives.

The reason I don't have a choice is because the alcoholic has no effective mental defense against the first drink. "His defense must come from a Higher Power." All this is in the first 3 chapters of the book.

Which brings me to the ONLY CHOICE I have. I call that the "3rd Step Decision". When I make a decision to turn over my will and my life to the care and direction of a God that I understand, I now have a defense against the first drink. And like the book says, my defense comes from a Power greater than me. And I can never forget that any decision I make is useless unless it is followed by an action, as Dallas will always remind me.

So that's why I tell you, you don't have to ponder or wonder why a sober alcoholic starts drinking again. Right? Capeesh? We drink because we don't have a choice or a defense.

And here is another thing that snags an alcoholic that is running on his/her own will. The books says this in the Appendix II: "Willingness, honesty and open mindedness are the essentials of recovery."

This is real simple, too. H.O.W. (honesty, open mindedness, and willingness) is not a "suggestion". It is ESSENTIAL to recovery. That means that if only one of those elements is missing from my lifestyle, I will drink again. If you look back at your lady friend - I will bet you a dollar to a donut that one of those 3 essential elements was missing, or more than one. It's a guarantee.
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Postby littlemiss » Fri Nov 16, 2007 6:15 pm

Yeah...I am getting you...

And I would think it soooo NOT a good idea to have alcohol in your HOUSE--DUH!
BUT, guess what? I just realized the other day (& then forgot!) that I have a 3-4 year-old bottle of Kaluha liquor on a high shelf that I actually haven't touched (even while drinking!) in about 3 years...cuz I bought it for "Mexican coffees"...I'd made them once for Christmas...Well, One NEEDS tequila to make the coffees (which I never kept hard liquor in my house--'cept for a special occasion...)so I never drank the stuff again cuz I didn't have any tequila... :wink:
Sooooo...ANY-HOO, I just saw it the other day...and shall NOW go dump it out...since I'm remembering again!

AND, I'm wondering if I ought to put away most of the wine glasses in the cupboard...um, even though my daughter likes to have sparkling cider in them... :roll:
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Postby DebbieV » Sat Nov 17, 2007 9:55 am

Hi Anne Marie,

When I started to take the program serious, I think I was about 2 weeks sober and got a sponsor, who made me realize that I wasn't playing a game, I would die if I didn't change some things I was doing and thinking.

One of the first things I did was get rid of all my wine glasses, shot glasses, my favorite beer mug (and my pipe) all of it.... My son and I had a little dance and took turns tossing them in the trash....like we were playing basketball. He thought it was great and it made me feel really good.

From the time I had my last drink I have been around alcohol once, I was with my first sponsor (never alone) We were on a 12 step call, and I believe that goes with what the book says.....

I have known, personally, 5 people who was around alcohol in the last two months, and they all have gone back out.....
One, I don't know if she is still alive.
One is in treatment now.(again)
One can not stay sober, still trying but in and out.
One came back in and went back out.
One is back and so far staying.

I don't think if I was one of the 5 that I would have made it back in, in my opinion the ones who did were lucky, I would be dead.

It says in the BB that we can not have alcohol in any form.....So, the book says it....I believe it....So therefore I am not going to take unnessasery risk, such as being around it, unless I have a legitimate reason (like helping another alcoholic, not because my friends are drinking)

Kind of like being allergic to seafood....I am not going to keep crab legs in the fridge...I know I am never going to eat them....they will kill me.
And I am not going to keep the little cracking things I use to use to eat the crab legs....I never going to eat them again, so why would I need the instruments I used when I ate them before?

That is how I did it...and still do it.....This is not a game for me....I don't temp myself, the alcoholism, or fate for that mater.

MY LIFE DEPENDS ON IT.

Debbie
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