A New Meaning

“Before I did the steps thoroughly I was in a world cut off from character-building and spiritual growth… After doing the daily deal… my life has taken on a new meaning… the aim of my life is spiritual growth. I love my life!” – Recovery Text from Mike in AA

That about sums it up right there. What was the purpose of my life before I started really immersing myself in recovery and working a solid program on a daily basis? It was about getting those things that I thought would make me happy. I drank booze, smoked, snorted, and ate drugs before I got sober. After that stopped working I threw myself into work to make money, got married and had a baby. While I experienced lots of joy, the long lasting inner peace and happiness I sought was still illusive. I finally found it at 20 years sober by having, and working, a clear system of recovery and spiritual growth. When I do the daily deal ILML! 

– JamieQ

The Daily Deal

“She couldn’t understand what was wrong with those who were mean to her… she pretended what they said was an arrow that sailed right by as she stepped out of the way… What others say or think is part of them and their lives, not ours.” – Today’s Gift

It’s not so easy to let mean words from others sail past me, particularly when they come from the mouths of those closest to me. Yes, I understand that their words (in theory) reflect more upon them, but let’s face it, us alcoholics and ALAnon’s are pretty sensitive. My ability to deflect unkind or judgmental statements is directly correlated to my spiritual and emotionally health. When I plug in and do the daily deal (the things mentioned in my blog), ILML! 

– JamieQ

That Tiny Piece of Me

“When we have the door to faith open and, though self-will may slam it shut again (as it frequently does) it will always respond the moment we again pick up the key of willingness.” – Adapted from 12&12 p.34

The 12 steps often speak of “Self-will run riot”. I have, up until exactly 122 days ago tried to run my life as I saw fit. I can say that the one thing that I have learned in the preceding days since my surrender is that I haven’t got a fucking clue how to do it. I can sit and point fingers all day and say that the reason that I was failing and being miserable in the process was because my teachers picked on me or my parents were terrible etc etc but the truth is really as simple as this: I turned my back on my higher power.

I decided at some point that I didn’t need any kind of spirituality in my life. I can’t pinpoint that exact moment but what I can say is that it led me down a road filled with uncertainty, unhappiness and fear.
How does a man without faith deal with fear? He tries to escape by whatever means necessary. He drinks. He drugs. He eats. He fucks. He fights. He hates his past. He cowers from the future. He ignores the present. He lives in a perpetual state of denial.

Then one day, when he is ready, God will be there for him. Waiting patiently. All that he has to do is find a tiny little piece of him that is willing to peek and see what it is like when you live in faith and not fear.

I am grateful beyond belief that I was given the direction and opportunity to peek behind the door and see for myself. I am also grateful for the slogan “Progress not perfection”. I know that self-will can never be fully eradicated and that I may have to go through pain or suffering to allow me to see that I have closed the door.

But, provided that I can find that tiny little piece of me that is willing to try then it can almost be guaranteed that I will once again Love My Life. 

– Adam

Throw Up Your Hands

“Sooner or later, everyone arrives at a point where life seems to have become too big to cope with… we have to get life back in focus… we have lost our perspective…” – Acceptance: The way to serenity and peace of mind

Things are actually going great in my life right now. Of course, the Boogie Man is always hiding in the closet and waiting to scare me, but my life is truly blessed and I’m living in the solution. But it’s not always been like that. Life throws us some curveballs once in awhile. I’ve been through the death of loved ones, divorce, financial ruin, and life threatening illness. Each time I got through it the same way: I surrendered. I threw up my hands, said “Enough, I cannot do this anymore. It is too painful. Please help me.” I stopped trying to fix it. I made amends and forgave. When I’m sick and tired of the pain I cease fighting anyone and anything,  I waive the white flag and really give it to God, I join the winning side. Then, and only then, will ILML! 

– JamieQ

Enjoy the Experience

” I can regard everything that happens in my life as a gift… find something positive hidden within a difficult situation… When it gets dark enough, you can see the stars.” – Courage to Change 

Rather than share my experience strength and hope on this excerpt, I’ll share Michael A. Singer’s from The Untethered Soul. John F sent this to me, and it’s fits so perfectly, I couldn’t resist. “In the end, enjoying life’s experiences is the only rational thing to do. You’re sitting on a planet spinning around in the middle of absolutely nowhere. Go ahead, take a look at reality. You’re floating in empty space in a universe that goes on forever. If you have to be here, at least be happy and enjoy the experience. You’re going to die anyway. Things are going to happen anyway. Why shouldn’t you be happy? You gain nothing by being bothered by life’s events. It doesn’t change the world; you just suffer. There’s always going to be something that can bother you, if you let it.” Because I make a conscious decision each day to not let things things bother me, ILML!

– JamieQ

Thank-You-Ness

“Awareness is the first step toward positive change and growth… toward solving the problem…” The Language of Letting Go 

Usually when I’m struggling with something, going over and over and over again about it, my head is spinning in a useless cycle that doesn’t go anywhere. And finding any type of resolution when I’m in that state of mind is impossible. So what do I do when I become aware of this destructive cycle? I put the pen to paper. I’ve discovered that talking about it to myself – and even others sometimes – is far less effective at quieting my mind, finding solutions, and getting back to a peaceful place – then journaling out what’s on my mind. Journaling provides clarity, something my mind often can’t do by itself. It also takes the emotion down a few notches and helps me to remember that the most important thing is not this situation or problem or feeling, but getting myself back into gratitude. Because when I’m in a place of thank-you-ness, ILML! 

– JamieQ

Feeling Crappy Isn’t Fun

“… we no longer need to behave in ways that conflict with our best interests and values… This program has given us the tools to become the people we’d like to be.” – In God’s Care

I’m a life lover today, but it hasn’t always been like that. In the past, usually when I most needed it, I did not go to a meeting or journal or open up my spiritual backpack or pray or meditate or exercise. I did not get enough sleep, ate poorly, inappropriately expressed anger, and remained in fear for extended periods of time. Why? Because I hadn’t practiced my life loving rituals enough to have formed a habit. And so, I paid the price of unhappiness. These days I’ve learned to be consistent and do the daily deal in order to become a man that I can be proud of. This repetition came from my determination to no longer live in pain – feeling crappy isn’t fun. Today I rarely behave in ways that complicate my life. And when I do, I make living amends quickly. By performing esteemable acts of kindness, ILML! 

– JamieQ