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Old 05-18-2018, 11:04 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: UK
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As far as finding ways of being grateful, one way that many of us have found useful is as basic as making a gratitude list. Many recovery journaling books even have a specific area to note gratitudes for the day in. There is a subforum for specific gratitude threads as well...

One thing that was massive for me in recovery was learning to adjust my expectations of others, and that by extending grace to others my serenity increases and the quality of my sobriety is improved. Being critical and resentful (my general state in early sobriety) left me in a constant state of irritation, disappointment and unhappiness. It wasn't easy to change my attitude, and when I get tired or the pressure is really on its easy to find myself knee-jerk reacting to things in my old ways.

There is an AA speaker called Earl Hightower whose words have helped me a lot over the last few years. This morning he posted this on his Facebook page....

“Create moments of pause. Life with pause provides grace where there has previously been stress. This is living consciously.” ~Guru Singh

The idea expressed here so eloquently by Guru Singh is one that has been suggested to me many times, in many ways. The simplest was, “Pause when agitated.” This one suggestion has most likely kept me out of prison or at the very least, kept me from a life of complete solitude. One of my mantras is a subtle variation on this; “Wait for the second thought.”

So, what’s the big value in this? It seems that my first thought is often impulsive; a reaction and based in fear. On an emotional level, I seem to revert to protection of self and an avoidance of anything that resembles disclosing my honest feelings.

Sometimes, as early as the second thought, my hard fought efforts to join the human race kick in. I can take a breath and do something very different from my initial knee-jerk reaction; I can respond. The difference between a reaction and a response is the grace that Guru Singh speaks of.

In pausing, I can breathe in my belief as to who I wish to be rather than react to push the world away. The pause allows for the higher self to affect my response. It still takes me a beat to acknowledge concern beyond self. The meditative pause is to notice the difference between actions harmful to self and others, from actions beneficial to self and others. The ability for me to choose between these is found in the breath within the pause.


Anyway - I hope you feel better soon. In the meantime try not to react on your first thoughts. Just because we feel a certain way, doesn't mean to say it's right. Those feelings of ours really are all over the place and quite unreliable in early recovery.

There is a saying: When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging. And this step is simple, this is the point when we decide to put down the shovel and assess how deep the hole really is.
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