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Gratitude

Old 04-04-2010, 06:18 AM
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Gratitude

Feeling very grateful today. Just been visited at home by Aunt and Uncle. This is particularly poignant because this time last Easter I remember sitting in the conservatory with my uncle and man I was battered mentally and emotionally.

I was suffering from a terible hangover from the previous couple of nights. I must have stunk of booze. I was feeling like cowering away from the world and I couldn't see a way out. I was trying to make small talk about stuff that had been on TV that I know they would have watched but I couldn't actually remember any of it as I was wasted. I remember having to go out to the shop to buy a couple more Bottles to finish me off so to speak.

This time last year I was unemployed, banned from driving, had f*cked up everything in my life for the past 5 years and suffering really badly from depression and self-loathing. My self-esteem was at rock bottom and the only thing of hope that I had was the next binge. I couldn't see a way out.

Fast forward one year and I am a changed man. I have hope and was talking about my future plans and what I have achieved. Also that I am nearly 9 months sober. Not saying this to them to gloat but I think they are genuienly pleased for me as they saw me when I must have looked at my lowest in many ways.

This is all courtesy of total acceptance of my alcoholism and having no shame in being a recovering alcoholic/addict. The knowledge that the first drink is the one that will kill me. This is also courtesy of much hard work on my recovery during the past almost nine months. Thanks also massively to SR and AA.

Alcohol and drugs rob terribly from our futures in order to give a fleeting quick-fix. Alcohol was robbing me of everything, most terribly self-respect and dignity. There is no dignity in drinking at 7.30am in the streets when cars drive past seeing you do this. It used to pain me that probably old friends/relatives saw me in this state. But I couldn't not do it as it was my best friend and solution to this f*cked up world.

Whatever happens don't pick up 'just for today'. It may be a struggle at times but undoubtably it is worth it. Only by lying in the gutter and seeing no way out can I appreciate the beauty of holding my head up high and not feeling ashamed of myself.

peace x
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Old 04-04-2010, 06:58 AM
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Nice one - thanks!
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Old 04-04-2010, 07:17 AM
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I too am grateful for all sobriety has given and shown me. Thanks for the reminder.
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Old 04-04-2010, 07:21 AM
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Once again, a nice post, Neo. Interesting to me because I was just thinking that last year, I went to a local Easter service hungover as well. I remember thinking that I was so locked into the merry-go-round of despair, quick fix, then deeper despair, and I could not envision a way out.

I think a lot about what I can offer someone who is caught in that God awful loop, because I lived it for so long. It seems to me that, in early sobriety, it is so hard to see that light at the end of the tunnel. We have known despair for so long and the chains are so hard to dislodge. Those first few months were agonizing...recalibrating my body, my mind, my emotions and it was so easy to get derailed. Instant relief was just an impulse away as a reaction to whatever I perceived was wrong with my world and how I thought it should be. The only thing I could do was take a deep breath and slowly, too slowly for this quick-fix alcoholic, learn that whatever thought, emotion, or situation was raging in my head at the time, would pass, if only I could wait it out. And it did. Every time. But it took me a long time to accept that and cease swimming upstream. Then one day I stopped living in insanity and started "seeing" the insanity from the tiniest fraction of a distance. Once that happened, I knew that I had "crossed over", so to speak. Certainly I, personally, could not have kept going had I not seen positive changes in my sense of self, my relationships and my life. But they were microscopic at first. Like watching a tree grow. You can't actually see it growing but, lo and behold, one day it is taller.

Today, I have hope. I have gratitude. And I have a chance at becoming whom I am meant to be.

Thank you, Neo, for starting this thread. We are on the same page, you and I. One day at a time, my friend. Right?
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Old 04-04-2010, 09:53 AM
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Yes, being "present" in those moments with family and loved ones is a true gift of sobriety - I am very grateful for that too.
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Old 04-04-2010, 09:57 AM
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Great post Neo. As always, a lot of good stuff for us all to think about and learn from. Happy Easter.
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Old 04-04-2010, 06:07 PM
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Neo

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Old 04-05-2010, 06:53 AM
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Just got back from an NA event. Was up at 8.00am this morning on a bank holiday!!haha. Who'd have thought it?!

What I have realised is how easy it is to lose sight of all the progress and things that I have achieved in the last 9 months. I can go into my own head sometimes and lose track of what I have actually achieved. 9 months doesn't happen overnight but has to be worked for 'one day at a time'.

I am feeling so grateful again for my recovery from my alcoholism and what I have achieved. I truly realise, appreciate and am cherishing my sobriety. It is so easy to start taking it for granted and losing sight of the reality of the situation. Everything that I have gained/achieved in sobriety is solely because I placed sobriety above all else. Without my sobriety then I have nothing anyway and also would be back doing drugs again too. As long as I stay away from the booze 'just for today' then i can achieve anything that I set out to achieve. "Sometimes quickly, Sometimes slowly"

peace and love
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