Saturday, March 31, 2012

Friday, March 30, 2012

another week gone by ...

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for reminders I've been privy to this week ..........

that life is much better sober than drunk
that I prefer to remember friends as they were when healthy (rather than on their death bed)
that newcomers to sobriety are some of my greatest teachers
that my best is good enough
that I absolutely must talk about what's on my mind or else I can blow anything out of proportion

A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer.
- Bruce Lee

Thursday, March 29, 2012


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I'm sober.
that I'm alive.

Another friend died yesterday from this damn disease.  He was in the program on and off for about 15 years, but hasn't been sober for the past 3 or 4 years.  A wonderful man and father when he was sober.
I will keep good memories of his life, but learn more lessons from his death.

F_ _ k this damn disease.

Live with intention.
Walk to the edge.
Listen hard.
Practice wellness.
Play with abandon.
Choose with no regret.
Appreciate your friends.
Continue to learn.
Do what you love.
Live as if this is all there is.
- Mary Anne Radmacher

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Short, but sweet!

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the 6:30am meeting I attend every M-F
for the stories we read in the Big Book (Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th edition).
Yesterday we read "Gutter Bravado" page 501.  Here's a paragraph that really speaks to me ........
"The meetings gave me what my sponsor likes to call one of the most important words in the Big Book:  A.A. put a "we" in my life.  "We admitted we were powerless over alcohol ...."   I no longer had to be alone.  Fellowship and activity kept me coming back long enough to work the Twelve Steps.  The more I did, the better I felt.  I started hanging out with my sponsor and some active people at the meetings.  They showed me how gratitude is something that is demonstrated, not talked about.  Gratitude is action."

that baseball season is just about upon us.  I'm ready!!!!!

Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are.
- Marianne Williamson

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

workin' it

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that my happiness does not depend on things going my way.  When I'm just able to go with the flow of life, I am usually quite serene, if not just downright happy.

for the honesty and courage of my recovery friends at the 6:30am meeting I attend every weekday.  It seems that we who regularly attend that meeting (1) are willing to do whatever it takes to stay sober  (2) are crazy.

for slow changes that occur to people in recovery; sometimes so subtle that it's not noticed until long after it happens.

Success is a state of mind.
If you want success, start thinking of yourself as a success.
- Joyce Brothers

Monday, March 26, 2012

Welcome back!

A real police car.  It was seized in a drug raid and fitted out as a patrol vehicle.

todAAy i  AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I have no desire to drink alcohol today.  Again.

for an interesting weekend.  It seemed like a number of people were very irritable, to the point of being ugly to other people.  Because I seem to be spiritually fit, I didn't get involved but was able to watch from the sidelines.  I credit recovery tools I have acquired in both Alcoholics Anonymous and Al Anon.

for sponsees.  The spiritual and emotional experience I gain from working with others is absolutely priceless!

that I have no desire to drink alcohol today.  Again.  (did I already mention that?)

The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.
- Dale Carnegie

Sunday, March 25, 2012

How to Cope

Maybe you got fired, you can't find a job, your bank account is overdrawn, and life looks hopeless. Maybe you or your family is suffering a health crisis, or your spouse left your long-term-marriage. Whatever the specifics, when they attack, troubles seem to gang up on you. One problem leads to another until you feel your world is ending. The loss of job, health, or marriage leads to loss of financial security, and any sort of crisis leads to emotional depression. How to cope when life lands a one-two punch?

Respond to the crisis with a three-phase counter-attack:

1. Acceptance: Before you can recover from a crisis, you have to acknowledge that the devastation before your eyes is real. When life broadsides you, your first instinct is to look at the flaming crumpled wreck in disbelief and think, "This isn't real, this can't have just happened." But it did happen, and you can't move back the hands of time and ask the director for take-two. This isn't a movie, it's your real life. As William Shakespeare said, "What's done is done."

True acceptance requires giving up all resentments and regrets. Blame is not going to fix anything. Screaming at your ex-boss or ex-husband or sticking pins in their voodoo doll isn't going to change your situation, and it will make you feel even more upset.

The key to acceptance is forgiveness of everyone, especially yourself, for everything that has ever occurred. Forgiveness is for yourself - so you can release yourself from the fires of anger and hatred that will otherwise burn your spirit to a cinder. Adopt an attitude of forgiveness - not so your ex-boss or ex-husband can sleep better, but so you can transform your own nightmares into sweet dreams.

2. Faith: If you are deeply religious, you know what this means. In any case, have faith in your own abilities and in your future.

3. Action: Acceptance and faith are important, but they are not enough. Believe in the future and don't worry, but also keep taking action.

When you get hit by a sequence of challenges, such as job loss, financial worries, and depression, you need to respond with all three: Acceptance, Faith, and Action.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

3-legged chicken

Juan was driving down a country lane in his pickup when suddenly a chicken darted into the road in front of him. He slammed on his brakes, but realized that the chicken was speeding off down the road at about 30 miles an hour. Intrigued, he tried to follow the bird with his truck, but he couldn't catch up to the accelerating chicken.

Seeing it turn into a small farm, Juan followed it. To his astonishment, he realized that the chicken had three legs. Looking around the small farm, he noticed that ALL of the chickens had three legs.

The farmer came out of his house, and Juan said, "Three-legged chickens? That's astonishing!"

The farmer replied, "Yep. I bred 'em that way because I love drumsticks."

Juan was curious. "How does a three-legged chicken taste?"

The farmer smiled. "Dunno. Haven't been able to catch one yet."

***** Now, go enjoy your Saturday.

Friday, March 23, 2012

so long, this week

    Places I've been.  So far.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I don't have knee-jerk reactions.  I'm amazed at the "contempt prior to investigation" of some of my friends on Facebook regarding things in the news.  "Hang 'em!"  "Lock him up and throw away the key."  " He's a Democrat.  He can't be right."  "He's a Republican.  He sucks."
I don't have to over-react.  I can gather the facts first.  That usually eliminates the need to act or even think irressponsibly.  I can pause when agitated or disturbed.   Isn't this what recovery is about?

OK.  A friend with 23 years in recovery and is still very active with service work had a farewll party last night.  There were about 40 of us at his dinner.  He's moving back to West Hollywood after being in Houston 3 years.  What a fun time, being with so many real people.

As long as a man stands in his own way, everything seems to be in his way.- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Trying not to stand still

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I know, without any doubt, that I am not recovered from alcoholism.  I hope I never think that I am fully recovered.  I have no desire to drink alcohol and I have not had any desire since the last day I drank in 2003.  But I am still an alcoholic.  My thinking is still alcoholic.  I am NOT wired like a non-alcoholic.  As a result of these things, I will keep going to AA meetings, keep working with others and basically keep doing all the other things I do in recovery.  Why change?  It works.

Be not afraid of growing slowly,
be afraid only of standing still.
- Chinese Proverb

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Funny how this works ......

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I'm still amazed that I wake up totally sober every morning

that I can no longer justify bad behavior (that doesn't mean I don't exhibit bad behavior at times)

that as my life became more manageable, I became a better person

that I'll trudge the road.  again.  today. 

We've got this gift of love, but love is like a precious plant.
You can't just accept it and leave it in the cupboard
or just think it's going to get on by itself.
You've got to keep watering it.
You've got to really look after it and nurture it.
- John Lennon

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

For ...........

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for Step 6. 
for entirely ready.
for a defense against drinking.
for serenity (most of the time)
for newcomers who remind me
for old-timers who show me
for paved roads where I live

A man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.
- Muhammad Ali

Monday, March 19, 2012

To the basics. To the basics.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I got another chance at life a few years ago, beginning with the first day I was sober

that I vividly remember how I felt after 30 days of being sober.  I felt then that I could do this thing.  I really could stay sober.

for slow spiritual development. I don't believe I could do it any quicker and still remain sane-ish.

for an afternoon spent with my newest sponsee, getting to know each other

Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain, and most fools do.
- Benjamin Franklin

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Get Your Life Back!

What To Do When Your Whole World Is Falling Apart? 
6 Support Ideas To Stop Anxiety and Give You Back Your Life
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

What if you lost your job, your house burned down, the creditors were closing in, and your marriage had become hellishly confrontational? No, that's not make believe. That's the real life of a real person. How can you maintain a positive outlook under such stress and strain?

Six ways to find joy in the face of overwhelming circumstances:

1. Start by finding things for which to be grateful. Gratitude is crucial to your happiness. If you are reading this article, you are alive and your brain is functioning fairly well. Start your gratitude list with living, breathing, and thinking. Add every blessing, however tiny, to your list. Every moment without pain is a blessing, every bite of food, every bird, tree, and butterfly. Give thanks for every "hello," and every smile.

2. Give thanks, also, for the life lessons. Make a list of what you have learned - yes, a written list. Be grateful for each lesson. Life lessons often come at great cost, but they are priceless jewels.

3. Do you have a support system - friends and family you can confide in? If so, be very grateful, and use that network now. Don't be embarrassed to seek emotional support from those you respect and love. If you don't feel you have a support network, find one in your church or community, and be grateful for those who are willing to be of service.

4. Care for your body and spirit with special attention and gentleness in this time of great challenge. Several times each day, take a moment to breathe deeply and center yourself. Consider beginning yoga or qigong. Eat healthy, keep hydrated. Get enough sleep. If you have trouble sleeping, pay special attention to the rest of the ideas in this article, they will all help you sleep better.

5. Begin each day with a silent walk: Get up a half hour earlier to make time for it. While a walk in a natural setting is ideal, a walk on city streets will do fine. Thoughts, angers, resentments, and fears will form in your mind as you walk. That "mind chatter" is always with us whenever we are not focused on a specific mental activity, and it gets much stronger when we are stressed. Neither resent the mind chatter, nor let it linger. Say "thank you" to each passing thought, anger, resentment, or fear - then release it and return to your silent walk.

6. Release your angers, resentments, and fears by feeding your troubles and fears to the cleansing fire: Light a candle or small fire. Write one trouble or fear on a piece of paper, and feed it to the fire, while releasing the issue to Spirit. Repeat until you can no longer think of another issue that burdens you.

May your days be bright with joy and hope.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy Paddy's Day ........

Seamus and Paddy were on their way home from the pub, were stumblin up the country road in near darkness,
"Seamus, I think we've stumbled into the graveyard - look, I can see a stone here that says a man lived to 105!"

"Glory be Malarki, was it anybody we knew?"

"No, twas somebody named 'Miles from Dublin'"

Paddy was driving down the street in a sweat because he had an important meeting and couldn't find a parking place.   Looking up to heaven he said, 'Lord take pity on me.   If you find me a parking place I will go to Mass every Sunday for the rest of me life and give up me Irish Whiskey!' 
Miraculously, a parking place appeared.

Paddy looked up again and said, 'Never mind, I found one.'

An Irish priest is driving down to  New York  and gets stopped for speeding in Connecticut .   The state trooper smells alcohol on the priest's breath and then sees an empty wine bottle on the floor of the car.

He says, 'Sir, have you been drinking?'

'Just water,' says the priest.

The trooper says, 'Then why do I smell wine?'

The priest looks at the bottle and says, 'Good Lord! He's done it again!'

Friday, March 16, 2012

as we enter the weekend .........

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that it takes so little effort to be friendly

that I can go into this St Patrick's Day without the need or desire to drink or get drunk.

that I have less fear of life than I ever have

for all of my friends and acquaintances who have passed away before me.  They each meant something different to me, in their own way.  I bring this up because one died Wednesday and another may die today or tomorrow.  I accept their passing as God-given and I know it's not for me to take it personally but instead to accept and have compassion.

May God grant you always...
A sunbeam to warm you,
a moonbeam to charm you,
a sheltering Angel so nothing can harm you.
Laughter to you.
Faithful friends near you.
And whenever you pray,
Heaven to hear you.
- Irish Blessing

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Acceptance. Always.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that this paragraph means so much to me that I'm taking the time to type it out this morning.  It's from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.

"And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today.  When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing, or situation -- some fact of my life -- unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.  Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in God's world by mistake.  Until I could accept my alcoholism, I could not stay sober; unless I accept life completely on life's terms, I cannot be happy.  I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes."

Pretty much, when I can remember this concept, I'm a happy fella no matter what's going on.

The grass is not always greener
on the other side of the fence.
Fences have nothing to do with it.
The grass is greenest where it is watered.
When crossing over fences, carry water with you and tend the grass wherever you may be.
- Anonymous

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Just plain grateful

Ferrari engine

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I live in a city that has over 2000 AA meetings every week.  I'm lucky enough to attend 13 of them.

that it only took me 3 months of AA meetings to realize that alcohol was the problem, not the solution

that I have not had ONE temptation (yet) to drink or get drunk since I had a spiritual awakening in September 2003.  Ladies and Gentlemen, this is a Miracle!

that I am sure I'll stay completely free of all alcoholic beverages today 

Here is a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished:
If you're alive, it isn't.
- Richard Bach

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

No-title Tuesday

1953 Hudson Hornet

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I'm slowly learning how to handle sobriety.  It begins by ..... not drinking.

for the trust that I learned how to give when I got a sponsor and proceeded through the steps.  Especially step 5.

that I'm not a fighter.  Neither physically nor verbally.  I see those who are and frankly, I just can't see any advantages in it.

The best time to make friends is before you need them.
- Ethel Barrymore

Monday, March 12, 2012

That busy third year .........

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for my first three years in recovery.  My partner had moved out of the house because of my wretched behavior.  He actually returned to his home country (in the Caribbean) to go back to school for post-graduate studies.  While we kept in touch, I was left to focus on my recovery program.  It developed just the way it was supposed to.  I became involved in everything at my recovery center and learned all about service work on many levels.  I was able to retire due to my Mom's illness and she turned over her income for me to handle.  At 3 years sober, she had a major stroke and I became her primary caretaker.  My partner also moved back to join me after finishing his degree.

that today, I love my life.  I am blessed to be alive and blessed to be sober.  How can I not give back to a program that gave me a new life?

The depth and strength of a human character are defined by its moral reserves.
People reveal themselves completely
only when they are thrown out of the customary conditions of their life,
for only then do they have to fall back on their reserves.
- Leon Trotsky

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Don't Worry, Be Happy

How To Be Happy In Life - The 9 Paths To Happiness
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Sometimes it appears that life throws more obstacles in our path than we can handle. However, even in the face of the most challenging circumstances, you can make the choice to be happy by following these 9 paths to happiness.

1. Honor Yourself: Remember what the flight attendant says, "Put your own oxygen mask on first." You are of no use to anyone else if you have not taken care of your own needs first - this includes your own emotional, as well as physical, well-being.

2. Forgive Everyone For Everything: Forgiveness is a gift to yourself. YOU created the stress in your life by getting angry, and YOU can instantly remove that stress by granting forgiveness. Expressing your forgiveness to the other is optional - internalizing that forgiveness is required in order to live a joyful life. Don't forget to also forgive yourself for everything you regret ever having done or not done.

3. Have Gratitude For All Of Life: As with forgiveness, gratitude is a gift to yourself. Saying "thank you" is a powerful way to create great relationships, but the real power of gratitude is internalizing an immense thankfulness for your very existence - everything that has ever occurred or failed to occur in your life.

4. Respect Your Mind: Faith is powerful, but it is no substitute for observing, paying attention, weighing alternatives, and choosing with intention. Without conscious choice, there is no freedom or happiness.

5. Design Your Future: Don't be a passive tumbleweed blown by the winds of life. Envision the future you want, and then take action to create that future. Often, you will fail. Plan again and take action again.

6. Begin Today, and Never Give Up: There is no better time to begin than today - each and every "today." When obstacles stop you, think of new ways to reach your goals. In the words of the Oriental proverb, "Fall seven times, stand up eight."

7. Be Of Service To Others By Radiating Happiness: Being of service is one of the greatest paths to happiness, but remember that your greatest service to others is the person that you are, rather than the tasks you accomplish. Your greatest gift to others is to give them happiness, and by far the most powerful way to do that is to be an example of happiness and to radiate that happiness to others.

8. Dance Lightly With Life: Life does not have to be a serious undertaking. You will make mistakes, you will feel regrets, and eventually, you will die - so what? Happiness comes from dancing lightly with life - playing hopscotch on the river of life - leaping gracefully from joy to joy while laughing at the threats of calamity - even laughing hysterically at our human frailness when we do fall into the muddy torrent.

9. Know Unity With Spirit: There are as many ways to connect with Spirit as there are people - each of us has our own way to receive strength and serenity from the Infinite. Your life will be happier if you acknowledge that you are not alone, become open to that presence, and create ritual to celebrate your connection. You may feel your bond with Spirit at the Lord's Supper, in Songs of Praise, in Calls to Prayer, in Meditation, while doing Yoga or Qigong, or while walking in the woods. However you connect with Spirit, do it today.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Why We Drank

We drank for happiness and became unhappy.

We drank for joy and became miserable.
We drank for sociability and became argumentative.

We drank for sophistication and became obnoxious.

We drank for friendship and made enemies.

We drank for sleep and awakened without rest.

We drank for strength and felt weak.

We drank “medicinally” and acquired health problems.

We drank for relaxation and got the shakes.

We drank for bravery and became afraid.

We drank for confidence and became doubtful.

We drank to make conversation easier and slurred our speech.

We drank to feel heavenly and ended up feeling like hell.

We drank to forget and were forever haunted.

We drank for freedom and became slaves.

We drank to erase problems and saw them multiply.

We drank to cope with life and invited death.

Friday, March 09, 2012

What's Really Important?

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & .  thAAnkful

that I do my best to just keep things as uncomplicated as possible.  We read and discussed AA's Tradition Five yesterday.  "Each group has but one primary purpose -- to carry the message to the alcoholic who still suffers."  All the peripheral things and the glitter are nice, but when it comes down to it, I have to remember why I'm here.  In another meeting, there were shares about how the newcomer feels at those first few meetings.  It's easy to forget this as time goes by.  But it's vital to remember. 
When I was new to AA, I was in doubt that these people were as sober as they said.  If they were, then maybe they weren't really as alcoholic as me.  I thought that the talk of a Higher Power was bullshit.  Psychic change?  You gotta be kidding. 

Little did I know.

And little do I know now.

Have a great weekend!

Greatness lies, not in being strong, but in the right using of strength;
and strength is not used rightly when it serves only to carry a man above his fellows for his own solitary glory.
He is the greatest whose strength carries up the most hearts by the attraction of his own.
- Henry Ward Beecher

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Apparently, I'm a little different.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I step to the beat of a different drummer (I don't dance).  I always have and guess I always will.  So many times in AA meetings, I have heard people talk about feeling different when they were young and growing up.  Well, that applies to me too.  I never fit in with most of the kids my age.  I enjoyed being around adults. 
I wanted to be a teacher as far back as I can remember (age 4 or 5).  I pretended to play teacher at home.  I looked up to my teachers throughout elementary school especially.  I had little or no interest in the other kids. 
Then came puberty and adolesence.  I really felt different.  And I was, but I didn't know how different I was .  I didn't know about the gay concept, but I knew I wasn't the same as the other guys.
Then came drinking and drugs.  They made me feel more like I fit in.  And so on and so on .......

I don't know what got me started on this, but here you have it.

Enjoy your day.

Whenever you're in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make the difference between damaging your relationship and deepening it. That factor is attitude.
- William James

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

attitude, schmattitude

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that my attitude today will guide my happiness today (or lack of it)

for new people, trying to stay sober, who remind me why I'm also trying to stay sober

for those with the courage to save their butts from the disease of alcoholism

that I'm gonna do my best today; join me?

The trick is in what one emphasizes.
We either make ourselves miserable,
or we make ourselves happy.
The amount of work is the same.
- Carlos Castaneda

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

participating in my own program

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the benefits from working and practicing Step 4 -- "Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves."  After doing this with my sponsor, I got 3 immediate results (1) seeing patterns of my thinking (2) seeing patterns of my thinking and (3) seeing patterns of my thinking.
But seriously folks, I now am able to see my part in just about everything that happens in my life. 
I call it my resentment prevention step.

that I'm doing pretty well these days in spite of the fact that I'm not currently working steps with any sponsees.  This is new for me.  Since I began sponsoring people at 1 year sober, I've almost always been working steps with someone.

how AA-speak turns up in most areas of my life.  Of course, most people I am in contact with are AAer's.

Appreciation is a wonderful thing.
It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.
- Voltaire

Monday, March 05, 2012

as life continues .......

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a most peaceful weekend -- no drama at all in my life

for those moments in life that are defining.  For me, a few are (1) the assassination of JFK when I was 9 years old (2) the first moon landing in 1969 when I was 15 (3) when I graduated from college at age 22 (4) when I first stepped foot in the UK in 1989.  Something inside of me told me I was finally home.  (5) when I met Hayden, my partner, in 2002  (6) when I got sober in 2003

I could write a lot about each of those experiences, but I won't.  What are yours?

Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself, and know that everything in life has purpose.
There are no mistakes, no coincidences,
all events are blessings given to us to learn from.

- Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Living in the Moment

The Paradox Of Living In The Moment - How To Be Happy Today And Prepare For Tomorrow
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Are you feeling stressed and upset? If so, you are worrying about tomorrow. Events that have already occurred may cause you regret, but they only appear to cause worry. If you just lost your job, you are not worrying about losing your job - that already happened. You are worrying about paying your bills and finding a new job. Those are worries about tomorrow.

Worrying is just a natural human emotion, and everyone worries, right? Actually not. Worry is a bad habit that most people acquire, and like all habits, can be broken.

When you worry about what may or may not occur in the future, you miss the joy that is available today - each and every day. So is the answer to focus only on today, and let tomorrow take care of itself? That sounds good - until tomorrow arrives and you are not prepared.

It's a paradox. How does one balance living in the now with preparing responsibly for the future? The key to this dilemma lies in the distinction between "worrying about the future," and "preparing for the future." The two concepts are not at all the same.

There are two aspects to preparing for the future. The one that is more familiar to most people is planning. You know the mortgage is due next week so you save the money - You know you want to fit into your clothes tomorrow, so you forgo that second helping. Planning for the future is fully compatible with living joyfully today.

The other aspect of preparing for the future is accepting that things will probably not turn out the way you plan. Creating this acceptance of life's uncertainties is much more challenging than formulating and following through on plans.

The source of most worry is a lack of acceptance of the uncertainties of the future. When one fully lives a life of acceptance, life's vagaries are not merely tolerated, but are enjoyed because they are life's gifts. If one is religiously inclined, whatever life delivers is a gift from the Creator. If one holds other beliefs, then whatever happens is just what there is to work with - so why not enjoy it.

The recipe for a joyful life is planning and preparing for the future, while simultaneously accepting that you hold virtually no control over future events. By placing no demands on the future, you can enjoy whatever it brings.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Make Yourself Miserable!

Make Yourself Miserable
If you feel compelled to live a miserable life, these 10 powerful tips will put you well on your way toward misery. The common theme of these tips is convincing yourself that you are different from other people - either better than or not as good as they are - and that you don't share the same basic human values, aspirations, and concerns that they do.

1. Be Envious: Always be on the lookout for people who have high-paying jobs, or have inherited money or won the lottery, or who appear to have easy access to desirable romantic partners, or who are especially physically fit. Then focus your attention on what you are lacking. Be very careful never to compare your own life with the life of anyone who has less than you do.

2. Be Jealous: Jealousy goes beyond envy. Envy is merely wanting desperately to have what someone else has. Jealousy adds the element of resentment. So, not only focus on wanting what others have, but constantly reaffirm your belief that others don't deserve what they have. Have the self-talk with yourself that, if you were simply more powerful, you would take what others have for yourself, and see to it that they suffer. After all, you "deserve" the "good stuff" and no one else does.

3. Be Ungrateful: You know that you deserve better. So why didn't God give you more money, better looks, better health, better romantic partners? Keep stewing about what you don't have, and the injustice that you don't have it. Another great trick for making yourself miserable, besides envy and jealousy, is to focus on what you no longer have. You keep getting older, you lost money in the stock market or you lost your job. Remind yourself that if you lost your job or some money that there is absolutely nothing left in your life to be grateful for.

4. Think Negatively About Yourself: Negative self-talk is a powerful way to make yourself miserable. Keep thinking about how inadequate you are. You could never accomplish anything useful, or be of service to anyone else, could you? Poor me. Woe is me. To be even more miserable, practice feeling guilt and shame for things you have done. Never let yourself forget how bad you are.

5. Refuse Help From Others: Know that whenever anyone offers to help you that he or she is either looking for a way to take advantage of you, or is simply feeling superior and secretly enjoying your troubles. No one would ever help you just because they were kind and generous. You know that the world doesn't work that way. To keep yourself miserable, remember never to accept help from anyone.

6. Be Sure That You Know Better Than Anyone Else: Always being right is a great way to keep yourself miserable. Know how the world should be run, and label everyone who thinks differently as either "stupid" or "immoral." Politics is a great arena in which to be always right. You KNOW what should be done about health care, education, immigration, imports, jobs, wars, contraception, the environment, and the other issues of the day. Not only can you make yourself miserable by calling anyone who disagrees with you "stupid" or "immoral," you can get a nice flush from your high blood pressure.

7. Hold Grudges: If you want to stay miserable, avoid forgiveness at all costs. You can easily keep yourself miserable over a single incident that happened years ago. Just keep reminding yourself that "they" were bad and don't deserve forgiveness.

8. Be Resentful: Resentment is somewhat like envy, jealousy, or holding a grudge, but it deserves its own special place in the top-ten ways to be miserable. Envy and jealousy are about people who you think have more than you do. A grudge is about something that was done, or you think was done, to you personally. Resentment can be about wanting others who have little to have even less. Examples are resenting that those who are too sick or old to work receive welfare, or resenting Mexicans (illegal immigrants) because they get to pick vegetables 70 hours a week in the blazing sun. You KNOW that only real Americans should be allowed to harvest American vegetables, so be very resentful. The more you can find to resent, the more successful you can be at making yourself miserable.

9. Convince Yourself That Others Are Out To Get You: "They" are out to get you. Only a true paranoid can believe that everyone and everything is out to get them, but the rest of us can make ourselves miserable by identifying specific people or groups that are out to get us. Surely you can convince yourself that a few of these groups or people are out to get you: Government, Big Business, Democrats, Republicans, President Obama, Supreme Court, Tea Party, Mexicans, Arabs, Evangelicals, Environmentalists, Jews, Muslims, Blacks, Gays, Men, Women.

10. Plot Revenge: This is an advanced topic, but a very powerful and successful way to make yourself really miserable is to spend your days plotting revenge against everyone who has more than you, disagrees with you, or is simply different from you. Don't just hate them. Visualize how you would make them suffer if you were in charge of everything.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Happy Friday .....

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for all of the experiences that got me to the end of this week

that I seem to be all caught up with all of my current projects and duties.

that it seems to be easier to just let people who are seem to be sicker than me to be themselves.  I know one person who is making a complete fool of himself, day after day.  I've heard it described as self-will run riot.  (and this person has almost 4 decades of sobriety)

that I am responsible and accountable person.  This wasn't always the case.

that I will now be off to the first of 3 AA meetings I attend every Friday.  buh bye

In the midst of the flurry - clarity.
In the midst of the storm - calm.
In the midst of divided interests - certainty.
In the many roads - a certain choice.

- Mary Anne Radmacher

Thursday, March 01, 2012

One Day (thanks Bob)

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that ONE DAY, something happened.  I guess things had gotten to the point that I just had no choice but to surrender.  I had just enough AA meetings under my very wet belt that I understood finally that I had to surrender.  Just give up my drinking to a Higher Power.

ONE DAY was a concept that was briefly discussed in a meeting yesterday.  I think we've all had that ONE DAY experience.  Or else, we would not be here trying to recover -- yet.  Please use the comment section to briefly describe your ONE DAY experience.

that I miss so many people who have given up trying to stop using drugs and/or drinking.  The problem is that I don't remember most of them.  There seems to such a turnover that I can't possibly keep up with everyone or even notice (with any regularity) who's missing.  But when they can make it back, I'll be here waiting.

Tolerance is the first principle of community; it is the spirit which conserves the best that all men think.
- Helen Keller