Monthly Archives: March 2012
The other night i was doing my Gratitude List in bed. At the top of the list, i always put “Sobriety” to remind myself that it’s thanks to my sobriety that i have other things to be grateful for.
Looking back on my day, it didn’t take me long to find that i was grateful for a chat i had with my 17-year-old. It wasn’t so much the talk about his life and friends that i appreciated—it was the way, in passing (he’s 17, everything he does is in passing!), he thanked me for listening.
When i put on my Gratitude List that i was grateful for “the desire to listen to loved ones more closely”, i asked myself why it was that i didn’t do that more in the past.
The answer came to me immediately: It was because i didn’t think i deserved my kids.
Hell, back then i didn’t think i deserved music. i remember moments in the evening when i thought i should put on some tunes before deciding, “Nah, i’m not good enough for music.” If my self-esteem was that low, you can see why i hated myself as a father.
Sobriety hasn’t convinced me that i’m a good father but, along with letting me appreciate music again, it has showed me that my kids deserve a better father and sobriety has set me on the path to that place.
i know you’re not going to believe me—i’ve tried to hide it well—but i’ve always been emotionally hypersensitive. Sometimes i think it’s the case for many addicts, and that we turn to our drug of choice to, quite literally, numb out.
Lately, usually in meetings but not necessarily (and always without warning), i get this feeling like i’m being punched in the heart with a fist made of tears.
It’s not unpleasant.
It feels like feelings coming back.
i always forget all the magic that hides inside the program.
For the past couple of weeks, i’ve been feeling a little on edge and those dreaded symptoms of poor poor me have been washing over me. Fortunately, i’ve been with the program long enough to know that these are symptoms and the cure is to turn up the frequency on my meetings.
So last week i went to a meeting i haven’t hit for months. They read from Living Sober and the chapter the speaker “happened” to chose from that night was about self-pity. Because, you see, there are no accidents in my program. Coincidence just means my Higher Power has been busy working in my life.
The lesson i needed to learn, the reason i attended that meeting, was to understand that when i begin to feel sorry for myself, i have to remember all that is right in my life. All that i’m taking for granted.
i will add to my Gratitude List every day, being sure to include things i am grateful for that i would not have had if i was still drinking.
Suddenly i realize i’m more blessed than i have ever been.
Mrs Demeanor and i went to a concert the other night to see Seether open for a band called 3 Doors Down. Now, here in Yeaman, both of these bands are unknown and only one of them is good. To give you an idea of just how messed up the world is, Seether was the warm up act and 3 Doors Down was the headliner which is like saying God opened up for Rebecca Black but there you go.
i don’t know if you know 3 Doors Down or not, but if you don’t, the best way to describe them is “cute metal”. “Sheet” metal. 3 Doors Down is the Avril Lavigne of metal, is what i’m saying.
Then, after a break, there was 1 hour and ½ of a Christian pop band performing finger pumping ballads that penetrated the virgin heart of every teen in the audience.
Don’t get me wrong, i understood the passion of those kids feeling each petty word they heard and i can’t fault them for it. On the contrary, it was fun watching the youth of the day get into the songs like i did Cinderella or Ronnie James Dio back in my “hey” days. Still, i felt i was trapped in a toybox at Ken and Barbie’s concert and even if i was welcome, i knew i didn’t belong.
My place was deep inside the Seether songs, with those battered and scarred survivors who have felt the full weight of the world both when it rolled over us and when we kicked its astronomy into a new orbit.
It was probably wrong of me to feel proud, but i knew i belonged under the bed, with the other broken toys.
i had a psychology teacher in university who walked into our auditorium class of 300+ students and said,
I want everyone to close their eyes and clear their minds. That’s it, let your mind go blank…good…don’t think…good…now, don’t think about anything that has to do with the word KANGAROO!
Instantly, all 300+ students in the auditorium began to laugh. Why? Because as soon as he mentioned the word “Kangaroo”, we could think about nothing but that!
His point was this: We as human beings have absolutely no control over the thoughts that pop into our heads. The only thing we can control is what we do with those thoughts, like if we choose to act on them or not.
As addicts, our brains are wired to think about certain things compulsively. This does not mean we’re failures. We lose only if we let our thoughts get the best of us. Don’t let that happen. Hold on to the Best of You.
“I have no regrets.”
i used to say this all the time. i don’t know if i thought i was cool or deep or philosophical or what, but now i disagree with myself. i was wrong.
See, lately i’ve had these flashes of things i did while drinking. More specifically i have these memory shards of things i did that hurt people and you know what? i regret doing them. i can honestly say i regret hurting people in my past.
Sure, these mistakes made me the man i am today, but i would be a better man today if i hadn’t mistreated people i care about.
What about you? Do you believe in a life without regrets?