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Monday, July 15, 2013

Learning to Live


Me with my 30 day coin — My sponsor has my 1 year coin


So a year has passed since admitting I was powerless over alcohol, and I have learned so, so much. Here are just a few of the lessons (mostly captured for my own benefit—in the darkness, I tend to forget).

1. My goal is serenity, not happiness.

While happiness has certainly been a by-product of this decision (since my serotonin and dopamine levels are not constantly chemically altered), I'm learning that it is okay to feel the spectrum of human emotion. As long as my serenity is the touch stone, I can experience what is real.

2. Just because I made this one change does not guarantee my life will be perfect.

In the same vein, I imagined nothing bad would ever happen again because of this one decision I made. Reality is that bad things will happen, and I have the tools to deal, but there is more potential for joy, peace, exhilaration.

3. Future tripping is not as fun as it sounds.

I used alcohol as a balm because I was so, so afraid of the future. I would try to control people, places, and things, and when one element fell out of place, I assumed the worst and would detail how this one thing would make the rest of my life a shit show. I know now you can never, ever predict the future. We can actionable intentions, and nothing ever happens by mistake.

4. FEAR = False Evidence Appearing Real

Before, so much of my life was ruled by fear. Now, fear still appears, but I know most of it is exactly the acronym above. I can convince myself of almost anything, and it was often easier to live in a place of fear, self doubt, and worry. Those are my defaults. Shifting my focus from the imagined to the actual, and learning to identify the difference, is pretty powerful.

Today, I am full of gratitude. A girl couldn't ask for more supportive friends, family, and fellowship. I'm going to keep coming back.

7 comments:

  1. Wow, some really great lessons there. Thank you. They mean a lot to me on my own journey right now. And congratulations to you! Well done - big hug :)

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    1. Thank you so much. I am very grateful for this blog, to have a place to store and share all these things!

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  2. Someone close to me is an alcoholic and it's difficult to watch. I see all of these problems in him and I wish I could find a way to get him to come to the conclusions you've laid out here!

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  3. Yay! Well done! I like number 4. That is awesome. Teeny xo (my blog is closed right now)

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  4. What a great accomplishment. Life will just get better and better!

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