What do I bring to the table...

They are so complicated, relationships, that we always seem to be asking ourselves how they can get better. Most of the time we answer, well she/he can do this or that. The reality is what do we bring to the table In any given situation, work, home, school, friendships, etc we can ask ourselves what we are really bringing to the table in that relationship. Is it love, kindness, acceptance, service? Or is it hate,bitterness, torment, mean spirit, sarcasm etc.

The reality is that it probably lies somewhere in between In my recovery, I often ask myself, what I am bringing to this problem or solution. That is the only way to truly uncover my motives and what I need for the relationship to grow..

Today I am grateful for:
  • A new sober day.
  • Not as tired as I was earlier.
  • A busy job today.
  • God helping me......



"Through experience and obedience, growth started, followed by grattitude. Yes, then came peace of mind-living in and sharing sobriety." Daily Reflections

As much as I have failed in sobriety, I would not change where I am today. The failures of my past make me the man I am today. No better way to learn and to grow than falling on your face, many many times! It is like this in life, you always here the successful people say how many times they failed. So it must be true that how you handle failure is really the key to success.

Today I am grateful for:
  • A job that I can do well...
  • My vision of sobriety becoming greater...
  • My love of the program growing...
  • ...because I used to hate it...
  • God helping me daily.
  • Giving another problem to God today, one that I have held on to for YEARS.



Sometimes just being thankful is enough...

Today was like that...

Today I am grateful for:
  • Trust at my job.
  • Helping others tomorrow...
  • ....and them helping me.
  • Growing everyday...
  • knowing I am trying to do the right thing, even though it sometimes doesnt feel like it...


Stay on my side...

"It wasn't what people thought about me that bothered me, it was what I thought they thought about me..." Mike-AA meeting.

My sponsor told me, it doesn't matter what people think about you, that is none of your business. I have a REALLY hard time with this one...my ego thinks that if someone in a crowd of 1,000 turns and whispers something to their friend, they must be talking about me...this is a fact with all alcoholics. We think we are unique and the center of the universe.

For me I must stay on my side of the street, even when I think it better to cross. Getting involved in others business, whether I think it is noble or not, MUST BE AVOIDED. There is a situation at work, which I want to dive in head first, but I MUST NOT. I can pause and remember how shallow the pool is, and what happens when I dive in head first. I get HURT.

Today I am grateful for:
  • Another day sober, and another morning waking up clear.
  • My wife being my sounding board this morning, and I trusting her.
  • Another alcoholic calling me and leaving a message this morning, great way to start a day.
  • Loving myself little by little...
  • God helping me by protecting me from any "big deals" now...helping me as he always has...
  • ...and me finally realizing it.


Keep on trudging...

"I am not a saint, unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps trying." Nelson Mandela

In life as long as we suit up and show up, and move forward, we are trying. In the program it is very much the same. I had a hard weekend. I felt I flew off the handle a bit, and maybe didnt work my program as hard as I should. But I didnt drink, I tried and each night my head hit the pillow, something was better.

I tried to connect with my Higher Power, whom I call God, on a daily basis. Truly us Humans are disconnected from God, unless we take the time and reconnect on a daily basis. For us alcoholics, sometimes it is hourly.

I am not sure how to best do this program. I trust God, clean house and try to help others. In that way I am making progress, not perfection.

Today I am grateful for:
  • My wife taking care of my daughter this morning, it was my turn but I was tired.
  • My life moving in the right direction, and me not doing anything but listening and letting it...
  • ...my love of myself growing.
  • Fitting into some old jeans...
  • Patience being practiced...
  • ...not perfected.


Mr progress..

Sometimes for me I see way more progress than some others see in me, and sometimes it is the other way around. I am not sure how to do this thing, so I am learning one day at a time to trust others.

My sponsor and I met today, and frankly the beginning was a little tense. We talked thru a character defect I had, one that I thought I was making progress on, and one which he still saw in me clearly. On one hand, I had made progress, however I still need to work on things, which is the problem I ran into whenever I relapse. This disease is cunning and baffling, and trust me if you don't take stock of it daily, it will beat you.

Today I am grateful for:
  • My wife and I being married for 6 years. I love her and she really helps me to be a better me.
  • The opportunity to spend time with her tonight on a "date" something I wouldn't be able to do if I was still drinking.
  • My sponsor and his words, both kind and unkind. They help ground me.
  • God slowly changing me, and reminding me to slow down son....



"Don't drink, one day at a time, never more than a day at a time, sometimes 10 minutes at a time." Ollie-Hermosa AA

I am powerless over alcohol, but I am not powerless over the first drink. I can do things in my program that give me a defense to that first drink. I can call people, pray, read, etc...

If there is nothing more I feel I can do, I can turn it over. My higher power has the control, not me....

Trust God, clean house and help others...

That is what we do One Day at A Time.

Today I am grateful for:
  • One day at a time...
  • ...and doing the next right thing.
  • The obsession being removed, and me winning the battle.
  • God doing for me today, what I cannot do for myself.


Cleaning House..

"The Past: Our cradle, not our prison; there is danger as well as appeal in its glamour. The past is for inspiration, not imitation, for continuation, not repetition." Israel Zangwill

The program teaches us to embrace our past, and not to forget it. There is a fine line, however in "romanticizing" the past. Thinking of all the "good" times we had, and not remembering the after effects of what we had done.

Today I use my past as experience, not as something to try and re live. I am not going to score the winning touchdown at homecoming anymore, not that I ever did, but you know what I mean. Accepting that today is meant to be a learning and growth experience, and that the past is to be used as a teacher, will help me to change my behavior. All of us can benefit from this, in or out of the program, using the past to help not to dream it happens again...

Today I am grateful for:
  • My daughter and her love this morning.
  • Getting better one day at a time...
  • ...never more than a day at a time...
  • ....sometimes 10 minutes at a time!
  • My Higher Power living in me now!


Lessons learned...

"Bad habits are like a comfortable bed, easy to get into, but hard to get out of." Anonymous

This quote is so true. For me it is a new process in life. Unlearning 38 years of programmed behavior. One day at a time, never more than a day at a time, sometimes 10 minutes at a time.

The reality is we all have bad habits that we slip into, some may be small, others large, but whatever they are, if we tackle them one day at a time, we can get out of the bed and change what we have become, to what we really are.

Today I am grateful for:
  • A meeting today that is starting back at step one. I love that step.
  • The fellowship, and sharing with others.
  • Knowing today, I got out of bed and treated one of my bad habits.
  • God doing for me...


Hurdles in life...

For all of us we have problems and difficulties to overcome. Today I heard a message that if we look to our Higher Power, God for me, we can have these burdens removed. I have such a hard time with that, and each day I grow closer to believing this principle.

Today I am grateful for:
  • Beautiful weather again.
  • A good message today....
  • God helping me each and everyday with my obsession.
  • Doing the next right action.



"I am happy not because I am an alcoholic but because I know that I am an alcoholic. Today I can be what I was meant to be, rather than the "fake" that I was becoming." Fr. Leo

I learn today that acceptance of everything is what I need. I can't change people places and things, and until I realize that, my disease, whatever it is, will continue to grow and control me. This principal is simple, yet so complex. If we in the world were to follow this simple rule, all of us would lead more serene lives.

Today I am grateful:
  • For a good morning meeting.
  • My wife getting a good night sleep, and feeling better.
  • My daughter and her excitement for her gymnastics class, if I was not sober I would not see this happiness.
  • Accepting that for today I cant drink...
  • ...and that is ok...


On FIRE...

Man, this morning had me reeling, my ISM was in full effect. Thank God for my sponsor and his words.

I am so happy today to take advantage of the tools I have been given, if this would have been 6 months ago I would have probably been in a verbal altercation. It would not have ended well. So happy today to be able to Pause and reflect and STOP!

"Selfishness-self-centeredness! That, we believe, is the root of all our troubles." AA Big Book pg. 62

Today I am grateful for:
  • Pause and reflect.
  • God putting His hand over my mouth...
  • ...and softening my heart.
  • 3 day weekend...boo-ya...
  • Love growing in my heart.


Progress not perfection...

I used to beat myself up all the time about not being perfect. Or when I had a goal, not attaining it to perfection. As an alcoholic, even though my life was chaos, I used to beat myself up all the time for not being perfect, or doing something perfectly. It is only through the program that I know that this is a daily reprieve and that as long as I am working, I dont have to be perfect.

This concept, once I really know it, has helped me in every aspect of my life. My Higher Power, God, has helped me to realize that this life is a journey not a destination. Therefore, you cannot do it perfectly, only try your best.

Today I am grateful for:
  • My men's stag meeting tonight.
  • Feeling better each day I am further from the drink.
  • Grateful that work is going better, it is a blessing indeed to have a job.
  • My daughter and her love.


Wait for it...

"As an alcoholic my first response is immediate, excessive and inappropriate." O.B-Meeting 2/08/10

When I am in my disease, drinking or not, my mouth is like Forrest Gump. IT IS RUNNIN! I can hardly stop it, let alone control what comes out of it. I loved this quote I heard at a meeting yesterday. It is SO ME to the T. Whenever something or someone had an action, I had an opinion. It was over the top and not really nice most of the time.

Today in sobriety, I can monitor what I say, by doing one simple thing. Pause. I hear often that God is standing next to me, one hand over my shoulder and one hand over my mouth. It is so true that my "ism" is in full effect when I cannot pause and take a moment to reflect. If I can reflect 9 times out of 10 I choose the contrary action to what my first response would have been...that is the beauty of my program today.

I do not have to react to people, places and things, and when I do, my action can be well thought out and have the best results possible. I practice this a lot with work e--mails...sometimes I can not even respond for 24 hours, but that is for the best...trust me.

Today I am grateful for:
  • The sun shining, this rain has got me a little down.
  • Being able to go to 2 meetings yesterday and resetting.
  • Worrying less and less.
  • Letting go and Letting God.



Today again I just wanted to have a gratitude list...sometimes, that is all that can help me keep sober...

Today I am grateful for:
  • Another day to treat my disease, I dont have to drink today just to stop thinking.
  • That I can wake with a clear head and heart, and not owe amends from something stupid I did at a superbowl party.
  • Another week that I have a job...
  • Having a number of meetings I can go to, whenever I feel the need.
  • Fellowship...
  • Trusting God..


The blame game...

"He that is good at making excuses is seldom good at anything else." Benjamin Franklin

When I was drinking it was always someone else's fault. There was never responsibility on my part. I made excuses for everything and everyone. Never was it my fault or something that I could have prevented. Today in sobriety I try not to make excuses, I pause and react and see my part in things. When I say I am going to do something, I really make an effort to do it. When I don't I try my hardest not to excuse my behavior. I feel this is something we as people work long and hard at...

I believe we all try and make excuses, whether we are alcoholics or not, and that when we truly sit in our feelings and emotions we can see what the real problem is or was. That is what I strive for everyday, not making excuses and accepting me for me, and others for themselves.

Today I am grateful for:
  • Being sober for Superbowl.
  • My reset button.
  • The speaker which spoke of insanity and how much I related last night.
  • Slowly learning not to be critical.


Self-WIll run riot...

"If you do not conquer self, you will be conquered by self." Napoleon Hill

In life, as in our program, we tend to listen to ourselves more than we should. I have heard many times in the rooms, "It's my best thinking that got me here." Any selfish motives in life lead us to bad things. For me it was the instant calming and gratification of drinking. For others, it might be any number of things. The reality is that as long as we run a life on self-will, we will not succeed. Whether we are alcoholics or not. There is a story in the Big Book on page 60 that compares alcoholics to actors who try to control or "put-on" the whole show. The lights, orchestra, director, all the parts..etc...we cannot do that in life. We cannot control everything around us...when we try we only fail, and fall hard.

For me, I try to slow down and not to listen to self. To try to stay connected to my Higher Power and what is best for me. Sometimes I think what I should do and do the exact opposite. That is powerful for me, because as I said before, it was my best thinking that got me here.

Today I am grateful for:
  • Spending some early morning time with my daughter alone...she is fun..
  • My wife and her caring attitude towards my recovery.
  • That some differences happened at my meeting and when asked I could say, "I don't have an opinion." and stay out of it. I never would have done that in the past...always sticking my nose where it doesn't belong.
  • God changing me.


Humble Pie..

"Where humility formerly stood for a forced feeding on humble pie, it now begins to mean the nourishing ingredient that can give us serenity." Twelve steps and twelve traditions of AA. pg. 74

There is a famous football star that has his own line of clothing and on the shirts it says.."I love Me some ME." That was me when I drank. I was the coolest, best looking, funniest, wittiest, and down right awesome person ever, and I made sure to tell you. In sobriety I am learning that I really had no self love at all....I hated myself.

I have heard many times in the rooms, "For someone who thought so little of themselves, I sure thought a lot about myself." That was me to the tee...never was I able to really love myself. The "it" I found that helped me with that was alcohol.

I am learning to love myself and be humble. It is such a long road that I must journey one day at a time.

Today I am grateful for:
  • Making plans for our anniversary dinner, and knowing I have the tools to stay sober till then, and have a great time.
  • My daughter and her cheery personality in the morning.
  • Not obsessing so much on a problem I am having, giving it to God.
  • Progress not perfection.


Slow and steady...

"Expect trouble as an inevitable part of life and repeat to yourself the most comforting words of all; this, too, shall pass." Ann Landers

In my program and my life I expect miracles, and they happen. My sobriety, my work, my daily life, my family, my daughter, all these things are nothing short of miracles considering how much damage I have done drinking. The truth of the matter is this. Not everything in life is going to be a miracle. Getting sober does not mean no more challenges.

For everyone, trials happen. Has anyone ever said "Bad things happen to Good people."? The truth is BAD THINGS HAPPEN!!! It is no surprise to anyone that I say this. Sometimes my EGO, says, "You quit drinking why is all this bad stuff happening, see you should just drink!". The reality is this, if I have four problems, and I go drink I will have at least one more, if not MANY MANY more.

In life, if we can stay centered and follow whatever path we choose to be right, and do it humbly. We shall reap many many rewards, here and in whatever life we believe afterwards.

Today I am grateful for:
  • Progress rather than perfection.
  • A new meeting tonight at the club that is supposed to be great.
  • My voices slowly changing...
  • ....and me having tools to change them.
  • That I am not the only one in America lost when it comes to the show "Lost".



"To change and to change for the better are two different things."-German Proverb

In my program today I can be grateful for my change. In my life I have not always been grateful to be able to change. It was like I was going from one crazy to another crazy. It was not always pretty.

The important part in any process of change is that we see progress, however little. It took us many years and lies to get where we are today, there is no way to change those within seconds, hours, or days. Real change starts to take slowly as we turn towards our higher power, and let the change come from within.

Today I am grateful for:
  • The change coming within.
  • Learning to love myself and others as God loves them...
  • Tolerance...
  • Looking forward to the middle of the week being done!
  • Treating my disease this morning!


Suit up and show up!

"Seventy percent of success of life is showing up." Woody Allen

In life we all want to be successful, whether with family, work, religion, our program...anything. I love this saying. It is very true in the program that if we just put our butt's in the seats our heads will follow.

Showing up to meetings, even when we do not want to will help us in our program. Showing up in life will help us also. Go do something good for others, just show up and be grateful you can be there...

Today I am grateful for:
  • Clear Head.
  • Meeting great people at the Alano club.
  • Surrender.
  • Not having to be hungover today.