Monday Meeting Miracles: 12/2

I would like to note:  my recent holiday was absolutely, miraculously, stress-free, a fact for which I am truly grateful, because I know that many cannot say the same.

I have been absent from WordPress for close to a week now, there is lots going on, much to write about, but for continuity I want to recap yesterday’s meeting.  I am hopeful to be back on track now that the kiddies have gone back to school (are my kids the only school district in the universe to have off  Thanksgiving Monday?  Is Thanksgiving Monday even a thing?).

Yesterday’s meeting, in the rotating literature format, was a Big Book meeting.  I selected the very last personal story in the book, entitled “AA Taught Him To Handle Sobriety.”  This selection was a deliberate one that relates directly to events in my personal life, which I will write about in the upcoming weeks, but the main take-away that I received from the story is this:  it is no great feat to stop drinking, quite probably most of us who call ourselves alcoholics have stopped drinking at various points in our lives.  The real challenge for an alcoholic is to stay stopped. So how does that work?  To use the author’s words:

By learning- through practicing the Twelve Steps and through sharing at meetings- how to cope with the problems that we looked to booze to solve, back in our drinking days. -Pg. 559, Alcoholics Anonymous

There is, of course, so much more to this gentleman’s story, I would encourage anyone to read his message of experience, strength and hope.

The shares that followed took an interesting turn into the trials and tribulations that come with being part of a family unit.  I believe I am correct in assuming that the recent American holiday of Thanksgiving, and the subsequent family rituals that go along with the celebration, played a direct role in the angst about which people were sharing.  All sorts of different issues were discussed, but the bottom line for each person was this:  resentment is the end result, and resentment is the one thing an alcoholic cannot afford to cultivate.

Even though this holiday is over, the next one is on the horizon, so how does someone in recovery handle it?  The first step is to talk about it, get it out, shine a light on the dark thoughts racing around the mind.

The next, and somewhat illuminating, message that came out of the meeting (at least for me, anyway):  spin the resentment around, and look for that which you are grateful.  If nothing else, if every person in your life is doing you wrong, and you feel that you are the only person doing right, then be grateful that:  you are handling yourself with dignity and grace.  Could you have made that statement in active addiction?  God knows I couldn’t!

Get out of victim mode and see what you can do to better the situation; if you can’t find anything to do, then find a situation you can make better.  This last piece comes with a lifetime guarantee:  if you get out of your own head long enough to help somebody else, you will go a long way to feeling better about the resentment with which you started.

Today’s Miracle:

So many to choose from.. how about this:  it is December 3rd, my Christmas cards are out, the house is decorated, and the bulk of my shopping is done.  I can tell you, in my 44 years, I have never been able to string those words together, and have them be true!

Posted on December 3, 2013, in Monday Meeting Miracles and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. I think the Monday after Thanksgiving is opening day of hunting season. When we lived in the poconos, schools were always closed that day and they called it hunting day or something like that. It may be that or maybe they think parents need even more time with their kids after a long holiday weekend. I am really glad to hear your holiday was unstressful. What a blessing.

    Love the simple yet practical advice to spin a resentment around to gratitude. I think this gets easier with a little practice and I’ll have plenty of time to practice over the next month or so. Just love tools like this one.

    Thanks for the inspiring post, J!

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    • Hunting season… hmmm. Well that may be it, although the idea that the first graders are walking around with hunting rifles is a little disturbing!

      I agree, turning a resentment into gratitude is a learned skill, and, if I’m deep into resentment, definitely seems like an impossible task. But God knows we have learned other impossible ones, and the trick is to try and try again!

      Thank YOU for the encouraging feedback!

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  2. Well done! I am thinking you are getting joy and pride from the holidays and all it has to offer.. tradition family, creativity and most importantly joy. I love how you have completed so many holiday tasks. It also sounds like you are very busy! Thanks for checking in and keeping us updated! ~Thea

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    • Thea, I must admit when I went to the post office with those cards, I did think “Thea would be so proud!” You are MY Martha Stewart, and I love having your example to emulate! It is such a nice feeling to get things done and enjoy the season for what it is supposed to be about… family, gratitude, and hope.

      I hope your “blog conversion” is going well, I can’t wait to see the finished product!

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      • You gave me a chuckle when you likened me to Martha Stewart. I so agree with you about your priorities in regards to Christmas. Both my girls are home and I know you know how important that is to me. The blog migration went very well but the blog design is taking a long time. Since the blog has been migrated I can’t post anything new so it has been a bit frustrating. The good news is that I have been preparing blogs and have them ready to post. Thanks for connecting, Thea

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  3. Great post, Josie! The idea of spinning resentment into gratitude is wonderful. Not always easy for a guy like me, but certainly doable and does make a difference. It’s that shift from grumpy pants to glad pants. I find that the bigger things are easier to shift than the easy ones (I think you mentioned something like this on one of your recent posts). Like anything else, it takes practice. Some things really take me time to make that perspective shift. Other things happen at the snap of a finger. Just practice. And I also like what you said about dignity – that’s a word that is new for many of us in recovery. I didn’t have much dignity when I crawled into treatment. Most of that was flushed down the loo. so to live a life of principles and dignity? How refreshing!

    thank you for this, and welcome back!!

    Blessings,
    Paul

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  4. You give me hope… I am still unable to get through the holidays without stress and a slew of other feelings. The fact that your shopping is done (mine not even started), your tree is up (mine is still in a box in the basement), AND Christmas cards out the door (haven’t even bought any yet), is something to look ahead to and know that it can be done – in a stress free manner. Thanks for sharing and thanks for the “hope shot” for today 🙂

    Like

    • POPS!!!!!

      So, so glad to hear from you!!!! I’m not sure it is possible to be completely stress-free during the holidays, but you should take comfort in knowing that your example of long-term sobriety goes a long, long way to inspiring “newbies” like myself. Reading your comment has absolutely made my day, thanks so much for reaching out!

      Best of luck getting it all done, it all seems to happen, no matter how under- or over-prepared we are. If nothing else, we are sober!

      Like

      • I haven’t gone anywhere. I have started back to writing again. My long term recovery is a blessing for sure and each year that passes does in fact get easier. Hard to imagine I will be celebrating 23 years next month…. were does the time go? Again, many thanks to your writing as well!!!

        Like

      • You have an impact on my days as well. Thank you for writing!

        Like

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