“The difference between average people and achieving people is their perception and response to failure.” – John Maxwell
I didn’t choose sobriety and recovery from my alcoholism and alcoholic thinking just to be miserable. I believe there is great power in the thoughts we have. I believe I choose each and every day whether I am going to stay in a positive, grateful, productive perspective or a negative, selfish, self-centered one. While the Serenity Prayer reminds me that there are the things I can change and the things I cannot change, it is still up to me to take action on the things I can change. I must remind myself that sometimes waiting is an action I need to take and the best possible response to certain difficult times.
It is up to me to change my situation. On one hand I accept reality and the parts of my life I do not have control over, especially other people. Even though other people and their actions have a great and direct affect on my own life, I must try to give up the fight and stop struggling because there is little I can do to influence the decisions of others. Each one of us has the power of choice. Some might try and hold others accountable for what are in fact their own choices, and today I know not to allow that to bother me. The choices others make are their responsibility, not mine.
No matter what, I am in control of my thoughts and there is power in that. On difficult days I try to practice the 10% rule. Attempting to accomplish 100% has been overwhelming to me in the past and has always led to negative thinking, giving up doing anything at all, and then sinking further and further into the abyss of depression.
Today I try to make sure and make 10% progress on any task, situation, or challenge I have in my life. I take time during the day to meditate and “pray” for others. I take time to make a real effort with my writing and with my blog. Although I want to reach as many people as possible with getsoberbitch.com I know that if I try to take on too much I will become overwhelmed and if my goals for viewers are too high I am setting myself up to feel failure and defeat.
I am not a failure and I can only strive for progress, not perfection. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous tells me on page 85 “It is easy to let up on the spiritual program of action and rest on our laurels. We are headed for trouble if we do, for alcohol is a subtle foe. We are not cured of alcoholism. What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition.”
Keeping that mindset each day helps me to hold on to a positive outlook and to stay living in today instead of overwhelming my mind with thoughts of the future. If I dwell on my list of “reality” too long; court dates, restraining order, supervised visits, cut off from my finances, new job, etc . . ., my thoughts will become full of negativity and self-pity. I cannot move forward if I travel down that rabbit hole again.
“In thinking about our day we may face indecision. We may not be able to determine which course to take. Here we ask God for inspiration, an intuitive thought or a decision. We relax and take it easy. We don’t struggle. We are often surprised how the right answers come after we have tried this for a awhile. What used to be the hunch or occasional inspiration gradually becomes a working part of the mind.” Big Book Alcoholics Anonymous Pg. 86-87
For now, for today, my goal is to give power to the thoughts that will lead me to greatness, whatever that greatness may be. I have found a purpose in my alcoholism and recovery. I have found a renewed spirit of life and desire to not only become a better person, but to encourage and support others in doing so, addicts or not.
It is this acceptance that I am the only problem standing in my way and the willingness to change that is carrying me through to the other side of these hurdles. The sun is rising and revealing the other side of the mountain slowly but surely and I myst continue to take the hike one step at a time, one day at a time, and one moment at a time.
“There is no doubt in my mind that there is one way to be a winner, but there is really only one way to be a loser and that is to fail and not look beyond the failure.” – Kyle Rote Jr.
I still have a long way to go on this journey of recovery and my sobriety is not just about drinking and alcohol. My recovery must include all parts of my life and my sobriety must be complete, including sobriety from the old ways of thinking, sobriety from toxic people and toxic relationships, recovery from judgmental people and situations. I am aware of so much today and eternally grateful I have Alcoholics Anonymous and the support that goes along with it. I feel sorry for those from my old life who do not see themselves as the cause of their own problems and hope one day they will. I will always be here to help as long as I continue to give fuel to the positive and not the negative.