The Recovery Group

A Personal Recovery


Hi all,

It was a glorious morning here in SW Florida, I was serenaded for the entire walk this morning by the myriad of birds we have here now. The air was cool and a nice breeze was blowing, and though my own energy level was waning rapidly... almost from the start of the walk, I was able to finish it anyway and enjoy it more than usual as I made myself look around and listen to enjoy all of the miracles around me. I saw a grey fox making his morning rounds of all the houses (I've only seen him one other time, he sometimes rests in my side yard, which is just an overgrown area next to my home), we have rabbits and armadillos, and raccoons, and turtles, it's a great little area that has become my own personal "wild kingdom".. :-) My neighbor and I have let these 3 lots between our houses "go wild" and it is wonderful for the wildlife, and for us to commune a little with them, from a distance of course, we aren't trying to tame them, just enjoy them. We have a bat house outside in my back yard and when I sit after my walk I can hear them chirping. One of them got in the house a few days ago, at first I thought it was a huge roach as I heard it scurrying on the exposed insulation backing paper, but it ended up on the floor in our great room one morning so we took it back outside and returned it to it's home... my daughter spent hours watching it, worrying over it... but finally it found it's way back and she was happy.

After my walk this morning, even being so tired, I fired up the mower and mowed the front lawn.. amazed the entire time that I was even able to do it at all... and now sitting here, my legs feeling like cement pylons... I feel "good" about what I am able "to do" now.

I haven't been on a scale in a while, but I know the weight is continuing to come off (must be close to 300 lbs now), my clothes are so loose now that shortly I will have to either have them taken in or get new ones, or I'll be leaving them on the floor at embarrassingly inopportune moments. :-) The excess skin is beginning to really sag and I'll be needing to have some of it removed, so have been searching out possibilities for donating the skin and seeking referrals from doctors and from the treatment center where I went.

I also cut my hair and donated it to an organization that supplies wigs for cancer patients... I sent in a 14" ponytail, and everyone in my f2f group loves the new shorter cut... I'm still not used to it yet, but I guess it's okay.. certainly cooler and easier to take care of. It was my rebel flag that I clung to from the 60's.... but as with all things, even that is changing (finally) as I continue to "grow up".. (aaarrgghhh!!)

It was a joke for so long between my wife and I, when asked how old I was, we would both reply "12".. but I may be making some progress now... I find that as I get older, I still feel like I did when a teenager.. only my body is falling apart right from underneath me.. of course I take the responsibility for much of that, but some is just an inevitable part of aging.

The emotional maturity, or lack thereof, though is a direct result I think of simply not learning any other skills to deal with life's situations than to seek out masking them with food or drugs. As I learn new skills and practice them today as a result of working the 12 Steps, I am beginning to feel "older", but not "old".... just different about life in general, more positive, more accepting, more tolerant, more "involved" than ever before.

Most of my time was spent running away from life instead of joining in and being a part of it. Realizing today that life is not all goodness and sweet feelings, sometimes it's painful, sometimes it's sad, but more often it's joyful as my perspective changes and I'm able to "find" the positive in almost all situations, and endure the not-so-good times without seeking to run from them or mask them out from my senses. It is truly a glorious journey we are on, and I'm thankful that I finally am able to see that.

There is turmoil at the moment in lives of people I care about and my thoughts to them are: if they can see no solutions, they have closed their minds.

Having been suicidal most of my life, I have come to realize that those thoughts came when I could see no alternatives. As my mind has cleared by removing those substances from my body that adversely affect me, and because I have begun to trust in my Higher Power more and more, I am becoming aware of the many choices that are available to me and others in any given situation. As long as I remain "teachable",(open minded) there are always solutions. I may not like all of them, but that doesn't mean they aren't still available to me. The idea that I have to be happy about all the choices is just a tad unreasonable to me today.

Fact is our lives are filled with choices, which we make daily, most of them are unconscious, us telling ourselves that that's the just way we are, and so this is the only choice I can make in this situation.. we just don't see the many variations that are available to us.

My daughter tells me sometimes, "you're making me mad!", and my response, "no, you're choosing to be mad, how else can you look at this situation?". Trying to get her to look for the alternatives is how I see my role as parent today, not one of a totalitarian authority figure, but one of a guide. I am successful to varying degrees depending on my own spiritual condition at the time, but I am getting better about being able to release my own strong desires to be "right", and "in control". The "need" to be right is the first step back to the path of my addiction, I have to realize and accept that there are many "right" solutions to any situation.. this has been a painful lesson for me at times... as I learn it slowly.

"Letting Go and Letting God" has been the key for me, I'll continue to get better at it with HP's help and my willingness to let Him.

Stay Strong!

love and hugs,

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Part 34

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