While walking this morning, (alone these days cause my daughter is now in school in the mornings) my mind began wandering. Today is trash pickup day in my neighborhood and as I walked by one house there were two buckets of empty bottles, beer bottles, whiskey bottles, soda pop, and a stack of pizza boxes, fast food bags, etc. and my first thought this morning took me to an imaginary conversation with the folks at this house and I was sharing with them that there are other ways to quiet your mind than to chemically induce it. I was sharing about guided meditations, and about focusing on some quiet calming place in our minds, as if they would be receptive to my wisdom. ;-) I was really talking to myself of course. I was thinking about all the things there are that I "could" worry about, but that I've come to realize from this program that there is actually very little I can really control or change. Learning to do the best with what happens has been the real benefit of working this program for me.
Coping with life's uncertainties and embracing them is two different things, two different mindsets I think. "Coping" conjures up the thought of just "holding on till this passes" kind of thing, and "Embracing" means really capturing the good things from whatever comes to us and letting the rest of it go on. It's taken me a long time to get to this point, and I know it's because of working through these steps that I've been able to let this growth happen in me. It's the turning of that proverbial leaf, the change happens so gradually that we don't recognize the process till one day we notice that we are instinctively handling things differently than we used to, automatically thinking differently than we did before, and isn't that one of the promises of this program? ;-)
I had someone approach me recently and while not relapsing, her abstinence wasn't as strong as she would like and I told her something that has been working pretty well for me and for others.. and that was to make a list of 5 things, specific things, that we could do when the urge to eat came up. Have it readily available, not hidden away somewhere, but where we could see it in the heat of things... and force ourselves to do those five things... and the first time I offered this I told the person "if you can get through all five things and still eat, we'll make the list longer. :-)" So far after about a month of using this technique, no one has had to make a longer list, and that says something, not about the list but about our disease, if we will just refocus our minds for a little bit, we can redirect that energy to something positive, we can quiet that monster that urges us to destruction, it was quite an "aha" moment for me. I guess we could consider it a form of meditation really, quieting our minds in order to feel serenity, isn't that the goal?
On the schooling front, I have been volunteering at the school in order to stay involved and have been feeling very good about being able to have re-entered the world, actually doing some work again outside the comfort of my home, and while it's only a few hours a day, and I get to choose the hours, it feels really good emotionally to have re-engaged in this way. I come home and collapse in the chair, but I feel very rewarded and appreciated for having made the effort, and I am making a contribution not only to the school but in the long run to the children who go there.
I have been thinking of getting certified so that I could substitute teach, and that would put me in the classroom, a place I thought I would be when I graduated from High School so many years ago. I love teaching, love making a difference, love watching the growth and excitement of someone who finally "gets it", seeing the joy and recognition of understanding something that they didn't just a few moments ago... it is a surge of hope and elation that is surpassed by nothing so far in my life. Even the applause of fans after a show never reached that point, though it was close.. LOL
I guess the driving desire in me is to make a difference, to contribute something lasting before I leave. When in the food and for most of my adult life, that dream was asleep in me. It brings tears to my eyes to write that, but it's reawakening in me now and I am so grateful to be alive today to be able once again to have that out in front of me as a viable goal, a worthy journey to be traveling. I don't have to change the world, or change a country, or a city, or anything that would gain me recognition in the world at large, but to have the shining eyes of someone I've had the privilege to share a little of me with change a little is enough for me today. Reaching out to help others is a cornerstone of working this program. The Big Book says if I want to stay in recovery, work with others who suffer the same disease, it'll keep "me" in recovery to do so.
I see more and more that working this program is not only a way to recover from this disease, but a way to live my life, fully and with purpose. Blessing to you all and to me.
love and hugs,
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