Saturday, 31 May 2014
Hope you are all well.
I'm very happy, celebrating 18 months free from the affliction of addiction.
I have recently been mulling over what makes for a successful recovery and have realised that all the things that make my life a relative success today, would make my life a relative success, even had I not been gripped by this disease.
I'm not going to bore you with the gory details but what I will lay on you today, is my top ten (personal) steps to becoming a decent addition to the human race.
1. Change is not necessarily a bad thing. If your friends have abandoned you, your family are distant and yet your internal motivational poster still reads, 'I am what I am!' or 'I don't need to change!' or, 'It's not me! It's everybody else!', then you are likely to be an arsehole. Change.
2. Allow somethings to remain a mystery. Not everything needs a scientific answer. There's a vast universe out there, to which you are not the centre. Be amazed.
3. Keep the fellowship of persons who know, from personal experience themselves, what you are going through and where you have been. When you are strong, make yourself available to those who those who are experiencing struggles similar to what you have been through yourself. Pass on the gift of Recovery.
4. Listen first, tell it how it is but don't preach. No matter how similar the manifestation of the affliction is, the story is always different.
5. Do not entertain antagonists. There is a huge difference between someone having the courage of their conviction and principals, to someone spoiling for a fight. Let them go, leave them hanging. Some people were destined to be left behind chasing their own tails, convinced that they are happy in their own madness. Maybe one day they will find a better way.
6. Clear your life of seediness. It will eat away at you. Replace it with love.
7. Build bridges, rekindle family ties and friendships. It takes a brave one to say sorry and ask for forgiveness.
8. Don't dwell on what is impossible and concentrate on the achievable. Accept each victory and each defeat with the same good grace.
9. Best things in life are free? Quite possibly! Indulge yourself in time with family and friends. Be kind, smile, laugh, don't boast, don't be materialistic and don't get involved in keeping up with the Joneses. Be the catalyst to repair relationships when wires are crossed or things break down. Take each day as it comes and deal with life's challengers, as they arise. Ask for things when you need them and give generously when you can.
10. Be strong but allow yourself to feel. Sadness, happiness, anger and fear are all healthy if you act on each one in the proper manner. If your answer always makes things worse, then it is not an answer.
I consider myself very lucky to be here, able to put the above into action. Some are not so fortunate and many have slipped off the path of life far too early. They are never far from my thoughts.
The above may seem, altruistic or hippyish but it can be that easy. The key is not to overthink it.
Simplifying my own life was the best thing I ever did.
Have a great weekend, my friends.