An old counselor I knew during rougher times called nasty spats thunderstorms, and I found this both corny and calming. Thunderstorms seem to come out of nowhere and are really intense and scary, but they quickly pass. I’ve had my share of rough mornings in sobriety, but usually my mood levels out by lunch. This week was a little rougher and the storm lasted longer, but it did pass and with minimal damage.
Inspired by a post on gratitude lists by Furtheron, a blogger I’ve found inspirational and supportive for some time now, I thought about all the tools I have at my disposal that helped pull me out of the funk I was in. I am grateful for these tools.
1) Exercise: Even though I didn’t feel like it, I jogged/walked/elliptical’d as usual. Yesterday my sweet husband added the Olympics soundtrack to my shuffle, so this morning I geeked out on that during a run. I also saw a mother deer and her two babies (still with polka dots!) drinking from a skunky pond that used to have a big orange koi in it. Then I noticed a blue heron standing bone-still several feet away, which struck me because I didn’t know different types of wildlife hung out together. Also, I’m pretty sure I know what happened to the big orange koi.
2) Getting shit done: This week I bought a personal organizer for an upcoming trip. The trip itself is stressing me out, even though it’s something I’m very much looking forward to. All the thoughts swirling around in my head fell into place shortly after I bought a personal organizer. Coincidence, hmm? Also, I was productive at work and other areas that did not involve online shopping, even though those weren’t as fun.
3) Food: I’ve written about this before, but I comfort eat when I’m stressed out. Because I am a half-assed scientist, I post the below picture, which I’m probably not supposed to do because I didn’t draw it, though I definitely would have included a plate of piping-hot chocolate chip cookies too. Self-medicating with food is not something I’m particularly grateful for, but I am glad I can occasionally dive into a plate of cookies and then get back on track. I am extremely grateful to weigh less than I did on my wedding day ten billion years ago. Most of all, I am grateful I crave cookies and not alcohol. It was not this way last summer.
4) ELMO IS COMING TO MY HOUSE: This was another online purchase to replace my sweet little girl’s vintage 1996 Tickle Me Elmo, whose eyeballs started to separate from his face in a horrifying turn of events. I don’t know why this makes me grateful, but I suspect I just wanted to type that out in bold allcaps. After I tackle my food addiction, I’ll figure out how to scale back on amazon prime, but they don’t make it easy with free 2-day shipping.
5) Feeling like I might be able to let go: If you’re still reading, I have no idea why, but thank you. I’ve been struggling with Step 6 lately in that I probably believe in god, but not necessarily God. Then I was driving in my car the other day and it struck me that I can work on my character defects by recognizing them and actively trying to correct my response in that moment. I know, this doesn’t read quite like the epiphany it felt in the car, but trust me, it’s huge for me. I just have to be willing to stop fighting with myself and work with what I have.
Thanks for reading and try a gratitude list next time you’re feeling mopey. I do believe gratitude is a muscle I need to exercise regularly, and doing so always leaves me feeling better and stronger.