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.

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  1. That’s so true about thunderstorms. It’s like all hell’s breaking loose and nothing will ever be the same again and then poof! the dramatic moment passes. So hard in the moment to realize it is going to pass.

    I like your gratitude list. And isn’t amazing the toys you can find on the internet. Stuff you could only pray to come up at a garage sale!

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  2. Oh, honey, you’re preaching to the choir about Amazon Prime. Can they MAKE it any easier? (said in best Chandler Bing from Friends voice.)

    I think you sound really healthy. Focused and motivated and definitely sober.

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  3. Oh my god, are you sure we aren’t sisters? Like twins separated from birth or something?
    Amazon Prime? Let’s just say that I alone am responsible for my local UPS driver’s job security. It’s bad when I talk more to him than to my husband. Ha. And the food and the moods and the cookies (my latest is Belvita- actual “healthy” cookies- and You. Eat. Them. For. Breakfast. (secret to happier morning moods) and the running and the cognitive behavior growth and even the friggen heron (we have one of those too and it’s eating all the dang fish out of our pond, rather our “tank” since we are in Texas, but our tank is also drying out because it’s so dry so maybe being eaten by a bird is not that bad), not to mention the rambling and the whole hooked on alcohol thing. And especially the gratitude. Definitely the gratitude. And Steve Perry too. 😉 Great post sweetie, always happy to see new email posts from you. Enjoy your weekend!

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      1. LOL. Try the blueberry flavor, they’re actually really tasty and a good source of carbs for running and full of whole grains and come four to a pack and OOH SQUIRREL…! 😀

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  4. exercise, even when you don’t feel like it – i love that part … and isn’t your husband the best for adding the olympics to your soundtrack. i could totally imagine that scene of you running with the music.

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  5. You are doing well. Noticing nature on your run is great. Your post is filled with awareness, which is something I am very grateful for as well. Remember what Ebby told Bill, find your own concept of God/god, once I stopped comparing my concept of God with others concept of God, the steps and life in general became much better, I found inter peace also. I started out Agnostic and became Buddhist both of which aren’t overly accepted in small midwestern AA but it is about my spirituality and not anothers.

    Thanks for sharing, I enjoy your post!

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  6. Funny that you mention the chocolate chip cookies – I just got a book from the library last night called Potatoes not Prozac, all about sugar sensitivity and addiction. I picked it up because I’m been a constant sugar junkie since getting sober and it makes my moods AWFUL. Really interesting stuff for former drinkers, I recommend reading it.

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  7. Unfortunately I can’t get the sneering inflections needed but I recall am old boss when asked to name an inspirational colleague spent 5 mins just saying that over and over. Very funny. Thank you for the compliment but I don’t feel worthy of it.

    Like your efforts to get out of the funk.

    Step 6 & 7 I know I hated these at first. One thing pointed out to me was that it doesn’t say they will be removed. I have defects I live with others I work on etc. This is where I realised that I would never be cured and have to be vigilant against these things and work on them.

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    1. I’ve learned from meetings that most character defects never fully go away, and that is good to know. It lets me know I can work on them and enjoy the progress that happens without the pressure of perfection.

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      1. i was thinking the other day – if I was perfect (not hard to imagine I know but stretch your imagination with me here 😉 – how boring would that be?… I’d have nothing to do as it would all be perfect therefore you couldn’t do anything else it would no longer be perfect

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      2. See that is the real issue for you and I… we are perfect all the others aren’t and that’s what causes the issues.. I see it all so clearly now 😉

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