Gratitude, it’s what’s for dinner

(Writing this Sunday night…..)

I went to a meeting this morning and my friend Danny told a story that I’ve heard him tell before.  When he first got sober, he had to pray to “Phil”from the  2000 year old man, (if you don’t know it, catch it on you tube, hysterical!) and how  that comedy creation of Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks saved his life. But he said something new today.  A few years ago he had a chance to meet and  thank Carl personally and  this week he sent a note backstage to Mel Brooks after a show he saw, and was able to personally thank him too. This story always makes me laugh, but today I cried along with him.

Gratitude.

I was with my sponsor on Friday night, reciting a list of resentments and bad attitudes and horribleness that has been seeping out of me lately. A couple of conclusions were reached, and I have some actions to take.  She definitely reminded me of the need to be grateful for what I do have, however, even amidst the panic.  I patiently reminded her that I write a gratitude list every single day and have for a couple years and share it online, I’m covered!  She smiled gently and reminded me, again,  to be grateful

Gratitude

Tonight I went to a treatment center to be a speaker on an AA panel. Talking to alcoholics in detox. Oh my fuck! there is no way I  am not feeling

Gratitude

I sit and I  meditate and  I read spiritual books and  I do yoga and it helps, no denying but what’s missing there? Because it’s not all better. When I can be present in the proverbial “now” I understand that it is good. But have I been  grateful for the good?  Not lately. I have been trying to meditate away the bad, the suffering. There’s been some crap, truth,  but that’s not for this post. And it’s not the point.

Gratitude.

Tomorrow I will be  5 years sober. I have been afraid and uncomfortable. Why am I feeling shitty? I’m so lonely, sad, frustrated (fill in the blanks). I look back and see the last 10 years in 5 year increments. I wonder about what the next 5 years holds.

The first 5 years, after Tom died, I fell apart, moving forward only in the inexorable race to full blown alcoholism. And then the Year of YES happened and I got sober and the real moving forward began.

This  last 5 years has been recovery on so many levels, it’s been fantastic!  But life still gets all lifey and things continue to shift and change.  Opening to a sense of spirituality, building relationship, yoga training, meditation, a huge restructure  in attitude that I am so grateful for. But the last few months  have been dicey. Not with sobriety, but I have been confused and struggling with newer issues, big, lifey issues. I  have not been seeking the help I need and have been back in the “I can do it alone” frame of mind which is simply not true and leaves me feeling even more alone than ever.  I chose this year as the Year of TRUST, and it’s been kicking my ass even as I slowly inch forward, testing the waters, starting to talk about the issues I need to work on.

I’ve been manufacturing my own misery, unable (unwilling) to truly trust.  People have been  subtly telling me all the things I have to be grateful for, and reminding me that it matters, that feeling of gratitude.

Maybe the next five year cycle is about settling in and realizing all that I do have, how lucky I truly am , how grateful I can be for so much. I could do a hell of a lot worse, right? As my friends say…”and so it is”.

When I left the meeting I thanked Danny,  so grateful for what he said. I went to the Farmers Market and it felt like a miracle. Fresh fruit and veggies! delicious yoghurt! people, look at the people!. babies!  I bought some stuff and then went to the book store, perusing books… look, there’s a whole yoga for chakra book! look, Where The Wild Things Are for my friend Kim’s new baby but OMG remember the Wild Rumpus’s we used to have when our kid was little? It’s overcast and foggy today and it’s a beautiful day, because I am wallowing in

Gratitude

I race home to  begin writing this. I make tea and eat an apple, delicious! organic! How lucky am I! I have a computer to connect with my own thoughts and others! I have a tv so I can  finish watching the O. J. series! I LOVE my apartment, this place is so awesome! The Hollywood Bowl schedule came yesterday, look at the shows I can see! Life may be impermanent and subject to change, but that’s ok, because right now, here and now, I am so filled with

Gratitude.

And the next 5 years will bring what it brings, and whatever it brings I will handle because I am sober and I have tools and steps and I am grateful for it all.

You know, I had already started writing a “5 year sober ” blog since I do one every year. But I look at it now, in this moment, and, well, just no.

(And now it’s Monday…)

Five years ago I began this day with a hangover and ended it forcing myself into bed without going either to the refrigerator for wine, or the cupboard for some Jack. Today I am 5 years sober, 5 years without a drink, maybe 5 years into a (literal) life that I would not be alive for had I made a different choice  that night.  Certainly 5 years into this wonderful, perfectly imperfect, sad and beautiful life I am living.  I started the day like I do…put the kettle on for tea,  abhayanga and oil pulling, prayer and meditation. Breakfast and computer time, then shower and Yoga. After that? Who knows. The only certainty is that I will be sober for it.

I am so grateful.

For all of my sweet friends who have supported me along the way.  For the people in AA who taught me what I truly believe…that AA IS the “easier, softer way” . For all of you, my sober blogging community, many of whom are now friends (albeit imaginary, but what the heck!). I’m  grateful for all the help and support I have  received here in this safe place I  have to write about everything and anything, not just sobriety.  For acceptance.

And for a gratitude that runs deep and true and that can change lives…certainly mine.

Thank U!

I am  unabashedly bawling my eyes out…

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

27 Comments

Add yours →

  1. I know just what you mean- how life is so…life-y. How, even though it seems like I’m doing all the things I can (therapy, yoga, teacher training, meditating, running etc…) I still am struggling mightily to stay above water some days. I was thinking hard about how a lot of my concrete feet effect is rooted in my fears. Ugh! I’m teaching my two dearest friends yoga tomorrow (the first time I will teach anyone not in my teacher training!!! YIKES!!!) and I don’t want to. It’s so funny how I really want to be a yoga teacher, but um…do I have to actually teach yoga? That’s fear, sheesh. I am always working for the middle path. I’ve been doing so much thinking about ishvara pranidhana- surrendering to the bad AND the good.If you have any teacher/yoga advice I’ll take it! (Did you see that? I asked for help. 🙂 ) You can email me at dearsoberbia@gmail.com or amyknottparrish@gmail.com

    Congratulations on your five years. FIVE YEARS!!!!! WoOT WoOOT!!! I had to take a pause when I read what you wrote about maybe not even being alive if you hadn’t gotten sober- whoa. I think of you so often, it helps me so much to know you are out there in the great wild wide world trying like I am trying- to live a life of kindness and compassion, one that honors the struggles and the joys- Thank you so much for being here, for being you. You make a difference to many. I am blessed to call you friend. xxxooo

    Amy

    • Thanks for this!
      I’m always so happy when you write, and grateful when you comment here.
      It’s good to know we’re doing this together, right?
      a little less lonely. more company on the road.

      and yea….i wonder what my life would look like sometimes..and then I SHUDDER and stop! LOL

      I’m going to email you….
      but look at you! all sanskrit and all!
      You go!

  2. That was lovely, Mish. Congratulations, I look forward to reading about your next five years.
    Sharon

  3. What a gorgeous reminder of gratitude in the mess of how “lifey-life” can get. I’ve been wallowing with you, just in a different part of the country. The harder I try to push away the yuck, the more it surfaces despite my dances with gratitude.
    So, it was your sponsor’s gentle nudge that triggered it for me. I can write that damned gratitude list every stinking day, but it falls short if I don’t also try to feel it in my bones.
    Your words, your phrases, even the farmer’s market. I feel that in my bones and I know I have all of those things in my life, too…if I just let the feelings flow. If I eat some gratitude along with my vegetables.
    How cool to read Christy’s post and then yours this morning. I’m invigorated, refreshed…and one might even say…DEEPLY grateful. Love you 🙂

    • Love you too Michelle…
      your support has been, um…i don’t even know, other than so grateful for it.
      You keep me writing, i look at you and Christy and others and I just say…oh what the hell, I’ll do it.
      I’m not an author, but I am a writer, and grateful for your lead.

      One of these days, one of these days….

      xoxoxooxoxo

      • That’s how I feel about your support.
        I still remember the very first time that you and I interacted over at Christy’s page. It was on Jennie’s first post and I remember thinking…”She’s fearless! I gotta get to know this woman.”
        And, I did and so here we are.
        Just like you call me out, I’m gonna do the same. I love that you called yourself a writer. Cuz you are, and I’ll continue to read every single thing you send my way. xoxoxoxo

  4. Congratulations, my friend.

    Sometimes gratitude fuels the self pity. It’s ok to feel bad, even if things are ok. You feel how you feel.

    I know the next 5 years will be full of beautiful and shitty moments. That’s life.

    But you will deal with your amazing insight and grace.

    Love and congratulations and gratitude I met you.

    Anne

    • Oh Anne!
      yes, so grateful I met you…
      so glad you’re posting. I am enjoying your rock concert posts, but even more the fact that you guys are doing things,because that shows such growth, right?

      Fun trudging with you!

      xoox

  5. You make me grateful for you in my life.

  6. Beautiful post. Congratulations on 5! WowWowWow!!!

    • Thank you!

      Did you see my Wild Things ref?LOL….

      I absolutely believe it is a day at a time, but I also believe that I have a choice….happily I have made the right ones since day 1
      grateful for your support!

      xo

  7. So beautiful. Congrats on 5 years. I will definitely come back to read this on future occasions, especially “when life gets all lifey”-why does life to do that shifting and changing thing? I like when everything is good! But yes I am so grateful to be sober these days when life gets all lifey! And now I have a phrase for it, a way to name it so thank you, and yes, grateful for so many tools!

  8. Congratulations on this sobriety milestone, I feel like I get a little angst-y before each sober anniversary, perhaps that is part of it. I bet you will feel it even deeper in your bones as you read all the well wishes… you are showing us all how it’s done!

    • Yes!
      Everyone said that to me, but I want to e unique, you know! LOL

      But the truth is that the reality of the date will play with you…it started another shift and a leaning in to what has been going on for me.
      growth, right?

      Thank you!
      xo

  9. YES! OPEN! TRUST! You’ve opened up into a beautiful lotus flower, my friend.

    From where I stand, you’ve certainly progressed over these past 5 years. You haven’t had a cocktail or 10, you’ve maintained and grown your spiritual experience and you’ve been beautifully honest about it along the way.

    Progress not perfection ~ but it also sounds like you’re about to have yet another growth spurt. Growing pains suck. But the other side is fucking stellar!

    I love you and am so grateful for you and our paths crossing so early in your sobriety.

    Here’s to 5 more! Cheers! (Uh, wait a minute…)
    Love, Court

  10. Oh boy. Now I understand the I reserve the right to return to comment, on my whole finally letting go of anger and shifting my perspective to what life has given me vs what it has taken away post thing. Sounds we’re both grappling with similar stuff, which makes sense, especially both at that 5 year mark. Maybe that’s where/when our perspective starts to shift, toward gratitude, toward true peaceful metta gratitudd, not pink cloud gratitude which is fleeting, but that which we feel in our cells and synapses.

    I was sleep-walking for a while. Living in limbo. Not even really living, just existing, staying occupied. It’s only in the recent past that things began to fundamentally shift, I wish I could point to a single moment but it was a process, much like seeds taking root under the soil … It’ll click Mish. It sounds like you’re starting to bloom too (so to say). Be kind to yourself. I know my anger was a form of self protection. I needed it, as it needed me. But that shift in perspective, that daring to trust, that’s what was key for me.

    So so so grateful to know you. You inspire me. ❤️

  11. I am late to comment, but HAPPY 5 YEARS!
    Whenever I go to a meeting, I come away feeling grateful!
    But your words are so, so true.
    Life is nuts.
    Ha.
    Or lifey is an excellent word!
    I never did pick a word of the year!
    xo
    Wendy

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: