4 months, 15 days

What a fabulous day it’s been! I was one of very few people to turn up to the lecture this afternoon, which made me rather proud of myself. All the absentees missed out on what was a thoroughly interesting class. After that I had a few spare hours between the end of the lecture and the meeting in town that I always go to on Fridays. Instead of killing the time in the computer room, I decided to head to town early and grab a hot chocolate in one of the busy coffee shops. I was mildly nervous about sitting on my own in a busy place for an hour, but I just thought of all the times I stood on my own in the bars down there, and I got through it. I’m glad I did that because it took me out of my comfort zone a bit; it meant I didn’t have to waste an hour looking for things to keep me occupied on the internet, and I was able to consume a lovely mug of hot chocolate before the meeting.

The meeting itself was fantastic, as ever. The chair this evening was given by someone with a lot of sobriety and a very engaging story to tell. He radiated gratitude and happiness, and I could have listened to him all night. His main message was that sobriety doesn’t have to be a prison sentence; we could all do with lightening up a bit sometimes. And he was certainly right. The theme of the meeting, then, inadvertently became the catchphrase ‘lighten up’; everyone talked of how they were guilty of living under black clouds in sobriety and the fact that one doesn’t have to live like that all the time. In many meetings people share a lot of deeply honest, painful stuff and it’s not usually so positive; that’s all good but tonight showed how refreshing it can be to look on the bright side of life.

I’m certainly guilty of taking life very seriously and wilfully living under the black cloud a lot of the time. In the past a few friends have actually advised me to ‘lighten up’; before it would always offend me to the core. How dare anyone tell me to lighten up! Don’t they know how difficult my life has been?! Nowadays, I know I oughtn’t be taking myself so seriously. Positivity is good for the soul; tonight’s chair proved that. How I’d love to get to a stage where I can just go through the day without endless worrying. I can already see that stage getting closer; with step 4 I’ve actually begun to let go of a lot of resentment, and I can literally feel the negativity emptying out of my head. Often I’ll wonder what I’m going to replace it with – as I said the other day, my head feels empty when I’m not worrying about something.

Of course, I still have many things to worry about in my life. But I know the extent to which I’ve spent my life worrying is extremely unhealthy, and I simply have to stop now. I’m tired of being negative and anxious all the time. When I first came into the fellowship and saw all these happy, healthy people, I just hated them. I couldn’t understand how alcoholics could be that happy. Now, nearly five months down the line, I’m beginning to understand that I can one day be like them. I can have that happiness too, if I work the programme.

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