CONGRATULATIONS TO CONTEST WINNER RON TROESTER, WHO WON A $100 GIFT CARD FOR HIS STORY BELOW.
Chance the Rapper has a song that speaks: “It seems like blessings keep falling in my lap”—what a great attitude recovering addicts/alcoholics could take from this. He looks at a variety of things that could have been negative in his life and how his rethinking it makes it become a blessing. It sometimes seems very distant in the thinking in the first stages of recovery. Blessings—these good things that happen in day to day life, can be real as recovery goes forward. These can be expected or a complete surprise. But it does take courage to face what is happening—and change. Changing the things that were once the normal now become a part of the past. Changing the ideas that used to drive actions and ideas in normal life is now necessary. It begins with a simple step:
Do What is Uncomfortable
Doing what is uncomfortable and not part of the normal patterns of life sounds simple enough. However, the challenging part is going against what is habit or consistent behaviors of the past, which can be extremely painful. Breaking the chain—from the usual addictive action to the habitual behavior and choosing a different path. Remember, there were had a bunch of bad days which led you to recovery in the first place. These bad days never got you to a good place. “What would I do today if I were brave?” Janis Stanfield sings in her original song of being willing to look at things from the attitude of inner bravery. How will this change of attitude now change your actions? This means taking the time to stop and think.
Stop and Think
Stopping and thinking about the emotion that motivates our actions can make a change, if recognition of the emotion happens. Taking a moment to step back, think through the emotions, actions and reactions that have occurred, and making a positive choice of doing what we don’t want to do may make a huge change. Taking a break to step away, breathe and just focus on something else is a great way to start. This can start to break the pattern of poor reactions, anger outbursts or negative comments. Often the recognition of past behavior can be difficult. It has been such a regular part of the day to day behaviors that we don’t even see how much we are doing that isn’t serving us. A big change for many addicts/alcoholics that makes a huge difference is asking for help.
Ask for Help
“Have you ever felt like nobody was there? Have you ever felt like you could disappear?” These words from the Tony award winning Broadway production “Dear Evan Hansen” speak of our difficulty in reaching out. “You will be Found” is a song at the end of the show where it invites everyone to know that when you are broken or confused someone is there to help. It is important to seek out people that are trustworthy to give us positive support and honest feedback. This comes from new recovery best friends, recovery members, sponsors—and anyone that is a positive source. If they come from a place of gratitude in their hearts, and their behavior is one of making a difference in their own lives, these sources can make a powerful impact. This can help anyone look at their habitual behavior that isn’t working, and face the courage to make change. Doing what is uncomfortable, taking time to stop and think before reacting and asking for help make the direction a life change for the better. And these can be supported with the final simple step:
Be Grateful for Everything
Being thankful for all the things that occur, whether it feels uncomfortable, painful and even scary, is difficult. This gratitude of praise to a Higher Power can allow the blessings to come in better ways than imagined. Keeping personal will out, and letting go of the old, we just can be grateful and praise the new that will occur. It will bring blessings in ways never dreamed possible. “I don’t have to be perfect, I’m doing the best that I can, I give myself permission to be just who I am” are lyrics of Karen Drucker’s positive new thought music that can help stop the judging of ourselves or others. All the things happening in recovery are things for which you can be grateful. That is worth being excited about every day.
So “when the praises go up, the blessings come down” as Chance raps, support the recovering addict/alcoholic in this new life of hope and and praise them for this new life.