My sponsor taught me when I first got sober that an attitude of gratitude will usually heal any feelings of self pity and doubt. Now that I have a few hours sober I have learned that being grateful and writing a gratitude list is like my secret weapon. It is a cure all today for any negative feeling or shitty place my head might be in. In light of today's events and feelings I have no choice but to trudge through the pain and focus on what I have instead of what I don't.
This afternoon I got some news that an old friend of mine passed away last night. We had not seen each other since 2008 I think. But, we were the kind of friends that could always pick up right where we let off. We meet several years ago when I was selling wine. Funny how I remember ending up in the back of his BMW after our first wine tasting for his bar, zooming down I-75, headed to the strip club of all places. I remember that night and many others like they were yesterday. My friend was always good for a dirty joke, a pat on the back, a conversation about music, anything to make you smile. I always kept up with him even though we did not see each other much any more. Its weird how some people just have that impact on us. Despite the sadness I am feeling from knowing I will never see my friends crooked, devilish smile again, I am very grateful for the time we did have together. I am grateful for the nights he answered his phone when I was to wasted too drive and too broke for a cab. I am grateful for all the times he made me laugh. I am grateful for all the times he was OK with me being me even if I was not. RIP my friend. I know your heaven is full of harmonicas, sport coats, and pretty women. See you on the other side!
Tonight as I was getting ready to head out to my meeting, the feelings and pressure from trying to loose weight started getting really heavy. No pun intended there. Unhappy with the way my clothes looked in the mirror and feeling the constant pain from hard and diligent exercise, I lashed out at myself in disappointment and shame. You see I am a drug addict and an alcoholic, which means I want immediate results. In my mind I should be 60 lbs thinner yesterday, and can only focus on how fat I still am rather than the progress I have made. As I sat in my meeting thinking about my friend that died today, I realized that I need to be grateful I am alive today to go to the gym and to be sore from a great work out. I very well could be dead in a ditch somewhere or killed in a drug deal gone bad. Today, I am blessed with the privilege of waking up every morning sober to fight another day. I need to be grateful to have the gym memberships I have so I can work hard to get this weight off. Most of all I am grateful that it is only my metabolism that is fucked up and not my heart or my lungs from all the cocaine and cigarettes over the years. I am in really good health according to the doctor and that is a miracle.
I have to remember it is the simple things in life that help us through. Some days will be hard and some will be sad. But if I take a few short minutes out of a really shitty day, I will find plenty of reasons why life is grand and why there is no need for me to ever pick up another drug or bottle ever again. Thank you God for everything. I may not have all I want but I surely have all that I need.