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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

In The Groove

doesn't happen very often but occasionally when I'm writing something, like a blog post for example...I will come up with the title first. And so today was one of those days. I'm not sure what happens there, if something just sticks in my head or if something sub-consciously is motivating me, anyway it's somewhat of a rare occurrence but when it happens, So I'll just trust it and yep, I'll run with it.

In The Groove...frankly it does describe to a certain extent the way I feel my life is right now. I wouldn't say everything is clicking on all cylinders yet things do appear to have a natural flow to them. And trust me, "natural flow" is something that will always instantly get my attention in my life! Why is that, you may ask?

Because rarely in my recent past, have I ever felt anything "naturally" or "flowing" for that matter. Every feeling i have seems to be contrived or forced, accompanied by extreme effort or circumstance. A cause/effect type reaction that could also be described as a stop/start or the more technical term "herky-jerky" reaction...I was not used to just going with the flow, feeling some serenity and letting life come to me. My life always included chaos, drama or difficulty.

I suppose all of this hard work over the years in recovery, has paid some dividends and this is one of them. I get occasional moments of peace. Where I can actually step back then realize I am enjoying my life instead of merely "surviving" it. And that is definately the way I used to feel: Life was something that had to be endured, lived through, survived.

I would just claw my way from one miserable day of existence to another, no hope in sight just surviving...I would rely only on my own resources and they weren't really even enough to sustain me so as I survived from one day to the next, I was slowly but surely slipping away to madness, self-destruction, chaos and heart-break. Life was hellish and I no longer wanted to live like that. And I never could see a way out except death. Problem was I was a human toxic wasteland...I just wouldn't die

It never occurred to me that there might be another way. I understand today that the only way I was going to find recovery, a completely new way of life back then was to completely be broken by the old way. And that is what happened...I had to have every ounce of self-will beaten out of me by life itself. Trust me, life did a very thorough job!

I would go to bed (or try) begging a God I did not really believe in to please kill me during the night. Then would come the realization, upon awakening that I was still, in fact...alive. Whoa, was that ever a low, disheartening feeling.

So when I contrast the way I felt back in those days, to the day to day life I have today...well there really isn't much of a comparison...I love life today! That doesn't mean that I don't have struggles because I most surely do but today, I know they will pass. I really don't truly understand specifically what happened but my life has been completely transformed.

Mostly by simply taking my focus off of Me, Me, Me and focusing in on other people, helping, sharing and most importantly...listening. That focus on others, I realize it sounds simplistic but it has brought a complete transformation into my life. It flows, I have serenity...if something does go wrong I now understand that it is only temporary and this too shall pass.

I don't want to come off soundly like some sort of cheerleader but you'll have to trust me when I say that something profoundly changed inside of me and the only thing that can possibly be is my spiritual condition, and the rest has simply followed.

So if I had to describe my daily life today I can honestly say that I'm in the groove spiritually, physically, emotionally and psychologically. Thats the GROOVE I'm talking about! I wish I could bottle "The Groove" because it would be a hot seller I'm sure but "Groovin" this way is not that easy. It takes effort, commitment to a change in life and living. It did for me anyway...

I had to realize I was powerless over my addiction, that on my own I could not stop it. I realized that only God could. then I embarked on a journey to clean up the wreckage from my past. I listed my character defects so I could would be able to identify and recognize them in the future so I could avoid repeating them over and over again. Then I discussed them with another person and I asked God to remove them from me.. A funny thing happened there: he did!
Tony Hawk

I then had to make amends to all those people I had hurt. I had wanted to do that as soon as I sobered up but everyone had heard me say I'm sorry so many times before that they didn't believe me. After a couple years of recovery though, most but not all of them accepted that I was sincere in my amends and forgave me.

After dealing with the wreckage of the past I then had to daily make sure I wasn't slipping back into my old behaviors and when I did slide I needed to rectify it right away. This way I wasn't creating any more built up wreckage in my life that would need to be dealt with later.

I now work really hard daily at keeping open that "portal" to my Creator, where he speaks to me and I listen, then act accordingly. And the final yet very important part of my life is the work I do with others. It's critical...I truly believe that I cannot keep the life I have today if I don't share that experience, strength and hope with others.

So thats it in a nutshell. Those are the things that I have had to do and keep doing to keep active and growing in my recovery. It isn't always easy and nobody, especially me is perfect but a continuous and strong effort trying to change are the key.

Of course it takes a great deal of desire and honesty to try and live this way. Will this kind of life work for anyone? I can't say that but I know and I have to believe that it can work because I know what it has done for me! It's pretty simple: living this way gave me my life back...a life I'm proud of, enjoy and one that I am happy to share with others. I just cannot deny today that I'm living In The Groove and I wouldn't have it any other way!