holds so much—so much to be happy about always. Most people ask for happiness
on conditions. Happiness can only be felt if you don’t set conditions.” ~Arthur
another of my favorite quotes: ~Jennie Jerome Churchill: “Life may not be
everything we want it to be. But to make the best of things as they are is the
only way to be happy.”
All of us
in these rooms have experienced addiction in one form or another: in ourselves
or in a loved one. It’s a cruel illness because unlike many serious illnesses
that are incurable, drug addiction is often conquered by the sufferer. Many
addicts recognize that they have the power to change if they are committed to
recovery. Different people have different ways of dealing with it: some use
12-Step recovery, some use prayer, or yoga, or running, or writing things down.
No one way is better than another. Whatever works for you.
is that dealing with addiction is painful and messy. My life was derailed
because of it. But I found a way to recover—from my own addictions as well as
my addiction to saving my daughter, Angie—and I got my life back.
with gratitude everyday for that. And I wish us all the same peace and joy for
to be happy. I learned “to make the best of things as they are.” And that’s
quite a lot!
what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
when my daughter Angie was in early recovery, a doctor we knew told her to
replace the using habit with something else, something healthful. Any habit,
good or bad, takes up time in our lives. When we want to rid ourselves of bad
habits, according to this doctor, we need to replace them with something else
that is pleasurable.
said than done, of course, when drugs are surrendered in favor of something
else. But creating good habits takes commitment, determination and time. Many
addicts give up drugs and rebuild their lives. They just have to stay committed
for all of us caught one way or another in the hellish world of addiction is
that we find a better way to live—a way to live well and be happy.
universe is run exactly on the lines of a cafeteria. Unless you
claim—mentally—what you want, you may sit and wait forever.” ~Emmet Fox
always kept me from asking for what I want. But the older I get, the less I
care about rejection. Living fully means facing that on a regular basis. And I
always learn something. Maybe I learn that my request was ill-timed or
inappropriate. Other times I might learn that I asked for just the right thing,
but it was denied. I can spend hours ruminating on why it was denied, driving
myself batty. Or I can accept that things worked out differently, and let it
go. My energy is better spent on other things I have control over now.
important. Because wasting my energy on things I can’t do anything about saps
my strength—strength I need to stay in recovery.
“One receives only that which one is given. The game of life is a game of boomerangs. Our thoughts, deeds, and words, return to us sooner or later, with astounding accuracy.” ~Florence Skovel Shin
me pause to remember that. On a bad day, when I’m mean or resentful, I can
count on those feelings hitting me on the back of my head. And that makes me
think twice about it. But, being only human, I don’t; I just react. Now I’m
learning to slow down and think before I act because I know there will be
consequences. The wonderful thing about my recovery program is that I’ve
learned how to make amends on a regular basis. When I give in to my worst
impulses and turn mean toward my partner, for example, the awareness God has
given me lets me stop in my tracks, turn around and tell him I’m sorry. It’s
such a simple act of kindness, but before recovery I didn’t have the awareness
it takes to recognize when I mess up. Now I try harder in all of my
it said that ours is a disease of relationships, and that truth is so clear to
me as I see mine improve, one by one, when I apply the tools of the program to
my life. Al-Anon’s Tenth Step, “Continued to take personal inventory and when
we were wrong promptly admitted it,” has been a lifesaver for me. I’ve been
humbled and joyful to be part of a community of equals. We’re all in the same
boat, struggling to survive on the same stormy sea. And often I need help when
it’s my turn to steer the ship. When I humbly accept that help, and when I open
my mind and accept that being wrong—and rectifying it—might teach me a valuable
lesson, my boat moves ahead on smooth waters.