Category Archives: My Recovery Journey

Recovery Retro: Self Condemnation

Recovery Retro

Recovery Retro features posts from my archives 2016-2017, my chronicles of recovery from alcoholism, mental health issues, and substance abuse. After 35 years of chaos, my life in several VA Treatment Programs was anything but boring. Join me as I share with you my most intimate posts about spirituality, living in the now, acceptance, gratitude, mindfulness, and the lessons I learned that keep me sober to this day.

Published 10/31/2016 at 5:00 am – Day 14 of Treatment
Recovery Retro Self Condemnation

As I had mentioned in an earlier post, I love Notes To Myself, By Hugh Prather, it was one of the first books I read about self introspection.

Somehow over the years the lessons he shares in his book went by the wayside.  The book helped me to come into focus with the messages. They keenly pinpoint the flaws within which the mind can bring us discord both in our heads, and in our relationships with those around us.

It is a book you can pick up and read any passage at any time, as his thoughts are written not in a linear way, but sort of happenstance.  Bring this book into your life!

One of my favorite quotes in the book is:

“The criticism that hurts the most is the one that echoes my own self-condemnation.”

How Often Do We Fixate On Our Mistakes?

How often do we carry guilt, shame, anger, disappointment over something we have said or done?  I am learning just how much guilt I have been carrying over the years. How it has crippled my sense of well-being. And certainly how it has kept me living in my head.

I hold the belief that many of us have a very difficult time letting go, moving forward, forgiving ourselves.  What Prather is saying is that we drift so far away from just being, that to live in one’s head is not honoring the peace we all richly deserve.  If we can just let ourselves off the hook and live today in the knowing that we are perfect. That we are the greatest creation and we didn’t have to do anything at all, then I truly believe we set ourselves back on this path.

Along the way, the “yes” of our birth-right was clouded by who we thought we were supposed to be based on the experiences without ourselves that turned our existence into “no.”  That is to say, we lost the wonder of ourselves and the love of just being the miracle we are.

Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Today I will meditate on this and probably experience painful memories. However, in meditation I am learning how to connect with my soul rather than my mind.  I can’t remember who exactly said “The mind is a powerful wish-fulfilling machine.” It is a powerful statement that illustrates this danger of self within the mind.

Along these lines is the concept of “self-fulfilling prophecy.”  Self-fulfilling prophecy is defined as “a false definition of the situation evoking a new behaviour which makes the original false conception come ‘true’.”

My Recovery:  53 Months Clean

When I started this blog in October of 2016, after a 5 month stay in jail, I had no inkling of where my sobriety would take me. Fast forward to My Recovery: 53 months, still clean and sober! See one of my earliest posts about self-condemnation, just 15 days into my treatment at the VA.

My Recovery 53 Months Clean

From October of 2016, until November of 2017, I learned about recovery through multiple VA treatment programs for Veterans. The principles I learned helped keep me strong, when I finally went back on my own. I even developed an acronym for the 5 pillars of my recovery.

The 5 Pillars of My Recovery

The acronym, S.N.A.G.M., stands for SPIRITUALITY, living in the NOW, ACCEPTANCE, GRATITUDE, and MINDFULNESS. I actually dedicated a blog page about S.N.A.G.M. here!

These 5 principles, along with the lessons I learned in therapy, courses like Dialectical Behavior Therapy and Cognitive Behavior Therapy, have served me well in my recovery journey; I have not relapsed once since I was basically forced into sobriety by jail, on May 12, 2016.

Recovery Retro: Attitude of Gratitude

Recovery Retro

Recovery Retro features posts from my archives 2016-2017, my chronicles of recovery from alcoholism, mental health issues, and substance abuse. After 35 years of chaos, my life in several VA Treatment Programs was anything but boring. Join me as I share with you my most intimate posts about spirituality, living in the now, acceptance, gratitude, mindfulness, and the lessons I learned that keep me sober to this day.

recovery retro attitude of gratitude
Today I Will Be Grateful
Published 2016/10/26 at 6:27 am – Day 9 of Treatment

Today I will embrace an attitude of gratitude.  I will be thankful for the food on my plate.  I will be grateful for you who enter my life today.

I think too often we let life carry us on the breeze, and we often don’t “stop to smell the roses.”  Well, at least that happens to me at times.  Today, I will be grateful for the day, grateful for another day of sobriety.

I will be open to what others have to say.  I will be a better listener than I was yesterday.  I find that when I pause the urge to talk, my interactions are so much more rich.  I have to stop “waiting for my turn to talk.”  That’s a symptom of my disease.  There is room for more opinions than just my own today.

I will breath in the October air and relish the Fall of Earth.  It’s sights, sounds, scents.  I will live in the moment and just be today.  I will direct my intention towards gratitude, and pay attention to the abundance I possess.

My Recovery:  52 Months Clean

 

When I started this blog in October of 2016, after a 5 month stay in jail, I had no inkling of where my sobriety would take me. Fast forward 52 months, and here I am, still clean and sober! This blog, up until now, chronicled my experiences in brutal and raw honesty.

From October of 2016, until November of 2017, I learned about recovery through multiple VA treatment programs for Veterans. The principles I learned helped keep me strong, when I finally went back on my own. I even developed an acronym for the 5 pillars of my recovery.

The acronym, S.N.A.G.M., stands for SPIRITUALITY, living in the NOW, ACCEPTANCE, GRATITUDE, and MINDFULNESS. These 5 principles, along with the lessons I learned in therapy, courses like Dialectical Behavior Therapy and Cognitive Behavior Therapy, have served me well in my recovery journey; I have not relapsed once since I was basically forced into sobriety by jail, on May 12, 2016.

Now, I want to take you dear readers on a different journey with me: in addition to the 5 principles that have kept me recovered, I have another 25 principles that I think are essential to living life wisely. In the coming months, I plan to draft an outline of a book I wish to write, tentatively titled Principles of Purpose: A Guide to Living Life Wisely. You will see the menu, and its subsequent posts, by clicking on Principles of Purpose.

Drawing from instances of my own life, I want to share these 30 principles with you. In essence, I first want to get you up to speed with the remarkable events of my life, since April of 2017-when I essentially stopped blogging-and then go back through my life, sharing with you how these principles could have-or did have-an effect on my life.

Much of my life has been shrouded in trauma, alcohol abuse, mental health issues, and self-destructive and poorly designed patterns of behavior. I intend on being brutally raw and truthful about, not only my life, but also about the decisions that shaped it.

I hope that you will join me in this new journey. I think the principles I am going to share are largely going to be obvious to most of you. But I also think that I will be able to illustrate, sometimes in dramatic fashion, how the application of these principles can prove exceptionally difficult, especially if childhood was particularly horrible.

In the telling of my journey, I hope that I am able to impart to you, some of the wisdom I have gained in my 56 years. I hope that I am able to help you avoid mistakes I have made, learn how to improve the quality of your life, gain perspective on how to overcome traumas through self_care, and come away from the experience a little better off than when you started.

Until then…

My Recovery: On Recoverywise-com

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