Category: My Sunny Side

My Sunny Side Up: You’re Doing Great!

sunnysideupIn the thesaurus the antonym of criticism is compliment:

Compliment:

noun
1. an expression of praise, commendation, or admiration:
A sincere compliment boosts one’s morale.
2.
a formal act or expression of civility, respect, or regard
3.
compliments, a courteous greeting; good wishes; regards:

As you can see, paying a compliment does wonders for the recipient. Not to mention it does wonders for the giver. And that is my point today: why don’t we all give more compliments, or more importantly, encouragement?compliment1

Lately, I have noticed compliments becoming a part of my normal day. And something amazing has been happening: I feel happier and the people around me feel happier.

Imagine my surprise yesterday when the Director of the program pulled me in his office. He then spent 10 minutes complimenting me! He said everyone here was amazed at how well I was doing.

That they recognized all the hard work I have been doing in recovery. Of course, I left the office feeling damn good! He made me feel that I was important. We all need recognition, and his recognition gave me more momentum to keep doing what I am doing.

Similarly, I have noticed that I have been offering up compliments without any thought at all! This is completely different than my old “inward thinking” that I used to do. I used to be focused on three people: me, myself, and I. Giving out a genuine compliment makes other people feel good. I feel good just seeing their face light up. Dare I say, lately I have been, well, happy!compliment3

People have been responding to me in a different way! I’m not suggesting all of a sudden you have to start spitting out compliments like your a machine gun kiss ass. ’m suggesting to incorporate maybe one or two a day. I smile a lot more. A lot more. This is completely off the charts for me. I was never one to overly criticize people, but I certainly wasn’t tossing around compliments either.

It’s easy to criticize, but it’s much more difficult to step out of our selves and offer up “an expression of praise.” So, dear readers, I challenge you: can you find the time today, and everyday, to tell someone you love how much you appreciate them? Not “I love you,” but a genuine compliment? Can you give the guy or gal who serves your coffee a genuine compliment? Can you take two minutes and pat an employee on the back?

I promise you this: start giving “a formal act or expression of civility, respect, or regard,” daily for 30 days, and see if your life isn’t transformed. Who would like to take a 30 day challenge for March, and see if you can compliment someone the entire month? I’m going to start today! Less disdain and criticism, more compliments and love!

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My Sunny Side: Thank You So Much!

sunnysideupThank you everyone who has shown me such incredible love and support over the last 5 months!

Today I celebrate over 1,010 of you!  It boggles my mind that so many of you have chosen to follow my blog.

As you know I have just entered my 9th month of sobriety.  I am not kidding when I say YOU have lots to do with that!  Your kindnesses, your occasional emails, your comments on my posts, all have contributed to my recovery and wellness.  I am eternally blessed to have your time, affection, and attention.

You give me courage to post some of my more difficult material.  You give me strength to consider even posting more difficult material.  You support me in my endeavors, and I only hope I can give back to you in like kind.

1000followers on justrumianting men's blogI am always here for you, no matter what you are going through.  You are welcome to email me any time at keatsj1964@gmail.com.  I write to release my life into the world.  But if there wasn’t a world filled with you’s, it would be kind of pointless.  So:

THANKYOU-THANKYOU-THANKYOU-THANKYOU-THANKYOU-THANKYOU-THANKYOU!

My Sunny Side: My Job

sunnysideupI tried to find the post where I had mentioned my new job two weeks ago as a grounds worker, but I couldn’t find it.

Anyway, I had complained that they had me and one of the other residents sitting around doing nothing!  Now, a significant amount of the rest of my stay here is supposed to be Concentrated Work Therapy, so I saw this job as a big problem.

Well, I took my recovery into my own hands last Wednesday and mentioned to the lead Psychiatrist that I could not see myself in CWT doing nothing and I wanted a new job.

Monday I started a new job!  I am working in Building 8, the permanent residence to paralyzed Veterans.  Many of these Veterans will not be leaving this building taking breaths.  At first I was a bit intimidated.  However, after my shift yesterday, I realized that I could not have landed a better job.

disabled vets on justruminating men's blogI think it is going to be very therapeutic for me.  I think I am going to be able to connect with these guys–and one gal–and in turn, I am going to be able to come outside of myself and be myself; something I haven’t really been able to be for a very long time.

Many of these Veterans were severely injured fighting for our country.  Vets shot down in Vietnam.  Vets ambushed and shot up.  Other Vets stepping on mines.  This place will humble your ass in a military second.  And I am going to make damn sure that I serve them the way they deserve to be served:  with honor, dignity, respect.

Yesterday I fed pizza to a Veteran paralyzed from the neck down.  I helped another Veteran, who could hardly pull the trigger, aim and fire arrows and get a bulls eye!  We were busting each other’s chops within minutes.  I felt a real connection to Jim.  I think we are going to have a fine friendship.

Sometimes in life, if you ask for what you want, you end up getting what you need.

veterans on justruminating men's blog

My Sunny Side: Acceptance

sunnysideupMost people might look at my life and think “Wow, he must be miserable.”  On the contrary, my life couldn’t be better!

Just a quick recap for folks who may be joining the regularly scheduled broadcast already in progress:

I’ve been an alcoholic for over 35 years.  In May of 2016 I got sober; by going to jail.  Currently, I reside at a VA inpatient treatment facility where I will be until mid-to-late-March.

I have the option of going anywhere in the country!  That’s because my Probation Officer knows I am doing the right thing.  She recently removed ALL obstacles to my being able to go anywhere I want to continue with my new life.

acceptance on justruminating men's blogAlthough I am destitute, homeless, and without many friends or family, I am more rich than I have been in years!  I no longer drink and live in chaos.

I no longer spend all my paycheck on boozing–and sometimes illicit drugs.  I no longer have to worry if my co-workers and customers can smell booze on my breath.

I am no longer in a terribly abusive relationship.  I am no longer filled with anxiety and dread.  I am no longer hung over everyday, anxious to begin drinking again later on.  I am no longer sad, worried, angry, frustrated.  I am no longer in the grips of the legal system.

acceptance2No, today I can actually use the words “I’m happy!”  Wow!  I can’t remember when I have used those two words to describe my state!  Would I like to be out on my own doing my own thing?  Of course I would.

However, today I have ACCEPTANCE in my life.  I am learning to accept the things I cannot change.  I am learning to accept life on life’s terms.

As a result, I am much more peaceful and contended than I have been in many, many years.  Although there are many approaches to sobriety, for me there are two GOLDEN WORDS that have made all the difference as I transition through this recovery:  ACCEPTANCE and GRATITUDE.

I can’t really describe what these two simple words have meant to me in this journey.  They have made all the difference in the world.

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My Sunny Side: Molly

sunnysideupToday I celebrate my therapist, Molly.  Each week I travel by shuttle 35 minutes, wait 2 hours for my appointment, then travel back just to be able to work with her.

I started working with Molly sometime in the beginning of November.  Since then we have built a trust between each other that I have rarely felt in the many years I have endured therapy.

I need Molly each week.  I really have no one to talk to.  As you all know, making friends for me is very difficult, and I maybe have one friend I can actually talk to.  My family is extremely small (an aunt and a father, lol)therapy on justruminating men's blogEach week my 1 hour appointment, with travel time and waiting, takes me about 5 hours.  It’s well worth it!  I think I am making progress dealing with my Bipolar and my Borderline Personality Disorder, a diagnosis she made in mid-December.

Group therapy is rapidly declining into utter boredom for me.  I have endured it these past 3 1/2 months and I think I have absorbed everything I need to absorb.  Now comes the application of these lessons in my day to day life.

therapy2 on justruminating men's blogNot so with my therapy with Molly.  She is constantly challenging my impressions of myself.  She is helping me put the pieces of my puzzle together.  She challenges me to examine the think that is sometimes poisonous.  She gives me room to discover on my own the answers that have eluded me for so long.

I have been going to counseling off and on since I was 12 years old.  Other than the therapist I had in college, Molly is as good as it gets.  I can’t wait to talk to her today and put another hour of time in with her.  I count my blessings today that my Higher Power put her in my path.therapy3 on justruminating men's blog

It doesn’t hurt that she’s super gorgeous either, haha.