“By living alone you can pretty much eliminate grief from your life, but you also eliminate the joy.”
When I consumed prescription pills and alcohol, like most addicts and alcoholics, I wanted to be alone to think over my resentments toward others, to nurture the hurt and to maintain the pain that was fermenting inside of me.
I had a vested interest in making sure I never forgot a single detail of any past hurt and I wore the pain and grief proudly, gallantly, like a soldier….in a “me against the world” mentality.
Even more, I indulged in self-pity and had no patience or tolerance for anyone’s short-comings, especially my own. I trusted no one, and to be matter of fact, I just did not want to be bothered with even the possibility interacting with people, as I did not want to be hurt again.
With that said, yes, I did greatly mitigate the potential for others to hurt me, but, as written in the The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, on PP. 257 of the 4th edition, I equally mitigated the possibility to share in equal or greater joy among others.
These days, now that I am clean and sober, my perception not to mention my perspective regarding life has changed.
I focus more on the joy to be had, not to mention all the opportunities that I can be of service, as that makes me feel good.
Instead of wasting energy trying to minimize possible pain, I fully take advantage of the opportunities available to live a joyful life, right here in the present.
No longer do I hyper-focus on the “what ifs” or all the possible bad things that could happen. This new shift in perception has made all the difference.
I welcome the opportunities to meet new people, make new friends and develop old friendships.
As I work the twelve steps of Alcoholics Anonymous I learn that the perceived “bad experiences” do not have as much to do with what people did to me, but how I perceived the world and these people.
”Were we resentful, selfish, dishonest, or afraid? Do we owe an apology? Have we kept something to ourselves which should be discussed with another person at once? Were we kind and loving toward all? What could we have done better? Were we thinking of ourselves most of the time?”
More often than not when I look at my part in matters, my anger and resentment slips away, and I don’t run away from people in the future because of some “perceived bad experience” in the past.
By taking a daily inventory I discard harmful patterns, not to mention character defects that prevent me from connecting to others, particularly my fellows.
Due to the fact that I have relationships in my life, I longer have to consume drugs and alcohol to cover up pain of loneliness.
I still experience situations that I “don’t prefer” but instead of adding them to my resentment category, I add them to my “lessons learned” category. Consequently, rather than getting upset or frustrated, I appreciate the lesson that I learned and am grateful for the knowledge and the shift in perception.
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Photo Courtesy of: joysquared.org