Friday, September 22, 2006

Gratitude

One thing about hitting bottom: if you bounce back up it becomes easy to find things for which to be grateful.

If you've truly experienced a mental, spiritual, and physical bottom, the absolute despair and absence of hope, that constant, unyielding sense of "it is never going to get any better", you know that it is a very dark place to be. Existing in doom.

I've been there. It sucks. At the end of an extended alcohol-induced depression, I was existing in doom. I don't ever want to go there again. Staying sober isn't difficult these days, but sometimes staying sane can be. Once you've been granted a reprieve from the obsession to drink, then it becomes a question of living life on life's terms and living it right. Some days are easier than others. I can get twisted up over small stuff in a heartbeat. Let the person in front of me at the light not accelerate within two seconds of the light turning green and I'm throwing my hands up in the windshield, "What the fuck? Let's go!"

Or if life doesn't live up to my expectations in some minor way, my initial reaction will be to consider it major. Sometimes I fail to remember that what I'm going through today is preparing me for what I'll go through tomorrow or next week, and I can use that preparation to learn, or I can use it to get pissed, or sulky, or cynical. These days, I try to learn.

When I get into a rut these days, I'll slow down and take a look at the good in my life and it puts things in a better perspective. A few of the things I have to be grateful for today:

My health
My family
My friends
A roof over my head and food in the house
The bills are paid, and I can pay them next month too
The nearby ocean
My talent, such as it is
My manuscript
Wheels

By the time I get that far on the list, I'm feeling pretty good. If you've got a good attitude, small shit is just small shit and it don't mean shit. Not eloquent, but I think it makes my point. Look at the big picture and focus on what's important and let the trivial shit take a ride. Learn something from it. Grow with it.

As I said, some days it's easier than others, and most days it's as easy as I'm willing to let it be. Peace and left over skeddi...

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