Overcoming Worthlessness

Good morning. There were four search terms for worthlessness and no value, so will address this issue. However, I am out of time today, and not able to write. I was locked out of my wordpress account until just a minute ago, and now I have to get ready to leave for a workshop I am attending on how to be a more dynamic speaker. I’m excited for the day!

I wish you well for the day, and for those of you feeling worthlessness and of no value, I offer you kindness and love, and the words that you can feel worth it, and we’re going to talk about that tomorrow. Please hang in there.

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Perseverance in Sobriety

Let’s talk today about perseverance in sobriety. This was searched for this morning. Being successful in sobriety takes sticking to it, through the good and the difficult times. Both can be triggers to drink, so need to be addressed.

As in all things, practice brings progress, it moves you forward. If you set up a plan of how to manage things when you want to drink, or when your thoughts start to go haywire, you will be that much more ahead of the game.

When we are feeling good, doing well, we want to drink to celebrate, to feel even better. Therefore, we want to be vigilant when we experience good things, and fetch ourselves up if we are thinking about taking a drink. You can find someone to talk to or write your feelings of success in your journal.

Perhaps even more difficult is not drinking when we are experiencing difficulty, when our feelings are running amuck. In this case, again, you want to talk with someone; get support. A problem shared is a problem divided. The more you can share with someone, the more you will feel relief from the issue. Ask for support from others.

If you take a drink, then persevere and get back on the wagon as soon as you can. Try again to maintain your sobriety. But there are things you can do to avoid taking that first drink, such as thinking the drink through. Where will it take you? To jail? To the hospital? Think it through.  Think where you will end up if you begin to drink again.

Above all, keep returning again and again to the maintenance of your sobriety. Do what you can to manage your emotions when they arise. As I said, talking to another is helpful. I also found it helpful to journal about my feelings, especially when I wanted to drink. That was frequent at first, as I was in huge grief over an unrequited love and I was flipping out emotionally. It was acutely painful and I wanted to numb it. Instead, I wrote about what I was feeling.

With action, prayer, and support from others, I was spared breaking my sobriety, and I am grateful about that. How do you deal with your sobriety when the going gets rough? How do you persevere? Leave a comment and let us know.

 

 

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Practicing Honesty in Sobriety

Today we’re going to talk about what it means to have honesty in sobriety, or to be honest any time, for that matter. When you thought of honesty,  your thoughts went to stealing or telling lies, right? If you don’t steal and lie, you are honest, right? Possibly. Possibly not.

It depends. Are you practicing honesty in your sobriety about your feelings and about who you are? It is easy, even in sobriety, to not be honest, to not tell the truth about your feelings, to not speak up for yourself when needed. Honesty means owning your bad behavior… identifying and taking responsibility for it by apologizing if you hurt someone.

How can you know if you are being honest? Well, you can ask yourself these questions… “When I am feeling badly, do I say that, or do I say, in a huff, ‘I’m fine?'” If you say you’re fine when you’re not, you are not practicing honesty in sobriety because you are not saying what is true for you in that moment.

You can ask, “When I have intentionally, or even unintentionally, hurt someone else, am I apologizing for what I said or did… am I taking responsibility for my bad or hurtful behavior?” If you apologize in these situations, then you are showing honesty in sobriety because you are sharing your feelings of remorse, you are being honest about what you are feeling in the moment.

Honesty in sobriety is all about unveiling who you are at your core. It is about who and what you are in each moment. For example, I spent the majority of my life being dishonest. Oh, I didn’t cheat and only told a few lies here and there to protect others, but I considered myself honest. Then, I had to look differently when I got sober and I re-assessed my honesty in sobriety.

I discovered many things. First, when I was hurting or hurt, I did not relay that to the other person, thinking I it was better not to hurt the other person or to bother them. The thing is, the energy behind that deception came out in other ways, usually by being a bit standoffish in my approach to them, or making snide comments to them. Being passively aggressive. Whoa! It’s embarrassing to admit that, but it was true.

The fact is, I was not relaying my true feelings because of fear. I was afraid that if I displayed honesty in sobriety, then the person would get mad at me and harm me in some way because of that anger. Now, I find myself learning to tell others how I am feeling in the moment, and I say it especially gently if I think it will be difficult for the other person to hear.

That’s just one example of how to practice honesty in sobriety. I could go on, yet I’m sure you get the gist and my point. In case I didn’t make my point, it is that you can be ever-aware of your feelings and relay them to others when they occur. First, however, you need look at what is behind those feelings. If what you discover is something that will not harm the other to divulge, then be honest with them about what you are feelings.

If. on the other hand, you discover a personal problem or issue, then you will not want to tell the person your feelings. For example, someone said something that hurts your feelings and you, upon reflection, realize your old wound of feeling “less than” was triggered. You can consider that the hurtful comment was not said to harm you, and you were sensitive it to it because of your wound; you can consider not saying anything. You can also consider saying to them that an old wound was touched when they said what they said, and that you are having difficulty dealing with it.

By divulging that much about yourself, you open the way to share your honesty in sobriety, to share who you are at a deep level, and you further the relationship’s deepening with your action. That is practicing honesty in sobriety at its deepest level.

How do you display your honesty in sobriety? Leave a comment and let us know.

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Overcoming Hopelessness

There were three search terms about hopelessness yesterday, so I want to address it. Hopelessness is the feeling one has that things cannot and will not get better. It is a feeling that you are at the end of your rope, cannot go on. It’s a miserable and difficult place to be.

I was about 5-6 years sober when hopelessness hit me full-force. Nothing I did mattered. I had no energy or “spark” to try anything new to get past the hopeless feeling. I just wanted to die and I prayed to God to let that happen.

Well, I continued to live until one day, I had the good fortune to discover my purpose in life, which gave me a reason to live, and that gave me hope. My purpose involves being of service to others. There is something grounding about being of service to others, something that makes your actions so much more meaningful than if you are doing something just for yourself.

I had been despairing and hopeless about the years of abuse I had endured; I believed there was no purpose to that experience. Then, I was shown that there was a purpose to that experience, and it was that I was to share with others how I healed from the effects of the abuse so that others might be helped past their pain and wounds.

With a purpose, my hopelessness was silenced and I came out of despair. All my actions had as my purpose to be of service to others. This further silenced my hopelessness.

You, too, can find hope when you discover your life’s purpose, your purpose right now. It may be to nurture your children or husband, or to share your story with others so that they might grow and heal. As you go through the day, stay aware of what is going on around you and notice when you feel “at home” with an activity or feeling.

Notice what you are doing when that feeling of being complete and whole comes over you. Perhaps, this is your calling… doing in the world the activity that brings you calm and peace. Once you have identified the thing that gives you great pleasure, keep engaging in it. If it is helping others through sharing your experiences and triumphs, then keep sharing.

To overcome hopelessness, uncover your purpose in life and engage in it. It will fulfill you, and you will get past the hopelessness.

 

 

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Living Sober Is Not Rewarding When You’re Dying Inside

“Living sober is not rewarding when you’re dying inside” is today’s search term that stuck out for me. How very true. When you’re in the middle of your healing, your growing, your awareness, living sober is harder than hell. It IS hell!

I can remember screaming at my sponsor that living sober was not better than drinking, that life was far better when I was drinking. It was at that time. However, I neglected to recall the emotional misery I was in inside during my drinking days. Also, I was not waiting for the pain to surface fully, to be healed, and then to dissipate. It does that, you know… comes upon us, makes itself known. We take action, or not, and the pain eventually gets less intense and soon dissipates. The more we take action, appropriate action, the faster it will resolve itself.

The best I can say when the going gets tough and the feelings get excruciating is to hang on and keep living sober. It gets better. It really does. It gets better and you begin to experience the rewards that I wrote about yesterday. Make it a mantra if you must… “it will get better. I am growing, and healing.” The thing is, the pain is being brought forward for you to experience so you can heal from the specific issue that is bringing you the pain.

The depth of that pain will vary from person to person and is directly related in intensity to the depth of the pain one felt with the infliction of the wound. To make it through, remember one thing: The depth of your pain is equal to the depth of the joy and peace you will experience. Notice I said “that you will experience.” That states that you WILL experience relief. And you will, as long as you stick with it and keep living sober.

In your efforts of living sober, I suggest you get help. Trying to do it alone is not necessary nor is it recommended. There is lots of help out there from support groups that deal with getting sober. For me, a 12-Step program worked wonders, and I was able to not only stop drinking as a result of my involvement, but I was able to heal emotional issues, as well. It will work if you are willing to hear with new ears and heart.

Back to me screaming at my sponsor that living sober sucked… As I stated, I was neglecting to recall the emotional difficulties I had experienced throughout my lifetime, the times when I was wailing… keening… in emotional misery. In my drinking and drugging days, I was searching for peace-of-mind, and it was ever-illusive. It was not until much pain had been brought up for me to deal with in sobriety that I began to feel better.

Of course, I had to take action. I had to put in the effort to heal. I had to look at how I was treated and come to grips with it. Coming to grips with it means I allowed myself to feel the pain of betrayal, confusion, hurt. There were losses I endured as a result of how I was treated… loss of safety, loss of trust, loss of a normal childhood. All of these losses had to be mourned and healed. I had to recover from them.

In order to heal from them, I had to feel them and it was awful. That may be where you are now in the process. If so, please remember, the depth of your pain is equal to the depth of joy and peace you will experience. Hang onto that thought through the rough times. Just keep living sober to the best of your ability.

Reach out to others; for the most part, they will feel closer to you and be anxious to help. Cry, wail, if you must, and wear yourself out. Do the dishes, take a nap, and don’t drink. Stay living sober. You will be rewarded in the end with feelings that exceed your wildest notions.

Where are you in the process? Are you dealing with difficult times right now? If so, I send you my heart-felt wishes that it works its way through soon, that the purpose of the difficult feelings is soon resolved. Remember that your difficult feelings are being raised so you can heal from the issue related to the original wound.

Take breaks from your recovery – some tasks can be healthy and can serve as distractions. Engage in them. Help another. Be of service. Know that you can define your purpose by telling another the message you have to relay to them, by speaking to them of your experience. Use your miserable times to set an example for another who is suffering, too. You’d be surprised how much inspiration your painful experiences can be to another because you will have demonstrated it is possible to be in the pain and not drink. Above all, keep on living sober.

 

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What Are Resentments?

Resentments are grudges or angers we hold against another or ourselves. They can be major or minor.

This is the start of my post yesterday, Thurs the 18th of October. Then, nothing came to me, and I decided to wait till the afternoon to write. I forgot… This morning got away from me and I had to leave for my volunteer job. My apologies for no post yesterday or earlier today. I hate to have you come here and not find a new post when that is what you’re looking for…

Many people carry huge resentments… years old. I did. I carried mine against my parents for 38 years, and fueled it with drinking and drugging. I was one wound-up, angry woman!  Provoke me and watch out… My husband got a lot of my wrath, and in all fairness to me, I must say he slung his mud my way, too, and many times that’s what I was reacting to. Mostly, I kept my mouth shut. All that did was build the resentment I had against him for his verbal abuse, and many other things. Life was filled with drama…

Is this a familiar story for you? Sound like your life with different circumstances, perhaps, but the same gist? How is your life working?

Maybe your resentments are smaller than a full-blown rage against Uncle Harry for something he did years ago. Maybe, it’s an issue in traffic, when someone cuts in front of you and then slows down to 5-10 miles under the speed limit. Do you do the slow burn in that situation? I do sometimes… Or how about the neighbor who plays loud music late at night… do you begin to momentarily resent those things?

The point is, we deal with even minor issues that lead us to generate resentments, which are things we go over and over and over again in our mind. If we have a momentary anger and were able to resolve it by taking action of some sort, that is not a resentment. The on-going thinking of the offense is what makes it a resentment.

What are we to do with these annoyances, these little things that get under our skin? Ah, there is relief. Let’s take the example of the driver who pulls out in front of us and then slows notably. This driver is oblivious, unconscious. Don’t you have to have compassion for someone who is so clueless in their life? I’m saying “in their life” because if, while performing a function in which one wants to be fully present, they are so absent, chances are they are like that in all areas of their life.

I feel compassion that they miss out on all the miraculous things that occur in front of us all day, every day. The beauty, the mystery, the bad experiences that lead to good outcomes… They are leading a life similar to the one I led before sobriety, before I learned to deal with resentments by learning to manage all the things I mentioned above. But at least I was a conscious and aware driver.

The next time you get peeved about something that seems small, yet it develops into something that consumes you, try offering compassion. You will begin to see many things about which to be compassionate. It takes some practice, and is so worth the effort in the end. It offers you peace and calm.

Does this give you some idea of what a resentment is, you who searched for this term yesterday morning? I hope so. How does my suggestion to see the other person with compassion sit with you? Does it resonate, or make you angry and resentful that I would suggest compassion as a course of action? Leave a comment and let me know.

 

 

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Forgiveness – Step-by-Step How to Get There

Good morning. For some reason, this did not publish yesterday and I thought it did. I even read it on the website, I thought. I apologize for any confusion and now offer the how-to’s of forgiveness. Here is what I wrote for yesterday.

Good morning. Welcome back to the continuation of our discussion about forgiveness. Two days ago, I talked about what it was like to discover it. Today, I will present a process that could serve to move you from anger and resentment to forgiveness and peace.

I say “could” because the process will work when you are open and willing, with your action and participation.  Let’s look at a system I stumbled upon that worked to move me into forgiveness; I am confident it could happen for you, too.

This is going to be a write-along today. I invite you to do the exercises that are defined below… It looks like an endless list, and much of what is written is explanation or information for you.  I would strongly urge that you allow your mind and heart to be clear by avoiding the use of substances while you do this. Otherwise, you will never move forward to peace. Know that if you get stuck in any one spot, there is support and assistance available. That’s what I do… guide people over the hurdles on the way to forgiveness.

Here’s the process:

  • Identify the person who wronged you and how they wronged you. List them.
  • Determine if you provoked the other person and if you did, then own it, be accountable for it. It’s time to be humble, give up on the anger you hold, and forgive. Apologize if you have hurt another.
  • Determine if you have ever done the very same thing that was done to you. Own it and be accountable if you have. Write down the circumstances – what you did and how you were feeling at the time.
  • Feel compassion for yourself, an emotionally damaged person at that time
  • Now consider and believe that the person who wronged you was also emotionally and spiritually damaged.
  • Let compassion fill your being; feel compassion for their spirit, their soul.
  • Even if you have not repeated their wrong, feel compassion for them.
  • Stay in that space of compassion you would have for any wounded person. Hold it for both you and the other person.
  • Allow one chunk of anger and heartache to melt away and replace it with just a little bit of forgiveness.
  • Consciously notice any relief that you felt by the small amount of letting some anger go.
  • This is the gift you’ll experience. Write it (or them) down.

This is a process you can do over and over, and it will gently erode away your resentment, your bitterness. It will leave you eventually, the resentment will, if you keep at this.

If you are successful in shedding your anger and resentment, I applaud you. This all occurred through your creation. You created your own peace by forgiving and accepting what is. Nice work.

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Dealing with Despair and Hopelessness

Good morning! I hope your day is off to a great start. The search terms that stood out for me yesterday were how to gain emotional strength when someone put you down and inspiration quote for hopelessness. So, hopelessness and a downgrading of one’s spirit. These lead into today’s topic of despair.

Hopelessness and despair often happen together. It is the feeling that nothing is worth it, that there is no point in continuing. You have reached the end of your rope and don’t know how to move forward. An assault on your character can sometimes lead you to hopelessness and despair.

How do you move past these? How do you regain a feeling of worth and goodness? The first thing to do is to just keep moving forward, putting one foot in front of the other, believing with some part of your heart that things will improve. and actually, they will. I know that’s hard to believe, but read on.

For me, getting past this hopelessness and despair happened when I learned what my life’s purpose was. I discovered that my purpose is to share my story from great despair and praying to die, to joy and peace, so that others might benefit from it. My purpose is to be of service. Perhaps that is yours also. Look at what you have suffered in your lifetime, and how that can be useful to another.

Perhaps the one thing that talks about the despair the most is my verse from my book Opening the Gates of the Heart: A Journey of Healing.  The verse is  Spaces of Courage and it offers solace and a viable solution. I would like to share it with you today.

“We all hold feelings of hurt, disappointment, grief, and despair deep within from which we desperately seek relief. We repress it, drink it away, or turn to another to make it right.

“Perhaps, rather than cast the pain out of our heart or give it to another, it would be better to find the courage to touch that oh-so-vulnerable spot, to hold the pain gently, tenderly… with great compassion.

“If we find the courage to invite in a sacred force to embrace those deep wounds with us, perhaps, we will be graced with the ability to befriend our pain and then, to heal.”

This verse suggests to us that asking for spiritual assistance can help. I have found this to be true. I have discovered that when I feel these emotions, I can turn to my Source for comfort. Then, it is up to me to place one foot in front of the other and take some sort of action to further help myself. Usually, that action involves talking to someone else about my feelings.

You, too, can follow this formula when you are feeling despair and hopelessness. Connect with your Source for comfort and solace, then take action. Try asking for help from someone you trust. You’d be surprised how many people are wanting to help.

Beware, however, of those who wish to do nothing more than to tell you what to do. Find someone instead who will listen and show compassion for your feelings, who will relay what worked for them without pushing it on you. You will discover some relief when you do this.

Hopelessness and despair are difficult at best, yet, there is a way through them. Do not give up. Try what I suggest and see if that helps. I am hopeful it will.

The feelings we have discussed… fear, grief, and hopelessness/despair, are difficult and I hope the input I have provided will be of some use to you in opening the gates of your heart. Tomorrow, I shall start to deal with using the keys to unlock those gates. Until then… many blessings.

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To Stay Sober Just Go to Bed – Part 2

In yesterday’s post, I told the tale of my friend who is struggling with tremendous feelings and who is wanting nothing more than to pick up a drink. As I said yesterday, I suggested she first think the drink through to what would happen if she did take it. Today, I will tell you what else I told her…

Next, I invited her to allow herself to feel her feelings of despair and sadness as they arose, and to let them move through her. Difficult feelings will move on you know, if you just acknowledge them. “Oh, I feel so sad to remember my life back when I got this…”

When she looks at an object that makes her sad to remember that point in her life, I invited her to consider the good feelings she had about that same period of her life, those feelings of positivity that occurred when she got that object. Take a minute to reflect on those good feelings, to be grateful for those good times she experienced… then decide to get back to the task at hand and decide to keep or sell it.

I invited her to allow herself to grieve the loss of her life before it turned south. I suggested she stay acutely focused on the project, to not let her mind wander from that project and when it did, to gently return to the task-at-hand. In order to stay sober, she needed to stay focused on the moment in front of her, the task in front of her and not drift into the future or the past.

So, if you’re trying to stay sober yourself, I invite you to follow these steps I’ve described so far. Realize that you can only do what is being placed before you to do in that moment. When it is time to move to the next thing, the Universe will make that fact known to you by bringing something else that needs your attention. At that point, you will focus your attention on the thing that has been placed in front of you to do.

When you do all these things and you are still distressed and wigging out, then go to bed, go to sleep. Just go to bed. If you haven’t eaten, drink a protein shake… no meal prep, minimal clean-up, and you get your nutrition.

Very simple, and yet, we sometimes forget to do just that. More to the truth is we don’t even think of this as an option…

One of the things I stressed to my friend was that she only had to do today what was being placed in front of her to do. She didn’t have to create more things for herself, she didn’t have to think ahead to “what will I do if…” All she had to do was sort through her belongings and when that got to be too tough, all she had to do was to go to bed and sleep.

As far as the fear, I forgot to suggest to her a remedy, which is: breathe through it, then ask for help, and finally, take action. That is how to deal with fear.

Today, if you are faced with wanting to drink, follow these steps and you will find that taking the first drink is not something you want to do. When stuck and in doubt, just go to bed to stay sober.

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