25 days and counting!

This Pensive Squirrel is still at it – yes, still nut free after 25 days, and feeling pretty good about it too!

As far as one on one counseling, it was different than what I expected.  I’m not sure what I expected, exactly, but it sure was different.  It took me about a full week and wrap my head around what I was being told.  I have been so wrapped up in trying to figure out WHY I am the way I am, and it seems I should have been concentrating more energy on the present and future instead of the past.

I’m not sure if I 100% agree with that technique.  There is certainly something to be gained from looking at the past, but I suppose the point is that it’s nothing that is going to help me IMMEDIATELY.  Sure I might gain some perspective, but it’s not going to help in the short term.  I’ve already got plans to start talking to yet someone else about my deep-seated issues not related to addiction, but more to my life in general.  I’m scheduled to go back in a week and see this guy, so we’ll see how it turns out.

In the meantime, everything seems to be going well in other areas of my life.  I started my new shift yesterday evening, so I’m now working in the afternoon and evening hours as Technical Support.  I’m the voice at the end of the line after 4:30pm when you call for technical support for my organization.  Thing about it, most people go HOME after 4:30pm, so as you can imagine there haven’t been that many calls.  Perfect time for me to relax, meditate, dedicate some time to myself and my other projects of interest, and whenever the phone rings, I’m on!  I really enjoy helping people, and that’s what my job is now.  So that part of my life has been going fantastic!

I’m looking back and almost can’t believe it’s really been 25 nut free days so far – it feels like the time has flown by.  I’m certainly not missing all the cravings and ill feelings I had, or the dependency on those nuts to help keep my mood regulated.  Funny thing about that though, I thought they were making me happy and calm and relaxed, but I would seem to fly off the handle at any little thing, and in general I had a much shorter temper and was more easily aggravated with the nuts.  So, good riddance to bad nuts!

Hip squirrel

Don’t be like the squirrel on the right . . .

Still working on the concept of making a life where it’s easier NOT to use – so far so good.  There have been some trying times where I felt like it would be easy to slip back into the comfortable numbness that the nuts provide – but that wouldn’t be a SOLUTION.  Sometimes things in life that we have to face are uncomfortable, unpleasant, or upsetting.  But they are never permanent; life is fluid and ever changing.  I feel I gained a lot by being able to work through my problems by facing them head on, and was able to resist the urge to just cover up the issues (and make more problems) with nuts.

Thanks for reading everyone!  My new job keeps me pretty busy but I’ll try to keep everyone as updated as I can! =)

P. Squirrel out!!

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Just For Today – Freedom to choose

“Enforced morality lacks the power that comes to us when we choose to live a spiritual life.” – Basic Text, p.45

In our active addiction, many of us lived our lives by default. We were unwilling or unable to make choices about how we wanted to act, what we preferred to do, or even where we would live. We allowed the drugs or other people to make our most basic decisions for us. Freedom from active addiction means, among other things, the freedom to make those choices for ourselves.

Freedom of choice is a wonderful gift, but it’s also a great responsibility. Choice allows us to find out who we are and what we believe in. However, in exercising it, we’re called on to weigh our own choices and accept the consequences. This leads some of us to seek out someone who will make our choices for us-our sponsor, our home group, our NA friends-just as our disease made our choices for us when we were using. That’s not recovery.

Seeking others’ experience is one thing; abdicating personal responsibility is something else. If we don’t use the gift of freedom we’ve been given, if we refuse to accept the responsibilities that go along with it, we’ll lose that gift and our lives will be diminished. We are responsible for our own recovery and our own choices. Difficult as it may seem; we must make those choices for ourselves and become willing to accept the consequences.

Just for Today: I am grateful for the freedom to live as I choose. Today, I will accept responsibility for my recovery, make my own choices, and accept the consequences.

Copyright (c) 2013, NA World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Just for Today – Depending on our Higher Power

“As recovering addicts, we find that we are still dependent, but our dependence has shifted from the things around us to a loving God and the inner strength we get in our relationship with Him.” – Basic Text, p.71

For many addicts, rebelliousness is second nature. We didn’t want to depend on anyone or anything, and especially not on God. The beauty of using, we thought, was that it gave us the power to be and feel anything we wanted, all by ourselves. But the price we paid for this illusory freedom was a dependence beyond our worst nightmares. Rather than freeing us, using enslaved us.

When we came to Narcotics Anonymous, we learned that dependence on God didn’t have to mean what we may have thought it meant. Yes, if we wanted to be restored to sanity, we would need to tap “a Power greater than ourselves”. However, we could choose our own concept of this Higher Power-we could even make one up. Dependence on a Higher Power would not limit us, we discovered; it would free us.

The Power we find in recovery is the power we lacked on our own. It is the love we were afraid to depend on others for. It is the sense of personal direction we never had, the guidance we couldn’t humble ourselves to ask for or trust others to give. It is all these things, and it is our own. Today, we are grateful to have a Higher Power to depend on.

Just for Today: I will depend on the love and inner strength I draw from the God of my own understanding.

Copyright (c) 2013, NA World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Just For Today – Gratitude

“Hopeless living problems have become joyously changed. Our disease has been arrested, and now anything is possible.” – Basic Text, p.106

The NA program has given us more freedom than we ever dreamed possible. Sometimes, though, in the daily routine, we lose track of how much we’ve been given. How, exactly, have our lives changed in Narcotics Anonymous?

The bottom line of recovery, of course, is freedom from the compulsion to use. No longer must we devote all our resources to feeding our addiction. No longer must we endanger, humiliate, or abuse ourselves or others just to get the next “fix.” Abstinence itself has brought great freedom to our lives.

Narcotics Anonymous has given us much more than simple abstinence-we’ve been given a whole new life. We’ve taken our inventory and have identified the defects of character that bound us for so long, keeping us from living and enjoying life. We’ve surrendered those shortcomings, taken responsibility for them, and sought the direction and power we need to live differently. Our home group has given us the personal warmth and support that helps us continue living in recovery. And topping all this off, we have the love, care, and guidance of the God we’ve come to understand in NA.

In the course of day-to-day recovery, we sometimes forget how much our lives have changed in Narcotics Anonymous. Do we fully appreciate what our program has given us?

Just for Today: Recovery has given me freedom. I will greet the day with hope, grateful that anything is possible today.

Copyright (c) 2013, NA World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved

#13 – The pain can also be self-induced . . .

Many times when talking about addiction, there is reference to the personal pain that a person might be feeling, that will cause them to turn to nuts.  I can acknowledge that is true, and I’ve found solace in nuts many times before after suffering actual or perceived pain.

My thought for this morning is to be thankful that I am free from the pain of active addition, and that is a pain that I am responsible for.  It is my CHOICE to use nuts (or not), and when I do make that choice there is a calculated degree of pain that comes along with it.  Even as the nuts numb my mind to the pain I am causing myself, it’s there none-the-less, just waiting to emerge after the nuts run out as they always do.

So today I will celebrate the freedom from that pain that is self-induced, and today choose to be nut-free.  On that note, here’s something crazy and squirrel related!

Rock on squirrels!

Rock on, squirrels!

P. Squirrel out!