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Intentional Happiness

During my 8 week sober workshop, we were sent a daily mantra to read first thing each day. Those mantras usually came with an awesome story and were RIGHT ON TIME with what we were going through. Something most people don’t expect when going through programs like that is the “what now” part when it’s all over. The daily mantra, weekly lessons, homework, weekly Q&A calls – it was an amazing structure that kept me on track. Sometimes, it was too much. Sometimes, I couldn’t get enough. But the one thing I can say now that it’s over, I didn’t appreciate it enough while it was going on.  I think we spend a lot of time in our lives not appreciating what we have and not actively seeking what we need, and that’s something I want to get better at.

When I drank, most of my days were pretty monotonous. I had really gotten into the habit of wake up – work – have wine – sleep. I remember longing for meaning, purpose, and true satisfaction. Apparently, you just don’t get those things by trudging through life blindly. Apparently, if you seek meaning and purpose, if you stop and appreciate what you have, if you search within yourself to figure out what you really need AND if you do something about it – well, apparently that’s when life becomes amazing.  To me, that sounds like a life worth truly living! Sadly, that’s a life I wasn’t capable of having when I drank. But thankfully, it’s a life I CAN have now that I don’t!

I’ve started reading Simple Abundance – a recommendation from one of the members of my aftercare group. It has small essays for each day of the year – so it’s a kind of way to replace the daily mantra from my sobriety school. It’s such a simple thing to do – read a short inspiring essay – and yet it’s so powerful!  I try to stick to a little routine every morning before the real day begins. A way to ease into the day, inspire, reflect, and then start my day off on a good foot. It’s something I learned to do during the sobriety workshop and honestly, I now wonder how I ever expected to have good days without this daily routine! I look back over my adult years and it’s like I just hoped it would happen on its own… somehow a good day was suppose to  just happen without me being responsible for it or sometimes even in spite of me and my doings. That seems ridiculous now, but that’s how I lived for 40 years! If I can have good days like that at all…imagine how many more I can have by intentionally aiming for them!

There are only so many hours in a day and so many days in a life. I spent a lot of those hours and days, stunted and held back because of my drinking. I chose the only way I knew to handle stress and anxiety, but that basically left me and my life on hold. Alcohol doesn’t actually let you cope with anything – it just hits the pause button on life. I lost a lot of time and missed opportunities to experience life and learn how to live it. Now that I am alcohol-free, I don’t want to waste any more moments. I don’t want life to happen to me or around me.

I finally now want to live, learn, grow, and be truly happy.  I don’t plan on letting it happen by accident either!

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