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Happy Thanksgiving from Fit Recovery; A Message for Those New to Recovery (And Everyone Else)

November 2019
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The first years in recovery weren’t easy for me.  At first, the excitement of finally breaking King Alcohol’s grip got me through but I soon understood a lot more work lay ahead.  There were days I was wracked with fear.  How was this going to work out?  How could it work out?  After everything I did, why did I get to be saved?

I kept coming back, though.  No matter what, I didn’t quit quitting.  If my ass would have fallen off, I’d have put it in a bag and taken it to a meeting so someone could show me how they put theirs back on.  That’s how it works.

Eventually, and commensurate with the amount of work I was willing to put into it, the pink clouds dissipated and the sunshine hit my face.  It is glorious, that feeling, and not to be missed.

The best part?  I’m remembering all of this through the benefit of hindsight.  Back then, I thought I was doing pretty well (with the exception of those fear-filled days and nights.  Those pretty much sucked).

Today, life is so good, I’m so filled with gratitude, that all I want is to have another today, just like yesterday.  If I’m that fortunate, I’ll consider myself a blessed guy.  This is the miracle sobriety brings when a person works for it.  I am not special, not even a little bit.  This happens every time, without fail.  It’s promised to everyone.

I thank God on a daily basis that it came to be for me.  This joy and contentment I get to feel isn’t overly exuberant – it’s not a flash in the pan.  It’s a calm, relaxed, enthusiastic, fun joy.

In terms of cycling, it isn’t a screaming descent or an arduous climb… it’s a series of rollers where each downhill is just enough to get me to the top of the next peak with a little effort.  (If you’ve ridden the Horsey Hundred in Kentucky, you know exactly what I mean)

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It’s something all I can hope for is to be able to pass it on to someone else, because this is worth quitting for.  I imagine this is exactly what I wanted, only better, when I asked God to help me by relieving me of my desire to drink.  I promised I’d give sobriety everything I had if God (as I understood God at the time) would help me.

I lived up to my end of the bargain.  God over-performed.

Happy Thanksgiving my friends.  I hope you have a lot to be thankful for and you get to enjoy your Holiday.  If you’re not quite there yet, keep coming back and working at it.  With some work and humility, you’ll get there and you’ll bask in the freedom.

For everyone outside of the USA, if nobody’s wished for something for you to be grateful for today, let me be the first.


15 Comments

  1. Sheree says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours Jim

  2. I like that you know that God has exceeded your expectations. It’s very clear whenever I read what you put out here. Blessings are obvious when you choose to be aware of them, take advantage of what God has provided.

    “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”. Jesus understood because he knows what treasures he places in front of us!

  3. joliesattic says:

    I have a question for you. I’ve mentioned before that my niece has an addiction problem. She just got out of rehab and I just learned my brother uninvited her from our Thanksgiving dinner because there would be alcohol present. The more I thought about that, the more it troubled me. I’m concerned it may have done more harm to suddenly exclude her. I would have been perfectly happy if I’d known and if instead omit the alcohol and I think others would have been fine with that as well. What do you think? How would you have felt?

    • bgddyjim says:

      Okay, so he’s not exactly wrong, especially because she’s fresh out of rehab. This is when we addicts are most vulnerable because we usually don’t have our “defense network” built up yet. HOWEVER, just because she quit drinking, doesn’t mean the rest of the world has to hide the fact they can drink. I’ve used up my drinks for my lifetime – a normal drinker hasn’t come close yet. Therefore, uninviting her is kinda on the crappy side. So the damage is done this year, nothing you can do about it. Next year, tell your brother to stick a sock in it and let her come.

      Now, here’s what your whole family can do to help her: EVERY major town I know of has a special thanksgiving meeting that runs 4-pm all the way to the next morning on Thanksgiving day. Find out where that meeting is where your brother lives, and talk with your niece. If she’s getting itchy, simply tell her it’s okay to leave to go to the gratitude meeting. It’s better for her to get herself out of the situation and to a meeting than risk a relapse. Also, make sure she parks her car (if she has one) where she can easily get out if necessary – that’s an old inside trick).

      That’s what we do, by the way, when things get out of hand and that desire to drink sneaks into the melon, we get the h*** out of there and get our @$$ to a meeting before it falls off. I’ve done that countless times. Again, the world doesn’t quit because I did. If I got squirrely, I got my butt to a meeting or, at the very least, called my sponsor IMMEDIATELY.

      Let her know, without recovery, there’s nothing. There’s no peace, no serenity, no hope. Recovery must be protected at all costs.

    • bgddyjim says:

      PS. This is my favorite topic, helping people stay clear of relapse and helping the rest of the family help their addict. ANY time you have a question, please ask. I love helping people with those situations.

      • joliesattic says:

        Thank you so much! I so appreciate your input. If you were here, I’d give you a big hug! I wanted to do something for Christmas and thought I’d set an example, because I’m sure he didn’t realize how it could have impacted her. He said, she “understood” and “agreed”, but I know my niece, she want’s to know she’s still loved. My brother tends to distance himself from what he considers “bad behavior”, which I think stems from our former religion’s custom of “disfellowshipping” or “shunning”.
        In the meantime, I see the need to start making more of an effort to support her efforts. She lives an hour plus away, but not so far, I can’t see her more regularly.

      • bgddyjim says:

        At the same time, don’t let her all the way back until she’s earned it…. people complain about the “stigma” a lot… I earned my stigma. And I also made my proper amends for it.

  4. unironedman says:

    Good stuff. And Happy Thanksgiving. We’re over with American friends tomorrow for dinner. And as regards the God fella, well, allow me to modestly propose that Jim has been putting in a good shift too 😉

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