In a gentle way A (of Currents and Eddies of a Particular Mind) encouraged me to count my blessings. An old sponsor used to tell me “Grateful drunks don’t get drunk”. He’d been around a long time and despite terrible physical challenges was staying sober, sometimes painfully so, one day at a time

So I’m starting a gratitude page. Yeah, I know you’re cringing. Truthfully, I am too. Must be did though ;^/

  • That I have the willingness, today, to do whatever I can to combat my depression. 7/29/08
  • That with each passing day we’re that much closer to being through hurricane season and into the more pleasant Fall weather pattern. 7/27/08
  • Music — now that drugs, and apparently sex, are things of the past, at least I have something to do. 7/22/08
  • That I’m not allergic to my dogs but rather to dust (mite poop). 7/16/08
  • That I’m becoming aware my lack of connection with pretty much anybody outside my immediate family is at least in part the result of an ongoing fear of losing. Losing the person, the relationship, the feeling I have when involved with them — whatever. It’s that damn attachment again, or more accurately, the fear of it. 7/15/08
  • That I’m willing to listen and even learn from others. 7/14/08
  • That sometimes I still manage to squeeze a little enjoyment out of this life. It’s unpredictable and not something I can just call up. When it happens, however, I glad to still be here. 7/8/08
  • Glad I’m not drunk. 7/7/08
  • Ice cream. 7/2/08
  • That I seem to have been given the wherewithal to weather tough times and do to so sober. Some five months in to sobriety, this time, there’s no doubt in my mind that ingesting any psychoactive chemical, purely for the buzz, into my system will bring disaster on a scale I’m ill-equipped to deal with. There’s no sense making a bad situation exponentially worse, at least not today. 6/30/08
  • A break in all the rain. Dreary was wearing on me. 6/27/08
  • That my sister and I managed to survive a visit without locking horns. We rub each other the wrong way, but maybe, just maybe, not that we’re in our 40s we’re both learning when and where to choose our battles. 6/17/08
  • That I’ve somehow lived through it. I’ve had many chances to go out in ways far from glorious. Going doesn’t concern me, but perhaps having the chance to do so with a little dignity is a positive, at least today. 6/7/08
  • My new guitar — my new guitar — my new guitar — something to do; a reason to live… 6/4/08
  • That I’ve somehow managed not to get loaded. With my grandmother’s health declining, my roll as her primary caretaker is becoming extremely stressful. It’s hard watching people you love suffer. On top of that I have my own challenges — mental illness and physical pain. My mom is as volatile as a meth lab and like me, looks for someone to blame when things aren’t going right. (Hint. Shit rolls down hill and I’m in a ditch at the bottom of the mother-fucker.) To top it all off, my favorite dog, Lilly the basset, is cracking up and becoming a pain in the ass as a result. Shit. But I know how to make it all worse. Exponentially worse because I’m a non-stopper. Period. 5/31/08
  • For the intermittent ability to be very still. To realize that I can’t have anything that wasn’t coming to me in the first place. 5/24/08
  • For people willing to tell me the truth — consequences be damned. 5/16/08 (Yes, that’d be you Angry)
  • Lines of strong thunder storms that last for hours or days. They help me with my smallness. 5/15/08
  • That my father and I have a good, albeit, long distance relationship. It’s something of a miracle considering we both have done our all at various points to try and facilitate a permanent estrangement. 5/12/08
  • I’m a broken record but I’m so grateful for all my blogger buds. Since I rededicated my life to at least some degree of decency there’s no doubt in my mind that y’all have had a larger positive impact on my outlook than the meds or even the exercise. Thanks all! 5/9/08
  • That I’m just a little saner/safer than I was 24 hours ago. 5/8/08
  • To realize, for at least this instant in time, that peace of mind and freedom are inside jobs. 5/05/08
  • For the grace not to do anything especially stupid, just for today. 5/1/08
  • That some days are good days. 4/30/08
  • Having found, or perhaps having been given, the initiative to walk off 27 pounds in the last year. 4/28/08
  • Sleep – For years it’s been the enemy. Now I miss it really bad. 4/27/08
  • That I’m not on a bender that won’t stop until I wreck a car, take an ass-whipping, or go to jail. 4/25/08
  • Things left unsaid – I tend to want to blather emotional-confessional sort of shit when I’m feeling too good. When I’m feeling too bad I tend to be nasty. I’m learning after years of bitter experience that “putting it out there” is almost never the prudent choice, at least for me. The primary reason is that I’m not going to feel the same way next week, or even the next day. Shhh. 4/22/08
  • Second Chances – Two years ago I tipped the scales at 203 pounds. This morning I weighed in at 166. I feel so much better about myself. Shallow? Of course. I like the kiddie pool though. 4/21/08
  • Hope – I accepted that my life wasn’t going to be normal years ago. Still, I’m satisfied with it when I’m in my right mind. With a modification or two, I might actually be happy. When I’m in my right mind. 4/15/08
  • Dreams – I feel that they sometimes provide insight into how I really feel about specific but confusing things. 4/12/08
  • Things found – picked up a stray basketball on my walk yesterday. Dollar the dog thinks it’s the greatest thing since pig ears. 4/11/08
  • My blogger buddies – because sometimes I really do need people. 4/8/08
  • Cloudy days – They help me appreciate the pretty ones more. 4/6/08
  • My dogs – They really are this man’s best friends. 4/3/08
  • Relatively good health – So many folks have it so much worse. 4/2/08
  • Mom & GM – Who have for years now kept me fed, clothed, and sheltered. 3/31/08
  • Internet – keeping somewhat connected to outside world. 3/29/08
  • Welbutrin – with it, I can enjoy being alive again. 3/28/08
  • Spring – its coming has made it possible for me to resume the exercise that is so beneficial to mind and body. 3/27/08

14 Responses to “Gratitude”

  1. 1 misterbooks March 30, 2008 at 8:24 pm

    I like it!

  2. 2 beartwinsmom April 2, 2008 at 8:06 pm

    I like reading your list. It helps me think about what I should be grateful for today.

  3. 3 Prester John April 2, 2008 at 8:26 pm

    beartwinsmom – Gratitude is very strong medicine. Sometimes it’s so unpalatable I have to choke it down and sometimes I can’t even do that. I haven’t felt grateful in a very long time. What I’m trying to do here is “fake it till I make it”.

  4. 4 ozymandiaz April 11, 2008 at 7:53 am

    To live in gratitude is indeed the best way to live

  5. 5 beartwinsmom April 14, 2008 at 9:11 pm

    PJ- You’ll have to tell me more about this “fake it till I make it” because I think that is what I need. I’m tired of having these mini crying spells during the day.

  6. 6 Prester John April 15, 2008 at 6:58 am

    beartwinsmom – Wish I could help but we’re really talking about two different things here. My depression and addiction are certainly interrelated but the remedies for the them are different. Gratitude and faith are the cornerstones of many people’s recovery from addiction and have served me well in past lives. Gratitude and faith are among the first casualties of my depression though. That’s where the “fake it till I make it” comes in. Faith and gratitude are core components of my joy, when I’m in my right mind. So I’m trying to fake those two things until my depression wanes and I’m restored to some semblance of sanity.

  7. 7 beartwinsmom April 15, 2008 at 10:50 am

    Ah… that makes a lot more sense to me now. I was comparing it to like wearing a mask. You just dress up under the costume and try to play the part.

  8. 8 Prester John April 15, 2008 at 6:22 pm

    Yeah, it’s an “act as if” sort of thing. It’s less about being phony and more about being better. I’m not very good at it.

  9. 9 angryballerina April 21, 2008 at 10:35 am

    SWEET! I like this!
    Like, a lot! I’ll take the pins outta the voodoo doll now.

  10. 10 Greybeard April 21, 2008 at 6:39 pm

    I’m especially grateful for you Angry. My life was in desperate need of spice until you came along. Or did I come along? Yeah, you’re the old-timer at this blogging thing.

  11. 11 angry ballerina May 16, 2008 at 8:50 pm

    you’re welcome friend.

  12. 12 Marissa May 23, 2008 at 12:50 pm

    I’m thinking of starting a gratitude journal – hardbound – to carry it with me everywhere I go.

  13. 13 beartwinsmom June 9, 2008 at 11:30 pm

    Greybeard- I’m grateful for you. :-)

  14. 14 misterbooks June 22, 2008 at 6:32 pm

    I’m glad to see this being updated…sings of hope and progress.

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If you're interested in reading a fairly detailed account of addiction and depression, Cracked Head Memoirs might be for you. It basically tells how it was and what happened. Writing it helped me go from active addiction to recovery yet again.

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