The season of winter can be challenging with its shorter days, the cold, naked trees and an overall barren display throughout nature. I have learned to enjoy each season and during the course of my own recovery, I have noticed so much more than I used to. The gray days of winter could often depress me and I would drink to feel better. Of course, my drinking did not help with that depression, worsened it immensely, and those gray days felt bleak and lifeless. As I continue to practice deep breathing and mindfulness in my sober years, I have come to be more patient with not only the tides of the seasons, but the constant changes within and I now experience the quiet beauty of the gray days of winter.
Being unconditionally committed to living a life free from alcohol and drugs has given my own soul a chance to emerge and reveal to my inner self that I am patient, that I am capable of living through the ups-and-downs that life presents. I do not live in a continual rosy cloud of bliss, none of us do. However, I do have wonderful, ‘rosy’ days that are filled with gratitude, peace, and love. Each day, regardless of the conflicts or pressures that may arise, I begin with a prayer/meditation of gratitude. I focus on the wonderful people in my life – my wife, friends, the special people I meet in recovery, co-workers, my loving pets, the home I live in, my health, my sobriety, my renewed faith in God and myself. The list can go on and some days I have longer periods to spend giving thanks for all that is in my life and consciousness. Being grateful is such a key to living a full life. Being thankful and grateful for my own recovery is paramount.
I have such faith in the ability of anyone to free themselves from addiction, and I mean anyone. If someone has been addicted to alcohol and/or drugs for a perniciously lengthy time – they can, if they want and so choose, and reach out for help – they can enter on the pathway of recovery. There is nothing in nature stopping or preventing a person from experiencing the healing powers that life can provide. Moreover, I personally know this, because I was an individual that went to the depths of addiction and my ‘rock bottom’ was a near-death experience. It is with confidence and love I can now say and write these words without any embarrassment or shame. I became lost in alcohol abuse, did not know how to pull myself out of the downward spiral. In fact, the nature of addiction had overtaken me to that dreadful point in which I did not wish to pull myself out of anything. I lost faith in God, in myself and was losing the will to live. I only have sympathy and love for any soul that has descended to such a treacherous and painful level. The world can be a tough place, and it is easier than some may think, to lose oneself on the pathway of life.
With spring’s arrival, the most stunning and powerful example of transmutation occurs. From what appeared as dead or dark, literally blossoms into a fragrant, glorious show of the force and beauty of nature. I know there are some people, enveloped by the tentacles of addiction, even while attempting to read these words who may wish to shut them out and deny them. Let this season of spring sprout that infinitesimal seed lurking within that core within you. There is help for you and you must let this seed grow. It does not matter the duration of your addiction. If you let some light enter, and provide some care and consideration, you can find yourself again in a renewed life free from addiction.
I cannot speak of this season upon us, without expressing that I feel God, or the Universe, or the Cosmic, is clearly bestowing us with love and the opportunity of renewal and forgiveness. The experience of winter and its grayish bareness is a part of life, just as death and loss is a part of life. As I stay on my own path of Unconditional Recovery, I am able to live through these ever-changing occurrences, with all the sorrow and grief that some experiences cause, and all the happiness and success that other ventures will bring. It is not a matter of 'strength' or 'will', but more a belief in the 'steadiness' of life, the 'flowing currents' of life and the acceptance that this is just the way our birth and existence was intended to be. Faith and confidence in my own ability to live through these cycles and stages of life without moving towards a drink or a drug is wonderful. As I let the ‘light’ in and feel the energy that this season emits, I am moved by the poignancy of this love and the glorious beauty that exhibits itself each day.
The greatest examples of love and renewal that transpires throughout the universe is apparent in a simple blade of grass, or a budding tree, or blossoming flower being touched by a bee. This love is there for us as well and all we must do is invite it in and feel it. It takes courage to love, to bring love and healing into our life. It is never too late to change. The seasons of the earth have existed for millions and millions of years. Each year spring descends upon us granting renewal. Let this light of life and love become a prominent part of Unconditional Recovery. A step towards realizing and feeling this rejuvenation is just like taking that first step towards recovery. One moment of realizing that you can change, that you are not predestined to remain a victim of alcoholism and addiction, will allow the universe a chance of entering your soul and being and plant that seed of healing. And from any seed, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant it may appear to be, can grow renewed life. You can choose life and decide to nurture that seed of change, renewal and healing. Until next time, feeling grateful . . .