"Well, I'm kinda sorry to say that sometimes I think of him [a co-worker] as my tormentor -- but on my better days, I remember that the word 'tormentor' contains the word 'mentor' -- meaning that he has something to teach me. If I can focus on that it helps."
"... I started writing 'thank you' on all of the checks I wrote. All the checks I was writing to make amends. And then all the checks I wrote to pay my bills. 'Thank you for the terms to pay this off' or 'Thank you for providing me with electricity or ... I don't know, just... thank you. 'Thank you for extending me credit.' Eventually -- not right away, but over time -- it really helped me see that the way I thought about my amends, or what I owed, or what I was paying for, was upside down in some subtle ways. I was still struggling with feelings of entitlement and privilege and, well, plain old resentment. But writing 'thank you' ... it's so funny, how it all comes back to gratitude, and how that changes everything, isn't it."
"For a long time in my life, if you had asked me about being 'kind' to myself, I would have given you an answer that involved some kind of pampering, or rule breaking, or entitlement. Today it means something very different to me: It means thinking through how I'm going to feel before I do something questionable, or paying attention to how I speak to myself in my head... or also it means saying 'no' to myself when King Baby wants what King Baby wants."
"Sometimes the greatest kindness I can offer myself is to throw myself into service -- to get out of myself. To kind of give me a break from Me. I know I've been exhausting to other people in my life... now in sobriety sometimes I'm even exhausting to me."
I have come a long way... and I have a long way to go.
Ultimately though, when I consider who and how I used to be, when I think about how small my world was, how tiny my dreams, how twisted my thinking, how dark my heart... when I remember that every day for years all I could do was drink and use... hell, all I wanted to do was drink and use... it doesn't matter how far I've come or how far I have to go. I'm different. I'm new. I don't live or think that way anymore. And I never have to again. That is... I am... it's a miracle. Well, it's my miracle anyway. And I really want to keep it.
Drinking, my life had gotten so small that all I knew how to say was "no." For me, contrary action was simply starting to say "yes" -- to anything.
As I learned from my friends in Al-anon, "No." is a complete sentence.
I used to think that being powerless over alcohol only meant that you couldn't say "no" to it. I learned (the bloody hard way) that it also meant saying "No" but then changing it to a "yes" for almost no good reason at all.