Wednesday, July 10, 2013

THE GIFT OF GRATITUDE - from When Lost Men Come Home, not for men only

The Gift of Gratitude

During this time of my recovery I began to experience a deep untangling of the pressure and stress I had felt inside me. I was learning new and healthier ways to cope without taking drugs, drinking alcohol, or being sexual in ways that made me feel bad about myself. I was trading in my troubling and self-destructive emotions for the simple gift of gratitude, often without even knowing I was doing it. Gratitude posts a loving guard at the door of our lives, insuring that bitterness and resentment and anger will no longer dominate us as they have in the past. Gratitude helps us to be thankful for life as it is not how we wish it, expect it or even need it to be.

 
If you will throw away your detestable idols and go astray no more, and if you swear by my name alone, and begin to live good lives and uphold justice, then you will be a blessing to the nations of the world, and all people will come and praise my name.

Jeremiah 4:1 MSG

 
            As gratitude inside of us increased over time, it became more apparent that we had to continue taking effective actions to avoid a relapse back into active addiction. We needed to be ever alert, because sexual addictions interact with, set off and build upon other addictions. The dual diagnosis of addictions is becoming more and more common in rehab centers and Twelve Step fellowships. So with this in mind, we stay closely connected to other recovering people who have more experience than we do. We look to our sponsors, our mentors and our counselors for help and guidance. They help keep us moving away from our addictions, or unknowingly picking up new addictions along the way. Common co-addictions can be food and compulsive eating disorders, destructive spending, gambling, alcohol and other drug addictions and even prescription medications.  Religion and religiosity can be addictive, and we can become so obsessed with certain people that we become addicted to trying to control them or their life. Fact is, not recognizing any destructive behavioral pattern can potentially trigger sexual addiction. This is because, at their core, addictions are simply a destructive relationship with a mind or mood altering substance or experience that expresses itself in destructive behavior. Virtually anything that is mood or mind altering and destructive can potentially be addictive.

            If you think you may have a problem with a substance, even the use of prescription or ‘legitimate’ drugs, it is essential that you stop and get help today. If you are drinking destructively, seek professional help and call Alcoholics Anonymous at once. And the same holds true for any addictive behavior. You and your loved ones will suffer more if you don’t ask for the appropriate help today. 

            Today and every day we stand at a crossroad. But, we are not alone. When we are ready to ask for help, a fellowship will be with us. Even better, The Source of all power has already joined the battle for our lives, helping us live a new way and become new people, to be free.

 
Your God is present among you, a strong warrior there to save you. Happy to have you back, he’ll calm you with his love and delight you with his songs. The accumulated sorrows of your exile will dissipate. I, your God, will get rid of them for you. You’ve carried those burdens long enough.

Zephaniah 3:17, 18 MSG

This is an excerpt from WHEN LOST MEN COME HOME, not for men only  ~ Copyright David Zailer, 2011

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