Sober since April 6, 2006


Thursday, May 25, 2006

Toolbox Additions

I used to work for a hardware company. They sold all kinds of tools and gadgets that people needed in order to complete their handiwork.

It was always surprising to me how many different kinds and varieties of tools there were. Looking at a shelf-full of drill bits, they all looked the same to me. But come to find out, each bit had a different purpose for a different type of job -- and they were generally not interchangeable. Each job seems to require a different set of tools.

In my attempt to "look on the bright side" the other day, I thought of these tools and their varying purposes. It seems that when I experience some sort of trauma in my life, I acquire something useful from that experience -- much like acquiring a new "tool".

From every painful situation, I gain two things: compassion and experience. Compassion is the motivator that leads me to help others. Experience is the tool I have to complete my work.

Without compassion, I would have no desire to help others. Without experience, I would have no ability to help others. Both are required to live a meaningful life.

I often find myself wishing I could help someone, but having no idea how. My life experience up to this point has been quite sheltered. I usually have the compassion to help others, but not necessarily the experience. It makes me feel so aggravatingly useless.

So one way to view my present difficulties is this: I'm gaining experience so that I can be USEFUL. At the end of this situation, I will have a new "tool" for my toolbox -- and one day, I will have the ability to help someone.

So today, I am thankful for:

  • being an alcoholic
  • being cheated on and abandoned in a relationship
  • being overwhelmed with depression
  • feeling worthless
  • hating myself
  • being unemployed
  • feeling out of place
  • worrying about the future
... because I will someday be useful to others in those situations.

But I'm also thankful for:

  • being 49 days sober
  • my loving, supportive family and adorable puppy
  • my awesome AA friends, online and offline
  • the program of AA
  • the beautiful day, full of possibility and potential
  • the loving grace of God, which will see me through to the end
... because without these wonderful gifts, I would not make it through this day.



good attitude.
i see you,

sirreene said...

Hang around long enough you'll see all kinds of awful things that you can be grateful for! like you'll make friends with someone who'll end up going out and committing suicide and with the strength of the other people in the program you will get through it. I found out one of my friends in the AA program was a murderer...All kinds of things ~ out there for you to experience on this incredible recovery journey. Tomorrow 50!

friend said...

The Bible says what you said pretty much

2 Corinthians 1:3-5 (Message Trans.)

3-5All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. We have plenty of hard times that come from following the Messiah, but no more so than the good times of his healing comfort—we get a full measure of that, too.