Monday, January 30, 2012

Acceptance-And What We Must Suck Up

I know, I know, the correct terminology is accepting those things we cannot change.  That sounds so noble and peaceful.  But lets face it, a lot of us, especially early in sobriety, are not really looking to be noble and peaceful, we just want to learn ways to suck it up. 

And you know what, sucking it up works just fine, until you can make peace with the things that are out of your control.  Personally, I'm much better now at just accepting most things I can't change, but sometimes something comes along that really does stick in my craw.  I've learned over the years that drinking won't change the things I don't like in life, whining about them doesn't work, temper tantrums-waste of energy!
So, I just suck it up until I can make peace with it.

Making peace with things we can't change, that's a huge part of acceptance.  For me personally, its pretty easy to look at the other side of the situation.  I may not always agree with the other side, but I can at least understand their point in my head, if not my heart.  Once I have at least an intellectual understanding of something I really dislike, its easier to just let go of it.

People are a great example of this.  Personally, I have a real problem with judgmental and/or prejudiced people.  A lot of my problem is because they only see what they want to see, they refuse to consider other opinions, or take anything other than their beliefs into account.

But you know what, that is their problem.  It is not up to me to make them better people.  I don't have to hang around with these people.  Depending on my life situation at a given time I may have to work with them, or be neighbors with them, but I don't have to spend personal time with them.  What works for me is realizing that's where they are on their journey through life, and that's okay.  They must be there for a reason.  Its not where I am, so I just stay away from their negativity.

We also can't change other people's attitudes about us, at least not overnight.  Those of us in recovery, all we can do is stay strong and show every day that we are doing the right things and that we are on the right path.  Eventually, most people will come around as they see us making the effort.  Those people that have closed their minds  and hearts to us; we really don't need them anyway.  We don't need their negativity dragging us down.

A lot of times, we may have been what closed their minds.  We all did things when we were active in our addictions that hurt others, as well as ourselves.  We may very well have hurt others to the point that they can't forgive us, and that is something that we have to live with.  

It is also one of the most important things that we need to accept.  WE did ALL those things.  Granted, we did most of them under the influence of mind-altering substances, or when we were so wrapped up in our addiction that our thinking was distorted, but WE STILL DID THEM.  I have lost some sober friends who decided well, it wasn't ME that did that, it was the alcohol, cocaine, insert drug of choice here. 

That is a load of crap!! It was still Me or You.  We did it, and we have to admit that to ourselves.  I find it very helpful,especially when random memories of things I really don't want to remember come to me, to realize, that's who I was THEN.  The person I am now would never do those things, and would never live like that. 

We need to accept and remember who we were, but now we get to live with the knowledge that that person is in the past.  That person helped make us the strong person we are today,  but it is not who we are anymore.   I saw this somewhere, I don't remember the author but I think its very appropriate "Don't Judge Me By My Past, I Don't Live There Anymore!"

That's what we have to do with ourselves and with others.  Live in the moment, don't deny the past; but don't dwell in it either, and just stay away from the things that we know in our hearts are bad for us.


  1. I'm reading............
    Nice work ;-)

  2. Hi Teresa, my name is Kandy,, we share the same affliction,, I've been sober for 1 year, 4months, and 31 days :) Your blog is wonderful. I loved every word, so much truth,, I wonder if you used this for a lead,, it would have been great,, At any rate, I will be watching more closely for your blogs, as I am doing mine based on the same sort of idea,, "New Beginnings" Great work with the blog,, and your recovery,, keep doing what your doing,, and Blessed Be )0(

  3. Thank-you so much Kandy, and congratulations on 17 months sober!!
    Blessed Be!