• David Sales

Acknowledge and Accept

The past, the present, or the future? Where do you spend the most time?

This morning I listened to the wind gust outside and looked to the future. Odd, because that is not where I previously spent my quiet time, opting often to look back. The practice of being present baffles me still, but if I can’t be in the here and now, I much prefer the future, having spent enough hours wallowing in the past's quicksand.

Perhaps I’m feeling more hopeful of late? It is likely that I am more comfortable, and in that, feel more positive about the future. I’m not going to over analyze it - heaven forbid I allow myself to enjoy some positivity. I’ll accept this feeling and enjoy the ride while it lasts.

I will take a few moments to acknowledge and accept. This has become part of my recovery practice.

I have noticed some changes of late. These shifts away from negativity are a welcome change, and I think speak to the more mysterious side of recovery. The work of recovery and healing is not a simple, do this- get that, proposition. In my experience it just seems to happen over time, unnoticed movement and change until suddenly you’re aware that it feels different. I feel different and the world around me feels equally different. When I realize it, that is when I try to take a few moments to stop and let the acknowledgment of growth sink in. I do it because it’s important in building the belief that doing the hard work of recovery is worth it and that recovery works. I need that reinforcement, because there is no instant gratification which the addict in me craves.

It doesn’t take much time to complete this exercise. I use a journal or the notepad I keep beside my bed, or sometimes just sit quietly in the morning and do a mental inventory.

I’ll share what I’ve noted recently. I try to note certainties like I am, I have, I do - rather than I seem to, I think, I feel - which is more exploratory.

Today I notice:

I have more energy and I am finding myself excited to work on my projects.

I am not giving thought to external factors such as the news and things I can’t control.

I am easily moving throughout the day, transitioning from one thing to the other without thought.

I am productive and meeting my personal deadlines without thinking about it.

I am sleeping less, but I’m not as tired.

Simple, but positive. These are all changes I am aware of, and I don’t need to figure out why and dissect exactly what precipitated the specific change. I can be comfortable that something in my recovery is working as it should and I can keep going, grateful for the progress.

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Disclaimer - I base my articles on my own personal experience as a recovering alcoholic and addict. I share about what has helped me, what I have learned about myself, and are to provide insight into my recovery. I encourage anyone struggling with mental health and addiction challenges to consider talking to a professional clinician. You are worth it.