A Step in the Right Direction

Last weekend I put myself through an emotional roller coaster. I was overwhelmed with three areas of my life: college, work, and myself. At times I didn’t know up from down, nor down from up. There were times I didn’t know if I was going to survive; I almost gave up. Yet, when I took the time needed to take a look at myself, trusting in the process, I woke up refreshed taking a step in the right direction.

First, there was this overwhelming feeling of loneliness. Since I work overnights, I don’t have a lot of contact with my support network. Yet, I forgot the most important thing – the connection with a Higher Power.

I became so enmeshed with time constraints I began to cut things out. Since most of my free time has been studying, reading, writing, and solving complex mathematical problems, I just skipped right past it or didn’t read it at all. That includes the daily posts I put up here. Yet, when I slowed myself down, took a deep breath, something changed. The connection with my Higher Power was rekindled.

Acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing, or situation—some fact of my life—unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in God’s world by mistake. Until I could accept my alcoholism, I could not stay sober; unless I accept life completely on life’s terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes.

p. 417, Acceptance is the Answer, Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous

The above is one of my favorite quotes. At times I forget to remind myself of it. It wasn’t until I started writing this entry; this quote came to mind. That one little paragraph says so much. The most powerful message, for me, is the very last sentence, “I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as what needs to be changed in me and my attitudes.

Ever heard of Rule #62 – “Don’t take your life [yourself] so damn seriously!“. It’s another good one. When I think back and read what was going on, especially with school, it appears to be a form of perfectionism. That is common in many addicts; the desire to be perfect all the time or an OCD everything must adhere to their specifications. While I do want to do well in school, it doesn’t mean I have to jeopardize my health and sanity for an A. Just like high school, no one is going to ask what I got in my college algebra class when I apply for a job – or they shouldn’t! It doesn’t matter. Perhaps use the same principle I try to at work every day – do the best with what you learn and leave the rest.

Even today I wasn’t as frantic about getting everything done. I could (but avoid) turning things in late for courses with a 10% penalty. I just reviewed last week’s grades, which I passed with all A’s. I got a 95% on my MAT136 assignment, but now the instructor says I could go back and re-do those I got wrong for a better score. WTF? Why?

If I remember to keep these points a top priority in my life, perhaps I won’t sink into that dark abyss. At least it’s a step in the right direction. I’m at peace again.

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