I’m grateful for my peers in program. There’s been some really rough days and they have always had my back. I could call my close peers or some of the ones I’ve connected with at meetings, and every one of them would give up their time to be there for me. Being able to stay open with emotions, have someone to talk to about them, and not only have them listen, but to also challenge my own assumptions and my perception, is a gift of recovery. In the past, all I would do is dump, or as my therapist explained, I’d vomit my crap on my spouse. When part of my struggles dealt with my interactions with her, this would only cause conflict in our marriage. Having a network of others who understand and have empathy because they’ve been there is a huge blessing.


I’m grateful for my phone conversation with my wife just hours before my check ride. I didn’t realize how much I had suppressed this past month, but hearing her voice opened up a flood of emotions. The “vomiting” I had been thankful for not doing came out in a torrent during that conversation. My wife listened, did not deflect, defend, or attack. She was understanding and gave me encouragement right before my test.


What I’m so thankful about that conversation was that I had put so much emphasis on making sure I knew everything, that I was going to study right up to the minute before my test. Because my emotional energy was off, I had to take care of me. Other than working out, I had not taken care of me for a month. With my godfather’s death, my step-mother’s death, and knowing that in a week we need to start finalizing the divorce, I had done nothing when it came to self-care. I was so completely off after our conversation that it was mandatory for me to focus on me, not the exam three hours away.


I’m so grateful for this epiphany. I stopped studying and changed my focus. I meditated. I did EFT and started tapping. I listened to some empowering videos and wrapped it all up with some inspirational music. Songs like The Theme from Rocky and We Will Rock You got my head in a different mindset. I went into the check ride with more confidence, peace, and everything finally came together during the two hour exam. I’m grateful that this brief talk on the phone allowed me to find a way to ground myself so I could pass my ride instead of stressing about what I didn’t know. I had known it all along, I just needed to break the block in learning.


I’m grateful that I had lunch with my step-brother before I finished training. We reconnected since my step-mother passed away. I had met him 30 years ago on a trip to visit my father in Hawaii; we just had never kept in contact with one another. We spent 3 hours over lunch catching up on life and learning about each other’s childhood. It was cool to hear stories about my biological father, to hear how similar the two of us were, and that he actually had a chance to be a dad for someone who needed one.


I’m grateful for coming home. Two months is a long time to be gone. I’m grateful for my daughter’s physical therapist and how he described how the back works. He was an easy going guy who made learning about the back entertaining and educational for my daughter. I’m also grateful that my first night back I was able to have another session of D&D with my close friends, but this time in person!


Grateful Childhood

I’m grateful for the Christmas my mom, step father, and step sister spent at our family cabin. We trekked through the snow to find a Christmas tree, which we chopped down. My step-father must have lugged that tree through the woods to the cabin. I don’t remember that part, but I do remember that we had no ornaments so had to decorate everything ourselves. Popcorn, Styrofoam Christmas ball ornaments, Shrinky Dink ornaments, and garland made out of paper. We had to hike up to the swimming pool, break the ice, bring back buckets of water, and boil the water prior to drinking or cooking with it. And I’m grateful that the turkey was one of the best I’ve ever eaten. I will never know how that happened because the gas oven kept shutting off and I remember my step father had to continuously keep relighting the oven.


That holiday season we took a step back in time to how people used to do live in the winters in the olden days.

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