Blog

We need a Recovery Revolution

We Need a 12 Step Recovery Revolution
by BagheadSponsor
Man. We need a revolution! Now, adjust your underoos a little– I’m not
interested in changing anything. As a matter of fact, when I say
“revolution” I’m actually talking about the definition as follows (from my
handy dashboard widget) “rev•o•lu•tion : an instance of revolving ° the
single completion of an orbit or rotation. ” I’m talking about taking it
back to the old school, yo! I wanna learn from my elders! You?
There’s just something about talking with someone who has years of
experience in an area of life that is important to me. There is something
reassuring about taking guidance from someone who has what I want, because
I know that if I do what they do, I will get what they have. There’s
something comforting about knowing that the person I’m listening to has
been around long enough to see the results of certain actions and
decisions come to full fruition… or not.
Honestly, I’m really blessed. My spiritual advisor in my 12 step program
of choice (of which I may or may not be a member) has almost 30 years of
sobriety, and at any moment I can get in touch with people who have a
multitude of years off the sauce/junk to guide me. But, truth be told…
even I have had a difficult time, at times in my recovery, finding someone
who I really felt I could trust with certain important issues and/or for
whom I had respect. I’m not only thinking of myself here– I have 18+
years off the junkage and a pretty good idea of how to push through the
more common life challenges if I’m in a pickle. But, I have a great
concern for my fellows way out there in the boonies, trying to get
sober, whose only hope of keeping their head screwed on straight (or
screwed on at all) is talking to somebody else who’s just as cray-cray as
they are! I guess it works out okay in many cases. But, I have always been
told to seek out people who had what I wanted… What about the people out
there who don’t have access to anyone who has what they want? I say they
need access to the old-timers who have something worth sharing. I say I
should also get that access. And, I say you should get that access, too!
Truly, we are fortunate to have some solid literature in our various 12
step programs– I’m a full proponent of reading all of it and I think the
vast majority of answers to life’s conundrums can be found in there. I can
prove that I think that by sharing with you this music
video I made called It’s In The Book
. You should watch it because
it’s pretty awesome. But let’s get real here, people– nothing beats a
good ole’ fashioned one to one Q and A session with an old-timer!
I mean, am I the only person who worries about taking “sage” advice from
people who are just making sh*t up on the fly? Seriously– good
intentioned or not, it’s made up. I want to hear the facts of someone’s
experience. I want to know how things turned out. I want to hear about
trends in recovery and things that did and did not work! I want to hear
what the old-timers have to say! Shoot, I want to hear what the old
timers in London and Paris and Tenney, MN (that’s the smallest town in
America) have to say on important issues! Are you with me on this?
Okay, good. You’ve convinced me! I’m going to get something together,
then, for all of us. A revolution, if you will. I think I’ll call it
Revolution #1. I’ll let you know when I need your help. (You think I’m
kidding!) If you want to know more about what I’m planning over here, or
you already know that you want to help out with the Revolution #1, you
should email me and get on board. We’d love to have you!
Until then, here’s some sage advise from a girl with a bag for a head: Go
grab an old-timer and get as much of their experience under your cap as
possible! That’s what I do, every other Thursday at 11:30… and it can’t
be beat!
Until next time– don’t drink, drug, or try to off yourself!
Xoxo, BagheadSponsor

Blog

A serious note from the girl behind the bag

OH. MY. GOODNESS. It has been a while! And, that’s precisely what this here note is all about– to let you know what’s up with the show. This message is straight from my heart to your heart… with love and gratitude for your support. So, here’s the dealio… (For those of you who are very busy and important, like myself, I have put the key ideas in bold below. You’re very welcome. xoxo, BagheadSponsor)

* GITTERDONE: LIKE THE BAGHEADSPONSOR.COM PAGE And then share it on your wall… because that’s fun!

* WHAT’S UP: We’re asking for Divine inspiration & intuitive thought, pausing when agitated, and taking it easy. We’re taking stock. And, we’re taking a break so that we can keep rolling.

My promise to myself and to the show and to all of you guys is that BagheadSponsor will always, always, always be about service– it will always be true, it will always be awesome, it will always have integrity and courage and faith built in to everything we do– everything. Recently I had noticed that I was starting to get pretty stressed out (running the show– literally and figuratively) trying to figure out how to “make it work” with the money part. It quickly became clear that “another bulldozing power drive” (that’s from Language of the Heart) was not what was in order… but that having faith, stepping back and taking inventory of what we’ve accomplished and where we want to go, what’s missing, what would make a difference, etc. is actually what is in order. In other words… a break… with intention. So, that’s what we’re doing! Don’t you worry— our guidance is to “pause when agitated”– not to “stop forever when agitated.” There is SO much more to create– dvds, more videos, books, workbooks, articles– all kinds of stuff. And, the right answers will come.

* WHY: Cash money. And this is not an email asking you for money. One of the main reasons for this break is to determine how to fund and sustain our future, because the savings is gone.

The truth is that it’s time to get real about the financial situation. We have not found a way, yet, that fully aligns with the vision of BagheadSponsor and that has full integrity, that also brings in the resources to sustain it. (Aside from the incredibly generous gifts from some of you, which we are eternally grateful for! We are also so grateful to Origins, who sponsored 4 amazing episodes!) We have had many conversations about ways to sustain the site and have yet to come up with a workable solution. I believe we will find one. It’s not going to take much, either, so it’s just a matter of waiting for the next door (or window) to open. It is now, standing in the hallway, that I am reminding myself of our tried and true unofficial slogan– Don’t Quit Before the Miracle!

* WHO WE ARE GRATEFUL FOR: This list is incredibly long.

YOU, for your support. And because there are so many of you who make a difference, and there’s only so much available bandwidth when sending emails, I will narrow it down to a few people who have been absolutely instrumental in our progress so far: Big G, Eileen P., Gary L. (Captain Z), Chris R, Ben L & Dawn at Origins, Sue C., Mikey BigBook, the two Gregs at RecoveryToday (you can read our articles there each month!), George at The Right Step, Mark the meditation teacher, my dad, Kerri C., Steph S., Todd S., all of our special guests, & the many of you who have checked in with us to see how we’re doing and to tell us that you miss us. I’d also like to thank the person who invented the internet.

* WHAT WE’VE DONE WELL, THAT IS OF SERVICE, AND THAT WE CAN BE PROUD OF: We have created an amazing show and the beginnings of something that will truly continue to make a difference

22 Phenomenal videos– funny, poignant, and awesome. In those webisodes, there were a few stand-out performances and materials. Among them:Don’t Knit in Meetings: The Music Video/ Mediation: YES! with Mark Williams, the meditation teacher / Music Video: I Found the Way / Episode: Powerlessness!/ Episode: Telling it Like it Is with Chris R. / Music Video: You Don’t Have to Dress Like a Slut to Be Loved / Music Video: It’s In The BOOK! / Music Video: The Bill W. Techno Mix (Spiritual Experience) / and we were on ELLEN! (superimposed, yes. but that makes it no less real in the world of digital media, with the exception of the lack of reciprocation.) We’ve also created a ton of additional resources, like the free week of the daily inventory workbook and a bunch of articles. We’ve followed suggestions, done things prayerfully and with pure motives, and one of our most important accomplishments is that, in the midst of fear, we were able to stay true to the show and true to the mission of BagheadSponsor by ending a business relationship with a potential investor when it became clear that the arrangement would lack integrity. This is a real accomplishment. Truly. And it is a leap of faith, which I believe will be blessed by BIG G!

* WHAT YOU CAN DO TO BE OF SERVICE, SHOULD YOU SO CHOOSE: KEEP COMING BACK and PLEASE spread the word about the site! Share this page, Like this page– Love it, actually. Love it.

The site is still up and available, and it will continue to be as we get our act together. While we are taking a breather, feel free to click around the shows, music videos, and articles on the site www.BagheadSponsor.com– there are just so many to choose from! Watch, read, laugh, and we would be most appreciative if you’d do what you do with the good ole’ Facebook and such– like the videos, like our FB page, post it on your wall, share it, send emails out to your friends, telling them about how much you love the show and encouraging them to visit the site, etc. In other words, spread the word to your friends, sponsors and sponsees– anybody you think would like it– and if you’re not already hooked up with us, you can do that below my signature. That’s fun!

Until the cameras start rolling again, the inspired ideas are rolling– and that’s worth a million bucks.
In love, gratitude and service… We’ll be in touch soon.
And, hey… Enjoy the show!
xoxo,
BagheadSponsor
*Don’t drink, drug, or try to off yourself.

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Festival de Baghead Winner: Best Recovery Videos Online

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on hold for a minute or two…

yo! thanks for visiting the site! please enjoy exploring tons of great videos and articles and pictures and…. well, shoot, we got a ton of stuff for ya! we are currently taking an ever-so-very small break from production to sort a few things out… don’t you worry; we’ll be back in a flash! xoxo, BagheadSponsor

Blog

Possession of Cocaine… borrrrrrinnnnnnngggggg (mug shot)

possessioncocaineIs it just me, or does she seem bored about being in possession of cocaine? Oh! Maybe that’s depression over being caught by the law! Now it’s making sense… Perhaps one of those 12 step meetings would inspire her… Thank you, God, for keeping me clean and sober. xoxo, BagheadSponsor

Blog

Drunk in Plant

DrunkInPlantWhen they say plant bed…. Oh, never mind. Thank you, God, for keeping me clean and sober. xoxo, BagheadSponsor   (photo by: http://www.flickr.com/photos/quimix/)

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“9-1-1. What’s your emergency?” “….Uhhh… I need a ride to the bar.”

"What's your emergency?"  "Uhhh.... I need a ride to the bar."

"What's your emergency?" "Uhhh.... I need a ride to the bar."

This guy called 911, claiming that people were shooting at him, and that he was bleeding from the ears. Turns out he just needed a ride to the bar. (Click here for more story!) Thank you, God, for keeping me clean and sober. xoxo, BagheadSponsor

Blog

Hard Working Man…

ahhhhh.....

ahhhhh.....

It’s just nice, after a hard day’s work, to lay back and relax… in the median. Thank you, God, for keeping me clean and sober. xoxo, BagheadSponsor

Blog

Not Drunk a Bit, Sir… in 1904

"Well, if you must... Take my bloody picture."

"Well, if you must... Take my bloody picture."

You know what they say… innocent until proven guilty. And with that posture…. He could get off the hook!

Thank you, God, for keeping me clean and sober… xoxo, BagheadSponsor

Blog

DRUNK GUY WITH HEAD IN TOILET

Home sweet home!

Home sweet home!

Some things are definitely less disgusting than other things. This is not one of those. Thank you, God, for keeping me clean and sober… xoxo, BagheadSponsor

12 Step, Blog

Should You Really Trust Yourself to Think Think Think?

Think think think? I think not! I’ve got to get real about my own great ideas; they suck. And, here’s why:

 Look, we were given brains to use. And I’m all for using them there brains, once they’re straightened out. But, the truth of my experience is that my thinking has been altered (to my detriment) by years of self-centeredness, self-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity—not to mention drugs and alcohol. 

Before I cleaned up, my very best intentions landed me at rock bottom, got me gently placed behind doors with no knob on my side, bunking with people I feared may kill me at any moment. (Makes for a light 16 or so nights of sleep.) When I first sobered up I was suffering from a major case of alcohol withdrawal symptoms, and my best intentions were definitely insufficient, given that I could barely muster up the courage to get out of bed or brush my teeth. Left to my own devices, I would have stayed in bed and cried for the first two years of my recovery.

Now, listen, when I say “best intentions” I’m not mocking you or myself, my friends—I actually did have good intentions most of the time, and meant no harm. The problem is that my thinking was so skewed, it was impossible for me to see how my best thinking was actually creating my problems. Good motives coupled with an alcoholic mind still left me with less than the desired results. Unless I was actually interested in living in remorse, guilt, shame, embarrassment, and terror… In that case, it could be argued that I was doing a darn good job at running my own life!

It was, in fact, my sponsor who told me that she didn’t care what I thought, how I felt, or what I wanted to do—I had to get out of bed. Then I had to brush my teeth, and call her to let her know I had done so. I’m certain I’m not the only person for whom these simple tasks were pretty much impossible to perform without aid.

 All that to say— until you are certain you can trust your own thinking 100% of the time (good luck with that!) then it simply can’t hurt to run your ideas past somebody who has your best interest at heart. And if you look around and there’s nobody around who has your best interest at heart—go get somebody! Get a great therapist, a minister, an old family friend, or somebody who has been walking on a spiritual path and practicing those principals for a solid amount of time. I’ve saved myself a tremendous amount of pain by practicing restraint of pen and tongue (especially when I get excited about that great idea!) until I’ve prayed, meditated, done some writing, and talked with my sponsor. As a matter of fact, one of my favorite practices is waiting for 72 hours before making any major decisions. I practice that, even today, with a little time under my belt.

Now, what makes me the expert? Not much. But I am telling you the truth— from my experience. And I do have quite a bit of that. Oh, and I’m the host of my own show, which automatically makes me an authority, right? God, I hope so. 

Speaking of the show– it’s already time to plug that sucker! I hope you’ll join us on www.BagheadSponsor.com for some ridiculous recovery videos, including this article’s companion video on “Think Think Think?!”  It’s almost as if decent and hilarious commentary on the 12 step program of your choice is just a mouse click away. Until next time… do the next right thing, take it easy, and whatever you do– don’t drink, drug, or try to off yourself. Oh, and think that good idea through– all the way to your sponsor’s house.

Xoxo, BagheadSponsor

www.BagheadSponsor.com

Saving lives. One episode at a time.

12 Step, Blog

Welcome to Crazy Town!

Welcome to Crazy Town!
By BagheadSponsor

People ask me, “BagheadSponsor, you sure seem put together. Don’t you ever
get crazy or off the beam?” Heck yeah I do!! Big G knows I’ve been
through some crazy times in recovery! I mean, who hasn’t? Right?! The
great thing is that it’s just so easy to get back to safety. Let me
explain.

May I metaphor? Thank you. What I’ve noticed in my seventeen plus years of
walking this path is that if I intend to walk the path of recovery, I need
to keep my feet on the path of recovery, which was laid out for me by my
predecessors. (Thank you!) I keep my feet on the path by keeping my eye on
my destination (Recovery City) and by checking in to make sure that the
steps I’m taking are going in the right direction. Sounds simple, right?
That’s because it is!

So, why do we find ourselves in Crazy Town, when we were headed for
Recovery City?

Thanks for asking! This is what I think happens: In my experience, I can
see times in the past when I would be doing the work on a regular basis.
We’re talking regular, if not daily, written 10th steps, prayer and
meditation, being of service, going to meetings, doing step work with
others, meeting with my own sponsor—all of it. So I’d be feeling pretty
darn good, of course! As a result, I may begin to slack off on a few
things… The thoughts probably sound a little like this: “I don’t feel
resentful, so why would I do a tenth step? I don’t have anything to
write!” Or… “I feel connected, so I probably don’t need to meditate
today.”

Eventually, my thoughts begin to shift from being of service and doing the
next right thing, to something along these lines: “I probably don’t need
a meeting today, after all.” Or “I don’t even really know that I miss
talking to my sponsor. She always answers her phone, and I don’t feel like
listening to her chatter right now. Maybe I’ll just send a quick text to
let her know things are good with me.” And on and on… So, I’m taking a
little break from walking on the path, you know? … kicking the shoes off
for a bit… taking a look at the scenery. You get my drift?

Do you see my drift?

I’m already beginning to drift off the path a bit—I mean, I may be
following it generally, but it’s likely that I’m in the grass next to the
path, or in the bushes, at this point. This is what is commonly referred
to as “working MY program” rather than “working THE program.” The bottom
line is that I’m focused more on my own ideas than I am on walking the
path that was cleared for me by the people who know what they’re doing.
Then, because my eyes are no longer on the Path of Recovery, I find myself
interested in… something glittery over there in the trees! Maybe it’s
money, or my career, my deep inner issues, a gloriously justified
resentment, or some new Somebody Special. Whatever it is, it’s certainly
sparkly! (If I look closely, it probably has something to do with the
satisfaction of my instincts.) Before I know it, because I’m paying
attention to my newfound shining interest, I’m headed for the woods and
away from Recovery City. This is also pretty simple, eh?

Here’s what sucks: Alone and deep in the woods, I see the sign, “WELCOME
TO CRAZY TOWN! You made it! Our town motto is ‘Crazy Town: where instincts
run high and satisfaction runs low, there’s no one to help and nowhere to
go.’ Enjoy your stay!”

Not much of a vacation spot, if you ask me. Especially because we’ve all
been here before, there’s just nothing new about this place.

Here’s the cool part: No matter how long I’ve been wandering around in the
woods, or in Crazy Town, I know the shortcut back to the Path of Recovery.
I’ll let you in on this now– it’s always going to be a combination of
telling the truth, getting to a few of the 12 step meetings of my
choice, calling my sponsor, working the 12 steps, and being of
service to my fellows. Essentially, you could look at the 12 steps as a
high end GPS system. Again, super simple.

Now, you may be asking yourself, “When will I ever reach Recovery City?
I’ve been walking this path for X number of years already!” Ha! I’m sure
you’ve heard the expression “The journey is the destination” right? Yes. I
thought so. So, we may as well enjoy walking the path! This is it! It’s
awesome. And it’s a good walk.

So, that’s that, ya’ll! Do the work. That’s pretty much my message. Hope
you like it. And, if not, do the work anyway and call your sponsor about
your feelings on the matter. I’m sure she’ll be happy to hear from ya!

Now, what makes me the expert? Not much. But I do have my own show, and
it’s dang funny.

Speaking of the show– it’s already time to plug that sucker! I hope
you’ll join us on www.BagheadSponsor.com for some ridiculous recovery
videos, including this article’s companion video on “When Crazy Returns!”
It’s almost as if decent and hilarious commentary on the 12 step program of your
choice is just a mouse click away. Until next time… do the next right
thing, take it easy, and whatever you do– don’t drink, drug, or try to
off yourself. Oh, and enjoy your walk.
Xoxo, BagheadSponsor
www.BagheadSponsor.com
Saving lives. One episode at a time.

BAGHEAD SPONSOR BIO
BagheadSponsor is the main host of BagheadSponsor.com, America’s favorite
clean and sober video blog- a free and hilarious online show that airs on
BagheadSponsor.com covering all things recovery, including all kinds of sobriety gifts and such. It’s
fun! If you or your clients are interested in exploring recovery topics
with a serious sense of humor, please visit the website
www.BagheadSponsor.com or email BagheadSponsor directly at
Baghead@BagheadSponsor.com

12 Step, Blog

Will AA Meetings Online Keep You Sober?

Will AA Meetings Online Keep You Sober?
by BagheadSponsor
Now, this is a tough one and I’m no expert. Although I do have my own show, which is pretty awesome. So, let’s just say this…
Let’s face facts here—the world is moving online. You can watch TV, movies, even live a second life on your computer. AA meetings online as well as NA meetings or Any A meetings online are helpful. Matter o’ fact, they very likely save a life or two every now and then. And that’s awesome. I mean, that’s what we aim to do with every episode of the BagheadSponsor show that’s online 24/7, and I think we do a decent job.
Online meetings are an amazing tool if you’re traveling to a foreign country, and you want to hear some AA speakers, NA speakers, or Al-Anon speakers sharing the solution in plain ole’ English. They’re also useful if you’re going to be stuck in the middle of nowhere for a while where meetings are hard to come by.
But, here’s another fact– there’s something incredibly powerful about sitting down face to face with someone while you tell them the truth about yourself. And you just can’t get that online. Now, I’m not knocking meetings or recovery online one bit. But, the idea behind our show is that our videos will compliment a solid 12 step program—not replace it. And that’s what I think online meetings and recovery networks are good for—a supplement to a solid program that happens with real, live people, in person.
So, let’s boil this down, party people. Will online meetings keep you sober? Maybe. But, I’m interested in something a lot more than staying sober. I’m interested in shaking the hand of the new person, sipping on a cup of bad coffee, and sharing in the laughter and camaraderie that happens when I have my butt in a chair next to another person with their butt in a chair. In my opinion that experience is worth the drive.
So go hit a meeting of your choice! If you hit one today online, hit one tomorrow in person. Hey, it can’t hurt.
Xoxo, BagheadSponsor

12 Step, Blog

Gifts of Sobriety. No, like, buying sobriety gifts.

Sobriety Gifts!
by BagheadSponsor

So, you’ve got a friend who is coming up on a big day; 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, etc and you want to get him or her a gift. I understand! We want to make sure our friends know how much we value their recovery. Be it sobriety gifts, clean gifts, still alive gifts, or I want you to get sober gifts, I’ve got some good ideas for you right here:

*Give them a flower for every day/month/year they have off the junk
*Get them a notebook for their daily 10th step work
*How bout a personalized t-shirt? Ex 1: I’d rather be here than cleaning up my own vomit. Ex 2: Someone in California wants me to get sober. Ex 3: I did it my way; that sucked.
*Send them a link to one of our BagheadSponsor episodes! Now that’s fun!
*Write them a letter about how much they mean to you, and the progress you’ve seen in them.
*Buy them a BagheadSponsor coffee mug or t-shirt for a real celebration! (Check out the “store” page)
*Get them something from our growing list of recommendations on the site, like a meditation pillow, prayer CD, journal, or great recovery book!
*Get them a year’s membership to a coffee/tea club.
*Throw them a surprise party.
*Give them a brand new big book of alcoholics anonymous. Never can hurt!
*Show up in comfy clothes, with cleaning supplies, ready to clean their house for them. (Feel free to swing by here on your way out.)
*Give them a great big ole’ hug.

Now these are just a few ideas… Food for thought, if you will. Will you? Thank you.

Hey, listen, we have hilarious recovery episodes going up all the time, so we’ll see you soon! Until then, don’t drink, drug, or try to off yourself.
xoxo,
BagheadSponsor

Blog, Drug Effects

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

How to know if you’re a friggin alcoholic.

Well, you probably are, or you wouldn’t be worried enough about it to look this stuff up. But, I’ll humor you! The bottom line is that if you freak out when you stop drinking, you’re probably in trouble with the drinkiepoo.

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms (meaning you’re withdrawing from alcohol, which normal people rarely have to do.):

Interesting psychological symptoms that I am grateful to no longer suffer from:

  • Feeling of jumpiness or nervousness (freaking out.)
  • Feeling of shakiness (freaking out.)
  • Anxiety (freaking out.)
  • Irritability or easily excited (freaking out and irritated.)
  • Emotional volatility, rapid emotional changes (freaking out on people.)
  • Depression (freaking out internally. at yourself.)
  • Fatigue (wanting to go to sleep. possibly forever.)
  • Difficulty with thinking clearly (freaking out.)
  • Bad dreams (freaking out in your sleep.)

Also interesting physical symptoms that pretty much suck:

  • Headache – general, pulsating (freaking out.)
  • Sweating, especially the palms of the hands or the face (freaking out. sweaty style.)
  • Paleness (i’d be pale, too, if i drank as much as you.)
  • Rapid heart rate (palpitations) (heart freaking out.)
  • Eyes, pupils different size (enlarged, dilated pupils) (eyes freaking out.)
  • Skin, clammy (sweaty and freaking out.)
  • Nausea (freaking out.)
  • Vomiting (freaking out and proving it.)
  • Loss of appetite (freaking out and proving it.)
  • Insomnia, sleeping difficulty (freaking out and proving it.)
  • Abnormal movements (freaking out.)
  • Tremor of the hands (freaking out.)
  • Involuntary, abnormal movements of the eyelids (freaking out.)

Severe symptoms that pretty much mean you should’ve checked in to rehab a long long time ago:

  • A state of confusion and hallucinations (visual) — known as delirium tremens (totally freaking out.)
  • Agitation (freaking out on others.)
  • “Black outs” — when the person forgets what happened during the drinking episode (freaking out, but not remembering freaking out.)
  • Fever (freaking out with a fever.)
  • Convulsions (completely and totally wigging out– so much that it scares people.)

Getting Help and Support

Get your ass to a meeting. (or get medical attention first, depending on how bad you are.) And get yourself a big book of Alcoholics Anonymous and start reading. When you get your sh*t together, you should check out the show!

Blog

Monthly Article: November 2009, The Good Ole’ Gratitude List and How to Write a Better One

You can also find this article, along with it’s accompanying video, here: RECOVERYTODAY.NET
xoxo, BagheadSponsor
______________________________________________________________________________________
The Good Ole’ Gratitude List and How to Write a Better One
By BagheadSponsor (Host of the clean and sober video blog: www.BagheadSponsor.com)

Here’s a question: How many gratitude lists have you written in your recovery? And how many times have you suggested that same list-writing exercise to others? I assert that the answer is MANY– if not many, many. I also assert that the reason we continue the tradition and encourage our fellows to do the same, is because it works. And you know what they say, “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.” A list of things to be grateful for is a solid tool. Lets keep using it.

And because it is November, which is a month centered around abundance and thanksgiving, lets consider the possibility of expanding the benefits of this tool that works so well, shall we? Lets get wild, turkeys!

When I cleaned up and started my journey of recovery, an assigned gratitude list offered a divine interruption in my pattern of thinking. For an estimated two to four minutes, my thoughts would be diverted from my own misery and become focused on my gratitude. I would begrudgingly scribble down my short list: My recovery. My cat. My sponsor. My house. (And that’s on a good day, giblets.)

In the beginning and left to my own devices, my own thinking most invariably consisted of myriad versions of these basic questions: “How am I supposed to stay sober with this pile of crap life? How come these lame things happened to me? How am I ever going to get anywhere in life, when I’m so far behind? What’s wrong with me? Why doesn’t anything ever just work out for me? Why don’t I have what I want? Why don’t I have what they have? Why do I have to work so hard just to keep myself sane? Why do I always have to be the one to do the right thing, when they are the ones who are wrong? Why is life so difficult for me and so much easier for them?”

Good gizzards! You probably wouldn’t be able tell if you haven’t seen the BagheadSponsor.com show, but it took me a few years to get my head out of my own stuffing. As fun and entertaining as that was, there are a few things that could be changed about the questions I was asking myself/God/my sponsor (may God bless her.) The self-centered desperation and hopelessness inherent in those questions is pretty overwhelming, to say the least.

I don’t care if you’re a Pilgrim or an Indian, you’re not going to get a decent answer for yourself out of those kinds of questions. Which clucks the question: What if I asked myself different questions? What if I started asking myself questions that had built-in faith or gratitude, rather than built-in cynicism and resignation? The questions might sound a little more like this:

“What am I most grateful for right now in this moment? (ie: the trusty gratitude list.)
What can I do today to contribute joy or peace to the life of another?
Assuming there is a Higher Power I can rely on, what can I do today that wasn’t possible before I got clean and sober?
What’s one beautiful thing about my surroundings?
What part of my life brings me the most joy or sense of appreciation?
What am I looking forward to today?
How can I be of maximum service today in some small way?
How can I be a true friend/great mom/dad/wonderful employee today?
What do I appreciate most about my relationship with X or Y person?
What small step can I take today in the direction of my own fulfillment or recovery?
Who can I help today?
What is one of my greatest character traits?
How can I allow that character trait benefit others?
If I did believe in a Higher Power that cares for me, what could I let go of?
Would I let go of it? When?
What can I do to have fun and be myself today?”

Sugar and spice and everything nice! See, I’ve proven to myself that my own mind is an inquisitive one and that I will always be asking questions—“should I do this? should I do that? what if this? what if that?” So it makes sense that if I ask questions that support my recovery, and get as detailed with them as I would about the disempowering questions, it’s bound to improve my experience of life. It’s easy as Pumpkin Pie! Personally, I do my best to incorporate a few good questions like these in my daily inventory. This practice helps me to stay on track with my work and my relationships.

Holy Mayflower, it’s time to wrap it up and plug the show! I hope you’ll join us on www.BagheadSponsor.com for some ridiculous recovery videos, including one of our favorites: Don’t Knit In Meetings. It’s a hit! Until next time… Do the next right thing, take it easy, and whatever you do– don’t drink, drug, or try to off yourself. Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving!
Xoxo, BagheadSponsor
www.BagheadSponsor.com
Saving lives. One episode at a time.

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