Monday, May 24, 2010

"Serenity In The Moment"

I have to admit, this technological internet-age that we're living in is pretty cool sometimes. I'm standing in line, at this very moment, at the Hall of Justice in San Francisco. Even though I now have current tags on my car, I still have to show them proof and pay a small fine. Yet, how do I use this time? Not to get pissed off at the system, not to be resentful that I had to drive down to SF, but to take some time and blog. It's a 180 degree shift in attitude from before I started my Recovery. Instead of raging, now I accept what is and I find a way to help others.

The strength Recovery has given me is amazing. Sacramento down to San Francisco isn't a short trip--about two hours. And that particular drive is one of my 'people, places, and things'. In my active addiction, I carpooled from Sac to Berkeley every day and we smoked constantly, both on the trip down and the trip back. It was the only thing that made it doable. It was a while after I got clean before I braved the trip again. But even that first time was amazing. I watched the sun set behind the mountains at Vacaville and it was gorgeous. I remember thinking what an awesome thing that natural beauty could be every bit as beautiful when I was sober as when I was loaded. It was a surprise and a relief, too.

I've made the trip many times since then, and it's still a long drive. It felt a bit longer today, mostly because I knew I was going down to deal with that fix-it ticket. But I have my music, and I have some speaker CDs to listen to as well. I have so much more patience now than I used to. being able to make this trip and stand in line at the SF DoJ and not be livid about it is a blessing. Being relieved of my anger issues is an even bigger benefit than being relieved of the obsession to get loaded.

The gifts of Recovery don't stop giving. As long as I continue to do my part, to work the program, I keep on reaping the benefits of that hard work. The obsession to use/drink has been lifted, but so have other obsessions, and still others are lifting. I don't rage anymore. I get angry, sure, who doesn't? But even the times that I do are becoming more infrequent as I learn better boundaries, become more at peace with myself, and get more practiced in acceptance. It does take work. I didn't get to where I am by accident. I choose to walk this path, I choose to live the spiritual life to the best of my abilities. It's hard sometimes, to be sure, but the gifts and blessings are worth it.

The idea that I would have to go down to San Francisco and stand in line for hours would have brought a whole slew of bitter comments from the old me. I would have taken out a huge loan from the resentment bank, and probably thrown a temper tantrum like the little two-year-old I was inside. Today, all I did was take care of what needed taken care of and didn't even feel the need to complain. I'll even take a moment to stop off in Berkeley and enjoy a nice day with a view of the bay.

I can just imagine the old me trying to fathom this new perspective that I'm in these days. He'd probably call me crazy. Well, sorry old Zach, but I'm afraid you've got it backwards.

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