It's easy to be spiritual when things are good...

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Tosh
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It's easy to be spiritual when things are good...

Post by Tosh »

I'm currently in a verrrrrrrrrry good place; the sun is shining, I'm not in my overdraft with the bank, my car and van are running fine, my relationships with those I'm closest to are excellent, and my dog loves me.

I'm meditating every day, I'm going to meetings - willingly - and doing service, and trying my best to carry the message.

But all this follows a period of about six months when things weren't so good, when the sun wasn't shining and I was in my overdraft, and financial insecurity was dogging me. I was going to meetings - often unwillingly - and even though I was still trying my best to carry the message, I was still fairly unsettled on the inside.

This undulating recovery of mine, is it normal? :mrgreen:
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)

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Hanna
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Re: It's easy to be spiritual when things are good...

Post by Hanna »

Good moring Tosh,
So glad you posted this as I'm sitting here feeling anxiety creeping in. I am, on paper, in a good place, living responsibly, bills paid, relationships good. So why ? What am I missing? This started at the change of season from summer to fall. All summer I was at ease, now suddenly I wake up with a little uneasy feeling not yet full blown anxiety but it scares.
Any thoughts?
Hanna
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Tosh
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Re: It's easy to be spiritual when things are good...

Post by Tosh »

Hanna wrote: Any thoughts?
How's the meditation practise going? I've upped mine and I think that's what's making the current difference. I think sponsoring and service are great ways of getting my mind off myself; they give me a break from thinking about myself incessantly, but there are still periods when I can get anxious. And it's not because I'm doing anything (like having an affair) which should cause the anxiety.

Mornings used to be bad; I could paralyse myself in bed and not want to get out of it.

There's been some studies done on anxiety, which I won't bore you with, but meditation has proven benefits. And from an experiential level, it really is working for me.

I'm just back from the dentist (never much fun) and I was serene as a serenity thing. Oh, and I think I've got diabetes too from some symptoms and a home testing kit, so I've made an appointment with the doctors. No problems there too.

But I think what happens when I hit a tough spot is that I just 'bin' the meditation, the prayer, and the willingness that should go into all of my affairs. And I don't tell anyone I'm struggling either; not even my sponsor (though sometimes I have) or Mrs Tosh.

I think I've just worked out my problem - honesty - I fail to get honest with people and tell them what's going on with me. My ego tells me that I'll just sound like a 'whiny gimp'.

Thanks for your help, Hanna, it's amazing how this works.

The mods can lock the post now (just joking).
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)

Stepchild
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Re: It's easy to be spiritual when things are good...

Post by Stepchild »

I can't stress the importance of pages 86 through 88 in the Big Book enough for my spiritual condition. They are clearly laying out what they did when they retired at night...When they woke up...And throughout the day and they end it with this...

It works - it really does.

We alcoholics are undisciplined. So we let God discipline us in the simple way we have just outlined.

pg 88

My sponsor had me read this everyday from the day I met him. I see now...That was for good reason. Whether things are good or bad in my life....That plan to let God discipline me...Doesn't change.

We usually conclude the period of meditation with a prayer that we be shown all through the day what our next step is to be, that we be given whatever we need to take care of such problems.
pg 87

Praying only for knowledge of his will for us and the power to carry that out.

As we go through the day we pause, when agitated or doubtful, and ask for the right thought or action. We constantly remind ourselves we are no longer running the show, humbly saying to ourselves many times each day "Thy will be done." We are then in much less danger of excitement, fear, anger, worry, self-pity, or foolish decisions. We become much more efficient. We do not tire so easily, for we are not burning up energy foolishly as we did when we were trying to arrange life to suit ourselves.
Pgs 87- 88

Simple tools that work.

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Spirit Flower
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Re: It's easy to be spiritual when things are good...

Post by Spirit Flower »

We are humans and will have emotions to varying degrees and for various reasons all through life. Being upset is a chance to practice spiritual tools, but not to say you are a failure or be afraid you might drink. Pray, meditate, watch your thoughts.... and ride the waves. Its just a wave. Ride it.
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Tosh
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Re: It's easy to be spiritual when things are good...

Post by Tosh »

That's all good stuff, Stepchild, but I think there are 'seasons' to long term sobriety. I also think that even with our wonderful program that some pain and suffering are mandatory. Maybe not the kind of pain and suffering that drives us to drink, but a kind that keeps us - I'm struggling to articulate what I mean - growing (even if it means we end up stagnating in our own poo for a period).

I mean imagine if we had a perfectly comfortable experience to life, what would we learn? I'd probably quite happily chill in my sobriety, just doing what I need to be doing to maintain that perfect chilled-ness.

Luckily (I suppose) our program doesn't promise perfection, only progress. :|

I know it's happened to me in the past, and I know it'll probably happen to me again in the future; it's like I'm comfortable to suffer a certain amount of low-level pain until I reach a point where I'm not comfortable with that anymore. Pain is the touchstone for all spiritual growth. I guess I'm looking to hear from members who've stagnated and then got their arses back into the saddle.
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)

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Tosh
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Re: It's easy to be spiritual when things are good...

Post by Tosh »

Spirit Flower wrote:Pray, meditate, watch your thoughts.... and ride the waves. Its just a wave. Ride it.
I can do that best, when I'm alone, feeling calm and peaceful. Then something happens... :lol:
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)

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Spirit Flower
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Re: It's easy to be spiritual when things are good...

Post by Spirit Flower »

I once lived under a black cloud for 2 years. The cloud was due to physical reasons. I used all the spiritual tools. Eventually the condition lifted.
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ezdzit247
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Re: It's easy to be spiritual when things are good...

Post by ezdzit247 »

Tosh wrote:That's all good stuff, Stepchild, but I think there are 'seasons' to long term sobriety. I also think that even with our wonderful program that some pain and suffering are mandatory. Maybe not the kind of pain and suffering that drives us to drink, but a kind that keeps us - I'm struggling to articulate what I mean - growing (even if it means we end up stagnating in our own poo for a period)....
Precisely.
Tosh wrote:....I mean imagine if we had a perfectly comfortable experience to life, what would we learn? I'd probably quite happily chill in my sobriety, just doing what I need to be doing to maintain that perfect chilled-ness....
Exactly.
Tosh wrote:....Luckily (I suppose) our program doesn't promise perfection, only progress. :| ....
Precisely.
Tosh wrote:.....I know it's happened to me in the past, and I know it'll probably happen to me again in the future; it's like I'm comfortable to suffer a certain amount of low-level pain until I reach a point where I'm not comfortable with that anymore. Pain is the touchstone for all spiritual growth. I guess I'm looking to hear from members who've stagnated and then got their arses back into the saddle.....
When I experience those comfortable plateaus of sobriety these days, usually after some particularly painful, uphill trudging, I've learned to rest up and enjoy those delicious moments of blue skies, sunshine, gentle breezes, peace and serenity. I deliberately linger in these moments to stretch them out just as long as I can before I have to pick up my backpack and start trudging again towards the next lesson. What I know today is that when I started this journey, my backpack was full of all kinds of "stuff" I thought I absolutely needed for my journey and felt like it weighed a ton. Letting go of "stuff" along the way, old ideas mostly, has been really hard for me. I can't say I surrendered them gracefully because I never have. There has always a lot of drama for me to this part of the process--kicking, screaming, hissy fits, tears, blubbering, bargaining, justifying, rationalizing, etc each and every time, but when I finally give up, I know my backpack will always be a little bit lighter and the trudging will always be a little bit easier. I know that, I know the drill, and yet my knee jerk reaction to giving up more "stuff" is still pretty much the same even though the getting to the giving up part seems to go a little quicker these days. Must have something to do with the human condition? I thank God this program is all about progress and not perfection or I would have flunked out of this spiritual kindergarten years ago...
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...to leave the world a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Duke
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Re: It's easy to be spiritual when things are good...

Post by Duke »

It's been normal for me Tosh. I seldom say this because I don't want to discourage anyone, but the balance seemed to tilt in favor of healthy responses to life at about year 21 for me.

Not that all the time prior was spent struggling, but it did mark the end of those times when I'd find myself in an extended funk. I don't know why in particular, but that's my experience.

Obviously, the answer is to keep after it to whatever degree you're capable of. I found that I've never had any serious thought of drinking, and I'm certain that performing whatever service I can despite how I feel accounts for that.

So, I guess my message is it will continue to get better and you may find yourself surprised at some point that so much time has passed without one of those funks.

Thanks for sharing. I know I've found shares like yours very encouraging over the years. I've never felt like I'm in the same boat with folks who have an answer for everything. I'm much more inclined to those that don't.
"If you are humble nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are.", Mother Teresa

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Re: It's easy to be spiritual when things are good...

Post by scottcw »

After 14 months of sobriety I am looking back on the journals I kept during the first 90 days and then six months. So, October of last year I was in a dark place material and physical wise, but spiritually I was on top of the world. Pink Cloud, I guess? lol Today, I am by far better off materialistically and physically, yet mentally I am in a bad place. The material things come to anyone who doesnt drink and hangs around the rooms, because everyone is SOOOO material minded and full of self its sometimes pathetic and makes me want to vomit. Its easy to copy and follow that. But Spiritually, well, materialism doesnt help my spirit. When I buy something or save up for something its just temporary.

People in the rooms, I have found, have been rude, backstabbing, deceitful, full of themselves and did I say backstabbing?? Yet I understand this. Its because they like me are sick people, and for me to keep doing the same thing over and over again, like going to the same goddam F*** up meetings would be insanity, wouldnt it? So, Ive been thinking of changing the meeting I go to. In fact, Ive been thinking of a complete and total change in life altogether, like moving to another state. I've lived in this state since I got sober over a year ago, and when I woke up today I had had enough. Enough of the
  1. Crime
  • Pollution
  • Traffic
  • public transportation system
  • the desert heat that hasnt let up for going on six months now
  • and did I mention the pollution?
  • I quit smoking in January and can barely breathe any better now than when I quit then.
Why did I even come to Phoenix? I thought it was a good idea at the time. Not sober, I thought seeing the Grand Canyon would be good for my spirit. I was homeless in Ohio and set out west. I ended up in Phoenix and got sober, by God! After hearing about AA most of my life it finally clicked! But the truth is that I DESPISE this place now. It feels like if I wake up one more day in this dry God forsaken shithole that is over run with illegal aliens, drugs, crime, and pollution then I will probably go insane... :lol: So, yeah, I agree. Its easy to be spiritual when things are good, or new. but when the shine wears off then what?

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Re: It's easy to be spiritual when things are good...

Post by leejosepho »

scottcw wrote:I've been thinking of changing the meeting I go to. In fact, Ive been thinking of a complete and total change in life altogether, like moving to another state...

So, yeah, I agree. Its easy to be spiritual when things are good, or new. but when the shine wears off then what?
Material satisfactions and pink clouds do ultimately leave us still wanting, and I would say it is great you are aware and still seeking beyond that.

Keeping in mind that geographical cures are mere distractions -- I always found myself coming along -- is there anything actually holding you there where you are?
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"We A.A.s do not *stay* away from drinking [one day at a
time] -- we *grow* away from drinking [one day at a time]."
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Re: It's easy to be spiritual when things are good...

Post by Lali »

My turn. I moved from Florida (after 30 years there) seven years ago. I cannot tell you how much I miss 11 months of summer (you can swim almost all year round) and only about 1 month of winter. I hate, hate, hate cold weather. It gets in my bones to the point its almost painful. In the winter, it gets dark very early, the sky is always gloomy, no sun, there is often a misty rain, the trees are completely bare and everything is brown. I have suffered from SAD (seasonal affect disorder) for many years. (Note: Vitamin D is good for the psyche, but you don't get a lot of that in the winter! A few people have suggested I go to the tanning salon a lot this winter - worth a try!)
Last winter I spent Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve home alone due to my chronic physical problems. I'm in fear of what this winter will bring as I was about as low as one can get last year. So why do I stay? My older parents need me so leaving is not an option.

This isn't the kind of thing you share with people who have lived here all of their lives and I don't complain to my parents either because they would feel too bad.

I DO NOT WANT TO DISCOURAGE NEWCOMERS TO THIS SITE. I just believe that there are people who work an awesome program but because of their "makeup" there are depression issues that crop up periodically. I am also bipolar. Because of the issues I've brought up here, I do not sponsor. But I do have a good bit of service work I do for my home group.


At some point tonight or early tomorrow I will probably delete this post because of the negative tone.

With all of that said, there are millions of people in this world that have it so much worse than me and I try to remember that!! I do have things to be grateful for for sure! In fact, when I sign off here, I'm going to make a gratitude list.
Step 1: I can't
Step 2: He can
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Re: It's easy to be spiritual when things are good...

Post by Spirit Flower »

Lali, I relate on the emotional issues front!

See I no longer think life should be one long pink cloud or mountain top. Its about God's will for me. i've had to quit wanting what I want and want what I have.
I've been sober a long time so there must have been spiritual progress in there some where.

I live in Texas, Galveston Bay. It is cold one day a year.
I used to live in Missouri. It could be months with the temperatures never being above 20F.
I am spoiled now.
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Re: It's easy to be spiritual when things are good...

Post by ezdzit247 »

Lali wrote:My turn. I moved from Florida (after 30 years there) seven years ago. I cannot tell you how much I miss 11 months of summer (you can swim almost all year round) and only about 1 month of winter. I hate, hate, hate cold weather. It gets in my bones to the point its almost painful. In the winter, it gets dark very early, the sky is always gloomy, no sun, there is often a misty rain, the trees are completely bare and everything is brown. I have suffered from SAD (seasonal affect disorder) for many years. (Note: Vitamin D is good for the psyche, but you don't get a lot of that in the winter! A few people have suggested I go to the tanning salon a lot this winter - worth a try!)
Last winter I spent Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve home alone due to my chronic physical problems. I'm in fear of what this winter will bring as I was about as low as one can get last year. So why do I stay? My older parents need me so leaving is not an option.

This isn't the kind of thing you share with people who have lived here all of their lives and I don't complain to my parents either because they would feel too bad.

I DO NOT WANT TO DISCOURAGE NEWCOMERS TO THIS SITE. I just believe that there are people who work an awesome program but because of their "makeup" there are depression issues that crop up periodically. I am also bipolar. Because of the issues I've brought up here, I do not sponsor. But I do have a good bit of service work I do for my home group.


At some point tonight or early tomorrow I will probably delete this post because of the negative tone.

With all of that said, there are millions of people in this world that have it so much worse than me and I try to remember that!! I do have things to be grateful for for sure! In fact, when I sign off here, I'm going to make a gratitude list.
Thanks for sharing, Lali.

Awesome post. You shared your experience, hope and strength with courage and honesty. That so encourages newcomers to have the courage to be honest about their issues and challenges. FYI I did not detect any negative tone anywhere in your post. Hope you will take the time to rethink deleting it. It's a great post and has lots of good food for thought for all AA members.
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...to leave the world a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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