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"A sense of fulfillment"

I have made a point of taking responsibility for my own behaviour. I do things to the best of my ability and I relax when something is beyond me. Now I can be patient enough at times to ask for help.

It was a series of reactions that brought me in Dianova.

At first, I felt unable to ask for help in my living situation. A lot of another person's affairs dominating my thoughts. Instead of moving on I kept telling myself that I could cope with the situation without the help of others. They told me that I should move on. I didn't and I drank.

Once I truly began drinking I lost complete sense and direction, but I did have a moment at the airport where I realized that I would lose everything that I had accomplished in three years of sobriety. That would include friendships and some respect in the community. I finally asked for help and friends came to see me at the hospital. This motivated me to seek treatment.

I was still angry about the recent past and part of me at times wanted to drink to escape thinking about it. Yet I had more to live for, including my writing. I saw how I did have people who cared. Dianova presented itself as the best option in my life.

Arriving here I was scared and unsure whether it was the right place for the first few days. Yet I could think of no better alternative. As I read some spiritual literature and reflected on what to do going forward the desire not to drink became stronger. It was the only way that I would be able to think clearly and not make rash decisions. I wanted to make a fresh start and my sober friends had provided me with a way to take the first steps back to sobriety. I cooperated with the program here. I wanted to gain back an enthusiasm for life that I had had in my early sobriety. Deciding to be more concerned with my own choices than with other people decisions and lives has freed me emotionally.

In the past worry about other people had led me to regressive behaviour and suicidal thinking. Here I have made a point of taking responsibility for my own behaviour. I do things to the best of my ability and I relax when something is beyond me. This has relieved a lot of the anxiety that I had in the previous months. Doing the chores properly, tending to the garden, keeping a journal and being punctual have all been helpful in getting my perception in better focus. Also I have said no sometimes when I did not feel up to a task.

This has left me with a good feeling about myself. Accepting that I don't know things and that I don't need to know everything has been a good tonic for me. Before I would frequently think that I could do more things that I could on my own. Now I can be patient enough at times to ask for help. The main challenge I still have is being around personalities that are aggressive or strong. I feel the need to argue or help them when perhaps staying out of it is the best thing for me. It is not like me to stick my nose in to people's business. Yet other people affairs can affect me internally and leave a mess inside. Sometimes I abandon situations too quickly.

I have projects to work on and being sober will enable me financially and time wise to dedicate myself to them. I need to find reasonably quiet accommodations to write and live in. Currently I have begun an apartment search. I have saved money to put myself into a place and buy the necessary supplies for my projects. I would like to buy a desk, bookcase and a printer after I move into a new apartment. These may be mundane articles but they are important to me. Attendance at AA meetings is a given. It has kept me sober before. I need to maintain some phone contact with members and other healthy people as well as keeping myself busy. The busy part usually isn't a problem.

I will pursue the volunteer teaching position that was offered to me before I came to Dianova. Starting an English teaching project here has helped me to get in the mindset of that challenge. It prepares me for the future. I need to be careful that I don't get caught up in others lives. I need to establish my own work as a priority. I must be available to help others when I truly feel that I can, but also be able to have a comfort zone that I can work in. In order for this to work I need to plan out my days and earnestly do the necessary things in my home and with my work so that I can experience a sense of fulfillment.

This will enable me to avoid unnecessary emotional and mental entanglements that would make me doubt whether sobriety is what I want.

I know that I will be faced with a whole different set of circumstances outside but I am confident that I can meet the challenges and use the resources available to me to fill in the gaps. There are many places to look for direction.

I will put the time in to be active in the community and with my work.

Conrad