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--Max Ehrmann

Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

Providence

Acceptance is:full story

"And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing or situation -- some fact of my life -- unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.
Nothing, absolutely nothing happens in our world by mistake. Until I could accept my humanity, I could not be complete in living; unless I accept life completely on life's terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes."

adapted by DonInChelsea

practice acceptance as a key:

Acceptance is a daily task as we live life to our full extent. And the practice of acceptance has many elements we learn as we progress our emotional and spiritual development. Two forms of practical steps to acceptance help us in our daily living.

1. Accepting day to day experiences as they occur, as life offers them to us. When we accept our day, how we feel, why and what we can do about it, we see our part in our daily experiences with others. Acceptance is not blind to our personal choices, merely making sure we respond and not react to what we encounter. Ask how am I feeling, why and what can I do?

2. Accepting long term experiences which affect our daily living is part of daily life. Our past will bring up issues for us, sometimes daily, sometimes less frequently. How we feel about ourselves generally, why and what we can do to let ourselves be free, overcome old denials and just live for this day, this takes time and often support and help from sources we trust.

When I ask myself:

How am I feeling

Why

What can I do

I am asserting my "being here and now", and helps to acceptance of my real situation.

DonInChelsea Blog Global Local
BBC DonInChelsea's A Day in the Life


December 2004

copyright© don oddy

Chronicles December 2004

December 2nd 2004

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~ sleep ~

When sleep comes naturally its a blessing in a stressful world. Sleep that time to dream and capture in the minds eye, all manner of half notions, desires and reflections upon our world. Sleep enables assessment as well as fantasy, where we judge without hindrance our reality and our longings.

When sleep is aided with potent foods and chemicals, we alter natures perception, we accentuate every nuance of feeling. Thoughts in the day spread logic to our understanding, sleep affords greater luxuries for our feelings. Tripping into fantastic waves of possibilities, sleep nurtures our character and throws caution to the side as we weave a pattern of happiness.

Of nightmares where our fears take hold, we wander round and round, pushing our feelings and remembrances of times of terror, repeated as our guardian inside deals with memories felt and made real to our conscience. Nightmares are mere nightmares, they need not become reality.

Sleep our friendly fantasy most of the time, sorting out and filing our memories and fantastic notions into realities and possibilities. Happy sleep, oft a friend so hard to find when times are bursting and we are spent. Spend more time slowly so when sleep comes it has the time to sift and sort, and let natures healing take effect...

December 3rd 2004

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~ excuses, excuses ~

If you want to do anything you find a way. If you don't want to do anything you find an excuse

December 4th 2004

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~ striving to be good ~

Something I suspect is in the back of everyone's mind is the notion of being good. We are fundamentally good in our own eyes. Goodness is something we like in ourselves, yet goodness might often lead to others seeing us differently. We do things for the greater good, which implies we step beyond our own boundaries to encourage a society of good. Our problems multiply when we try to regulate beyond our own good.

So many in history are held as example of good or bad. We learn from history. We learn in the moment and our heads spin with information, context and denial. We learn from open and honest exchanges what is good, and what is bad.

The notion of something being good for you, it is a hard choice to be open and not closed to good. To enjoy a full life we must let in the good and the bad, for without one we would not recognise the other.

Our conscience, the place where our feelings have expression will be our touchstone. Conscious feelings, experienced and tempered with learned wisdoms feed our connection to ourselves and all mankind. Our conscience is our connection to all worlds inside and out, the ever present and ever prescient divine, the collective universe, nature and God..

December 5th 2004

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~ present chances ~

If we get involved in fears about the future, we shall miss the chances that the present offers us.

December 6th 2004

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~ sober ~

Sober, what a state of mind, marked by temperance, moderation, or seriousness. Sometimes subdued in tone or colour, showing no excessive or extreme qualities of fancy, emotion, or prejudice. Is that sober?

Being extremely human, my natural instincts driven to excess, I guess some of the above is defining my current condition.

I am sober six months this day. That is my desire to stop drinking was taken sanely without drive or persuasion from any other source but me. I stopped my alcoholic drinking and have not touched a drop since.

In all my adult life I cannot recollect a more challenging moment, or an easier moment to make a decision.

A return to natural ways, a desire to complete my journey in this world without hindrance. A journey to understand me and my life. And a journey sharing and growing.

Sober is happy and offers contentment. Sober enables truly felt emotions, excitement and joy. For I can truly be intoxicated with life on life's terms in sobriety.

Every giddy moment, every nuance of love, every second of every day I shall be grateful with the best of freedoms. The freedom to experience the day as it is and was intended.

I'll drink to that.... perish that thought...!

December 7th 2004

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~ nobody's perfect ~

It is an almost automatic reaction to see the differences we have to others. Often we see that difference in the blink of an eye. When we see difference we embark on a journey so easy to fall into, prejudice, and we might never know our prejudice exists.

Lifetimes are spent in happy equations with our world. We make assumptions and calculated risks in a never ending trail of events. We make prejudice our beacon, our handle with care, our automatic default to situations and events. We make inevitable an irritability in life if we take note our prejudices and make them our masters.

Similarities we take for granted. We don't judge the familiar, and we don't necessarily put a value on similarity as we do prejudices and differences. Without doubt we have similar characteristics as people, and notions about the world and our desires for ourselves. Happiness and love, tolerance and care, less to worry about, so we harness our imagination to our contentment.

When we experience similarities, we should value them far above differences. Difference is about diversity, about challenge to our stable condition, and worthy of opportunity to understand and enable change.

As we come to understand our similarities, and realise their value, so too diversity and difference can be viewed as a rich treasure unfolding. Difference without prejudice.

We are gifted with similarity, so diversity is our challenge and our salvation, for without diversity we would for evermore be unmoved and dormant in our human growth.

In these times we may embrace diversity and challenge for without them, we are hapless and lost as dinosaurs, too close to extinction and a page of discovery in a book of dust.

In God's Eye and Nature, everything is perfectly as can be, imperfectly perfect...

December 8th 2004

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~ sweet thoughts ~

Let sweetness in my thoughts, words and actions be the most visible of all virtues.

Some of these sayings I find, well they are sometimes hard to imagine in my own mind. The sweetness of thoughts... its hard to grasp. It comes after a long time, the notion that there are just pleasant thoughts. Translating these into action and deeds is sometimes almost too far out of sight to bring to reality.

The world, it often seems to spin on hostility and fractious doings of humans. When inside we would appreciate being given just enough space to breathe, not be under pressure which slows us, rather than speed us up.

We can in our own way slow the world in our head, to experience joy, we can slow it enough to give way to sadness. We damp down to often the emotions and so live in denial so easy, its called the fast lane, let go and moving on to the next. We lose our sense of fulfilment when ignore happiness and sorrows in full measure.

Best to let the feelings flow their natural course, lest we lose our feelings forever more.

December 9th 2004

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~ respect ~

The respect you earn is not less or more than your own self-respect. Therefore, respect yourself and God and the world will respect you.

It is tough, to respect others when they appear to have no respect for any other. Every day, the smallest of slights can be upsetting. It happened to me just now, I am in a no smoking zone and someone else lights up. My immediate reaction is indignation, a bit of how dare they creeps into me. I decide I am here right now to regulate no one but me. I will not smoke or break a ban that is in place. And I will get on with my time and make most use of it.

Respect is a simple and easy attitude to develop. We know how we might be treated and how others might treat us. We need to be open to respect, and confidence that, for the most part we get respect from others. Don't let anotherís lack of respect dull your own senses, or we follow them into despair, negativity and sadness.

December 10th 2004

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~ love work ~

You always have a choice but you forget that you have it. Do you remember the energy and enthusiasm you had on the first day of your first job? You consciously chose to do the work you had gladly accepted to do. But then you gradually fell asleep to the choice you made, and the day became "I have to" go to work, instead of "I want to" go to work. You forgot to see all the opportunities which come with work - opportunities like learning, nourishing and being nourished by others, developing new relationships, expanding your personal capacity. Instead you decided it was just something that you had to do to 'get the money'. This is why most people are sleep-walking through their lives, and they don't know it. The solution, choose your work every day, put the energy of love into your relationships...every day, even if you don't particularly like your job or the people around you. And you'll be amazed at how your life transforms. When you choose to put love into what you do, the universe will move heaven and hell to let you do what you love.

December 11th 2004

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~ patience ~

The fruits of patience are always sweet - mangoes cannot be grown by hurrying.

December 12th 2004

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~ inspirations ~

When you refuse to set boundaries to what is achievable, you can inspire others to believe that they, too, can make things happen.

December 13th 2004

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~ blasphemy ~

Blasphemy is in the eye of the beholder, implies the beholder is already corrupt. Regulate oneself , don't regulate others

Blasphemy, the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for [Nature and You]. It is easy to let others have a say about you, that you will shrug off with humour. It is the easiest means to self admonishment. We can lose our sense of self in gradual steps as the world encourages our misunderstanding. We become what we are by reference to how others treat us. We come to understand the human being we are as the world takes us on journeys to realise our potential or give it up.

Beware, when we identify with how others see us, it is merely their view. Find a path to know yourself and fulfil with gentle purpose, and try not to hinder anotherís progress towards their dreams.

December 14th 2004

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~ personal protection plan ~

When I am faced with pressures, a loving attitude towards myself will protect my peace of mind.

We need to remind ourselves that we are good inside. Sometimes life and circumstance shape us to do or say things we live to regret. We cannot take things back once some expression has been made. We can change that expression to something else and put right harm done from harms way.

And sometimes we express a thought or deed so difficult to unravel, it would take a lifetime to put right. A lifetime is just for this day, how we express ourselves and make good our conduct, and make good for ourselves our expression and motive.

If ever we cross the path of another where we felt wronged or the wrong within us got the better of peace of mind, share if practical a new outlook and move on, careful and understanding of the possible.

December 15th 2004

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~ stubborn imagination ~

Self will, the strength of mind to overcome most any obstacle. We are often driven to 'soldier on in the face of adversity'. We are often taught the value of stoicism and greatness in brave acts and deeds.

Indeed we must conserve our inner resources for those moments in history when sheer drive makes us fight on for causes we believe.

There are other times when we get so misdirected and so single minded our inner resolve is just plain stubborn and unhelpful. Willpower is a temporary necessity when we are under threat. If we realise self will is just another tool we have, we release imagination to guide our desires. Imagination the most powerful of our capacities, will endure all, beyond reality.

Imagination will free our soul, imagination fuels our emotions and makes what seems impossible entirely possible. Imagination, climbs mountains in the sky, and for some, in reality.

Tend your dreams and imagination, let them soar to your place in reality.

December 16th 2004

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~ the world ~

when we feel the world is against us,

we are against the world

So often in life, we don't feel right with the world. Its as if someone or something is working against us. We cannot hear what is going on properly. We become separated from those around us as we try to work out what is wrong. These are times when we can forget how similar our feelings are to others who share the same feelings.

It can be a small start to this feeling of isolation, and it will grow in our imagination and sometimes take us over until we feel completely at odds with what is happening.

Anger and hurt are felt inside. And we may feel depressed and detached.

When the world is against us we need to find common ground and share it as soon as we can. We cannot sort out these feelings on our own. It is very normal to find oneself against the world. Its cause? When we desire things different to the way they are.

Find a trusted friend, and talk about your feelings. We find we are never alone in life's frustrations, for thousands of years human beings have trodden the same path, a path so well worn, we can be sure someone out there can help us.

December 17th 2004

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~ truth ~

Truth is something which does not need support of any proof.

Yet we yearn evidence! Truth is the feeling inside, that split second before thinking turns the truth into a million facets of old memory, reprogramming and endorsing. We get to the truth through years and layers of history. So easy to let our feelings guide us.

If we are brave enough we can accept the truth we experience in the moment it happens. Truth is neither good or bad, truth is impartial, we bend truth to suit us and then endorse our interpretation to suit us.

Truth is best, as it happens, before we forget it and before we share it as a story....

December 18th 2004

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~ time ~

Consider time to be a great treasure. Never waste a second.

We need to respect our time, and the waste of time that can happen, whether we are waiting for others or expecting others to be in the same time and place as us.

We are often forgetful in our own hurry, we forget others we know are not in the same place of understanding. With great emotions flowing through us at all times, our single minded nature can make us forgetful.

Recall those times, when we love someone, and they are hardly aware we do. Recall those times when we hate someone for their behaviour and they have no clue to our feelings.

Time and temporal matters, as we live in comfort as others starve, where we can care for ourselves and have no power to help others in need.

Never waste a second of time.... A harsh consideration, when time itself marches on.

Tread soft with our treasure of time and consider. Times treasures are finite, and so as the world turns, time will run out, for this life, so cherish moments shared in harmony, they occur less often than we might feel.

December 19th 2004

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~ self-esteem ~

When I inspire enthusiasm and confidence in those around me, my own self-esteem flourishes.

Our world can bring us much self confidence, providing we are aware of those small doubts which undermine us. The gift of confidence may need to be the equal of doubt. It is that which enables us to change with positive feelings and the doubt is just a challenge to our feelings and thoughts.

There are many who will support us as we move with our lives, and others less certain, each with a voice.

Listen with care to the inner voice of your conscience, the voice of wonder and fulfilment. The voice of bewilderment too. Let go the negative as we move to the positive, keep clear your channel to the inner voice of enquiry, the voice of accepting the world as it is, and the changes we can make, if so inclined.

Wisdom rests on experience. Experience is our teacher, for good and lifeís lessons. Let go the bad, and embrace the good, using experience as your compass and your inner voice for guidance. Embrace your life...

December 20th 2004

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~ happiness ~

Happiness is the result of total appreciation of all that life gives you at every moment.

December 21st 2004

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~ beyond the mirror ~

Mirror mirror on the wall.... a hard look into our own being. The mirror on the wall, it tells you most you want to see. And in the mirror, our eyes give clues to what enhances our confidence when pleased and our ego when we are insecure.

That hapless mirror tells us so much, the eyes, the windows to our soul, gives peaceful notions and worries as we recollect and collect ourselves each day.

Our mirror is best seen through our feelings and doings in the world, a true reflection of the one we are.

The mirror on the wall, the temptation, the reflection as others view is no use to inner growth. Our feelings need no more than conscience gaze, to set us straight.

Forget the mirror on the wall, find love inside as we moderate our day to day to reflect our view of mankindís kinder nature. And find love for one and all, to rejoice the day.

December 22nd 2004

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~ crown Of light ~

There is a crown of light on those who are carefree. If you are worrying about anything you carry the baskets of burden on your head. Which do you prefer? Do you prefer the basket or the crown of light?

December 23rd 2004

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~ sign of strength ~

To admit my mistakes is a sign of strength.

December 24th 2004

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~ what we wish for ~

Its easy, to be wishing for the stars, and the stars remain where they are. Every day we have wishes which we have firmly in our minds eye. We wish for simple things like love, like a good day and for many smaller complicated matters connected with people. We frustrate ourselves when others don't deliver what we want. We get consumed by others and how they are with our world. We get caught in a thousand memories of pleasurable times, and ten thousand more when things go wrong with our way.

Sometimes it is best to dream our wildest dreams where harmony is complete and the stars shine down on us. When we have those dreams which are so clearly impossible, we may apply the same understanding to others in our lives. It is impossible for others to fit perfectly with our day, for they have no real idea of our perfection. So forgive those close for their part, as we would the stars in the sky.

What we wish for is best kept simple, to keep safe our conduct, to bend with others as the day flows, to smile as our plans alter in the pattern of the universe...

Then the impossible dissolves as the possible emerges and we don't have to imagine a perfect day...

December 25th 2004

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~ tolerance and love ~

We might fear what we don't know or understand. We might be set in our ways, seeing just our world. That's when we are less able to get on with new ideas and opportunities. And it takes effort to learn and understand about the new world.

Tolerance is about accepting, having the capacity to value diversity. Love is the core of our being, driving all our emotions. Tolerance and love, enables us to open ourselves, accepting new into our lives.

To learn about anything new and diversity, we need to have flexibility. We need empty spaces in our mind to take on anything new. Closing our minds to new, to the discomfort of learning means we have reached our limits.

We have no limits to love and tolerance, only ghosts which hamper our growth. We may remind ourselves to make way for new beginnings, our anchors in our tempered experience and our appetite for enquiry in the winds of eternity.

December 26th 2004

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~ lightness ~

By letting go of all that is heavy, you become free to fill with all that is light.

December 27th 2004

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~ serenity ~

"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference"

So simple a notion, to accept the things I cannot change.... A gift of powerlessness. A gift which makes the world an easier place in which to live. Courage.... there are things in this world I can change, I have the gift of influence without power or control over people places and things. Courage, a gift we all have. Wisdom, that which we get from experience. Experience teaches us we have no power or control over most anything but ourselves, a truly awesome understanding of nature.

The gift of knowing these elementals will secure harmony in our own mind and let go foolish notions where boundless ego dwells. Experience, a gift of life, easy to squander and as easy to recollect.

Serenity, the acceptance of the moment.. as it moves forever onward, 'carrying us across the oceans of this world...'

December 28th 2004

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~ response able ~

We now know that the true meaning of responsibility is response able or ability to respond. Whatever we may think, say, do, or feel - these are our responses for which we, and no one else, are responsible. This is easy to see but hard to live, for we have been taught to believe and think the opposite. So we don't consciously choose our response, we react instead, and then we blame others for our reaction. No wonder we feel imprisoned by others and our circumstances. The enlightened, on the other hand, have broken the spell, they see the illusion. They take full responsibility for their response abilities and as a consequence, they always hold their own destiny in their own hands. They are free spirits.

December 29th 2004

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~ the greatest conqueror ~

One may conquer a thousand men a thousand times in battle but he who conquers the self is the greatest conqueror.

December 30th 2004

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~ complete ~

If you wanted but didn't get, may be you don't need

Complete, it might compete with serenity. Serenity and complete, are best moments when the world fills our mind and our mind absorbs to greet our world. An absolute, so fleeting, not a capture more a rapturous moment of collision.

Serenity is in the knowledge, complete is somewhere close to capacity, rapture so embracing our emotional ocean, storm quelled in the glut, our mind sedate.

Tis but a moment as our vessel empties, night dreams create a swell and daybreak a fissure...

December 31st 2004

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~ melodies ~

in life our song reaches every moment

sing with great heart your melody

When we survive great catastrophe, at home in our own world, we an rejoice and move on. We we experience the powerlessness of world catastrophe, we can contribute in our own way to alleviate and support. It feels hopeless sometimes, yet the simple act of kindness connects us all. Our humanity, our gift to our fellow man will open doors of opportunity.

Indeed the ripple effect of life is boundless. Acts of kindness, and humanity deepen our collective conscience and the world is touched. We have great depth, memory and capacities for love. Love life...

Copyright © Don Oddy
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--Rudyard Kipling

IF

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream--and not make dreams your master,
If you can think--and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings--nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And--which is more--you'll be a Man, my son!


August 14th 2006

A month in Recovery

This link to my birthday, and the start of my diary on "30 days in recovery," this follows my journey over a month in my fellowship, Alcoholics Anonymous.

Unedited and written raw, no revisions or re-writes. Just as it happened and without prejudice.

Obsessions

fear of fear?full story

"I did feel the need to speak to a couple of people after the meeting to allay their fears of some things medical and what it means for me, a person who has some experience strength and hope to share about precisely those medical fears as they come along. And why?

Well because I have had some medical scares along the way and have ongoing medical conditions. I donít shout or complain too loudly about my medical conditions. For the record they fall into three categories. First I am in recovery from addiction and have been sober for some time, measured now in years. Second, I have clinical depression, an ongoing medical condition which has been around for most my adult life according to professional experts, and is now treated. And third, the one which makes life even more haphazard is Type 1 diabetes."