I get one question consistently from my blog and FB page and actually, in the past few years, in real life. It's some iteration of, "How are you so upbeat all the time?" Or, "How are you so grateful after everything you've been through?" Or, "What the hell are you go gotdamned happy about?" People sometimes don't like it when you are happy. Sometimes, though, they want what you have.
This is surprising to me as I don't think of myself as someone who is shiny happy all the time.
I'm not so upbeat all the time. Things suck sometimes and that is just fine. So what? It sucks, I get in a bad mood, I hate everybody and myself. I think people tend to think if they complain and say something sucks and feel sorry for themselves, that they are not living in gratitude or light, but it's not true. I believe we have to feel and accept the darkness in order to feel the light. TO REALLY FEEL IT. For a while. And then we go on to find something, anything, to be grateful for. The shit passes. It really does.
I get in dark places. I've been in VERY dark places in my past, even after getting sober, it took years to get to a place on contentment and gratitude that I've found today. I've been in bad relationships, bad jobs, and just unhappy with myself and my life. And while it may have taken longer than it "should" have, I got out. The only way to change your life is to CHANGE YOUR LIFE. Make the change you want to see happen. I'm not getting all Tony Robbins on your ass, but dammit, stop whining and do something about it. I say that to myself all the time. It all comes from within ourselves.
I only know what I live. I go to AA. I work the steps. I find 5 things to be grateful for every damn day. GRATITUDE WORKS. Nothing else worked for me. NOBODY wants to go to AA or a 12 Step program, but based on the emails I get, many of you want to fill the hole in your soul. I cannot stress it enough. Everyone needs something. 12 Step Programs don't fill that void for a lot of people, but I do hear over and over and over and SEE IT working for so many who resisted so hard at first. Give it a chance. What have you got to lose? Don't make excuses, just try something different.
I fill it the hole in my soul with universal love, helping others, and gratitude for all I have today. It takes a lot more energy and stress to be angry and bitter. I AM LAZY. Living in gratitude and hope takes less energy than holding onto resentment and anger. You know the saying, "holding onto resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other guy to die"? The 12 steps have given me the gift of being able to let go of resentments and THAT, gives me freedom. I see resentment and bitterness in people and it is such a turn off, I'm repelled by that garbage. It's toxic. And it just so happens I like to be happy. Living in gratitude helps me do that.
It's not easy, it's not all shiny puppies and rainbows and unicorns and rainbows and polka dots and SPAZ DANCING ALL THE TIME. Life is hard. How we choose to approach it with our attitude makes all the difference in what that can look like. Don't cover anger and hurt. FEEL it. FEEL it. FEEL IT. And then work through it.
That's my basic response to so many that have reached out to me. If you are struggling with gratitude and with finding something to be excited about waking up for. Find one thing. ONE THING. I focus on having a roof over my head many times. Being a free woman - I am not locked up anywhere. I have food to eat. Any furries that you have that love and depend on you. The list can then go on and on. Just keep doing it. Keep choosing hope. Every day. That's all I need to worry about is today. Tomorrow is a whole different deal. If I can do my best today and be grateful for all I have, I am a successful. And success from where I'm standing feels pretty gotdamned good.
This is only a portion of what makes you so incredibly awesome! So well said, my dear! I haven't been to your places, but I've been in dark, dark places. I hate it. But I try to crawl out as quickly as possible. I prefer happy & shiny & zebra puppies & bacon unicorns! Sometimes you have to experience those lows to appreciate the fabulous blessings & highs in life. And we all need this reminder sometimes, even from our own selves.ReplyDelete
*HUGS* 'n LOVE 'n *SMOOCHES* 'n stuff!
I love your blog and your honesty and perspective..ReplyDelete
Wow. Just wow. You are such a gift, Katy.ReplyDelete
You rock my bonnet off. People keep looking for the magic pill or permission to feel sorry for themselves and be assholes. Neither is reality. You tell it like it is: that life takes real work every day but it's worth it. I love you for that. You really do inspire me. You teach me muy bueno. xsnos.ReplyDelete
I love you! I love your openness and your gratitude, and your spaz dancing. I am grateful that our paths have crossed. That is what I am thankful for today :)ReplyDelete
Fabulous, as always Ms. Katy! Girl after my own heart! Smoochies :)ReplyDelete
Woot. There it is. Plain as day. Poetic and Brilliant. How we choose to approach it...THAT right there. Love you. xoReplyDelete
My favorite words after I got clean and sober and got into true RECOVERY: Who knew? Who knew it was so friggin' easy to just deal with shit and keep on keepin' on EVEN WHEN ALL YOU HAVE is gratitude for food, clothing, and shelter, or whatever? Some days, often for days at a time, I just feel like saying NOOOOOOOOOO! and covering my head and the addict in me wants a magic pill to make it all easier. I've tried every magic substance on the planet and NONE of them has worked like 12-step programs, a good counselor, and GRATITUDE. I've learned slowly but surely, to just put one foot in front of other and then there comes a day when I realize I'm happy again. I just cannot allow myself the luxury of forgetting where I came from and all of the beautiful things I almost had yanked away from me--including my kids. My worst day sober is 100000000 times better than my worst day high/wallowing/making excuses/feeling sorry for myself. I'm so grateful to recovery and the many gifts I've received--many of which had NOTHING to do with addiction itself. I urge ANYONE with an issue to see if there's a 12-step based group in your area. It's free, it works, and you will be changed so much you'll wonder how in the hell you survived before you were given this simple, common sense wisdom. Lastly, Katy, I'm so grateful to "meeting" you and many others like you who share their wisdom and joy. It truly is contagious. XOXOXOXOXOXReplyDelete
Going through some personal hurdles today. Needed this. Still in tears. Thank you you beautiful empowering woman!ReplyDelete
My face is blazing right now cause I feel like you wrote this to me. I needed this so so so much. WOW, unbelievable. I am starting OA and after one meeting I said "why doesn't everyone find some kind of "A" meeting to go to??? It's awesome and FREE!" And much to my surprise, you dont have to be 'homeless, broke, sleeping under a bridge, lost your family and everything' broken to start, just start. I'm happy to feel the slightest glimmer of hope and want more. I love you for this post, honestly!ReplyDelete
Thank you for this. Truth, honesty, strength. You're awesome!ReplyDelete
I've been trying to write this exact post. Only different, with rain, lilies, Prozac, and running shoes... but with the undercurrent being hope and gratitude. If not hope, what else is there at the end of the day? It's difficult sometimes to remember it's the losses that help us to appreciate what we have.ReplyDelete
Great post, glad I stumbled onto your blog.
I think personal some people can not be so open about their struggles in there life,andReplyDelete
you are not.I think a lot of people our jealously that you are so open,and maybe people would write about there struggle in there life in a journal or a blog.I have put a lot of my thought down in my journals which really have open my eyes. I really enjoy what you write thanks for sharing.
you need a 'like' button. Another great post.ReplyDelete
You change the world around you by how you react to it. I try, everyday, to find something positive after having dealt with so much negative that I became a *foul word* to the world.ReplyDelete
I'm happier now, not in small part to people like you and Klonnie - who keep me laughing and smiling.
You are sort of like my blogging yogi.ReplyDelete