Like Looking for Golden Easter Eggs — It’s My Job to Find Them. To load my basket full of these Golden Gems of Happiness. For me, it’s an Essential Secret Ingredient to Having a Happy Sobriety and a Happy LIFE!!
Practicing keeping all these beautiful, wonderful things in my mind as much as I can has made all the difference in my life. Doing this has made life as good tasting as it could possibly be. And I believe I’ve just scratched the surface of all the good things out there that God has provided. This is my ‘secret ingredient’ to a good, contented life.
There’s 241 golden eggs in my basket.
How can I not be butt happy? .
One of the things I’m most grateful for is that God helped me see the value of gratitude. Growing up, my family knew nothing about how important gratitude is for a good life.
Another thing is the amount of pharmacology out there to help me. Many research chemists are devoting their lives to bring medicine to help people just like me, who suffer for horrible depression. As a result of their hard work, there are many anti-depressants for me to choose from. I have found one… Wellbutrin… that I call a work-horse drug. It is very good at lifting depression with few side-effects.
I don’t expect you to read this whole post. Just skip around and see if there is anything in it you can identify with.
GOD HAS GIVEN ME AN ABUNDANCE OF GIFTS OF ALL THE BEAUTIFUL AND WONDERFUL FOLLOWING THINGS.
1] First and foremost of all… Our little planet… set exactly as it is needed to be so that it will support our fragile lives.
2] Our sun… that sits at the exact distance from us to give us warmth and light us so that we don’t roast or freeze, and that shines for ½ the time so that we can get our work done; and gives us darkness ½ the time to rest.
3] Our moon… put at the exact distance needed and being the exact right size to keep our oceans moving while not over-powering us with tidal waves.
4] The salt in our oceans… which is at the exact pH level so as to act as a healing substance for wounds. I’m sure there are other reasons for the salt in our oceans but as of now I don’t understand them.
5] Our ozone layer… surrounding our planet which keeps the atmosphere from being disbursed into outer space and keeping dangerous sun rays away from our fragile physical bodies.
6] Clean, fresh water to drink and bathe in.
7] Oxygen… that brings life to our bodies. (Imagine trying to live without it.)
8] That, out of just plain old dirt, sun and water, God produces hundreds of varieties of wonderful, colorful, flavorful foods to eat so that we won’t get bored with the same food day in and day out.
9] The dawn and the dusk… so beautiful.
10] Luscious fruit… in dozens of different colors, shapes, and flavors… so sweet.
11] All the stuff I have & all the people who invented, designed and made all this stuff.
12] Being given a God who totally loves and accepts me just the way I am. And who’s growing me up slowly and surely so I can have a decent life. So much better than my parents were ever allowed to have it.
13] That I was given alcoholism… food disorder… bipolar disorder… dissociative disorder… post traumatic stress disorder… and ulcerative colitis. In that having all these things has pushed me so hard to grow forward.
14] All my God-given years of sobriety and still being alive to enjoy it.
15] A tough childhood so that I was able to get to Jesus… and stick with Him through thick and thin.
16] Going through a vicious attack at 22 so that I was able to ‘hit bottom’ with the alcohol at a young age. Also, being kept alive going through it.
17] Bipolar disorder… both a blessing and a curse. Blessing because it made it possible for me to have many spiritual experiences of the “sudden and spectacular upheaval” variety.
18] Alcoholism… because I get to be given the gift of Alcoholics Anonymous and sobriety, along with all the wonderful things I am learning in the program. With the back-ground I came from it has taught me how to turn my life around so that I’m able to live a good and useful life.
19] God removing my alcohol obsession. Something I could never have done on my own
20] Being given the ability to put both feet into sobriety, so I don’t have to be on the 49 / 51 plan anymore… walking the razor’s edge… half of me wanting to drink and half of me not wanting to.
21] Each day… the gift of life I’ve been given.
22] Being given many, many exceptional experiences which are teaching me how to live a life that just keeps getting better the longer I live it.
23] Feelings… that add interest & pizzazz to life.
24] Learning about how important it is that, although life is supposed to be lived one moment at a time, this life can be lived over the long haul. And understanding that life shouldn’t be run like a 50 yard dash, but a marathon; and knowing about what it takes to run a marathon rather than a 50 yard dash.
25] God giving me some ‘open-mindedness’ ‘willingness’ and especially ‘honesty’ so that I can have this precious gift of sobriety.
26] God giving me the courage to keep pulling my covers and be human. Always ‘green and growing’.
27] Being given some recovery so that I can have something to give back to others.
28] God giving me an understanding of how precious gratefulness is to a happy, peaceful and contented life
29] The people who love me… and that I can love back.
30] God giving me the gift of mercy so that I can love the ‘unlovable’.
31] That there is so much love going on all around in the world… and that I get to be a part of it.
32] Having the countless AA meetings I could ever possibly want or need.
33] The good sober people I have found in AA here.
34] Bill W. and Dr Bob… who worked tirelessly to get and keep AA going.
35] People who start and serve AA meetings.
36] AA Long-Timers… with experience strength & hope.
37] AA Newcomers…. They keep the program fresh.
38] God giving me the ability to stick with sobriety from my first AA meeting.
39] The Bible… need I say more?
40] AA’s Big Book & the 12 x12.
41] All the AA books and literature that are teaching me how to have better sobriety, and a better life.
42] The “Mentalist” TV show which is so amusing. And also, NCIS.
43] Chocolate cake!!
44] The American Idol TV show and hearing Phil Phillips and Jessica Sanchez sing.
45] Having all around good physical health
46] Jesus… who introduced me to my loving God; and to a love and acceptance I could never, ever have dreamed existed.
47] Being given the experience of being able to LGLG (Let God & Let God) of something permanently and being able to understand PKS (people know stuff) which keeps me always green and growing.
48] Having a good sense of humor… and laughter to make hard times easier.
49] And having the ability to laugh at my own foibles and character defects.
50] The 2 “God Jobs” I was given that both suited my needs at the time. The 1st was pretty mindless but where I was allowed to go to an AA meeting everyday at lunch. The 2nd was fun, creative, and stimulated my mind. I held both these jobs for 7 years each. The longest I’d ever been able to hold any job before this.
51] Christian Talk Radio… to keep me company when I’m alone
52] The piano… which allows me to move inside music.
53] Music… and having good ears to hear it that adds so much zest to life.
54] This computer… internet, and e-mail programs… my blog, and other peoples’ blogs, which are all marvels of science that I will never understand the inner workings of but that I can operate.
55] A strong desire to write and being given a little bit of talent for it (so I’ve been told)
56] A mind to see miracles all around… and to write about them. Writing adds tremendous joy to my life.
57] My red notebook… and all the wonderful things it has allowed me to keep for memories. Also my red pen which is so colorful and fluid and easy to write with.
58] The word processor on my computer… that allows total freedom to write and move words around so as to edit all that I need to. And God giving me the brains as to allow me to comprehend how to use it (like I’m doing right now.)
59] Beautiful photograph postcards… God gave me to put up on my wall in front of my computer so that I always have something beautiful to look at while I’m writing.
60] My twin sister Jackie’s pointed questions about Christianity which has pushed me to study my faith and the Bible more.
61] Eileen… a wonderful, knowledgeable woman to help me understand the Bible better and to value it more than I ever had before.
62] Fluffy white clouds… so relaxing.
63] God giving me freedom from suicide obsession. A miracle in that most people with this problem have to live with their entire lives.
64] God removing the constant anxiety I had my whole life. Something that most people never get to experience.
65] God giving me the gift of freedom from anger toward my father who treated me like a thing rather than a person. And even more so, having actual pity and compassion for the crazy man when I was shown the amount of pain he himself was carrying.
66] That, after 15 years of no contact, God got me together with my father just before he died.
67] The 164 + anonymous programs.
68] Hair color in a bottle… & the great hair dressers who color and cut my hair
69] God giving me full-fledged freedom from the guilt of an abortion. Something that seems to be very rare to have happened. Many women live with this terrible guilt their whole lives but I was given freedom from all of it… fully cleansed from the guilt.
70] All the green trees and colorful foliage all around.
71] A soft, relaxing blue sky… imagine if the sky were red or purple all the time… Ugg!!
72] Rain and Snow… which create wonderful and interesting weather. And my home where I can watch it happening from a warm protected place.
73] A white blanket of snow on the ground… It makes everything look soooo cool.
74] Bathrooms & Tubs & Showers.
75] Cameras… to keep memories with.
76] All the Oceans… Lakes… Streams… Brooks… of wonderful clean, clear water.
77] Swimming in a lake or ocean. I’m a ‘water baby’.
78] The moon… Last night there was a beautiful crescent moon low in the sky with Venus next to it… Gorgeous
79] The stars… that fill the night sky with fantastic beauty.
80] The 2 planets right next to each other that I can see in the night sky right now.
81] Documentaries… which help us understand past, present & future events & happenings.
82] Books… and being able to read and write
83] Public restrooms… Think what it would be like without them. We’d have to be going in the bushes or ditches or behind trees.
84] A toilet in my house!!!
85] Toilet paper… (in Czechoslovakia TP costs 25 cents a sheet)
86] School and school teachers… who helped us learn to read, count, and write as well as helping us learn many other things.
87] Community Colleges… where I can go to learn new things for the rest of my life.
88] My pink-fern meadow… that I used to enjoy as a child on my grandmothers farm.
89] Yosemite & the Grand Canyon…. Awesome
90] My grandmother… who showed me acceptance as a child and which I feel sure is, even now, rooting for me from heaven.
91] My twin sister… who made the difference between life and death when I was growing up and whom I am now finger-tight with.
92] Cape Cod Massachusetts… where we went on vacation every year when I was growing up.
93] The ultra clear water of the Cape Cod bay. So clear, you can see 20 feet down to the soft sandy bottom.
94] The wonderful people I have in my life including several dear friends and people I get to associate with in AA and in my church.
95] Sunglasses… so I can drive safely.
96] All my wondrous & working senses… Eyes… Ears… Nose… Mouth… Tongue… Teeth… and Skin.
97] God blessing me with a 6th sense so that I can connect with Him in the spirit world.
98] Shoes and socks… to keep my feet warm and comfortable
99] My Vita Mix… and coffee drink I get to make at home so I can have it with decalf & soy milk.
100] Greeting cards and the silly stickers I get to put on them… and the artists who design stickers.
101] My ‘goofy sticker’ collection… so that I can cover letters & cards to people with wonderful silly stickers.
102] That I don’t have any children (they scare the begebbers out of me)
103] My husband… who has put up with a lot of my crappola for the last 26 years.
104] The change of the Seasons… so that the weather is never boring.
105] All the hundreds of varieties of delicious fruit.
106] Not having a bulimic or anorexic problem
107] Beautiful & calming trees… forests… flowers… and meadows… majestic mountains… and valleys.
108] My siblings… twin sister Jackie and brother Chris
109] House-trained doggies.
110] My 2 puppies… who are completely and utterly beautiful and add never-ending joy to my life
111] Holding one of my two puppies in my lap and them licking me.
112] My sweet, sweet mother-in-law… who now lives with us and is a treasure to have around.
113] Honey… and the bees that make it.
114] Language… so we can communicate with each other.
115] Computers, printers and printer paper and all the brainyacks who invented them. What brains they must have to come up with all this crazy technology.
116] Medicine in general… and how far we’ve come in it. The scientists that discovered them. Without them I’d be a lifer in an insane asylum because of the bipolar disorder.
117] Our military… which keeps our country safe from those who want to do us harm.
118] God’s abundant love… in powerful, supernatural, and numerous healing miracles done to me over the course of my life.
119] Chess… being able to play chess with Jerry. And games in general, that add a lot of joy to my life.
120] Currency trading… that I can do with play money… for fun.
121] The music of thousands of species of birds that serenade us. And being able to put up a bird feeder so they can have food for the winter.
122] All the pets I’ve had in my life. Drummer, Banner, Dancer, Potsy, Cally, Melissa, Greta, Gus, Mikey, Dulcenea, Willow, Dory, Joshua, & Sophia.
123] Living in a place where the water is totally scrumptelieisous and where it is cleaned so that I don’t get sick drinking it.
124] Entrepreneurs… who start businesses which help serve us in a phenomenal number of ways; fulfilling numerous needs and pleasures.
125] Swiffer sweepers… that make dusting easy.
126] Wastewater treatment plants… (Jerry worked in one) that clean up our water so to make it safe to drink. What would our water be like without these plants & workers?
127] Street lights… that help us find our way in the dark.
128] VOCA… a federally funded program with a tested way to get me through the affects from the attack and the PTSD from the childhood
129] God blessing me with my current therapist who is actually having success at getting the residue PTSD removed.
130] DBT therapy… which is making a world of difference in my life that is taking care of the PTSD I’ve had from childhood and that is also increasing the joy in my marriage as well as helping me get along with people better.
131] All the mirade of different people in the world I can bring love to. No two alike both in appearance or personality – adding enjoyment and fascination to life
132] Where food is concerned, being born in the top 10% of the worlds population in that I am able to choose the foods I want to eat. And having the luxury to be able to eat 3 meals a day of good nutritious food.
133] Comfortable furniture… to sit & relax on. And a wonderful new bed!!
134] Opposable thumbs… which give the ability to do things most other animals are incapable of doing.
135] Sweet and good aromas… incense; nature; cooking food
136] Fire… that keeps us warm, lights the night, and cooks our food. And fire-fighters – who keep it in it’s place.
137] Funny movies… to help forget trouble.
138] A working and pain-free body… Especially my back. Having pain there can be completely debilitating.
139] Not having to drink from my first AA meeting.
140] Cake and cookies and ice cream… and all the other thousands of fun foods to eat just for fun. And that I can just think about them and I can have them.
141] The cornucopia of stuff in grocery stores here in this country.
142] The total cornucopia of life in this country.
143] Camping !!!
144] Telephones… so that we can make an instant connection with family and friends or business, whenever we want or need to.
146] God-given ‘hard time’ classes… that He uses to grow me up and heal me as a person. And… my God giving me regular ‘down’ times of rest between ‘hard-time’ classes.
147] Inventors & artists… who imagine and bring to fruition all the things that help life be better and keep it fun and engaging.
148] Bread and cheese… especially Swiss cheese
149] French bread for a dollar at Wal-Mart
150] Bert’s Bees lip balm… Because my lips get so chapped.
151] A wonderful home to live in.
152] Having just enough money to live a comfortable life.
153] The love that Jesus has given my in abundance and which I am allowed to pass on to others so I can feel useful while I’m in this world
154] That something good came out of my car accident… where I learned that forgiveness is one of the most important things to learn in this world
155] Good-working pain-free feet to walk / run on.
156] A good working brain… to use and to learn with.
157] CD’s & DVD’s music and movies… and those who invent the stories & music; and put them together.
158] Insurance for my life, home, car, and health; to increase peace of mind.
159] No-charge freeways here on the west coast. The east coast high-ways gobble up money by the truck-load with tolls every mile.
160] Dictionaries and text-books… that help us to learn more about the world.
161] News TV and newspapers… to keep us informed of what’s happening in our world.
162] Weather people… guessing the weather. It’s like a game.
163] All of Nature… God’s splendid artistry.
164] Being able to worship as I would like without fear of governmental reprisal.
165] Hundreds of churches in this area where I can commune with God.
166] That Jerry and I have no debt right now.
167] Doctors… lawyers… dentists… psychiatrists… therapists… and all the other professionals who studied long and hard so that I can get the help I need.
168] God giving me the willingness and honesty to ask for help. Something I never learned how to do from my parents.
169] A great psychiatrist… who has set me up with a perfect combination of meds so that I can live a reasonably normal life for being bipolar.
170] Health insurance… so that I can take the drugs I need to live a good life with bipolar disorder and to see the doctor when I need to.
171] Medicines… that keeps me out of mental hospitals and all the R & D people worked long and tirelessly to discover them.
172] That this medicine I need to take for the bipolar does not give me any side effects.
173] Christian talk radio… that keeps me company when I’m alone.
174] 5-HTP and B-6… that God brought into my life that keeps my body fully supplied with Serotonin so that I am able to physically relax. It is a miracle that God did for me which has removed my carbohydrate obsession.
175] My 30+ year food-abstinent friend who told me about the 5-HTP & B-6
176] A very good working car that I have had 22 yrs.
177] Enough money to put gas in my car and pay for car insurance so I can drive without worry.
178] A NEW WINDSHIELD!! So I can see where I’m driving.
179] Jewelry… and the artists who designed / created them.
180] Death… which has intensified my appreciation of life. It helps make life that much more precious.
181] Having legs… feet… arms… and hands… that work and not being paralyzed in any way.
182] My stuffed animal collection…
183] TV… and that I can enjoy it in a balanced way.
184] Books… And for being given good eyes to read them. The authors who write them.
185] Ear plugs… so that I can have silence when I read
186] All my healthy senses and my physical health.
187] Having eyes… ears… nose… and mouth… with which I can use to make contact with the environment all around.
188] Being given the gift of being born in, and allowed to live in, America. I was born a US citizen so that I didn’t have work to be here or come to this first-rate country by stealth and live a life in constant fear.
189] The fact that I know English… a universal language in the world & which has been known to be one of the hardest languages to learn.
190] Living in a “destination” (which is a vacation place, as Jerry puts it)
191] All the church-type meetings there are for me here, where I can connect with other Christian people as much as I could ever possibly want.
192] My church… where I can worship my God in communion with others of like faith and where I am free to worship without fear.
193] Hy Pastors & Elders… and all others who serve.
194] Crochet… That is was God-invented I’m sure; and adds so much pleasure to my life.
195] Having wonderful colors all around me to look at… and having good eyes to be allowed to enjoy them all.
196] Beef gelatin… to keep my free of joint pain.
197] All the beautiful clothes in my closet… and that I have Savers to shop at where there are so many beautiful clothes which don’t cost a lot of money. I just love, love, love Savers!!
198] God saying “Yes” to my request to learn how to pick out clothes that I really love. I love every piece of clothing in my closet!!
199] The beautiful park right up the street from my house… where I can take my puppies for walks.
200] A safe, warm house… where I can stay to be protected from harsh weather
201] An abundance of fluffy pillows… sheets… and warm blankets.
202] Ener-gel pens… that write in a soft fluid motion. And that they are on sale 2 for 1 at Staples at the exact time I discovered them.
203] That God taught me the importance of asking only “what & how” questions of Him. And that He so quickly answers these “what / how” questions. That He taught me the futility of asking “why” questions. That trying to answer these “why” questions is like trying to tell a dog where his food comes from. “Why’s” are way beyond my ability to understand.
205] Jacuzzis… I don’t have one, but I’ve been able to go places that have.
206] Running water… hot and cold… all over my house! I don’t even have to go to another room to get some!
207] Things I use to keep my writing in a safe place; printers, staplers, 3 hole punches, and binders.
208] Paper notebooks… so that I can write where ever I am.
209] Thumb drives!
210] All you wonderful bloggers out there that put your hearts out for others, like me, to read.
211] A comfortable bed… and Jerry to sleep with
212] Watching Jerry sleep.
213] Watching my puppies sleep on their backs with their bellies showing and with all their little paws in the air.
214] Being able to sleep at night, and not having (too much) insomnia
215] The garbage man… so that we don’t have to live among the squalor of garbage.
216] Electricity… and being able to use it in so many ways that makes life much easier and pleasant. Think what it’s like when the current is taken away.
217] Cat litter and litter pans… that keep the cat from pissing and shitting all over the house.
218] A footie heating pad… that warms my feet at night
219] Having enough money to put food on the table and a good roof over our heads and to keep life comfortable and to feed my puppies..
220] Soap and shampoo… And blow dryers too.
221] Toothpaste and tooth brushes… combs and hair brushes… hand creams and body lotions and all the things needed to help me feel physically clean & comfortable
222] “Sherwood Productions”… who have put out 4 super-great Christian movies.
223] My puppies… that love me totally & unconditionally. And who like to play with me.
224] That I am over 18… and, as an adult, have the freedom to allow my puppies to get up on all the furniture if they want to.
225] Cell phones… to be able to communicate with people while on the move.
226] Salad dressings… to make vegetables tastier… and those who make so many varieties of them.
227] Not very expensive overnights at the Casino hotels in Reno… to put a little more fun in life.
228] That neither Jerry nor I have a gambling problem so that we can safely go to these hotels without trouble
229] Popcorn at the movies… and the fact that I can go see movies.
230] Teflon cookware… so that food doesn’t stick to the pan.
231] Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful washers & dryers… so to not need to slave over a rock to have clean clothes to wear. I even have a pair in my house!
232] Crystal Light drink mix… that helps keep me more pleasurably hydrated.
233] Tin foil and Saran Wrap…
234] Zip-Lock bags and containers of all sizes…
235] Neosporin, gauze, and band-aids…
236] Kitchen sponges… detergent… and scouring powder… That make kitchen clean-up easy. And having a kitchen to clean up after.
237] A stove… so that I don’t have to deal with burning wood or other stuff to have warm, cooked food to eat.
238] My fluffy pink slippers…
239] My God opening my eyes so that I can see all these beautiful things to be grateful for. Something I didn’t get in my child-hood home.
240] That I have so many things to be grateful for…
241] Knowing I’ve just begun to scratch the surface of this mother-load.