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  • John Staley

G & H are for Grumbly Hateful or Humbly Grateful

There is a Netflix show about recovery called 'Flaked'. It is a dark comedy much like life in recovery from alcoholism. It is a funny and fairly accurate portrayal of recovery and the struggles that come with getting sober. I highly recommend it. In one scene two of the main characters are leaving a meeting and one says to the other, "You've got a serious platitude problem.". It is true that recovery programs of all kinds are full of platitudes and axioms, sayings and aphorisms, quips and quotes and slogans. It is easy to be cynical of all these especially in early sobriety. I know I was. At first they seem disingenuous and trite. They are framed on walls and used as greetings in place of hello. "Easy does it" and "One day at a time" are often heard. What I have come to find out is that they can seem that way but that they are also true.

In the case of "Grumbly Hateful or Humbly Grateful" it is a choice. How do you want to feel today. How do you want to see the world? This is a tough one to swallow for us alcoholics. Our knee-jerk reaction when something goes awry is to find someone to blame. Somewhere else to hang the unhappiness and give ourselves an excuse to continue to wallow in misery and ultimately take another drink. When we are told that how we feel is a choice we are quick to deny it and explain it away. This choice isn't easy, mind you, but it is a choice. One that needs to be made repeatedly some days. Over and over again as obstacles come up. And they will. That's just life. Making this choice takes practice. It takes being uncomfortable and not happy sometimes. Humility does not often serve the ego. It will pass though. It always does.

Each time we choose to say "yes and thank you" in the face of adversity it becomes more natural. We may not feel different at first but over time perspectives change. Slowly and at points agonizingly so but they do change. Keeping it up ensures that it will eventually click and the frequency of that clicking will increase. Blame, misery and drinking or patience, practice and peace. The choice is ours.

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