This was my flash of wisdom during coffee with a friend one day last week. I was talking about how many people when sharing in AA meeting sound like they are trying to prove how intelligent they are – so intelligent that they can’t make themselves happy.
I find it frustrating when someone is a week, a month, a year sober in meetings and they talk like they have all the answers – and often after the meeting they feel like they have some burning insights they need to share with me. If I am lucky this is when the thought “love and tolerance is our code” comes to mind.
Anyway a friend and I were sitting having a coffee after a meeting last week We were talking and as these chats have a tendency to our conversation is usually about getting better – having a better life and what we can do to move in that direction. In the conversation I had the thought that I am so smart but I can’t make myself happy – quite something and it does challenge the idea of being smart.
I am Intelligent Enough
Being smart has never been my problem – being an alcoholic was and is my problem. I always had a fitting in problem, which I translate to an emotions problem – which is maybe a thinking problem.
I believe that the thinking problem is the one that causes that most problems for me. It is rare that I feel happiness these days. Now a lot has changed over the last year: I have moved, that is the biggie. I live in a different place, new AA meetings, old friends left behind, my other half is now pregnant. And from all of this comes my insecurities in full volume once again.
My friend who is 6 years in the program was telling me about his morning routine. He gets up 30 minutes before everyone in his house. He mediates, showers, and while showering listens to a Buddhist podcast. He then wakens his wife and daughter, has breakfast with them and drops his daughter at school and heads off to work. In my head because I am nearly 12 years in the program I think I should be smarter – my poor head.
My morning routine: I crawl out of bed whenever I waken. I have my coffee and cigarettes. I check my email, look at the news. Then I wonder what work I am going to do today. I feel slightly ashamed when I look at what I have just written – however right now this is the way it has been recently. Since moving my whole routine is a mess and I have not done much about getting it back on track.
Being Smart Enough is not the Problem – Discipline Is
I left him and went home. First thing I thought I can get back on track is meditation, so I sat and mediated for 15 minutes. Meditation really helps me, even if it is only 15 minutes per day – but when I miss a day it seems to get easy to miss the next day and before I know it I have missed a month. Three days later and this is back on track.
Working for myself is great I have lots of flexibility and freedom. However I have recently been failing to have a plan for the week at the start of each week or even a plan for each day. This was a lesson I started learning during my first few months of sobriety – make a plan for the day. When I did that I got more done and I had direction.
Today I am going to plan the week ahead. I seem to have quite a bit of resistance at the moment doing what is good for me. It gets better they told me, yes it does but it only stays better when I do the right things.
It will be interesting to see if I am a bit happier during the next week if I create and stick to a plan.