Monday, August 10, 2009

Tuesday 8/11/09 - "MAGIC MAGNIFYING MIND"


"It was as if I had, rather than a Midas touch which turned everything to gold, a magnifying mind that magnified whatever it focused on."
(From "Alcoholics Anonymous", p.418)

"When I focus on what's good today, I have a good day, and when I focus on what's bad, I have a bad day. If I focus on a problem, the problem increases; if I focus on the answer, the answer increases."
(From "Alcoholics Anonymous", p.419)

My mind magically magnifies whatever it focuses on.
When I found Alcoholics Anonymous and first got sober I had a difficult time focusing on anything other than all my problems. It was a "woe is me" focus. Some of the problems I faced were real. I returned from treatment to a home where my husband was drinking alcoholically. Before I went away for those 28 days, all I could think about was his drinking, everything he said and everything he did. My vision was almost 100% on him. I thought he was my problem. He was magically magnified by my mind into THE ENTIRE PROBLEM. He was certainly a part of the problem, but focusing on him did not help me. The more time I spent worrying about this, the worse I got. I kept getting drunk.

I discovered what my problem really was. My problem was my alcoholism. When I returned from treatment I was focused on the solution, on my recovery from alcoholism. I kept my mind on what I needed to do to stay away from a drink, to not be overwhelmed by my emotions. I planned each and every day around what I needed to do to become healthier. I had learned that alcoholism is a disease and I was a sick person, not a bad person.

I went to a meeting everyday until I was nearly three months sober. At that point I got a job so meetings were frequent, but not every day. I stayed close to my sponsor. I prayed. I minded my own business of recovery more and my husband's business less. I did the best I could to become more of a mother than I had been when I was drinking.

As I continued directing my attention to my recovery, I began to recover. I went to meetings. I listened in meetings. I worked the 12 steps. I prayed for help. I very slowly began to make some friends in AA. In my case, I needed additional help and had regular counseling for several years.
Within only a couple of weeks of leaving the treatment program, I had suicidal thinking. Rather than having to leave my family again and be locked up in the crisis unit, I increased my counseling sessions and began taking an anti-depressant. I continued taking this medication for several years until I was stable enough to be weaned off of them. That was about 21 years ago. I have not experienced that kind of suicidal thinking since then. Thank God.

Today, I find that it is true - when I focus on what is good about my day, I have a good day. If I shift back to the "woe is me" mentality, my day is not so good. I have often heard people say that AA stands for "attitude adjustment". For me, when I attend an AA meeting, it always reinforces my positive thinking and if I am in a negative state, an AA meeting has a way of "adjusting my attitude", shifting my perspective to the positive.

I prefer feeling good. If I feel bad, I can take action to switch my magic magnifying mind onto the positive in my life. When I do this, life is good again.

I pray also that your magic magnifying mind will focus on the positive today which is the love of God.

Prayer Girl


Mike Golch said...

A great message,thank you for it.No matter how bad of a day I am having it still beats my bad times before A.A.!

Just Be Real said...

Super positive post PG. Thank you for sharing! Blessings!!!

An Irish Friend of Bill said...

cool. LOVE the magnifying mind thing :)

Steve E. said...

Well, I've had some pretty rotten days in sobriety...most of them of my own making.

I do not remember wanting to end my life--while I was drinking, but I sure have wanted to do that in sobriety...or "Dryness"

vicariousrising said...

I love these quotes from the Big Book. It's so true -- the way we choose to view the world really does have an affect on not only how we behave towards it, but also on how it reacts to us and subsequently how we experience our lives. We can make our lives worse by perceiving it as negative. A bad attitude feeds itself, prevents things from getting done, makes enemies and generally leads to a sense of dissatisfaction. It bewilders me how many people choose to nitpick on the littlest things instead of making the best of things. Just that small change can make the difference between a bad day and a good one.

My son teases me because he says I am so easy to make happy. I get excited by silly things like that my lunch made from our leftovers tasted good. I tell him that it beats the heck out of being miserable over "leftovers" or even not appreciating the good stuff that I get to eat. He's in that teenager age where it's not so cool to be enthusiastic about much, but I guess I've never cared much about being cool. Especially now.

Thanks for reminding me of these words from the Big Book. I first heard them in rehab at a step meeting when a woman who had "graduated" came back and played her music and told us about how her life had expanded since she had gotten sober. She always wanted to learn to play the guitar and write her own songs, but she never did it until she went to rehab and got sober - using her magic magnifying mind. She was a real inspiration to me and an amazing musician (and she has several recordings now and frequently performs live:) )

Tall Karen said...

We, as sponsors are not medical doctors, and sometimes medication is necessary. I've heard stories from girls who were told they had to get off their "meds" or change their sobriety dates. Where does it say THAT in the Big Book?

It is great to hear you no longer needed them. It's funny how our outlook on life can change our moods...focusing on the good!

Mama Zen said...

This is so true!

Lou said...

I had a bout of magnifying in the last week (not ready to post about it yet).

Your message is a good happiness is my own hands, not another persons.

wolfie185 said...

Great post thanks for sharing your message of hope with us.

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

All my rotten days were of my own making, God doesn't produce rotten and all God's interest is in love.

Syd said...

Thanks PG. I like the attitude adjustment acronym. If I stay out of self-pity mode, I do well.

Paula said...

Yepp, my happiness is in my hands. Funny that I more or less worte that in my post today. Once again I heard and got confirmed what was needed. Thanks xx

Dr.John said...

Wonderful blog entry. A real game plan for life.

Andrew said...

So true to me. What I focus on is my reality.