~by Michael Z
So many family members who call Changing Lives Foundation
feel like they are all alone in their struggles.
Our best advice to those who have limited resources is
to visit an Open AA meeting or two, attend an Al-Anon or Nar-Anon meeting.
There,they will find others with similar concerns.
Many of the people in these meetings offer gems of wisdom just like this
from Michael Z.
Read what he has to say about happiness and comparison.
The Wisdom of The Rooms:
“All unhappiness is the result of comparison.”
When I was in my disease, I had a very skewed sense of perception. Rather than think about the things I did have, I was constantly comparing myself to what others had that I didn’t. As I drove along Pacific Coast Highway, I’d look at all the homes on Malibu beach and envy and resent the people who had such wonderful lives. At restaurants I’d see couples enjoying a romantic dinner, and I’d feel sorry for myself alone at the bar. I was constantly comparing myself to what I didn’t have, and as I did, what little happiness I did have slipped through my hands like sand in a sieve.
Before I attended my first meeting, my best friend made a recommendation to me. He told me to look for the similarities and not the differences. He knew how critical and judgmental I was and knew that if I focused my magnifying mind on the differences, then I wouldn’t stay. This was sage advice. As I listened for the similarities, I stopped comparing and began identifying. Once I learned that most of us felt less than and that comparing ourselves to other people, places, and things was just another way that alcoholism fed our discontent, I found a solution.
The gratitude list is a tool in my spiritual toolkit that gets used often. Recognizing that my mind automatically seeks the negative, I use it to be restored to sanity. Whenever I’m feeling less than, or when I begin comparing myself to others, I stop and make a written or mental list of 25 things I’m grateful for. These include my health, my sobriety, my awareness of and relationship to my Higher Power, my beautiful marriage, and all the other things I have including my ability to dream and have goals again. When I’m done counting my blessings, I’m also done comparing.
And once I realize how much I do have, my happiness returns.
Excerpted from “The Wisdom of the Rooms” ~by Michael Z.
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More from Wisdom of the Rooms:
Things might not get better for me, but I can get better despite things
12 Step AA Wisdom: Bring the body, the mind will follow
The AA Promises
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Comparison, Unhappiness, Comparison, Unhappiness