“Nothing pays off like restraint of tongue and pen. We must avoid quick-tempered criticism and furious, power-driven argument. The same goes for sulking or silent scorn. These are emotional booby traps baited with pride and vengefulness. Our first job is to sidestep the traps. When we are tempted by the bait, we should train ourselves to step back and think. For we can neither think nor act to good purpose until the habit of self-restraint has become automatic.”
(Step 10. From 12 x 12)
this day threw me a few curve balls thus far. tests of my ability to restrain from pen and tongue. frustration. taking offense. feeling defensive. overly busy. under appreciated. and hurt. these are the feelings that have manifested in me (thus far) today. last year, with every feeling described, i would most likely react with a tongue lashing, keyboard whipping, or texting war. instant insanity. an explosive head, heart, and soul makes for a very unattractive person. that is the old donna, however. today, i talked myself down and chose to use restraint. took a deep breath. stayed moderately calm. i analyzed what triggered such reactions/feelings in me. could it be fear? feeling less then? seeking approval i was not getting? likely all of the above were involved in my bubbling feelings. fascinating really. so i went somewhere unseen and said the following: “grant me the serenity. to accept the things i cannot change. the courage to change the things i can. and the wisdom to know the difference.”
i have come to realize, in sobriety, that i have no control over other people, places, or things. but i do have control over myself (provided im not drinking), and my reactions to other people, places, and things.
phew. what a relief!
so here i sit, calm. content. and back to gratitude. im officially a proud practitioner of self-restraint. this is a much better way to live. consider the alternative….being in the heat. on the defense. in the chaos of hateful feelings. and lacking serenity. feeling out of control. blinded by red. and for what? nothing good comes out of getting stuck in such a dark place!
it’s seems i’ve graduated from sobriety diapers, to big girl pull ups!