Happiness, good things, and…anxiety?

just be happy

Holy Cow!  It’s been almost two months since I’ve posted!  I honestly had no idea it had been that long.  Don’t worry, everything is ok, I’m still sober, still working the steps, and doing my best to practice the principles of AA in all of my affairs.  I have been working on my word-of-the-year, Connect, and spending more time with friends and family.  It’s just been a busy time and I haven’t felt the urge to write for a while.  Something has come up though, that I feel like I need to post about.

Since the beginning of the year, with very few, minor exceptions, things have been going really well.  In January, my husband started teaching full-time and our income increased by quite a bit.  That alleviated so many worries and problems.  There is something to be said for not having to worry about one paycheck running out before the next one comes.  About a month ago I was able to attend a women’s retreat for forgiveness and healing.  It was a wonderful, life-changing experience, and the best part was that two of my closest friends went too.  I feel so fortunate to have gone.  Then, after months of wanting to move to a bigger, nicer place, the perfect house more or less fell right into our laps!  We’re moving in two weeks and we couldn’t be happier.  My husband celebrated 5 years of sobriety a few weeks ago, and my sponsee just made one year sober.  Life has been so great to me lately!  The icing on the cake came unexpectedly earlier this week when a number of my coworkers and I received an email from the powers-that-be saying we were all getting raises, and they were retroactive to January 1st.  The only thing that could make things better is if I were to wake up tomorrow morning weighing 25 pounds less!

Shoe dropNow I’m not telling you all of this to brag about my good fortune.  There is a real problem with all of this.  It scares me.  I’m nervous and anxious and I don’t know how to handle things when they are going so well.  Crazy, right?  At least it makes me feel crazy.  I have so many things to be happy about, and here I am waiting for the other shoe to drop!  I know how to live when I have to struggle and deal with uncomfortable feelings and difficult situations, sobriety has taught me that.  I know how to be mindful and grateful when times are tough.  This is the first stretch of time though, when I haven’t had huge (at least in my mind) things to worry about, and it’s hard to accept.

I really thought that I had learned acceptance….boy, did I think that I had learned.  When bad things happen, or I have to deal with difficult situations, the first thing I do is remember the Serenity Prayer and move into acceptance about the situation as quickly as I can.  I know, from experience, that wallowing in self-pity and worrying about things that I have no control over never improves situations that are out of my hands.  But now, when I’m finally experiencing what the 9th step promises talk about, I am having a hard time accepting that it’s for real, and I’m filled with anxiety that something bad is looming right around the corner.

My sponsor suggested that I approach this period of time in the same way that I approach all of the other times, with gratitude and acceptance and with the knowledge that God is working in my life, and that all I have to do is continue to do the next right thing, and then next right thing, and that doing so is living a life of sobriety and recovery.  So that’s what I am trying to do.  I don’t want to ruin the happiness and joy that I am feeling (yes, I am happy and joyous…just anxious too), by worrying about things that haven’t yet transpired, and that, in reality, probably never will.

Ugh.  I guess I am still a work in progress.

Has anyone out there felt like this?  I would love to hear what you think about it, and how you have dealt with it.  🙂

9th step promises

6 thoughts on “Happiness, good things, and…anxiety?

  1. As someone who (at 7+ months) is looking forward to the fulfillment of the promises with hope and tentative confidence, I celebrate their being realized in your life! Everything I’ve heard in the rooms and from sober friends farther along this journey testifies to the promises really coming true, that their own experience is proof positive. Based on the evidence, I would encourage you to wiggle your toes, toss back your hair, and enjoy the ride! You’re doing great! Happy spring, SG! Life is good!

  2. Wonderful things are happening for you and I’m happy to hear it!
    Live in the love you share with others and God will return it through blessings that, if you are paying attention, will turn your focus to recognize the responsiveness of God in your life.
    xoxo Fern

  3. I have times like this too, fearing that it will all come crashing down, that somehow it can’t be true that it will continue. I deal with those times, and in fact every day, by praying and giving voice to my thankfulness for all the many blessings in life, large and small; by people who are precious to me, alive and dead; by remembering always to pray for others who are not so fortunate, or who are ill, or grieving, or who in some way or another need help. I also pray that the good fortune would continue. I often remember the words that my grandmother taught me so many years ago from Martin Luther’s morning prayer: “preserve and keep me this day also, from all sin and evil; that in all my thoughts, words, and deeds I may serve and please Thee.” I am so thankful for your friendship and your blog posts and often pray for you as I start the day.

  4. Oh I am so happy for you! I remember when the promises started coming true for me, and I felt sort of the same way. Happy but scared. I think for me I was not used to good things happening to me. I was used to the bad, that was my norm, it almost felt comfortable. Good stuff, not so easy to manage. It felt uncomfortable. But the good news is that these feelings went away too and I was able to embrace to good. So give it some time and it will happen for you too. 🙂

  5. Dear SG,
    I am happy for any day I can get up and get going.
    Life is life. Some days work great, others not.
    I am coming to an acceptance of that.
    But being grateful is still the biggest one for me.

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