Hello my devoted readers and perhaps newbies to the rollercoaster known as Greenleaf4Life!
Guess what? It’s a Monday, and I’m actually fucking writing!
Damn, it feels good to be a gangster… Well, not really.
I’m the furthest thing from a gangster, but I am feeling fairly inspired to do something different today.
Maybe it’s the phase of the moon, my recent success at dating, or this Bang energy drink… but the boy’s got some piss and vinegar in him today!
So hold on folks while we try to do something fucking productive.
As with any good rollercoaster, throw your hands up and scream your fucking head off.
Either way, it’s a win!
About That Title…
I chose the title of today’s blog entry based on how I closed my most recent podcast episode.
I realize my recovery and life decisions are quite the moving target, so I finished up the last recording with the sage advice handed down from generations of dysfunction…
“Do as I say, not as I do…”
Of course that’s a feeble attempt at self-deprecating humor (my old stand-by) based in evoking love through pity.
You know, childhood survival shit.
But alas, I digress…
Closing that episode with the advice of do as I say, not as I do not only made me laugh, it gave me the idea for this post to once again, criticize my former suggestion in favor of something new.
And such is the road to recovery (in my not-so humble opinion).
We make many course corrections throughout this journey.
Sometimes, I will have a morning meditation routine for months then switch it up because I’m feeling inspired or bored.
Some folks have to switch medications (as well as meditations – sought through prayer and medication 🙂 ) because they just stop working.
And that’s okay.
Try new shit.
And sometimes… Do as I do…
But First, An Update…
If you’ve been following my saga of self-involvement and unrequited romance (see below podcast episode by the same title), you will know I’ve reentered the wide world of dating…
This probably has a lot to do with my clearly elevated mood.
So, faithful readers….
I have found someone I connect very well with.
Because I am who I am (if you’ve been following along)…
I also have to be very mindful of the fact that I want to spend every last waking and sleeping moment with this person right now.
The sweet stage of early infatuation has it’s hold.
For today’s experiment in thriving beyond trauma, I’m going to attempt to lead by example and answer a series of prompts provided to me by my recovery sponsor.
Let me first qualify the following by saying, he received this list of questions from a coach himself, and they are not 12 Step nor original material.
However, because I thought I would personally journal using these prompts, I figured, what the hell, let’s do it publicly and perhaps inspire others to do likewise?
Or maybe just lazy, self-revealing, and grandiose…
In any event (as I gently pull the nail out of the board I beat myself with), it should be a useful exercise.
By doing this exercise (as well as writing this blog), I am focusing on my goals and dreams, and extricating myself (momentarily) from romantic distraction in order to nurture a healthier and more rounded me.
Enter, If You Dare…
Question 1. What actions have you taken since our last call?
Well… Since that was over two weeks ago… A lot!
A few things I’ve done include volunteering at the AA Intergroup Office, talking to a friend in recovery several times per week, writing this blog, recording my podcast, doing my first Instacart shopping delivery, spending time with family, and now – answering this list of questions to assess my progress and areas of needed improvement.
Question 2. What results have occurred since our last call?
Hmmm…. Not quite the results I was hoping for…
So, I had scheduled and advertised a thriving beyond trauma workshop for July 30th. I even came up with a format. However, I did not follow though with it. I advertised it twice in a two week period (understandably, I received no responses or inquiries) and ultimately let it go.
Why? The question doesn’t ask that, however, I was distracted with the aforementioned saga of self-involvement and unrequited romance. In other words, I was feeling sorry for myself and was looking for love in all the wrong places…
So yeah… there’s that.
Other results…. I’ve found someone I enjoy spending time with. I co-hosted a podcast recording this weekend. I recorded, edited, and posted my own podcast. I’m writing now.
I travel quite extensively. I lived through the Black Plague and had a pretty good time during that. I’ve seen the EXORCIST ABOUT A HUNDRED AND SIXTY-SEVEN TIMES, AND IT KEEPS GETTING FUNNIER EVERY SINGLE TIME I SEE IT… NOT TO MENTION THE FACT THAT YOU’RE TALKING TO A DEAD GUY… NOW WHAT DO YOU THINK?
So, on the whole… things are going 😉
Question 3: Where are you feeling flow and alignment?
I am feeling flow with my creative ventures in writing and podcasting. I am feeling flow and alignment with my latest love-interest.
Question 4: Where are you feeling resistance or misalignment?
Only in my head, dear friends… Only in my head…
I am aware of my fear of failure and of fucking my life up. In full disclosure, I smoked some cigarettes this weekend. I quit that shit January 1st for oblivious reasons.
Yes, it was stupid and risky given the addictive nature of the death sticks (and yours truly). Plus, I cannot afford to smoke either financially or physically. Smoking and doing CrossFit five-to-six days per week are not conducive.
I just wanted to fucking smoke.
That is a misalignment with my healthy values (and finances). I’m choosing not to beat myself up for it and hope to resume my smoke-free life style. The cigarettes, while nostalgic and a little exciting, also hurt my lungs and made me feel sick. I’ve come too far physically and emotionally to do that to myself. So I put them back down.
I also feel a little fear of being judged for my recent romantic involvement. Judgement from my sponsor, ex, and those little fuckers in my head…
I am also feeling resistance to the Instacart gig and/or finding a “real” job. However, this journey of living off of savings, while it’s been fun, is coming to an end, and I best figure some shit out before things get dire.
Question 5: Where are you grinding?
I could tell you where I’ve been grinding, but this isn’t that type of blog…
Okay, Greenleaf… reel it in… your inner 12-year-old is showing.
If I’m being honest… I don’t consider my efforts lately to be of the “grinding” nature.
I mean, at the gym I do “grind” regularly.
I work fucking hard there, but even then, I skipped this Saturday’s workout because I was otherwise occupied.
Business-wise, no grinding has occurred as of late.
I hope this question serves as a wakeup call to ratchet up my intensity.
I was just saying today I may listen to David Goggins’ book, Can’t Hurt Me, again to kick-start my level of activity.
It’s like they say in recovery, if you’re not pedaling the bike uphill, then you’re cruising downhill. Or something like that.
I do not want to go downhill, and I see that I am.
It’s time to start grinding…
Hopefully, this exercise will also create that accountability to keep me moving forward.
Question 6: Where are you feeling doubt or uncertainty?
Uhhhh… let’s see here.
How can I be specific with this one?
No, that’s too broad and perhaps exaggerated. Also, it’s just a reflection on my current mood (which you’ll notice changed mid-post).
Remember question four’s answer that I put the cigarettes back down.
Yeah… and then I picked them up again.
So that’s what I’m doing… Rethinking my life via this post.
I’m feeling a bit of shame about smoking, and not to mention (except I’m mentioning it), this peculiar twist in my thinking that says I can still do CrossFit, be healthy, and financially secure while smoking.
I also noticed just now the last four letters in the word “peculiar” spell liar….
dun, Dun, DUN!!!
The gig is up.
So yeah, at the moment, I’m feeling doubt and uncertainty about my frame of mind and recovery.
I may be being too hard on my self (far be it for me to do that), but it feels like a relapse.
I know I’ll do the right thing eventually (hopefully sooner than later), but for now, I’m walking the tightrope of insanity.
Because really, given all the information available, to smoke is insane.
Besides THAT, I feel some doubt and uncertainty around my employment status, or more accurately, lack thereof.
Fortunately, I did take a step today to call a potential employer, however, I feel doubt and uncertainty around that, too.
As a former arborist, tree climber, man-squirrel extraordinaire, I wouldn’t mind getting a part-time job doing tree work.
However, this time of year the temperature commonly crests beyond the 100 degree mark and palm trees look sketchy as fuck to climb.
So while in an ebb right now, I am regrouping to face these areas of uncertainty.
The thing is though…
Nothing’s fucking certain!
But things are going so much better than I give them credit for that THAT option is not currently on the table.
So I’ll spill my guts to my devoted readers, whine a little, whip myself mercilessly, then knock the dust off my piteous self, and make some changes to create the illusion of certainty in an otherwise uncertain existence.
There’s that old nihilistic resolve that gets me out of bed in the morning!
Question 7: Where are you feeling pushed or stretched?
Is that a euphemism?
I defer to the answer in question six.
Don’t get me wrong… Regardless of my current setback, I’m still committed to thriving beyond trauma.
They, whoever they are, warned of the “certain trials and low spots ahead” (AA, pg. 15).
Thanks to the miracle of dialectical thinking (see post, I think – https://greenleaf4life.blog/2022/07/27/once-more-from-the-top-this-time-with-feeling/), I am simultaneously feeling very happy and bummed.
The areas I am feeling pushed and stretched are within my own resolve to chase my dreams and to manifest the motherfucking existence I envision.
So, in a way, I am grateful for the wall I’ve hit.
Fortunately, I keep getting back up to push and stretch my damned self.
Afterall, it’s the motherfucker in the mirror that’s trying to kill me.
And he’s my BFF and has my back, too.
It’s time to go back to the basics of my rah-rah rants laced with gratitude and purpose to push and stretch myself unto abundance.
Question 8: What is one possible target you would love to become a reality?
Thank God the question just asks for one answer…
Today, quit smoking
And two… 😉
Be self-supporting through my own voluntary contributions…
In other words, be able to support myself financially so I can get an apartment to house a cat.
Yes, it’s all about the pussy…. cat.
Is that too much to ask for?
Question 9: Are you avoiding hitting your limits? If so, in what area?
Fortunately, today I am successfully avoiding hitting the limits of my sanity…
Yes, that’s debatable…
And I know what it looks like on the inside of this head, so I’m sure I’m still in the green zone of relative sanity.
One area I am avoiding hitting my limits in is consistent commitment to a routine.
As of late, I have been a free spirit pretending that I am independent wealthy.
As I float languidly down the river of denial, I have stopped pushing myself.
I need to start getting up early again and following a schedule which includes earning money from a side hustle or job while consistently creating content to build this damn thing I call a dream.
So, I shall stop procrastinating tomorrow… 😉
Question 10: What is one thing that you have been avoiding that needs to happen?
Accountability and follow-through?
Oh! I know! Maturity!
Yes, but getting colder…
Referring back to previous questions/answers…
Resume a routine.
Get a fucking job.
Create content daily.
[drops mic and bows ignorant of celebrating the obvious]
Maybe I should throw loving myself in there? Or at least being nicer to myself?
Yes, yes… I’ll take the nail out of the board… sheesh…
Question 11: What results do you want to see in the next 30 days?
[pics up mic off the ground and drops it again]
Okay… So I feel like I’m repeating my answers here a bit.
Quit smoking, acquire sufficient employment to pay my monthly budget, and consistently create daily content geared towards world domination….
I mean helping others.
Poor mic… never did anything to anyone.
Question 12: What is your top outcome(s) for today’s call?
Bullshitting my sponsor into believing everything is fine.
And cough up enough honesty to feel like I’m still working a thorough program.
I suspect I’m only hurting myself here…
I can never lie to you.
Okay then. Writing this self-revealing exposé of yours truly for the public to judge.
I feel so clean…
Glad I got that off my chest.
Question 13: What do you want to discuss during your call?
Not a damn thing.
Question 14: What would you like to leave today’s call with?
Validation and ice cream.
Question 15: What are you enjoying most about sponsorship?
Enjoy is kind of a strong word for it…
I would say I “enjoy” (#enjoynotenjoy) the accountability and honest feedback.
I know my sponsor cares enough about my life to tell me the truth about my apparent conduct.
No, I did not tell him I was smoking because the internal shame was screaming so loud I couldn’t hear myself think it.
Boy, that’s a doozy of an excuse even for me.
He’ll find out because I will invariably tell on myself because I do want to recover, and I’m still sometimes blindly driven to get his approval.
I appreciate (enjoy) the validation and understanding he conveys.
He really wants me to succeed.
Even if it doesn’t include ice cream.
Question 16: What could be done to improve your sponsorship at this point?
Really, the only thing that could improve his sponsorship of me is for me to continue to practice the program “to grow in understanding and effectiveness” (AA, pg. 84).
Yeah, sometimes I want to kindly invite him to go fuck himself for what I perceive to be condescending remarks.
I did ask this man to be my sponsor which includes honest feedback from an experienced recovering alcoholic.
So, I can grow thicker skin and practice making wiser decisions (with his guidance) that will preclude me from having to “tell on myself” afterwards.
And a million dollars would be nice.
He can keep the ice cream.
I’ll buy my own.
With the million dollars…
In case you didn’t know that’s what I meant…
Oh, forget it.
Holy shit, Greenleafers 4 Life! We fucking made it!
Wow, that felt like homework!
I hope that by going through those questions I demonstrated a method for self-evaluation, goal setting, and course correction.
I hope I demonstrated you don’t have to be too tightly wrapped to do these exercises of self-improvement.
I hope you found the exercise informative, relatable, motivating, and at the very least, entertaining.
I know I enjoyed writing it… kind of.
I’m grateful to have received this suggested list of questions.
I think it’s helped me to refocus on what needs to happen as well as reminding me why the fuck I am here.
Continue to do the work!
Find out what you want!
Write that shit down!
Find out what’s blocking you!
Prioritize the manageable steps.
Celebrate the victories.
Whip yourself mercilessly for failing…
Okay, not that one.
But WHEN you do fail (and it is a when)….
Do as I do!
GET THE FUCK BACK UP!!!
Be well 🙂
Thank you for reading today’s instalment of when a love bird flew over the cuckoo’s nest! I promise, I’ll keep recovering so I can help you do the same! Deal?
Be sure to like, comment, follow, or email me. I can be reached at email@example.com. Let’s chat about thriving beyond trauma or why I insist upon using pop-culture gifs from the 80s through the 2000s every four lines.
I already posted the link to the weekly podcast way up closer to the top of this post. If reading my insanity isn’t enough, you can listen to it, too.
But wait, there’s more!
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