“Life is hard. Then you die. Then they throw dirt in your face. Then worms eat you. Be grateful it happens in that order.”
One thing that my spiritual advisor constantly suggests that I do is, write out a gratitude list every night. Please! Don’t make me barf with this enlightened bullshit! (was my initial reaction to her recommendation) & truthfully I rarely do it even though when I do it makes me feel better, somehow. Were I to write out a list right now, at the top of it would be,
1. My friend’s free-willed candor.
2. A little yellow bird.
3. My horoscope.
4. An open mind/heart.
Let me explain.
I was chatting on the phone with a friend of mine the other night, when she gave me some unsolicited tough love. Here I thought nearing my 19th month of sobriety that I was finally beginning to have it all figured out, she unraveled my tightly knit confidence like a scarf with a thread hanging lose. “…All you’ve done since we’ve been on the phone is complain…” she informed me. “It’s all you ever do. You have so many positive things going on in your life that everyone can see but you...” As she continued to rip me a new asshole for being so constantly negative, it felt like she was digging a knife into my guts, twisting away. What I wanted to yell at her was that I’m a depressive- that’s what we do. As much as I resist admitting it, she’s right.
The other day my horoscope said that I would be given a gift. Do I sound hokey or flakey admitting that I put a little bit of stock into astrology & future-telling intermediaries of the like? I can’t deny it anyway. So I’ve been waiting for this gift. I didn’t necessarily think it would come in the way of materialistic means, but I didn’t want to get too interpretive about it either. Then as I was crossing the street yesterday, the most beautiful, vibrant yellow-breasted bird flew into my path chirping his sweet song like he was delivering an important, musical message. My immediate thought was, this is my gift! For some reason, upon laying eyes & ears upon that bird, what was at once filling me with dread and anxiety was replaced with faith & hope. It was as if this mini feathered vulture flapped his wings & removed blinders from my eyes that had been shielding me from all that I have to be grateful for. With his little beak he’d nipped away at strings holding me down like a sandbag, allowing me to fly away with him.
While my girlfriend was tearing me a new one, I was synchronously furious with her as I was promising her & myself that I would try to change. That I would try to take even the tiniest of steps to get back on the right path, even though sometimes the tiniest of steps can feel like a massive stumbling block. Though each hurdle may seem bigger & scarier than the last, I will fucking surmount it. I will.
So you see, sometimes all it takes to turn a negative into a positive is a true friendship, a little yellow bird, a daily horoscope & a chink in your suit of resistant armor.