Thursday, May 5, 2016

True Happiness

Dear Readers,
Yesterday, I experienced a moment of pure joy.
And in that moment the thought came to me that I am happily recovering from drinking.
I love it when I have this deep down feeling of contentment and joy.
It is a gift.
And when I experience it, I try to keep the feeling very close to my heart.

I love to have fun.
When I was drinking, I was looking for fun and excitement.
I wanted to be invited to all the parties. (As long as there was wine.)
I wanted to go anywhere where there was alcohol because that was going to be fun.
Soon, I needed a higher amount of fun, and drinking more became one way I was trying to meet this need.

But, I am learning that although I need fun to be happy, fun is not happiness.
I need some fun in my life to keep me mentally healthy, like going to a ball game, or to a movie.
But these fun things alone do not make me happy.

I am happiest when I am living my life based on my values.
If I value my husband, then I meet him with a smile on my face when he gets home. 
If I value my friends and family, I call them, listen to them, and help them with problems.
If I value my house, I clean it.
If I value helping other people in recovery, I go to meetings, and I give support to fellow bloggers.

When I do these things?
I am happy.
I think I always confused fun with happiness.

Alcohol is a liar. It promised I would have so much fun, and instead delivered pain and sadness.
Drinking took away my happiness. 
I was not living true to many of my values when I was drinking.

But now, recovery is bringing me a real sense of happiness.
And fun!

On 20 Months and 1 day
Wendy

44 comments:

  1. Hey Wendy - that's great; I love your take on the difference between "happy" and "fun"; it's real food for thought. Your list of values is great too. I can count myself as one of those you help/support in the blogging world, and I thank you for it. Love, Red xx

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  2. So beautiful to read this. Your blog today matches the beautiful smile in your photo. Feeling that deep down surge of true happiness is amazing. And it doesn't exist fueled by alcohol.

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    1. It sure didn't lead me to happiness!
      Thank you, RB!

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  3. Great post Wendy. I think deep down we all aspire to be happy, more than anything else. And you are so right, alcohol IS a liar! It doesn't bring fun and happiness, just the opposite. We are so much better off without it. A x

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  4. Your post filled me with joy! I like your distinction between fun and happiness...something to ponder!
    Xo

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  5. Replies
    1. I hope you are having a good Friday!
      xo

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  6. Hmmm....I need to give that some thought. I am always chasing "fun" and fun usually involves alcohol. Also a teacher - btw :)

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    1. Thank you for commenting!
      Teaching is hard, hard work!
      xo

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  7. You always come across as really loving life and loving to do things. I love that you go dancing! Congrats on your 600 days too, that's amazing!

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    1. Dear MTTS,
      Thank you!
      I feel very blessed this week!
      xo

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  8. I Love this! Thanks so much for the post. I especially love the part about values--and giving up what you thought you wanted to chase in order to exchange it for what's really important!

    It's funny how often we get "fun" confused with "happiness" and "joy!"

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    1. Thank you!
      It is. I do love fun, but I realized I was looking only for fun and excitement.
      xo

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  9. Aah, Wendy, I am so happy for you. And you can probably guess what else I could write here too? :-)
    xx, Feeling

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    1. Hi Feeling!!
      I am so happy I am not drinking today!!!
      xoxoxoxo

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  10. I think I confused those two things too Wendy xx

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  11. This is beautiful, and so true :) Alcohol is indeed a liar! Sometimes I feel so happy to be free I'm almost tearful! xx

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    1. Happy to be Free!
      That's awesome!
      Me too!
      xo

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  12. I had more fun when I was younger and looking back I think I was happier, probably due to less pressures and responsibility. So I was having fun, feeling happy and going out drinking THAT is where I have made the incorrect assumption that alcohol was part of the equation and why I have been 'chasing the dragon' ever since. This is a timely reminder. Thanks Wendy

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    1. And I am still proving to myself that I can have fun and not drink!
      xo

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  13. You have come so far Wendy. I remember last time I did a long spell we were at around the same point. I didn't continue and am still at the beginning, but you have continued and blossomed. Your life sounds beautiful and content. Alcohol is a liar, that is for sure.

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    1. Dear PDTG,
      I remember too! I was so excited to have met you!
      The good news is you are trying again!
      Never give up!
      xo

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  14. Woohoo! 20 Months and 1 day.
    That is so wonderful Wendy. Well done you! So proud of you.
    It's been wonderful to be on the journey with you.
    I completely agree with your post re Fun. I thought the fun was to be found in the bottle, but actually I became so invested in the feeling that alcohol gave me that I didn't see all the little lovely things in life.
    Values, and integrity are things that I lost, and am loving finding again.
    xx Claire

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    1. Hi Claire!
      It is!
      You and I and Feeling are close to same number of days!
      It is exciting to see our growth!
      xo
      Wendy

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  15. Wendy, you are truly awesome! Thank you for sharing these beautiful thoughts. Your insight, honesty, and warmth are inspiring and comforting. You deserve all of the happiness you have been experiencing. Thank you for your continued support.:)<3

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    1. Dear CWD,
      Thank you for your support as well!
      Today? All is well!
      xo

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  16. Wendy, this is lovely, and I find it incredibly helpful. I have confused these things as well, and I'm seeing that being away from the drink is helping me know the difference. I know you've found your way through some dark times, and it gives me so much hope to read what you say here. Big hug to you! xo

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  17. I found Toni's book 'How to Wake Up' hugely useful in helping me come to terms with grief. She has the true wisdom that is only acquired I think via suffering - the sort of wisdom that you show in this post. sending you love, as ever. when we deal with the difficult times in life we need NEVER be alone. Prim xx

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    1. I am reading that one, too!
      Sometimes I can find what I need in a book or a person.
      Then I know I am not alone!
      Thank you, Prim!
      xo

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  18. I too am an untipys teacher! I really like this blog. I'm not retired yet though. But summer is coming! Can't wait for that. I blog about things like this post, finding happiness in the day to day. I call it The Miracle of the Mudnane! You can find me at www.markgoodson.com sharing my thoughts. I'd like to add this to my blog roll so new posts will show on my site. I hope that's OK with you.

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    1. Hi Mark!
      Yay teachers! We rock!!
      It is okay!
      I'll look you up!
      xo

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  19. love this post, nice summation really. And that feeling of pure joy............priceless!
    Cheers Gael

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  20. Happy is key!!!
    Very nice and motivating/positive post, thank you Wendy. Drinking has been sucking the happiness out of myself as well, working on a fine day 2 today :) xo

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