- Thank about at least two mistakes you have made before which you felt bad about. They can be small or big mistakes; the point is that you felt bad over them at some point in time–perhaps at the very point when the mistakes were incurred.
- Identify three things you gained from each mistake. They can be intangible things like self-realizations, life lessons, or an improvement in your well-being. They can be tangible things like gaining (or losing) a physical object, a new person you met as a result (who subsequently became your good friend or even partner), or even the improvement of your health.
- Now, I would like you to review each mistake. Have you become a better person as a result of each mistake? Was each mistake truly a “mistake”, or actually a gift in disguise? You decide; it’s your own conclusion.
I’m not cheating by combining Day 13 and Day 14 of the 14 Days of Gratitude Challenge. I practice Day 13, meditation on a regular basis. It relaxes me as well as helps clear my mind so I can sleep. I normally like to waiting until the children are in bed and I sit in the living room because it’s my favorite room. There I sit comfortably crossed legged, with good posture, listen to soft piano/meditation music, and practice my breathing. Thoughts of the day, yesterday, and tomorrow will go through my mind, but they leave as soon as I have acknowledged them and I feel better. I cannot lie. There are some days when I’m stressed and I know meditation would help and perhaps some yoga butb I get in a funk where I just don’t want to. This would be my only fault in using this technique is not being consistent with it. I plan on working on that beginning tonight.
Moving on to Day 14. Two mistakes takes some narrowing down over my 36 years. I would say one of the hugest is getting addicted to opiates in 2000 when my grandmother, whom raised me passed away. The other huge mistake is legal trouble I got into and some of it was due to bad choices made because of an addictive nature. 3 things I learned about not going back to my good job in 2000 and instead chose to use would be 1. at the end of it all, and being in a program for 2 years, when I was no longer high at the end of 2010, my granny was still dead, and 98% of all my problems, I brought on myself. I also realized, I loved my children, but I could do better if I learned to love myself. I realized I hurt a lot of people that cared about me, as well as hurting myself. The legal trouble I had gotten into made me realize my life was unmanageable. I realized I was letting addiction control my thinking and behavior and doing things I normally would have never thought of doing. Even now, I have no license, owe a lot of money to get one back, and this has hurt me in job wise, taking my children places and not having to be dependent on anyone else. If I lived in a community or city where public transportation was possible it wouldn’t be so bad. I live in a small coal mining town, population literally of about 400 people, the community has a post office, two churches, a fire department, and a lot of gossip. I have lived here my entire life though. It’s a gorgeous area, and I love in the warm weather, especially summer, walking the mile to the river that runs through my community, and swimming with my daughters. However, any jobs, stores, of anything like that is at least a 20 to 25 minute drive. I have no one to blame but myself for the lack of transportation.
The last thing ask on here, was these truly mistakes or gifts in disguise. I can’t answer just one way. There is too much grey in the middle. My addiction was a huge mistake. At the same time, it’s a gift. It’s made me more compassionate toward people, more understanding of people’s lifestyles and hardships. I regret my past sometimes follows me around, and I don’t want this to have a negative impact on my children. At the same time, I have experienced rehabs, jail, no license, (as they notice now), relapses, losing almost everything, and just about anything an addict can experience. I feel like my children know they can communicate openly with me and based on their age, I communicate with them about some of the consequences of using drugs cause. I have had a couple of therapist that were addicts. I always thought they were the best ones. They were clean, had went to school for their job, and they understood me better than someone who had never been in my shoes. I plan on taking a photography class in the spring, but I also wanted to check on being a social worker for addicts. I need more clean time, and as of January 2014, I can have my record expunged and get my voting and gun rights back. My conviction was a non-violent conviction, in which I paid my fines, was on supervised probation for 2 years, sent to different out patient treatment centers, and I have been off of probation since January 2011 and have not so much as jay walked. The legal trouble: was it truly a mistake or a gift in disguise. For the most part I want to say a huge mistake, no gifts involved. Even that isn’t true. I have realized if I hadn’t gotten into trouble and been put on supervised probation with the threat of jail over my head, I would probably be dead by now. I couldn’t stand my probation officer at first. I felt like it was unreasonable to request things from me when she knew I had no steady income, ect. When I got off of probation almost 3 years ago, I sincerely hugged her and thanked her. She saved my life. I also realized the value of not owing money to courts and different things. In America, or at least here in Virginia, all I heard was how driving is a gift, not a right. I understand that to the fullest and as I begin the Virginia Alcohol and Addiction Program, the last step into regaining my license, I know once I regain my license, I won’t take it for granted again.
Now I’m at the part of my 3 things I’m thankful for on each day: 1. Thankful I do have a sense of humor. 2. Thankful I have an honest heart because everyone around here cannot stand the probation officer I had. She went above and beyond for me because I never lied to her. If I knew I wouldn’t pass a urine screening, I told her. She respected my honesty. As far as respect go, my word is about all I have other than my children. I’m glad I’m trustworthy. 3. I just said this, but it’s worth repeating, I’m glad people find me trustworthy and that I have not caused them to regret that. 4. I am thankful that my grandparents raised me right, so that even at my lowest, I didn’t do things, such as steal from someone, to get drugs. I was raised different. 5. I am thankful people have forgiven me for mistakes along the way and stood by me. 6. I am so thankful to participate in another of Celes’ challenges and learn about myself by doing them.