Beliefnet
The Celebrity Therapist

good-luck               Hi everyone.  Today I want to talk about the idea of enjoying the good days.  I know it sounds like a simple, self-explanatory topic, but for a lot of us, it can be a daunting thing to have a good day!

For a long time, as love addicts and codependents, we lived in fear and misery.  Nothing was going right in our lives.  We tried to control, but the chaos just grew stronger.  We felt let down by others, and by our higher powers, and also by ourselves.  For some of us, it may have taken a long time to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Because there is one.

Recovery is not something you go into to find a cure to make yourself magically better.  It is a lot of hard, emotional work, and for that reason we each take it at our own pace.  A lot of days are struggles, and many of them do not fall under the category of good days.  But the beauty is that we start to actually have good days.  Before, we had no good days.  Now, we find that we are having one or more a week!  It’s thrilling.  But it also comes with anxiety.

For us, good feelings might not have lasted long at all.  Whenever we had a good feeling, or a good day, or had something really wonderful happen, it was following by the proverbial other shoe dropping.  We have been trained to expect dark after the light, rather than the light after the dark.  It’s a hard habit to break, and one that I still find myself doing here and there.  None of us are perfect!

But we should celebrate our good days!  For one, we can celebrate that we have them.  And two, it will help us see that a good day is a good day, and a bad day after it doesn’t have to spoil my good day today.  We can take it one day at a time, and enjoy our good day.  When we let anxiety cloud our good times, we lose out on enjoying the good.  It’s scary to have a bad day, but it is just that – a bad day.  There will be another day after it, and it may be great!  By savoring our good days, we can have something to look forward to.  We know that they are possible!  And we can see them happen more and more as we work through our recovery.  Good days don’t have to be daunting – they can be just that – a good day!

 

Sherry Gaba, LCSW, Radio Host, Certified Transformation Coach and author of  the award winning book, The Law of Sobriety:Attracting Positive Energy for a Powerful Recovery and Ecourse www.wakeuprecovery.com. www.sherrygaba.com sherry@sgabatherapy.com.  Find out if you are #codependent. Take my quiz.  http://sherrygaba.com/co-dependency-quiz/ 30 minute strategy session with Sherry http://sherrygaba.com/product/30-minute-strategy-session-sherry-gaba/

date yourself    Over the past three years, I’ve done a lot of soul-searching in my recovery from codependence.  I did not have my own identity, and I didn’t even know what things I really liked to do, watch, or listen to.  I’d like you to ask yourself when was the last time that you did something completely for yourself.  What did you do?  What do you remember the best about it?  I know for me, it had been almost my entire life that I did things for others and not for myself.

Doing things for ourselves and having our own identities is so important to our health and well-being.  When I started recovery and learned about these things, I didn’t know how to go about finding out who I was or the things that I liked.  A recovery friend told me about the idea of dating myself, and I knew that it was something I could do to find out a little more about myself, and I hope you can too.

Part of finding out who we are involves a lot of guess and check.  We don’t know if we like or dislike an activity until we try it.  We can take a guess, but now we want to KNOW.  I’d like you to take a moment to write down a few things about yourself.  What do you know you like, and what do you know you dislike?  After that, I’d like you to write down a few things that you are unsure of doing.  Is there something you would be willing to try?  If so, go for it!  Keep adding to this list when you think of things.

Another important part of dating yourself is being kind to yourself.  Think about how you would treat someone you liked that you were on a date with.  You would probably be your kindest self, asking thoughtful questions and perhaps even complimentary.  This is the way you should be treating yourself!

Treat yourself to dates by yourself (or even invite a friend!) when you’ve had a hard day.  You don’t have to always do something new!  Sometimes we need our tried and true methods of relaxation, and that is absolutely okay.  Dating yourself is about taking care of yourself and getting to know yourself!

Tips:

1-Do new things you wouldn’t normally try, and make note of the things you would be willing to do again.

2-Be kind to yourself, much like you would a close friend.

3-Treat yourself to dates by yourself

 Sherry Gaba, LCSW, Radio Host, Certified Transformation Coach and author of  the award winning book, The Law of Sobriety:Attracting Positive Energy for a Powerful Recovery and Ecourse www.wakeuprecovery.com. www.sherrygaba.com sherry@sgabatherapy.com.  Find out if you are #codependent. Take my quiz.  http://sherrygaba.com/co-dependency-quiz/ 30 minute strategy session with Sherry http://sherrygaba.com/product/30-minute-strategy-session-sherry-gaba/

denial1     Denial…It ain’t just a river in Egypt!  The degrees of it in our lives vary, but I firmly believe that every single human on Earth has experienced it at some point in our lives.  This is because, for a time, denial serves us.  We deny what we cannot accept or handle, and it protects us from ourselves.  But it cannot last forever.  At some point, the veil falls, and we become hyperaware of whatever it is we were trying to deny, which can be so painful.  We may feel shame from it, or aggravated from it, but that can be normal when beginning to process things we have denied for so long!

Sometimes, it looks easier to be in denial.  As the saying goes, “Ignorance is bliss.”  Denial does not stay blissful for long.  It becomes a monster that grows and grows, skewing our behavior, creating chaos and unmanageability in our lives.  Denial and control go hand in hand; as long as we deny that we are being controlling and do not change our behavior, we will continue to control and deny as a form of trying to feel in control in the mess that we’ve gotten into.

How do we defeat denial, then?  What can we do to thrust ourselves from denial and into recovery from it?  The key is acceptance.  Rather than using all of our energy to fight against something that we cannot escape, we can accept that there is an issue, and go about trying to solve it.  We will save energy, and feel less chaotic if we begin to accept.  Accepting things about ourselves does not mean that we are giving up.  It means that we are standing up, willing and ready to fight whatever comes our way from a place of strength rather than anxiety.

I hope that today, you can challenge yourself to look inward and see if there is anything you think you’re having a hard time accepting.  If there is, remind yourself that it’s okay to accept ourselves for who we are, even if we feel as though we have to make changes in our behavior.  Once you start accepting, you can begin recovering!

Sherry Gaba, LCSW, Radio Host, Certified Transformation Coach and author of  the award winning book, The Law of Sobriety:Attracting Positive Energy for a Powerful Recovery and Ecourse www.wakeuprecovery.com. www.sherrygaba.com sherry@sgabatherapy.com.  Find out if you are #codependent. Take my quiz.  http://sherrygaba.com/co-dependency-quiz/

action plan    Today I want to do a little something together.  You’re going to need a pen and paper, because we are going to write our action plans for the day (if you’re reading this at night, go ahead and do tomorrow’s).

As a codependent, one of the things I tend to do is procrastinate.  Some things don’t seem as important, and they go to the bottom of my list.  Something as simple as doing the dishes will be left for days, because I live alone and it doesn’t bother me, so why do them?  Beyond that, I forget to do things I had planned, or I plan to do too much, and then berate myself for not getting it all accomplished.  Making an action plan has helped me remain accountable to myself for the things I want to do, and it helps me adjust my goals if I find that something stays on my plan for more than a few days.  When this happens, I look at the task, and see if I can break it into smaller, more completable goals that won’t discourage me.

So, get your pen and paper, and write down all of the things you would like to accomplish today, big or small.  Do you need to run an errand, or complete a project at work?  Add it to the list!  Try to do what you can on it during the day, but remember to be kind to yourself if you don’t complete something – this isn’t a binding contract!  Try to do this for the next three days.  After that, check in with yourself.  Do you need to break a goal into smaller tasks?  Go ahead!  As you complete tasks and mark them off of your action plan, give yourself a cheer, because no matter what it is, it was worth accomplishing, and it is worth celebrating.

 

Sherry Gaba, LCSW

Sherry Gaba, LCSW, Radio Host, Certified Transformation Coach and author of  the award winning book, The Law of Sobriety:Attracting Positive Energy for a Powerful Recovery and Ecourse www.wakeuprecovery.com. www.sherrygaba.com sherry@sgabatherapy.com.  Find out if you are #codependent. Take my quiz.  http://sherrygaba.com/co-dependency-quiz/