This summer I purposed that I would read more. I used to love to sit and read for hours, but in the pace of life those days are precious and few not to mention that when I curl up and read I fall asleep. It's taken a lot of practice to be able to sit again and not feel lazy by passing the time away leisurely reading.
When I first began recovery and even through the years since, I've found that a lot of my reading time has been wrapped up in the topic of recovery from every angle. Some days I couldn't get my hands on anything quickly enough to pacify my pain or answer my frenzied search on the what, why and when questions I had of enabling and codependency. Soon, my bookshelf contained the excellent writings of Melody Beattie and Angelyn Miller to name a few and I couldn't take it in quickly enough. Boundaries, CoDependent No More, The Language of Letting Go and The Enabler consumed my every waking hour outside of work.
As excellent as those books are and as medicinal as they were during various times in my life, I soon found that I was often looking at the world through a frown; the topic of recovery and addiction had become an addiction to me. I wasn't balanced on any scale in my world, and soon I was eating, drinking, thinking recovery on every level of my life. As we know, addiction to ANYTHING is deadly. Over time, my chaotic living began to settle just a little bit at a time and I began to see that there was another world beyond my obsession and it was going on without me! Music, movies, reading for enjoyment (not denial), art fairs and theater. My world began to open up as I learned to no longer be consumed by the addictive behavior in Cliff's life and in my own. If you are new to the world of recovery, come on in! But learn as quickly as you can to be educated and pro-active but not consumed by all things recovery. That's just as unhealthy as enabling and codependency.
What's on your bookshelf? What are your interests? If you're stuck in a rut due to mind numbing living, ask your friends to suggest something light and easy. Take the time to sit under a shade tree and listen to something that you can sing along with. Work on a jigsaw puzzle with a younger child or grandchild. Expand your horizons!
Step out of the ash heap and smile because staying in it won't change the ones you love. You may as well make yourself lovable and remove the frown that the whole wide world sees you wearing.
You are only promised today. Be set free and read!