The Monday from Hell

The best thing about some days is that they end. Today feels like one of those days and it’s a long ways from being over. I’ll be especially glad to head home tonight but for now I have “miles to go before I sleep.” I’m taking time out of this upside down day for an attitude adjustment because at the moment, mine is running south of what I expect from me. Today’s blog is designed to change my attitude. I’ve noticed that putting my thoughts on paper or on a screen makes them look different. When it’s all here in black and white I see what I’m feeling and more importantly I see what I need to do about it. Welcome to my thoughts.

It’s endlessly amusing to me that I continue to expect that my plans will unfold the way I design them. It’s not like it’s been proven to be thousands of times that this couldn’t be further from the truth. I pride myself in being flexible…but sometimes nothing seems to work and I have a clear choice – get pissed off about it or laugh and look up.

The joy of having an addictive personality is that at times I behave like an addict. I don’t just want what I want. I want it when I want it, where I want it, how I want it and I’d like everyone and everything to get on board with me. Bring it on a silver platter while you’re at it…

Through the course of Recovery I have learned to do what my friend Bill calls “taking pause.” This is a nice way of saying, “Maybe I should just stop for a few minutes and reflect before I say or do something regrettable or out of character. I need an attitude adjustment. I can either give myself one, ask a friend for one, or wait for my Higher Power to lovingly whack me upside my head…”

This is how things get back into a healthy perspective for me. It’s true that from literally midnight last night until this very moment, virtually nothing I scheduled today has occurred on time. Very few things have gone the way I intended them to. Many things are left unsettled and undone but quite a few things have gone unexpectedly well and there have been some bright spots…I just didn’t plan them. Shall I object to pleasant surprises? What could be more self defeating?

Sometimes I behave like an indignant diner and God is the most gracious of waitrons. I dismiss what my Higher Power brings me because while it’s good or even great…it’s not what I ordered! I scheduled a cheeseburger for 12:15 and you brought me a rib eye at 12:32…this is unacceptable…I’m a busy man…I need to run a tight ship and have things run as expected!

Or I can change my expectations. Here again is a lesson I have learned ten thousand times – when I let go, things fall into place. My arrogance is resisting my Higher Power’s plans in favor of my own. Sometimes shit happens and sometimes things work out great and these outcomes will occur whether I get stressed out or not. It’s what my friend Georgiana calls “Plinko.” This is the name of a silly game played on The Price is Right – you let go of something and it falls and bounces around and it ends up in a good place. Yeah, I’m having some pretty cool déjà vu.

Ok…I’m feeling better and heading back to work. Today’s blog features no editing and a free flowing bunch of ideas…here’s the thing – this was 20 minutes of a half assed lunch break and I’m going back into this day with a good attitude and once again I’m grateful that my Higher Power runs my life and I don’t.

Jim LaPierre

About Jim LaPierre

Jim LaPierre LCSW CCS is the Executive Director of Higher Ground Services in Brewer, Maine. He is a Recovery Ally, mental health therapist and addictions counselor. He specializes in facilitating recovery (whether from addiction, trauma, depression, anxiety, or past abuse) overcome obstacles, and improve their quality of life. Jim offers a limited amount of online therapy to those with very flexible schedules.