To be mindful is to be honest, beginning with self. Dictionary.com defines mindful as attentive, aware, or careful (usually followed by of):
mindful of one’s responsibilities.
For me to be mindful, I, as an alcoholic, must remember that although I’ve not had a drink for quite a while, I am still an alcoholic.
I need to pay attention to and be aware of what is going on around me and my reactions to things. Am I getting stressed, agitated, bored, hungry, angry, lonely, tired? If so, I need to remedy the situation. Eat, sleep, or remove myself from the situation.
I find can be more mindful during the holidays if I’ve taken some time beforehand to visualize a few scenarios. How can I act/react if someone offers me a drink? What if that person is persistent? What if the party goers seem more intent on “boozing and schmoozing” than true conversation and fun?
In the chapter on the 11th Step, the Big Book of Alcoholic Anonymous states, “As we go through the day, we pause when agitated or doubtful and ask for the right thought or action. We constantly remind ourselves (as in are mindful) that we are no longer running the show. We have done Steps One, Two and Three.
Quoting a story in the BB, To Handle Sobriety, “We begin to live in the present, one day at a time. We reject fantasizing and accept reality.” This is to be mindful or present. Because of working the steps, I have had a spiritual awakening or an “Attitude Adjustment” if you will. I no longer fantasize that I will be able to handle my alcohol, or drink like a “normal” person. I no longer need to “fit it” with people, for I am spiritually fit. I now fit in with the God of my understanding. I’ve learned to live one day at a time and stay in the present. For me to live, I must remain sober. As the BB states, “For us to drink is to die.” Going against my new found spirituality or against AA’s Spiritual Principles, is to lie to myself and my Creator. This is not being honest or mindful.
The authors of the BB state, “Willingness, honesty and open mindedness are the essentials of recovery. These are indispensible.”
For me, this is to be mindful, of my disease, my reactions to life, to reality. It’s trying to live the Serenity Prayer. My Higher Power can and will get me safely through this holiday season, sober, if I remain mindful and seek His help.