Taking Responsiblity for The Chaos in Your Life -Jay keefe



I’m responsible for the chaos in my life.

That’s true.

Always has been and always will be.

But thanks to the work I’ve done in recovery, I have much less chaos than I ever did.  As a matter               of fact, I don’t have any chaos in my life at all, unless you count the madness that sometimes goes               on in my head.

But again, that’s all my own doing.

When something bothers me, when someone pisses me off or if something doesn’t go my way, I                 can do one of two things; I can fester in the stew that’s cooking in my head, watching it slowly                     simmer and bubble to the surface.  Maybe I’ll turn the stove down, throw it in some Tupperware,               where it’ll coagulate and remain in the fridge for a few days before I eventually throw it out.  Or                   maybe I’ll grab a spoon, shove some slop down my gullet and burn the fuck out of my throat,                       because, you know, I can be reactionary.

But either way, I’m wasting time or I’m hurting myself.

Of course, I could use the tools I was given when I got sober.

That’d be the right thing to do.

Granted, even though that toolbox is right in front of me, and has been for over seven years,                        sometimes I don’t see it.  And sometimes I trip over it, stub my toe, scream out in anger and then              finally realize I probably tripped over it so I would see it.  And use it.

Sometimes I go to a 12-step meeting.  That always puts things in perspective and helps me realize               how much I have to be grateful for (and to realize that slop on the stove was just that-total mush,               and not worth getting upset over).  And if I sit still and really listen, sometimes I hear an insanely               profound tidbit of wisdom, something I can take with me and grow from.

Sometimes I pick up the phone and call another alcoholic.  We’re wired the same, and although we            may come from different upbringings or backgrounds, we think the same.  We’ve either done or                  have thought about doing whatever it is the person on the other end of the line has an issue with.                Besides, it kind of cuts the problem in half when you share it with someone -kind of takes the wind            out of the sail, so to speak.  And now the storm inside our heads isn’t much more than a slight                      breeze.

Sometimes I reach out to someone who suffers from addiction.  We don’t necessarily have to talk                recovery or be each other’s therapist either.  Sometimes it’s enough just to hear another voice, to let          them know they’re not alone.

Sometimes I write.  But I don’t cheat here; I actually use a good ‘ol fashioned pen and paper.                        There’s something therapeutic about it.  And it boosts memory and the ability to retain and                          understand concepts too. It’s a win-win on all fronts.

And sometimes I do something as simple as pray.  I’m not a religious person (even though I was                  raised as one) but I absolutely believe there is something greater than myself.  How arrogant would          I be if I thought there wasn’t?  How close-minded?

So, I pray to whatever it is that’s out there.

Sometimes I pray for the sick and suffering who are still lost.  Sometimes I pray for the serenity for           the things I cannot change, the courage for the things I can, and for the wisdom to know the                         difference.

And sometimes I simply pray to say thanks.

“Thanks for keeping me away from a drink or a drug for just one more day.” 


Jay Keefe, Staff Writer and Director of Happiness at The Addictions Academy

National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer

Published Author of “And Drink I Did”

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