Living Life on Life’s Terms

“Living life on life’s terms.” once a very, very far removed statement while in
addiction. Who knew that today not only would I live life on life’s terms, but
I’d actually understand it’s content. It’s taken me three hard earned years to
get to this level and I’m still crawling. That’s what I love about my recovery,
it’s on God’s terms not mine. I’m just a pawn in His chess game. I’m moved from
here to there and don’t worry about the outcome because I know He’ll take
care of me. Whatever lesson my higher power has in store for me to learn, it
get’s revealed to me somehow, some way while I’m in the process of dealing with
whatever I’m going through. Whether I’m stuck at a stop light and having to
deal with the car next to me jamming on a rap tune or whether I’m at work and
it’s raining and I have to work outside anyway. I know whatever my Higher Power
throws at me there is a lesson to be learned. I’m so grateful I’m at this point
in my life. Finally, I can say, “I’m maturing.” another ghastly term I
wasn’t able to handle. Thank God for my program which has allowed me to learn
these new concepts.

23 thoughts on “Living Life on Life’s Terms

  1. “Life not life’s terms” I could not even tell you what that means to me yet. I know that a year ago I did not have a life, I barely had an existence. Seven months ago when I first came to these rooms I knew I wanted to get my life back but I did not know then that it is not really “MY” life, I barely know now that “MY” life is not my own. I have FINALLY submitted to true and utter powerlessness and in doing that I have turned “my life” over.

    Just Sunday, only two days ago, I let go of something significant that kept “my life” buried in addiction, so my life is a little lighter. If I did not have the willingness to finally let go I would not have even the starting of a life.

    So life on life’s terms, I have no idea what that means yet, but what I do know is this morning I turned my life over to my higher power and I have not acted out today and I even feel a little bit happy. If life on life’s term means that I will get to experience happiness and joy again I will turn it all over again tomorrow morning. One of the fellows in our rooms shares often that his higher power has given him a reprieve just for today. Today I embraced that reprieve and enjoyed the freedom of feeling unburdened. If that too is life on life’s terms. Count me in!

    • “Living life on life’s terms” – wow – I would love to be at the point where I can say that I’ve submit every day to my higher power. I feel like a complete fool for saying I don’t. I mean – its not like running my life my way got me anywhere but no where. Worse than no where. I ran my life into the ground. In the process of me running my life I lost thousands of dollars driving myself into bankruptcy twice, lost friends, lost the respect and trust of my wife and kids, drove a deeper wedge than there already was, between my father and I, and drove myself to the point of seriously contemplating suicide. And yet its really hard for me to let go and let God run things. I’m sure to some extent its simple pride – but for me – its also a matter of trust. I struggle with really trusting a higher power. Thoughts of – ” does he really give a flip about me”, and what if he’s just fed up with me and wants nothing to do with me now. I wouldn’t blame Him. Why would he? I had opportunities along the way to reverse course and I simply continued in my suicidal destructive behavior. But with all these thoughts, I do realize that I have no choice but to trust Him. The alternative is something I don’t want to contemplate. I know what I’m capable of. I don’t like to see it. It’s disgusting, but I get it. And I’ve had no success with controlling my behavior on my own. So I say a prayer in the morning and sometimes at night. Its hard to accept life’s terms and the uncertainty it brings. It really freaks me out. I want the answers now and i want to know that things will be o.k. I want to know that my kids will love and trust me again one day. I want to know that there going to be o.k. despite me being such a rotten example of a Dad. I want to know that my wife and I will be together again one day – and not just geographically. I want to know that I’m not going to screw up, and that I’m going to be able to continue to perform at the necessary level at my job. I want to know that I’m not going to let my friends down anymore and most of all, that I’m not going to be alone forever. But I know that all I can be sure of, is that I’ve got this moment in time. That’s it. My group has taught me that. And I’m slowly learning to be grateful for this moment, and all that this moment of life has. And I’m learning to gain perspective. I lost $40 in cash the other day. I freaked. I felt so much rage at myself and then for a moment – at God. Like – how could you let this happen? I felt cursed. And then I thought more and realized that “God gives and God can takes away”. And maybe that’s just what I needed. I needed to learn that lesson and the lesson of simply slowing down. And I needed perspective. It’s money – that’s all. Nothing more. And I got grateful. Grateful for what I do have rather than focusing on what I’ve lost. So I am learning. And for that I’m grateful. And I’m so grateful for the group I attend, that the awesome guys in it! And I’m grateful for my higher power, whatever He’s trying to teach me.

  2. WOW! Why do these topics always apply to me? Is this my higher power speaking to me? Life on Life’s Terms. That is what I can do today. I had life slung at me yesterday like a mud pie in the face and I took it with dignity and grace. 3 years ago I would have reacted like a banshee, even 1 year ago I would have reacted like a maniac, yesterday I reacted like an adult in recovery. WHY? Because my higher power has taken care of me. Because life came at me and I was able to take it on it’s terms and I am going to be ok. Because I am clear today, I have serenity today, I have peace today, I was able to see this coming today, I was able to take care of myself today, I was able to pray today, and I was able to ask for help today, and as a result, I was able to take it on life’s terms today. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but I know I will be ok. WHY? Because as long as I continue to do what I am doing today, I will still be ok. Pray, work the steps, call my sponsor, go to meetings, be honest, and don’t act out. Without this program I would not be able to do this today and I would not be able to live life on life’s terms today. Thank you and thank you for letting me share!

  3. Living on life’s terms. Means being honest with myself and proud of myself. Honesty includes setting boundaries that I actually keep. Every time, I think this is going to be the last time I do a bad behavior, I break my own boundaries and not get closer to recovery. I am not being honest with myself on my recovery. So far the boundaries I am breaking are small. Addict thinking. Eventually I’ll be lead back to the worse parts of my addiction. I need the meetings, the talks with my sponsor, the daily talks with other members of the group to stay sober. I need to calm down and take one day at a calm. Relax and enjoy being alive. At least I am. Be happy.

  4. Living life on life’s terms is a life sentence, no pun intended. I have said even while in my addiction and deceiving myself, my loved ones and my group, I could not deceive my higher power. My Lord is a good God, who despite my imperfections, loves me, forgives me and now strengthens me. I have also said that addiction is a choice. I made the choices to act out, to lie, and to deceive. Today, and just for today I choose to surrender my free will and freedom to the only one I would choose to give it to and that is my higher power. Because it is just for today, I must renew this commitment daily.

    Thanks for reading,

    God love you.

  5. Living life on life’s terms is something that I can today because of this program. Prior to coming into this program I did not live life on life’s terms. I did not even know what that meant. What I did know was that I tried to control life. I tried to control everything: my job, my relationships with other people, how I felt, etc…. What I know today is that I cannot control anything. And I know today that whatever comes my way is whatever comes my way. I can then make decisions on how to handle what comes my way. I can handle life like an addict and isolate and not do anything and let things pile up, or I can handle life like a person in recovery, like an adult, and take care of myself, take care of my responsibilities, take care of the emergencies, and take care of the bumps in the road that come along. Living life on life’s terms also means realizing that things aren’t what you wish they were and having to be ok with it. Not trying to make it something that it is not. Just letting go and accepting for what it is. Today I can do that, although I need to remind myself from time to time. Living life on life’s terms gives me freedom. I am not a slave to my control. I am free to life “my” life and not have to worry about anyone else’s life or how their life will affect mine because no matter what other people do it does not affect me. Only I can affect me. I can make anything what I chose to. And if I chose to keep things positive then my life will be positive and will continue to move in the right direction regardless of what obstacles are in my path and that is living life on life’s terms.

    • Yes…”living life on life’s terms” means being o.k. with things not being as I would wish. Today…it’s hard to accept that. I have no choice – that is – if I want to stay sober – but its not much fun. Not by a long shot. My wife is 11 hours away, and for some time, I’ve entertained the thought that at some point in the near future she’d move down here. After talking last night, that seems like a fantasy Maybe the future, but not the near future. She’s locked into a house and realistically, there is little to no chance that she’ll be able to get out of it getting what she needs for it. As she said last night, “it would take a miracle”. Hey, you never know, but I don’t want to be delusional. If it happens, great, but if it doesn’t, I’ve got to be o.k. with that. Not only to I miss her a hell of a lot, but we have plateaued, as far as growing in our marriage. With all the damage I’ve done – the pain I’ve cause – we need to be in the same place – so we can work on things. Being this far apart makes it essentially impossible to get past this point. We’re stuck. For how long, I don’t know. And I guess that’s it. I can’t do anything about it. I’ve got to accept it. For right now, this is where I need to be. My work is here, and the SAA group I’m part of here, is exactly what I need. “Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change” – that’s it. Nothing I can do about at this moment. What I need is the courage to change the things I can change. Like – myself. That’s it. I do my 1st step. And when I’ve done that, continue working the steps. And I can continue to grow in a spiritual direction. All that is very hard at this moment, but no one ever said that this would be easy. Some days are rougher than others. I want to rush past this but I realize that this is all part of the process. I’ve got to go through the pain to receive the promises. One day at a time. Live life on life’s terms, and take it one day at a time.

  6. I guess today is about living life on life’s terms. I have been at home for the past two weeks recovery from surgery and at this point I am going stir crazy. I go to the doctor tomorrow and I am really hoping that I get these drains taken out which means I have my freedom again. Today I got hit with a bit of hopelessness because it has been so long and it just started to get to me. I knew this was part of the deal when I began this process, however I did not realize how hard it would be to sit still for 2-3 weeks. I sat still for so long in my active addiction and isolated in my house I cannot stand to do it anymore. I have turned into a very active person and I need to be doing things inside and outside. It keeps me going and vital. This program has given me so much and I have changed how I live my life. So these past two weeks of being idle has been hard because it has been a lot like living in the past. Especially since my mother has been here. But she has been a great help and I know that it is hard for her to be away from her home to be here. I am trying not to despair and I am trying to keep taking everything as it comes. The doctor told me in the beginning that he was impressed with how I took everything on the chin. I want to continue to do that but it is getting harder and harder to each day as long as I feel cooped up in the house unable to drive, unable to take a shower, unable to have my dogs. But, I need to focus on what I do have. I have accomplished a huge feat and this is the tail end of it. I need to be patient because it will be only a couple more weeks and I should be back to the grind working out and eating like I was and I cannot wait. I will try to use the tools that I have to pray and be patient and live life on life’s terms. Higher Power help me get through tonight and these next few days please!

  7. A few days ago, I would have had no idea what to write on this topic, simply because I was not living my life on life’s terms. I was living life on my terms and doing all the wrong things that come from that approach. Trying to gain control of my addiction by myself. Impossible! The more I sought to control my world the quicker it seemed to spin out of control, and fall further into the addictive cycle. The more I shut myself off from others, the more I find myself in situations where I cannot control myself and actually need the help of others to regain manageability. The more I try to “manage” life the more lost I become. Life is not something you “do”, it is something you accept. Accept what is placed in your path and deal with it in a healthy manner, as opposed to taking offense and trying to fight in order to get back to your own grand design. This brings peace and serenity as opposed to chaos, anger, and failure.

    Life wants me to deal with my addiction now, and as I look around the tools for me to do so are available. So I do what life wants. There is no more fight. There cannot be if I want to live life. My way can only bring death.

    I am a very active person. I want to exercise, I want to practice my martial arts, I want to play my guitar, I want the love, smile, and touch of my wife. These things will return in time if I address what life has placed in front of me: getting sober. These things will return on life’s terms

  8. I started journaling again today and I wrote the following. I came here and this was the first post and it appears to be the right place to put it………..

    Having completed the work of the first step I am present to the unmanageability of my life and that I cannot achieve happiness by doing it all by myself. I need the assistance of others in this world. I do not want to be a hermit living alone in a cave somewhere. Therefore, the assistance of others is necessary. My Higher Power provides me with what I need to live in this world. Everything happens for a reason. Everything. It is all His work. In each and every moment, where I choose what to do next, there is a result waiting for me. After those moments I am able to look back and I can see what I am being taught. I had to learn that putting my hand in the fire hurts, so I don’t do that anymore. I can put my hand near a fire and I can feel the prickle warning me of what is to come, if I choose to continue. I know that I have intuition. There have been many times I have been in a place to choose in a situation and I have felt the prickle of those options. Many times I am not surprised by the result, when I look back and see where my choices have taken me. I know my Higher Power is teaching me how to listen to that intuition. To learn what the prickle means and to make choices that will give me the longstanding happiness I am seeking. Rather than hearing what I want to hear I am learning how to listen to what I have always been told.

  9. It has been very instructional to realize that reacting to life is not living my life on life’s terms. Living MY life requires decisions, based on my own values, conscience and understanding. Simply reacting to life is like programming a robot to do some preset series of actions. Most of my life has been spent reacting to events life has presented to me. It’s time for me to live like a man, who can make his own healthy, honest and moral choices. It’s time to disconnect the robot.

  10. For me today it is about living life on life’s terms. And what that means is that I cannot take my will back. I am so consumed with wanting to exercise that today I got on my bike against doctor’s orders. But that was not the right thing to do. Even when I was doing it I felt like I was acting out. How can something so healthy and good for you make me feel like I am acting out? I guess when I know that the doctor told me to wait a week to do it. I was just so frustrated that it has been 7 weeks. But I talked it out with my therapist and he reminded me that I need to stick with my commitment to adhere to the doctor’s orders: that I had made a commitment to do what he said. He is right. It is about commitments and this is living life on life’s terms right now. Aaarrrggghhh. But I am ok. Life has been good to me and it is still good to me. I have nothing to complain about. I had a very successful surgery and I in two or three weeks this will be all behind me. I am an addict and I want it all yesterday. So I need to practice the patience that I have learned to use time and time again. That patience that does not come easy to me. But it does come to me when I work at enough. So for now I will continue to work on my Step 10 which I have been doing, I will continue to do my work each day that I have been doing and I will continue to take care of myself in all the other ways that I need to do.

  11. Living life on life’s terms is hard for me.

    Most of the time, I survey the situation at hand, and then decide how I will change it.

    I had a small glimpse, the other day, that if I would just begin accepting things rather than attempting to change them, I would gain so much energy and calm.

    Someone said in a meeting last night that they used to spend so much energy looking into the future and trying to figure out how to protect themselves from any harm, or from people trying to take advantage of them. I do this too and it takes so much energy and is very crazy-making.

    Recently, I’ve started saying the Serenity Prayer with a slightly modified first line:

    “God, grant me the ABILITY to LET GO of the things I can not change…”

    I don’t know why, but saying it this way helps me right now.

    Today I will let go and let God.

  12. Living Life on Life’s terms – for me that means kind of rolling with the punches. Taking things as they come. Not trying to control everything and really just allowing what is supposed to happen to happen. In the past I always tried to control everything. I did not understand life’s terms. I wanted everything to be a certain way. It had to be my way, or it had to be the way I fantasized it should be. And if it was not that way I would sulk, or complain, or obsess, or act out, or drink, or drug, or etc….. Today I don’t have to do that. Today I can use the serenity prayer as my guide. I can let go of the things that I cannot change and it is very freeing. When I finally understood what the serenity prayer was about I felt free from the constraint of the control I tried to put on myself and others. It was a great feeling. It was less work. All I had to worry about was me and getting through the day. All I need to do now is just focus on what is the task at hand. I know that the outcome is out of my hands. And if something comes along that is not expected, I deal with it, process it and move on. That is living life on life’s terms and it is a good thing. So much better for me and so much better for everyone around me.

  13. Thanks everyone for the wonderful shares “tonight”. This is a fantastic meeting in a pocket on my iPhone! Yes. All of the above is me. Fighting through life, bouncing from one high to the next not wanting to ever “come down”, afraid that it would all be misery, loneliness and depression. Perhaps it was. But with help I am like the cat gradually coaxed down from the fragile, slender branches that sway and threaten to snap, throwing me down like an inanimate, plastic toy where I will break into shards of what I could have been.
    With this program I find that the ghosts of my past no longer need to haunt me. This way I had invented to help me tolerate the bullies, the priests grabbing me and the fact that i was this defective person with the wrong orientation no longer is useful. The “solution” has become the problem. These ghosts cannot win when I let go of trying to survive on my own and trust these sacred steps that have been traveled by so many before me who have found peace. That’s what I want. And for the first time I believe I have found a way to get there!

  14. “Living Life on Life’s term”. Very cool statement, I guess, but I am slowly learning how to live on terms other than my own. I have been challenged by my sponsor & therapist to seek help. As simple as this may sound, this has been one of my biggest problems. God has continually tested me by adding more on my plate & every time, in the past, I would never seek help. This has caused a bottleneck effect in my management of life. This is me living life on my terms. I have not taken advantage of these opportunities to learn the habit of receiving help or seeking help when needed. This is everything my addicts wants…it’s a sense of isolation & separation from others. I am learning to simply tell myself every morning that I need help & I will be receptive to the opportunities that God gives me to learn this.

    • To change from “Living on my My terms” to “Living on Life’s terms” has been a slow process. My experience has been that as long as I continue to hold on to my “Way” of doing things, I continue to get the same unwanted result.

      Recovery has been a series of surrender actions that require me to let go of old ideas to make way for the new.

      1.)Accepting my sponsor’s suggestions rather than sponsoring myself

      2.)Accepting my therapist’s suggestion rather than being my own mental health professional

      3.)Accepting that today I am Powerless and I can’t own a smart phone or have a pc without a filter rather than believing it’s a matter of imposing my will and relapsing as result

      4.)Accepting that I can’t do this alone and using the tools of recovery rather than isolating and relapsing as result

      As I begin to live on life’s terms I find recovery at the other end of the equation.

  15. Living life on life’s terms. Well this is one of the hard ones. First I had to accept my addiction. Then I had to accept that there was no cure. Then I had to accept the SAA program of recovery. As I began to work the steps I received a reprieve from my addiction. Then I had to accept my feelings. Feelings of pain, remorse, regret, depression, sadness, hate, resentment, and more frustration. Now that I’ve had a number of 24 hours with these feelings, I had to start accepting the outside world as it is. Accepting my co-workers, friends, parents, siblings, and recovering fellows as they are. I am still a 10 year old at heart. I want what I want, and will go to hell and high water to get it. Acceptance is the answer and a working progress for me. Thank God for SAA.

  16. Living Life on Life’s Terms
    Today is a good today to analyze what this means to me. I am giving up a room in my home, but gaining a roommate, giving up a car but gaining freedom. My life was built under false pretenses by a disease which is cunning and baffling, It created a a house of cards with dangled on the precipice of disaster far too long. I wish it had crumbled sooner, maybe it did once or twice but I was ill equipped not necessarily to look inside but to fix the problem. Now I have the tools in place, the people and a program needed to grow. Am I angry? You bet I am, but my anger is tempered but serenity and faith. Faith that it will all be ok and that my life will resurrect to a better existence than I have ever had. So to me living on life terms means deconstructing a life built on falsehoods, and resurrecting a new life, on life terms. My higher power will lead the way, I just have to keep doing the next right thing.

  17. “Living Life on Life’s Terms” Rationally, I can read that statement and know what I am supposed to do, but yet I struggle with actually doing it. Life throws a lot at us…the kids, the bills, the busy work schedule…then comes the unexpected. The doctors report, the sudden loss of a family member, the event that we dread. Yet at some point in our lives we are practically guaranteed that there will be an event that will shake us up. For me, it’s happening right now. I am getting divorced. My addiction is very much alive. I been in recovery for about 1 year with short bouts of sobriety. I want to be productive. I want to be sociable and not isolate. I want to be a friend to others and not be selfish. I want to be in a loving and intimate relationship. Instead, I find myself alone at times. Regretting the past, feeling pity for myself. This is not Living Life on Life’s Terms! Right now, I feel I have only 1 thing that can save me…and it’s not me. It’s God. I pray that he remove this heavy burden so that I may live a life that is abundant and filled with peace and serenty. That is my prayer.

  18. I need to be better at living on life’s terms. Just today I was presented with something, and I wanted it. I shouldn’t spend my money on it, but that was beside the point to me, I still wanted it. I think the same applies to me in my addiction. I see something, and I want it. I wont’ let go of the thought of having it; and even though I may not be able to have it in reality, I’ll let my mind wonder as if I did have it, what would I do if I did have it. That leads to my addiction. I need to be better at being happy with life on its terms. Meaning being content, being happy. A wise person told me once, there is a big difference between having fun, and being happy. My addiction caused me to pursue ‘fun’. I realize now pursuing fun lead to a worse life. It did not lead to me being happy. I am turning away from my addiction, and I am becoming happy.

  19. For the first time in my life I understand what it means to live life. I am a week and a half in true recovery I can say that because for the first time I am being honest with myself. I know if I even lie to myself once I will spiral back out of control. And so I go on learning everything new again. It is an incredible journey and one I could not have taken without God my father my higher power. Who has been with me forever I just shut him out. Now that I have opened the door I feel true love in my heart not the pain I had for so long. Things are good and I do struggle with controlling everything around me. But as each day goes I accept I can only control me. I am learning to let go and let my father handle for me those which I cannot. Than you God for this incredible journey I am on and for your love.

  20. my understanding at this early stage of recovery about living on life’s terms means simply turning my life over to my higher power .I make choices every day but each choice that i make that brings me recovery and outer circle behavior is living on life’s terms .when i struggle when i grow stressed or live with fear in my heart then i am not flowing with life’s intent for me .living on life’s terms is allowing yourself to align with the natural flow of things that our higher power provides for us and by living in this correct way we flow effortlessly .

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