Welcome to this week’s Grateful Heart Monday, where gratitude always gets expressed, specifically for the purpose of starting my week in writing off on a positive note. For today, I’m expressing thanks to both my new neighbors, who by the time this gets posted, will have fully moved in next door, and to my old neighbors, who helped me to learn some very valuable traits that are quite necessary for the recovering alcoholic and drug addict.
I think it’s important to have a great relationship with one’s neighbors for many reasons. For the recovering alcoholic and drug addict like myself though, that can be quite challenging to develop when neighbors on either side of my home are constantly outside drinking alcohol or smoking weed on their front porches to excess. For the past bunch of years, there rarely has been a moment where I haven’t smelled strong wafts of beer or weed whenever I’m outside. Ironically, all my neighbors have known for a long time that I’m in recovery for addiction to alcohol and drugs, yet sadly, that never got factored into their daily usage of either. So, trying to find my inner peace by working in my gardens or sitting outside has consistently been tough to cultivate when all I can smell are two things I once was addicted to that God totally removed from my life over 25 years ago now. It truly hasn’t been very relaxing to this recovering alcoholic and drug addict to have to deal with this on a regular basis. Add in repeated issues with dog poop and pee killing the grass I try so very hard to maintain, constant traffic coming and going in and out of their driveways, large group gatherings, and occasional yelling, screaming, and fighting, I haven’t felt very Zen outside around my home in some time.
So, I guess you would say I was overly ecstatic when I learned one of those neighbors bought a new home and moved out recently. Ever since, things seem to have drastically changed, as it’s extremely quiet now around my home given most of these gatherings always seemed to be on this one neighbor’s front porch. I’m so thankful I don’t smell weed or alcohol now on a daily basis, but please don’t take me wrong here either, because my old neighbors were also friendly people who did take good care of their home and offer my partner and I vegetables from their garden and fresh muffins as well from time to time. The reality is that my alcohol and drug free life made it rather difficult for me to be in the regular midst of them given how much they enjoyed drinking alcohol and smoking pot. In light of all this, I’m sure one may be wondering whether my new neighbors will be any different, especially surrounding the usage of alcohol and marijuana, or any of the prior stressors I faced as well. I’m thankful to report that I’ve already learned none of my prior stressors will be problem this time around!
So yes, I’m grateful for my new neighbors, but indeed, I’m also grateful for my old ones as well, as the lessons I learned from them are priceless. Priceless mainly for a recovering alcoholic and drug addict like myself, chiefly in regards to the level of patience, love, tolerance, and acceptance I had to develop to coexist with them peacefully, hence why I’m dedicating today’s Grateful Heart Monday to both them and my new neighbors!
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson