I don't feel happy, joyous and free most of the time, but even the perfectionist in me must admit that I have been changed in a deep and meaningful way.
Today I look people in the eye when I'm talking with them. I’m quicker to forgive because I understand that, like me, people don’t really have a choice but to do what they do. I don’t always have to flip off every driver who does something stupid. Mostly my life feels peaceful and serene. I often catch myself feeling happy for no particular reason. Restlessness, irritability and discontent is fading away. I realize God is doing for me what I could not do for myself.
Today I enjoy many freedoms. I am free from needing to change the way I feel, to self-medicate (unless of course you count caffeine). I am free from alcoholic loneliness -- that feeling of a hole in my gut that the wind whistles through. I am free from the guilt and shame that kept me chained to yesterday. I am free from the war of self-hate I waged against myself for more than forty years before I began my spiritual journey in Alcoholics Anonymous.
My perception of life has changed dramatically. I was a "glass half-empty" guy. I automatically reacted negatively to almost everything that went on. Today, I automatically react positively to almost everything. I practice an attitude of gratitude by slowly letting go of my attachment to getting what I want, by suiting up and showing up for life and by trying to be helpful wherever I can. I show appreciation for others in my life. I try not to complain.
I'm coming to realize that my life is nothing I do and everything God does. The good stuff, the bad stuff and the downright ugly stuff. It's all Grace.