I took my father-in-law, Garvin, to what might be his last AA meeting Thursday night. Garvin has not had a drink of alcohol in over 28 years and I have gone 26 years 3 months and 9 days without a drink and I have not had one today! We went to the Pickens Hillbilly AA group. A small group that was all guys that night. There was a total of 6 of us, including Garvin and me. I would never reveal the identity of anyone in AA, but I have no problem letting people know I am a grateful recovering alcoholic. I hit what I consider a 'high bottom' on alcohol with my lone DUI on March 31, 1984. The meeting made me think a lot about my life and the lives of those around me. I have struggled with my own addictions and watched many a friend and coworker deal with their demons. Addiction to anything can become very ugly and very destructive. I should know, as I have dealt with my share of issues with alcohol, cigarettes, eating, and more. The addiction consumes your life and sucks the positive energy right out of you. Of the many lessons I learned from AA the one that sticks out at this time is the phrase 'stinking thinking'. It is easy for me to start the cycle of 'stinking thinking' and build my attitude and decisions based on that negative process. I consider stinking thinking dwelling on the negatives and creating more problems than I have by staying in a negative mindset. I have to look in the mirror every morning and remind myself to take an honest look at where I am, where I have been, and where I am going. I have to look at the things I have not done well and decide how to deal with them. I have to look at all of the good things or blessings in my life, be thankful for them and build my attitude on those blessings and the good in my life. I also try to remember the Serenity Prayer which in part says, 'God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.' This helps me to deal with the tough stuff! I continue to be thankful for God, family, friends, and all of the good things in my life. I am extremely thankful I have found my journey and have learned so much about me and life in the last 16 months. Stinking Thinking can creep in at anytime. I know that I can overcome it when I look at all of the blessings and good things in my life! Note to YOU and ME: Don't let the 'stinking thinking' control your life. Build your day and life around the good things and blessings! Living, Loving, Losing, Laughing! The 'Grateful' 'Recovering' Fat Guy!