Today I am grateful for working heat again and for a visit from a retired colleague.

One more "Q" word wants to be written about in this alphabet run-through. That word is QUAGMIRE. Quagmire is defined best for me as a situation that is hard to deal with or get out of: a situation that is full of problems. Entrapped captures it too.

I was entrapped by self-pity for years, especially during my active alcoholism and in the early years of my sobriety. I was mired in the muck and quagmire of negative thinking and couldn't get out. Such thinking created many problems for me, and gave me plenty of reasons to stay stuck and keep drinking. It shaped an unhealthy perception through which I viewed myself and the world around me. The quagmire of my mind was a dangerous place. It isn't so dangerous anymore.

I used to get myself in the quagmire and not ask for help. Today, I ask for help. Sometimes even before I get stuck. Help from my Higher Power and from supportive people. Help from actions like gratitude practice.

Life will send some tough situations our way at times, but I don't choose to feed them with self-pity and take a long trip into the quagmire anymore. Gratefulness keeps me moving in a forward direction, less likely to get stuck.