Reaching Out

The other day a good friend of mine reached out for Alanon support.  I was so grateful for a few different reasons.

First, I’d wondered to what degree her husband’s drinking might be interfering in their relationship.  She’d mentioned it in the past, but not gone into much detail about it.  My guess was that there may be more to it, but Alanon has taught me to be patient, and mind my own business.  When she asked how I did it when times got tough at home in my family, as Alanon suggested I shared my experience, strength and hope about how the 12 Steps and other Alanon members supported me to take care of me first.

The second reason I was glad she’d called was because due to diminished sleep for three days, my condition was “vulnerable” teetering on “weepy to pity party.”  Although I hadn’t yet crossed the line to full pity, it was dangerously about to infringe upon my serenity and sanity.  Her call got me out of myself and reminded me to be available to pass on what has been so generously shared with me through the years.  Really, thank God for her call.  She saved me from going down the road to insanity and unreasonability.  The gifts of the program are wonderous and timely.

Affirmation for the Day – ” I am approachable. ”

Remember to say the affirmation at least 3 times whenever you remember it, preferably in front of a mirror.

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Busy and Loving It

My schedule is full and my attitude is good!  Although there is little time for discretionary activities, I’m fully engaged in what my next task or class or opportunity requires.  It’s exciting.

One thing that is of utmost importance to me now is learning better self care.  Although I’m pretty good at it most of the time, the balance is what needs more focus now.  Lot’s of baking and quick cooking in between errands, class, homework and household maintenance has been so heart warming for me.  Good for the stomach too.  And I get to share the end result with people in my life.  How nice!

My next few months will continue to be full and take me into new areas of awareness which will help me with my future work.  It’s a pleasure and an honor to travel the new terrain of information with a host of cohorts whom I’ve come to know as dedicated professionals who want to be of service.  What a gift for me.

Affirmation for the Day – ” I am enjoying my days. ”

Remember to say the affirmation at least 3 times whenever you remember it, preferably in front of a mirror.

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Full Swing

The semester and my internship are in full swing now.  And so far, so good.  It’s been a treat to be in more advanced classes that really focus on application of the knowledge.  Our projects make good use of the theory we’ve learned over the past several semesters and we’re doing mostly projects and papers, with very few tests.

I’m grateful for the switch to application.  For me, that is how real grasp of the material is guaged – by how well we can apply it in real time situations.  Although it’s a little daunting now to have the responsibility of working with clients solo at times, the learning curve is making itself known and that in and of itself tests me.

It seems to be the same with the 12 Step Programs.  With our sponsors, we work through the 12 Steps to learn the information.  But how to apply these new skills is another learning process all together.  With guidance and direction from our sponsor we learn to use the tools of the 12 Steps appropriately, wisely and we start to develop the critical thinking skills that so many of us grew up without.  The ability to think critically, to discern with an eye on everyone involved in the whole picture instead of just focusing on our own self interest is crucial to our growth.  It’s also crucial to maintain our sanity and serenity – from which spring the perfect conditions for The Promises that tell us we will be happy, joyous and free.  Thank You God.

Affirmation for the Day – ” I am learning to use what I’ve learned. ”

Remember to say the affirmation at least 3 times whenever you remember it, preferably in front of a mirror.

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Considering Others

Our little black cat is getting older, nearly in his 16th year.  He’s changing.  He wants to be on my lap most of the time when I’m home and stationary.  Since he’s deaf now, he sometimes roams from room to room meowing to see if we’re in the room or not because he can’t hear us.  When we come in the front door, he notices the vibration of our snow stomping feet, but at times he runs to the wrong door to greet us.  It’s sad and a little cute to see him muddling his way throught this new way to be on the planet.

His world has changed.  His ears don’t move anymore.  His whiskers are turning white.  He can’t hear the birds that he used to chatter at each day during his daily window visits.  He gets a bit startled when we walk up behind him since he didn’t hear us coming.  And he’s starting to sleep a lot more.

What I miss the most is playing fetch with him in the living room.   He can’t hear the tin foil ball anymore so he doesn’t know where to run to fetch it.  And the vision in one of his eyes is impaired from the neighbors cat when it invaded our yard 2 years ago, so he can’t see motion and distance as well.  Sometimes he misses when jumping up and then looks at us like, “What happened?”  Life is changing for our little black cat, and I’m happy to lift him up every once in a while or make room for him to nap on me for comfort.  It’s the least I can do for all the pleasure and entertainment he’s added to our lives through the years.  And even better, it get’s me out of myself and focused on another being in the world so I don’t have to obsess or compulse about the unimportant things in life.  He is a blessing and a reminder of how important it is to consider others, even the four leggeds.

Affirmation for the Day – ” I am thinking of others. ”

Remember to say the affirmation at least 3 times whenever you remember it, preferably in front of a mirror.

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“Firsts”

Last week I took on my first clients.  It’s an awesome responsibility, and was a little anxiety provoking.  And all went well.

It was another in the series of “Firsts” in my life.  When we’re younger we seem to have so many “Firsts” to our days – sometimes several an hour when we’re little people.  But as time goes by, the “Firsts” lessen and we get a little lax in our view of each day, getting used to the usual and regular happenings in our life.  It’s fun to have new “Firsts.”  I look forward to them, even when they’re a bit daunting.  They make life more interesting and exciting. 

Speaking only for me, I hope the “Firsts” never end.  If they do, it means my life is shrinking and I’m probably not experiencing much of a life at all.  That doesn’t mean I can’t have a calm, peaceful lifestyle.  It just means that even spending time with a new book, or noticing a new bird on one of my walks is a “First” for that day.  When my life is full, my heart is full and Firsts are springing up all over.  It’s fun and fulfilling to live a life full of “Firsts” mingled in with the comfortable, gentle routing of a peaceful and joyful life.

Affirmation for the Day – ” I am experiencing something new today. ”

Remember to say the affirmation at least 3 times whenever you remember it, preferably in front of a mirror.

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Service Working

When I do more of the things in front of me to do – and think less about doing them in advance – I get more done.  And what is then completed happens faster and more easily than most of my anticipation of them would have indicated.

In other words, it’s important for me to stop writing stories about things and people, and instead, stay in the moment.  When focusing on the future, my magic magnifying mind is expending unnecessary life energy on things that aren’t real.  They haven’t happened yet.  And when it comes to that type of musing, it’s usually a waste of my time.  It would be more helpful for me to get into action for myself, or look for opportunities to be of service for others.

I’ve been recommending to sponsees lately that they focus on doing more service work to help them get out of themselves and stay more sane and serene.  I know how well it works to do service work if I want to stay sane and serene – it gets me out of myself.  It distracts me from unproductive, unhelpful meanderings through the “what ifs” that usually bear no resemblance to reality.  Before I know it, I FEEL BETTER!  And it’s probably because I’m being of use to my Higher Power in a way that’s a great blessing and overwhelming for me.  Thank God for service work.  It works every time.

Affirmation for the Day – ” I am being of service today. ”

Remember to say the affirmation at least 3 times whenever you remember it, preferably in front of a mirror.

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Surrounding Support

An alcoholic in my life is not really recovering.  He’s white knuckling it, doing it on his own without meetings of any kind, therapy or any real support.  He’s doing the same thing, expecting different results.  I hope he stays dry because he isn’t acting sober, as in sane and serene.  Instead, he’s isolating and has become angry, arrogant and grandiose about how “well” he’s doing.  He doesn’t look so well to us.

For years those of us who love this person have expressed our concern for his well being.  He’s been through treatment three times, but probably hasn’t really hit a bottom yet.  I for one am staying out of the way so that he can either seek help, or eventually hit bottom.  Enabling is unhelpful.

We all know that this habitual loner would thrive and flourish with the regular support of meetings, a sponsor, sober fellowship and therapy to deal with the trauma from his childhood.  With a supportive group of sober friends surrounding him, to reach out to for help and guidance, this man can receive The Promises talked about in the AA Big Book.  If he will just surrender and allow the love and generousity of the sober community wash over his thinking and lifestyle to soften his hardened heart – he will be transformed.  Under all the anger he carries is the fear of the child in all of us that just wants to be loved and thrive.  There is great power in surrender.  And it’s all in God’s time, not mine.

Affirmation for the Day – ” I am staying out of the way. ”

Remember to say the affirmation at least 3 times whenever you remember it, preferably in front of a mirror.

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