Posts tagged AA

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.

If you find this helpful, pass it on to others.  Subscribe for Free – press the orange RSS feed in the right column for directions.

Comments (1) »

Trouble Sleeping

It was a week of insomnia due to transitions and end of semester projects.  All my reserves were drawn upon and my body was in overdrive.  This is not a state of being which I enjoy or seek out.  It results from change or overwhelm or sudden uncertainty in the face of large life challenges.  Some shock is what I was dealing with and the physical symptoms led me to focus on the first three steps.

There is much in life that I’ve no power over – my life was unmanageable with the insomnia and some physical reactions.  And I’m getting better.  Meanwhile, I had to finish a paper and complete another project for presentation for two classes.  And thanks to Serenity Prayer recitations, loving support from friends and getting into a lot of action the school obligations were completed.  Only one more to go for the semester and I’m done.  Meanwhile, at home I weeded three sides of the yard, washed every floor in the house and uncluttered most of the household.  All in all, a good amount accomplished.  Nervous energy can be channeled into something positive.

The biggest opportunity for the week was to stay in a place of gratitude and focus on the miracles – literally they were miracles – that were happening all over in my life this week.  Money came to me from three unexpected sources.  More money than expected came from 3 other expected sources and just in the nick of time.  There will definitely be enough to meet the largest expenses for the month.  What happens after this month is in the future.  My focus is needed on today and that is what helps us all stay in the present, the moment and make the most of each day.  Even with the disruption of unexpected events or inconvenient changes we can use the tools of the 12 Step Programs to stay on track through most of the upheaval that life may send us.  Especially when we reach out for help.

Affirmation for the Day – ” I am making progress through the change. ”

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

If you find this helpful, pass it on to others.  Subscribe for Free – press the orange RSS feed in the right column for directions.

Leave a comment »

Getting More Organized

Getting more organized happens in starts and spurts for me.  And that’s okay.  Sometimes it takes time to develop a plan for making a space for what we have, and then deciding what we can let go of and either recycle, throw out or pass on to others who could use the items.

And it’s a process with each area of our home in which we create more space.  The result after clearing things out is a tangible lightness, a clarity about our lives and our daily routine.  There is less to think about, less to attend to, and more freedom in general.  That freedom is a gift we give ourselves when we clear out more of the debris and excess in our lives.  It’s like making more amends in Step 9 when we clean up the messes we made in our past.

Today, I cleared out clutter in our pantry and back hall.  Now all the spices are where they belong and are easy to locate.  There’s room for our shoes.  The back door can fully open because the hall is clear, and the shelves are organized.  I like having more order there, although I know it won’t last and will need to be redone in a few months.  It was possible to pass some of the excess on to a neighbor who was happy to receive it and will put it to good use.  And I can feel comfortable when people are in our kitchen because the area is no longer an eyesore, but rather a functional, organized location.  It didn’t take long to do.  The results are so worth the effort and have motivated me to do the garage next.  Shhhhh!  My husband will be so delighted and we will both live more comfortably.  And I feel better about me.

Affirmation for the Day – ” I am getting more organized. ”

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

If you find this helpful, pass it on to others.  Subscribe for Free – press the orange RSS feed in the right column for directions.

Leave a comment »

Learning To Let Go

 

One of the women in my Alanon group received a call that her adult son is in the hospital probably dying of organ failure due to alcoholism.  He’s thousands of miles away, and she’s actually had to decide whether to make the trip to the hospital, or hang in there to see if he rallies permanently and seeks recovery.

What a horrible position to be in.  She is a great example of fortitude, patience, compassion, and enduring hope.  And she has learned to let go, detach with love and take care of herself.  This has required her to accept that she can do nothing to help her son, except to take care of herself.  That one thing is the most helpful thing she can do for this man who would otherwise be in the prime of middle age and thriving.  To some that may seem selfish.  That’s okay.  The ravages of alcoholism are too much for most of us and eventually we run out of the physical and emotional energy to persist in our efforts to subdue the monster that has hijacked our loved ones.  

Through Alanon we find strength, courage, fortitude and companions along the way.  We no longer live in secrecy and isolation about the disease of alcoholism.  Instead, we gain daily encouragement from the experience, strength and hope of others in 12 Step programs who’ve come from the same place.  And life does get better.  Little by little, day by day, our outlook on life shifts and we can see the rainbows again.  I pray today for all those out there who feel hopeless and alone that they find a 12 Step program and let the arms of the members in those groups welcome them into a new way of living.

Affirmation for the Day – ” I am letting go more easily. ”

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

If you find this helpful, pass it on to others.  Subscribe for Free – press the orange RSS feed in the right column for directions.

Leave a comment »

ProcrastiNation

I believe ProcrastiNation is a place my mind goes to – like another planet.  Life seems to operate under a different set of rules there.  Unhelpful rules.

Grad School requires papers to be written frequently.  Not a problem really because writing comes pretty easily to me.  Although it’s not necessarily a quick process, it’s one that is usually enjoyable for me.  Lately, maybe it’s the summer weather – or perhaps I just need a break – it’s as if I painted myself into a corner on this other planet and my progress meter is running on empty.  When my sponsor returns, I’ll address it with her. 

Meanwhile, I’m talking to other members and focusing on getting this other-planetary realm out of my mind.  One thing at a time.  It seems the most productive next step is to get into action and write the 2-pager first.  Then the pressure will be off a bit to finish the 12-pager.   That I can do.  Getting into action is nearly always the best way for me to return from ProcrastiNation, and sharing with others seems to release me from it’s clutches (kind of like a breath of oxygen after diving).  Breathing helps.  Deeply if necessary.  ” This too shall pass,” – the slogan goes, and thank God for the progress.

Affirmation for the Day – ” I am into action. ”

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

If you find this helpful, pass it on to others.  Subscribe for Free – press the orange RSS feed in the right column for directions.

Leave a comment »

Saying Goodbye

Friends of ours in the Programs are moving out of state in a few weeks.  Lately there have been a number of get-togethers to wish them well and say goodbye.

It reminded me of leaving my first Program home in the midwest for the mountains of Colorado.  It happened so fast.  I was inexperienced about the corporate process, was offered a job on Wednesday, accepted on Friday and reported for work via air travel in Denver on Monday.  I barely said goodbye to anyone.  They never had a chance to wish me well before I left.  The movers packed me in the midwest, car and all, while I was in Seattle.  Upon returning to Denver, my belongings had arrived without any real input from me.  And since my presence was lacking during the move it took me a while to find things in the boxes so neatly packed by the movers.  They did a nice job actually.

But the point is that having the opportunity, or making it, to say goodbye is important when we are moving on to another location or a new job.  I missed it back then because I didn’t know better.  Now I do.  When the 5th layoff notification came in on my last job, I used the 2 weeks advance notice to say goodbye to my clients who were all really disappointed with the news, offered to write me letters of recommendation, and thanked me for my service and for letting them know in person of my departure.  Some of us have stayed in touch and I’ve so appreciated the continuity.  It was truely a pleasure to experience this last saying goodbye event.  It taught me about other people and about myself.  And it gave us both an opportunity for a new relationship.  My previous bosses and I have stayed in touch as well and that has been a great blessing as they really are lovely people.  And the corporate decisions they were ordered to implement via layoffs have set me on a whole new trajectory in life for which I am very grateful.

Affirmation for the Day – ” I am learning to say goodbye with grace. ”

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

If you find this helpful, pass it on to others.  Subscribe for Free – press the orange RSS feed in the right column for directions.

Leave a comment »

Clarity About Feelings

 

I’ve written about feelings before, and it seems to bear repeating.  Any time we hear someone say, ” I feel like… ,” the person saying it is NOT speaking about their feelings.  They’re about to tell you what they’re thinking.

They’re more likely in their heads.  ” Danger, danger Will Robinson! ”  What they are erroneously indicating is a ” feeling ” is again, what they ” think,” and our thinking can be unhelpful or even dangerous to our well being when we call it our  feelings.  Hopefully, this phrase of mispeaking will soon go out of style in the United States.  

People can shift this unhelpful, sloppy habit to a habit of clear and accurate communication about how they feel.  We’ve learned through the years that feelings are:  happy, sad, angry, frustrated, excited, anxious, nervous, comfortable, relaxed, uncomfortable, joyful to name a few.  When we learn the language of emotions or feelings, we can start to identify more responsibly, responsively and accurately our current state of being.  Then we can pause to respond more and react less.  Both of these require awareness – which we gain by talking regularly with our sponsors, attending weekly meetings, and practicing thoughtful self inventory on a daily basis.  As we develop healthier habits of conduct and expression, little by little, we can live happier lives.  Another blessing of recovery.

Affirmation for the Day – ” I am learning about feelings. ”

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

If you find this helpful, pass it on to others.  Subscribe for Free – press the orange RSS feed in the right column for directions.

Leave a comment »