Archive for August, 2022

Endigar 865

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on August 24, 2022 by endigar

From Courage to Change of May 4:

Who am I? When I came to Al-Anon, I thought I knew the answer to that question, but I discovered that my answers were all out-of-date because I had long ago stopped asking myself who I was. I could tell you about the alcoholics and everyone else in my life – there likes and dislikes, opinions, feelings – but I had no such answers for myself.

Al-Anon gave me Twelve Steps with which to rediscover myself. Making a searching and fearless moral inventory of myself and sharing it with a trusted friend (Steps Four and Five) were especially helpful. It was the first time in a long time I had paid so much attention to myself! I also learned about myself by listening in meetings – when I identified with others, I gained insight into my own thoughts and feelings.

Today I know that I am a passionate, generous, opinionated, moody, hones, tactful, stubborn person. I know how I feel and what I think on an assortment of topics, and I am aware when these thoughts and feeling change. Al-Anon has given me back the only thing that was every really mine to keep: myself.

Today’s Reminder

Recovery is a wonderful word. It means getting something back. Today I will try to remember that “that something” is me.

“If a man happens to find himself . . . he has a mansion which he can inhabit with dignity all the days of his life.” ~ James Michener

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I have spent much of my life bogged down in a navel-gazing coffin. My introspection was not productive. I battled the black void of morbid self-reflection. The maintenance of my psyche has been a burden of self-castigation with very little actualizing into the stream of life. I was driven to become what the afflicted souls in my family needed me to be. That is what I quickened. It was not me I summoned. Not me. I could not see my reflection in the mirror of the waking world.

I found the moral inventory of Steps 4 and 5, the identification of points of transformation in Steps 6 and 7, and the cleansing of my connections with other people in Steps 8 and 9, as the most productive path of self-discovery I have experienced thus far. I am beginning to hear the squeaking of my casket of co-dependence and finding a revised thirst for life. The sunlight of the Spirit is no longer a threat to my existence. Doing what is in my nature to do requires that I know who I am. It is a necessary process to recover what I buried in my family of origin.

Endigar 864

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on August 16, 2022 by endigar

From Courage to Change of May 3:

Detachment. At first it may sound cold and rejecting, not loving at all. But I have come to believe that detachment is actually a wonderful gift: I am allowing my loved ones the privilege and opportunity of being themselves.

I do not wish to interfere with anyone’s opportunities to discover the joy and self-confidence that can accompany personal achievements. If I am constantly intervening to protect them from painful experiences, I also do them a great disservice. As Mark Twain said, “A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.”

I find it painful to watch another person suffer or head down a road I believe leads to pain. Many of my attempts to rescue others have been prompted by my desire to avoid this pain. Today I’m learning to experience my own fear, grief, and anguish. This helps me to be willing to trust the same growth process in others, because I know first-hand about the gifts it can bring.

Today’s Reminder

Sometimes it is more loving to allow someone else to experience the natural consequences of their actions, even when it is painful for us both. In the long run, both of us will benefit. Today I will put love first in my life.

“All I have to do is keep my hands off and turn my heart on.”

~. . .In All Our Affairs

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by obnoxiousnox on deviantart

The problem with detachment is that the consequences an addict/alcoholic face may cost them their lives. I am a double winner, qualifying for both the AA and Al-Anon fellowships. I know what it is like to live in the upside-down world of active addiction, where consequences are beneficial if I survive and the comfort of protection is damning. An addict/alcoholic is more likely to seek freedom from the sting of consequences of their own making. Without consequences, I cannot imagine ever wanting to stop seeking the relief that mind-altering chemicals provided.

No matter how tragic the fruits of chemical dependency become, I have to keep in mind that when I detach I am providing the best hope my loved one has to find recovery. And it is also more likely that I will build a life worth emulating. Improving my own spiritual life and honoring their free-will is the best I can do for my loved one trapped in the upside-down world of alcoholism.

Endigar 863

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on August 9, 2022 by endigar

From Courage to Change of May 2:

Sometimes I become so busy staring at my problems that I miss the guidance I’m being given. When I become willing to let go of the need to do it by myself, I can listen to others and receive direction from my Higher Power. I become better able to move beyond my problems and start solving them.

This became clear to me when I was caught in a sudden, blinding snowstorm. Visibility was so bad that I couldn’t see the sides of the road; I couldn’t tell where my driving lane began and ended. I struggled to find my way, but finally surrendered and began to pull off the road to sit out the storm. Then I realized that I could make it home if I allowed the trees that lined the road to help me to gauge my position.

When I accept that help often comes in unexpected forms, I can release my hold on the problem and become willing to receive help.

Today’s Reminder

I must do many things for myself, but I am not wholly self-sufficient. I need the help, support, and guidance I receive from my Higher Power and my Al-Anon friends. When I catch myself struggling with a problem today. I will let go of it long enough to reach out for help.

“Once we learn to let go of the problem, the loving concern and help of the other members will provide strong support to help us understand what the Al-Anon program can do for us.”

~ This Is Al-Anon

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When I first began to seek help, I did so because my life was full of powerlessness. I wrestled with living life on life’s terms. I was confused in a cloud of fear. I resented not being able to control the results of my efforts. I gave smiling handshakes to cover my painful retreat. When I was first introduced to the 12 Steps, I feared another dance of futility with religion. Over time, I began to recognize the program as a power grid for genuine spirituality.

“Lack of power, that was our dilemma. We had to find a power by which we could live, and it had to be a Power greater than ourselves.” ~ Alcoholics Anonymous, page 45.

One of the manifestations of this power is during moments of surrender. It may appear in the beginning that I am surrendering to hopelessness. Just giving up. But that is not the case. As I stay devoted to the process of the program, I learn that I am surrendering to trust. The quiet is my private laboratory that justifies my public faith. I am gathering evidence invisible to casual observation. Today, I listen with anticipation. Plug in and prosper.

“We shall be with you in the Fellowship of the Spirit, and you will surely meet some of us as you trudge the Road of Happy Destiny.” ~ Alcoholics Anonymous, page 164.