Archive for January, 2023

Endigar 875

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on January 29, 2023 by endigar

From Courage to Change of May 14:

Al-Anon recovery is a discipline that requires diligence, patience, and consistency for the best results. Regular attendance at meetings, working the Steps, and applying the Al-Anon principles to every part of the day lead to a fuller and more enjoyable life.

At times we see obvious results from our efforts, while at other times we reach plateaus and feel stuck. If we go on putting one foot in front of the other and continue to work the program, we find that all plateaus eventually come to an end. Just when we reach the end of our patience, a doorway seems to open and we suddenly take a huge leap forward. We see that none of the time that passed was wasted; although we didn’t know it, we were quietly absorbing the program. Most of us find that the results were worth the wait.

Today’s Reminder

Whether or not I see immediate benefits, today I choose to keep coming back.

“patience is the key to paradise.”

~ Turkish proverb

END OF QUOTE—————————————

Note: This reflection would have been better with “I” statements rather than “we.” I have found that Al-Anon recovery… When I attend meetings regularly…. At times I see obvious… and so on. We statements move away from sharing personal experience and become preachy. I have found myself accidently stepping up into the pulpit rather than sitting as an equal in the fellowship.

I would love to have the choice to be dilegent, patient, and consistent. How wonderful it would be to live as a machine until the difficult aspects of living are done. Spock repressing emotion in favor of pure logic. Data turning off his emotion chip when facing the Borg. Dexter unresponsive to emotion to do what needed to be done. Sort of. The soldier icon to the max in Termiantor.

Unfortunately, I am not an uncaring machine. I am full of vunerabilites. Emotions blindside my disciplines. Sometimes I connect with my Higher Power and with others in the fellowship. Sometimes, I do not. Recovery can be just as baffling as the disease itself. This is my reality.

My interpretation of the solution is that when windows of sanity open up, use the program with everything that is within me. Connect as effectively as I know how to my Higher Power and the 12 Step Fellowship of my choice. When I fall into the paralysis of rumination, I lower my expectations, my judgements, and ride it out. I try to mitigate the damage of my isolation. I just concentrate on breathing. I allow the machine in me to fail, and divert all energy to life support.

I am working on emotional dominance. I am not there yet.

Endigar 874

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on January 24, 2023 by endigar

From Courage to Change of May 13:

I find it much easier to risk making decisions when I stop thinking about suffering the consequences and remember that I have the option to enjoy the consequences. Since coming to Al-Anon, I make my choices more conscientiously. I do whatever footwork seems appropriate and then turn the results over to God. The results are often quite favorable. Even when they aren’t, I can still celebrate the fact that I have done my part.

For a long time I avoided decisions because I was sure that there was some magical “right” choice that would get me what I wanted, yet I never seemed to know which choice that was. I waited until the last minute to decide and never felt good about my choices. Today I know that choosing not to decide is to decide.

It can be very liberating to make a decision. Once the choice is made, I can trust that the consequences will unfold as they should. With a slight change of attitude, perhaps I can await them with excitement and hope instead of fear and dread.

Today’s Reminder

Today I will have faith in my ability to act. When the time seems right, I will make the best choice I can and allow myself to enjoy the results.

“Sometimes our enthusiasm for change depends on our willingness to take a chance on tomorrow by risking what we have today.”

~ Living with Sobriety

END OF QUOTE—————————————

What is the proper way to take a risk? My impulsiveness often comes from a fear of my fear. I am afraid that I will be paralyzed by the anxiety that is always with me. I will miss out. I have felt excluded from relationships and vocational opportunities because I was stuck. To compensate, I learned to kick the door of my protective psyche open and rush out. I tend to shock those around me with this abrupt change in behavior. I face the consequences as one who has decided to buckle up and ride the roller coaster.

The main thing that keeps me trusting the process in spite of myself is an intuitive connection to an infinite entity that seems to give a damn about me as an individual. I can recognize shadow dragons in my path. The only subsistence they have is my own fear. I quit feeding them. I trust my Higher Power. I learn to walk out into the open at a pace somewhere between paralysis and panic.

I recommend getting your heart trampled on to anyone
I recommend walking around naked in your living room

Swallow it down (what a jagged little pill)
It feels so good (swimming in your stomach)
Wait until the dust settles

You live, you learn
You love, you learn
You cry, you learn
You lose, you learn
You bleed, you learn
You scream, you learn

I recommend biting off more then you can chew to anyone
I certainly do
I recommend sticking your foot in your mouth at any time
Feel free
Throw it down (the caution blocks you from the wind)
Hold it up (to the rays)
You wait and see when the smoke clears

You live, you learn
You love, you learn
You cry, you learn
You lose, you learn
You bleed, you learn
You scream, you learn

Wear it out (the way a three-year-old would do)
Melt it down (you’re gonna have to eventually anyway)
The fire trucks are coming up around the bend

You live, you learn
You love, you learn
You cry, you learn
You lose, you learn
You bleed, you learn
You scream, you learn

You grieve, you learn
You choke, you learn
You laugh, you learn
You choose, you learn
You pray, you learn
You ask, you learn
You live, you learn

~ Alanis Morissette, You Learn

Housekeeping Note

Posted in Uncategorized on January 13, 2023 by endigar

I reviewed my blogroll links and updated. I have removed the dead ends. Please let me know if you find any of them out of date or you have a suggestion for other good links out there that have to do with recovery from addiction.

Endigar 873

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on January 11, 2023 by endigar

From Courage to Change of May 12:

What does another person’s mood, tone of voice, or state of inebriation have to do with my course of action? Nothing, unless I decide otherwise.

For example, I have learned that arguing with someone who is intoxicated is like beating my head against a brick wall. Yet, until recently, I would always dive right into the arguments, because that was what the other person seemed to want. In Al-Anon I discovered that I don’t have to react just because I have been provoked, and I don’t have to take harsh words to heart. I can remember that they are coming from someone who may be in pain, and try to show a little compassion. I certainly don’t have to allow them to provoke me into doing anything I don’t want to do.

Today’s Remeinder

Detachment with love means that I stop depending upon what others do, say, or feel to determine my own well-being or to make my decisions. When faced with other people’s destructive attitudes and behavior, I can love their best, and never fear their worst.

“. . .Detachment is not caring less, it’s caring more for my own serenity.”

~ . . . In All Our Affairs

END OF QUOTE—————————————

I love, therefore I am afraid for the one I focus on. I love, therefore I attempt to overcome the addiction for the one I focus on. I love, therefore I am sickened with worry for the one I focus on. I love, therefore I attempt clever manipulation of the one I focus on. I love, therefore I obsess over the details of the life of the one I focus on. Thus, I offer to the one I love fear, invasive control, emotional sickness, manipulation, and a distrustful obsession to go with the addiction they already possess.

I decide to love in a different way. I will focus on me. I detach. Yet, I still love.

I love, therefore I trust my Higher Power. I love, therefore I work to overcome my own short-comings. I love, therefore I honor free will in myself and others. I love, so I imagine what it is to be free and seek to live it out. I love, therefore I put boundaries around those aspects of myself that I have learned are good traits to nurture. Thus, I offer to the one I love my example of a life worth living, an environment of serenity and reciprocal respect, and usefulness available when it is truly sought.

The 12 Step program from the Al-Anon perspective has given me a new way to love. I am grateful.

Endigar 872

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on January 7, 2023 by endigar

From Courage to Change of May 11:

I spend more time with myself than with anyone else. Wouldn’t it make sense to put some energy into making that relationship as fulfilling as possible? Another person cannot prevent me from feeling lonely, but my inner emptiness can be satisfied. I can come to value my own company. I am a worthwhile companion.

One of the illusions shared by many of us who have been affected by alcoholism is that only another person, usually the alcoholic, can fill that empty place within us. If only he were more attentitive, if only she got sober, if only they were with me now, I wouldn’t be lonely. But many of us remain just as lonely even after those conditions are met.

Today, when I’m by myself, I will know that I am in good company. When I stop expecting others to meet all of my needs, I find new and exciting ways to enjoy my own friendship. And when I do get lonely, I have the comfort and support of a Higher Power who never leaves me.

Today’s Reminder

Today I will spend some time exploring the most intimate human relationship I will ever have–my relationship with myself.

“What a lovely surprise to discover how un-lonely being alone can be.”

~ Ellen Burstyn

END OF QUOTE—————————————

I have been experiencing this today. This day. Right now, I know how to be with me. We look at each other as children running around a bed, each trying to gain the advantage in observation. Like the playful ouroboros of dogs sniffing a new arrival. Both inspecting and being inspected. My body is not me, but my care for it is. My activities are not me, but they are a litmus test of the trust I am building with myself. I care for that one right there. I know you can’t see him. He has been pretty good at camouflaging himself. But I see. Just in this day, right now. Hello me. It so nice to meet you.

Endigar 871

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on January 4, 2023 by endigar

From Courage to Change of May 10:

I am so grateful to belong to a fellowship where everyone speaks for himself or herself. Al-Anon has no spokesperson, no authority who tells what “our” experience has been. I am the only one who can tell my story.

I find it very comforting to be part of a group of people who share some of my problems and feelings. Although we have much in common, each Al-Anon member has unique wisdom to offer. Through the interchange of experience, strength, an hope, we learn specific ways in which fellow members have applied the Al-Anon program to their situations. Taking what we like and leaving the rest, each of us is free to benefit from this individual approach to our common purpose–recovery from the effects of alcoholism. So when I share in a meeting, I try to avoid phrases such as, “This is a problem for us” or “We tend to do that.” Instead, I look at sharing as an opportunity to see myself more clearly.

Today’s Reminder

Today I will speak for myself, secure in the fact that I am supported by a fellowship of men and women who “understand as perhaps few others can.”

“Our recovery is reflected in our ability to tell our own story not that of an alcoholic or another Al-Anon or Alateen member.”

~ Why Anonymity in Al-Anon?

END OF QUOTE—————————————

It seems paradoxical to me that I would need help from a group to see myself, the individual me, more clearly. I remember the Johari Window model from early days in college. It was apparently created in 1955 to show the importance and power of developing trust in a team to facilitate the development of its individual members. It was not until I entered the rooms supporting the 12 Step program did I experience the reality that there is much I do not know about myself. There is also much that I have kept hidden.

When I share in the group, what seemed liked wisdom in my cranium is either confirmed as something of value to retain or revealed to be neural clutter that should be discarded or recycled. When I hear others share I am given reaffirming connection or an unconsidered new perspective. A room full of individuals all risk fearful exposure for a common purpose which is to become a better version of ourselves free of the damning effects of alcoholism or addiction. Maybe I should only speak for myself. This is what the fellowship has been for me.