Archive for Addiction

Endigar 851

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on October 25, 2021 by endigar

From Courage to Change of April 20;

In Al-Anon I’m learning that it is safe to be myself. Today I share with Al-Anon friends embarrassing secrets I once would have buried from sight. Sometimes I have to fight the old urge to keep quiet at all costs, but I have found that sharing is the key to healing.

For example, I was embarrassed about my physical appearance, especially my smile. Years of humiliating criticisms from alcoholic relatives had left me feeling very insecure. It seemed best to reveal as little about myself as possible, and I avoided smiling altogether. Unfortunately, I continued to believe the criticisms, so I thought very badly of myself.

By sharing honestly with people I can trust, I challenge the old, negative ideas. My Al-Anon friends assure me that the criticisms were exaggerated. Nobody seems to find me unworthy because of my smile. In Al-Anon I can come out of hiding. I’m even free to break into a grin.

Today’s Reminder

Even when I feel ashamed, someone in the fellowship can help me see my situation in a different light. With their help, if I’m willing to permit it, the truth will set me free.

“You get to the point where your demons, which are terrifying, get smaller and smaller and you get bigger and bigger.” ~ August Wilson

END OF QUOTE—————————————

I am back, and I am going to try this once more.

There are several reasons for me to keep quiet. When something is sacred to me, I keep it secret from the mindless masses. When something is the product of intimacy, discretion is advisable to protect the confidence of a trusting relationship. The defensive type of silence that I use to shield myself and my family from percieved catastrophe is where I run into trouble. When I am seeking to recover from the insanity that plays out in my own mind, such secrets can enslave me.

I whittle fear down to suspicion as I enter Al-Anon. I engage in meetings and with a sponsor while telling the judgmental voices in my head to shut up. I disengage from the multiplied public controversies out there and learn to detach from the false morality of family pride in here. I iconoclastically disrobe with the hope that I am in a room full of loving mirrors.

So far, such faith has been rewarded.

Endigar 850

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on August 26, 2021 by endigar

From Courage to Change of April 20;

In Al-Anon I’m learning that it is safe to be myself. Today I share with Al-Anon friends embarrassing secrets I once would have buried from sight. Sometimes I have to fight the old urge to keep quiet at all costs, but I have found that sharing is the key to healing.

For example, I was embarrassed about my physical appearance, especially my smile. Years of humiliating criticisms from alcoholic relatives had left me feeling very insecure. It seemed best to reveal as little about myself as possible, and I avoided smiling altogether. Unfortunately, I continued to believe the criticisms, so I thought very badly of myself.

By sharing honestly with people I can trust, I challenge the old, negative ideas. My Al-Anon friends assure me that the criticisms were exaggerated. Nobody seems to find me unworthy because of my smile. In Al-Anon I can come out of hiding. I’m even free to break into a grin.

Today’s Reminder

Even when I feel ashamed, someone in the fellowship can help me see my situation in a different light. With their help, if I’m willing to permit it, the truth will set me free.

“You get to the point where your demons, which are terrifying, get smaller and smaller and you get bigger and bigger.” ~ August Wilson

END OF QUOTE—————————————

What happens when freedom is lost for safety’s sake? What happens when those who offer love require the therapy of martydom? What happens when the intimacy of family devotion is the playground for childhood trauma? Reading between the lines, interpreting facial twitches, and practicing the hopeful clairvoyance of sick minds become the twisted life skills of the resulting adult. All criticism carries the weight of divine judgement. Appease, withdraw, or lash out.

I cannot do this. I am going to chose to withdraw from this blog for a bit. I need to work on this pain. It is overflowing in a time when my country doesn’t need me to live in the vulnerability of this honest program. At least, not in this public expression. I cannot transmit something I do not have. Forgive me, dear reader. My country has become too much like my family of origin. As I leave, I quote my sponsor who posted this a few days ago. It is so very true:

“It’s easy to believe that people in our government are incompetent but, when I see the level of stupidity on one issue after another, month after month, it’s hard to believe that they aren’t doing these things on purpose. I’m fighting depression everyday because I fear the state of our country that my Son will have to live in. I’m a veteran but, I never experienced anything like the brave soldiers who fought in Afghanistan. My heart breaks for the people who are feeling betrayed right now. When I was a young man, I was taught to be grateful that I lived in the greatest country in the world. I learned that the reason for it’s greatness was the principles in our founding documents. I was taught about the foundation of our legal system, the Ten Commandments. My grandfather was a Bham police officer and my father was a firefighter. Many family members served in the various branches of the military. One uncle retired as a master sergeant after having fought in Korea. My father was in the pacific while serving in the US Navy. It seems that everything I was taught has been turned upside down. I watch people look straight in the camera on national television and lie their ass off. I watch people get caught breaking the law and suffer no consequences. I see our legal system being used to persecute patriots and Christians. I watch an 81 year old woman in Congress work night and day for more power while trying to take away more and more of our freedom. You would think she would want to retire and spend this time with her kids and grandkids. I watch a senile old man propted up and used as a figurehead that we call president. I have many friends who vote for a Democrat party that doesn’t even exist anymore. They don’t understand that it morphed into the Socialist party. Many times, I’ve voted for the people on the right because I thought they were “the lesser of two evils.” Now, I see that both sides are corrupt and need to be replaced but, would a younger group be any better? They have been taught that America is racist and evil. Some people tell me not to worry because God has a plan. I pray this is true because I can’t see a positive outcome without a drastic change of direction. I pray that God will Bless America.” ~ Charles N.

Endigar 849

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on August 16, 2021 by endigar

From Courage to Change of April 19;

Learning about alcoholism has helped me to find serenity after years of struggling. I see now that alcoholics have a disease: They are ill, not bad. By attending Al-Anon meetings on a regular basis, reading Al-Anon Conference Approved Literature (CAL), and sitting in on open AA meetings, I have gained some insight into what is and is not reasonable to expect when dealing with an alcoholic.

I ‘ve learned that I have the ability to adjust my expectations so that I no longer set myself up for constant disappointment. For instance, I have stopped expecting a drinking alcoholic to keep every promise. This makes my life more manageable.

The knowledge I gain in Al-Anon has dispersed many of my fears and made room for a newfound compassion. I see that I am not the only one with good ideas, valid criticisms, and noble motives.

Today’s Reminder

Learning about the disease of alcoholism can help me become more realistic about a loved one’s illness –and then to make better choices for myself.

“I have learned techniques for dealing with the alcoholic, so that I can develop a relationship with the person behind the disease.” ~ Al-Anon Faces Alcoholism

END OF QUOTE—————————————

It is easier to receive the mercy of the disease concept of Alcoholics Anonymous than it is to give it. It is easier to judge harshly, until I realize the world I build with my judgements requires I become a subject within its borders.

If I judge the alcoholic or the adult child of an alcoholic (ACOA) then I must judge myself, that is, condemn myself, for being overwhelmed by depression or anxiety. The disease concept allows me to embrace objective accountability with productive patience for myself and others who hold an important place in my life. I don’t want my environment to be built by reactive animal instincts of fearful isolation. Let me and those around me live freely to experience times of greater self-healing in the rooms of connective health.

Endigar 848 – Courage (2021 vs 2011)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on August 12, 2021 by endigar

Peter, still out of breath, turned and saw Aslan close at hand.

“You have forgotten to clean your sword,” said Aslan.

It was true. Peter blushed when he looked at the bright blade and saw it all smeared with the Wolf’s hair and blood. He stooped down and wiped it quite clean on the grass, and then wiped it quite dry on his coat.

“Hand it to me and kneel, Son of Adam,” said Aslan. And when Peter had done so he struck him with the flat of the blade and said, “Rise up, Sir Peter Wolf’s-Bane. And, whatever happens, never forget to wipe your sword.”

~ C.S. Lewis from The Lion, the Wtich and the Wardrobe

Equipped with the updated and more useful ideas of God, I can move forward:

Useful Idea of 2021: God and I are one, even though I am not God. This is the paradoxical truth that makes me free in recovery and life. ~ Improving my communication skills between my truest Self and My Higher Power is a key element to spiritual growth and empowerment. God ignores my linguistics degree in manipulation.

Useful Idea of 2021: God is an investor in my Intent of Will and asks that I surrender my fears, trade them in for trust in a covenant relationship between the Higher Power and myself.

Useful Idea of 2021: God is my Life Source urging me toward expressive experience. He/She is God of everything or nothing in my life. I chose the former in a Step 3 covenant reaffirmation.

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Unuseful Idea of 2011: I lack potency. ~ Uncontrolled or spiritually undeveloped people will attack or hurt me.

Does the Twelve Step program advocate pacifism to all external forces that demand our surrender? What about the person who was abused as a child or the spouse (male or female) that is psychologically or physically abused behind closed doors? What about those who experience gang violence in their environment?

It definitely teaches that we quit fighting and chose to surrender to a Power greater than ourselves that is invested in the improvement of our lives. And when I seek to clean up my side of the street as an abused person, I am looking to address my reactions to that abuse, not justify it. I forgive as a form of detachment from the abuser, to gain possession of the emotional and mental energy I was using to keep an internal courtroom open. Forgiveness is about my freedom, not theirs. If there is an ongoing threat, I seek physical distance and protective detachment.

When I am spiritually fit, I can walk into a bar to be with friends and not want to drink. If I serve in law enforcement and am spiritually fit, I can execute an arrest without projecting my pain into the process. If I serve in the military while spiritually fit and protect my fellow citizens from foreign threats, I can do so without executing my personal vendettas. When I am called on to fulfill the responsibilities implied in the right to bare arms under the U.S. Constitution, that is, to provide negative freedom from a growing tyranny in a centralized government, I can do so and emulate the heart of stewardship I experience from my Higher Power in the program.

I cannot face an adversary on the outside without facing the one enthroned on the inside. The Twelve Step program provides the promise of a clean kill in times of war, and a way to live in serenity after the war is won. In the rooms I stop fighting anything or anyone within and this allows me to take off and repair my armor, vulnerable only to those who, like myself . . .  “Follow the dictates of a Higher Power (see page 100 BB)” no matter what my present circumstances.

Useful Idea of 2021: My unaddressed, personal guilt makes me afraid that my internal monster will find external expression in others. Keeping my moral inventory updated and maintaining a quick response to any necessary ammends allows me to see the true from the false and quit chasing shadow dragrons. A clean sword will fulfill the function for which it was forged.

Endigar 848 – Humility (2021 vs 2011)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on August 5, 2021 by endigar
Art Credit minus apple of discord – Gabriel Mark Lipper

Equipped with the updated and more useful ideas of God, I can move forward:

Useful Idea of 2021: God and I are one, even though I am not God. This is the paradoxical truth that makes me free in recovery and life. ~ Improving my communication skills between my truest Self and My Higher Power is a key element to spiritual growth and empowerment. God ignores my linguistics degree in manipulation.

Useful Idea of 2021: God is an investor in my Intent of Will and asks that I surrender my fears, trade them in for trust in a covenant relationship between the Higher Power and myself.

Useful Idea of 2021: God is my Life Source urging me toward expressive experience. He/She is God of everything or nothing in my life. I chose the former in a Step 3 covenant reaffirmation.

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Unuseful Idea of 2011: I lack potency. ~ The concepts and thoughts that I value will be overshadowed by a stronger presence.  The products of my mind and heart will be dismissed as insignificant in a crowd, and assaulted in the presence of a strong presentation.

The Beginning of Humility

“There are few absolutes inherent in the Twelve Steps. Most Steps are open to interpretation, based on the experience and outlook of the individual.

“Consequently, the individual is free to start the Steps at whatever point he can, or will. God, as we understand Him, may be defined as a ‘Power greater. . .’ or the Higher Power. For thousands of members, the A.A. group itself has been a ‘Higher Power’ in the beginning. This acknowledgement is easy to make if a newcomer knows that most of the members are sober and he isn’t.

“His admission is the beginning of humility — at least the newcomer is willing to disclaim that he himself is God. That’s all the start he needs. If, following this achievement, he will relax and practice as many of the Steps as he can, he is sure to grow spiritually.” – As Bill Sees It, page 191 (which in turn quoted from a letter Bill Wilson wrote in 1966).

There is nothing I hate more in this life than that sense that I am being ignored, whether it be real or imagined. As a creative soul, I have works that I hope will live beyond me in both time and impact. As a co-dependent aberration of my Self I fear the exile and rejection of those I hope to help, those that matter to me. I have lived my childhood dancing around tripwires of irrational guilt which was usually the result of exposing my humanity to the detriment of the exoskeleton of invulnerability. I forged a family icon as an expression of family superiority and uniqueness. I learned to hide silently and let the icon champion family pride at my expense as a person. Over time, I would find an escape through the military where the expectations where not mysterious and ever changing. Then I built a family of my own and the icon returned.

My journal writing gave me a refuge in my family of origin and remained with me into the marriage bed. My writing began and ended my marriage. I now count the post-marital apocalypse as the Goddess Eris doing for me what I could not do for myself. I now realize that when the fortress I built became a prison, the heart of God’s child within me screamed to be set free. The golden apple of discord that Eris bade me to consume brought an iconoclastic humility into my soul. My God ignored the proclamations of the icon, and heard the truest version of my Self. I have discovered that the pursuit of humility is the pursuit of happiness. I am heard when I learn to listen. Humility is the beginning of my positive freedom, my Self-actualization. It is also better to develop a process to encourage the connectedness that comes with humility than to suffer the consequences of humiliation that comes from isolated pride.

Although I am grateful that my Higher Power sent Eris my way, I would much rather work a process toward humility than reap the consequences of humiliation. I have no desire to live a life of perpetual chaos.

Useful Idea of 2021: My family icon of protective pride lacks the potency I need to live. The concepts that I value will be heard as I listen to the concepts that others value. There is no stronger presence then the God of my understanding in the true expression of my life. As a connected being it is impossible for me to be dismissed. The confidence that comes from humility will answer the pride that comes from fear.

Endigar 847 – About Love (2021 vs 2011)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on July 29, 2021 by endigar
Art Credit: Alex McArdell (BustedFluxcapacitor on Deviant)

Equipped with the updated and more useful ideas of God, I can move forward:

Useful Idea of 2021: God and I are one, even though I am not God. This is the paradoxical truth that makes me free in recovery and life. ~ Improving my communication skills between my truest Self and My Higher Power is a key element to spiritual growth and empowerment. God ignores my linguistics degree in manipulation.

Useful Idea of 2021: God is an investor in my Intent of Will and asks that I surrender my fears, trade them in for trust in a covenant relationship between the Higher Power and myself.

Useful Idea of 2021: God is my Life Source urging me toward expressive experience. He/She is God of everything or nothing in my life. I chose the former in a Step 3 covenant reaffirmation.

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Unuseful Idea of 2011: In order to love others, you must hate yourself. ~ You must hate yourself to love another.  The depth of effective love is measured in the level of self-hatred you can embody.

What is Love? The most useful definition for me is that it is a learned skill that consumes its user. Completed or perfected love drives away fear and that is its most useful characteristic for humanity, in my opinion. That is why it must consume me if it is to be transformative. Any time I sit with myself, I find that fear plagues me and prevents me from maintaining contact with my Higher Power. Love consumes the fear animl within. It is a magical skill that helps me remember my premortal existence, the Self that hungers to live in the Beyond. The 12 Step program gives me a proving ground to practice my magic as I am transformed. The success of my love is measured in the quality and quantity of helping life flourish without losing sight of the Self. The fear animal within me is a trickster masquerading as me. My positive selfishness is part of the love skill that vanquishes that imposter and allows me to truly live. The little beast uses self-hatred skillfully to bury itself within his lair in my psyche. The perfected skill of love is the only magic to counter this ever present force of self-hatred.

Useful Idea of 2021: Love is a transformative magic, a learned skill, and the primary weapon against personal fear and self-hatred. The 12 Steps provides a way for me to refine its potency in my life.

Endigar 846 – About God (2021 vs 2011)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on July 27, 2021 by endigar

My relationship with my Higher Power prior to recovery got twisted with religious dogma that got corrupted by co-dependent expectations. The idea of a divine kill switch as an unmerciful shock collar in my life was my appraisal of all my futile attempts to appease God just short of suicide. My sexuality was at issue. I was and am fifty shades of darkest grey and have lived repressing some need for dominance in a heterosexual relationship. My issues are too normal, too patriarchal to be embraced by the left (feminine) aspect of the socio-political spectrum. They are too heretical and dangerous to be embraced by the right (masculine) guardians of money morality. Recovery opened a third door as I discovered the God of my understanding waiting to establish something personal with me, something peculiarly wonderful that did not require my castration.

We live in a time of sexwar when the mutual respect between masculine and feminine energy has been lost and the human collective is in disequilibrium. It will resolve lethal masuclinity and enslaving feminity by producing oddities such as Myself until some semblance of sexpeace is restored.  I am not the arbiter of anyone’s sexual-spiritual expression as long as it does not include predation. And no one is the director in my dungeon of painful consent but me and my Life Source.

Unuseful Idea of 2011:  God is a manipulator ~ If I get out of line, God has a kill switch to amplify my lusts and natural desires to consume me, or, if I am able to overcome that, God can use my disconnected strength to turn me into a predator.

Useful Idea of 2021: God is my Life Source urging me toward expressive experience. He/She is God of everything or nothing in my life. I chose the former in a Step 3 covenant reaffirmation.

Endigar 845 – About God (2021 vs 2011)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on July 20, 2021 by endigar

I have experienced the pain of betrayal and loss in the course of living that left me questioning my devotion to a God that allowed it all to happen. The wounds stayed fresh because I could not resolve the silence of my God in the midst of my personal injustice. In my anguish I saw a sissy whore in the mirror of the reward and punishment religion of my youth. I had decided that life was about avoiding a very special kind of pain; It is that pain that can only be administered by those you trust, those you draw near to you, those you want to hear your truest voice. I answered that vulnerability with self-castigation. I would beat them to the punch and would blame myself for the pain. Of course, a sissy whore invites abuse. Of course, a silly child invites soul-crushing correction. Of course, God manipulates me away from frivolity and towards social utility. Of course, those who closely know me savage the sacred in my soulscape. Of course, my death is as meaningless as my life.

As I catch my breath from my own beatdown, I withdraw, only to return when I can no longer bare the solitary confinement. God is just another parasitic spirit on this merry-go-round of pain. He is the only one who has enough power to deliver me from it and he will not because He finds utility in my futility. This is not a spiritually useful idea because it does not allow me to believe that my Higher Power has my best interests at heart. This program of recovery requires I develop enough positive selfishness to say Hell Yeah! I want to live. My best interests are an imperative to the program, and thus to my Higher Power.

God’s silence comes from His self-limiting inability to lie, to manipulate. Manipulation is the language of my family of origin. God refuses to engage in it. The language of the magical realms is the recognized intent of one’s own will. I chose to practice surrendering my fears to the Spirit. I honor God’s free will in the process of recovery and don’t take His apparent silence as rejection. The Spirit silently waits for the restoration of my own free will. He will test me along the way to reveal to me that I have an important power and responsibility in the manifestation of my Intent to Will. My problem was powerlessness. The solutions will not be dependency. My Higher Power is individually invested in my positive freedom. Now that is a useful idea.

Unuseful Idea of 2011: God is a manipulator  ~ God wants to control me for his purposes, wants me to be his sissy whore.  He uses my heart’s desires against me.  He has no desire for my ultimate success, only my advancement to control others.

Useful Idea of 2021: God is an investor in my Intent of Will and asks that I surrender my fears, trade them in for trust in a covenant relationship between the Higher Power and myself.

Endigar 844

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on July 4, 2021 by endigar

From Courage to Change of April 18;

I had spent a lot of time yearning for things I wasn’t gettting from the alcoholic in my life. As a part of my Al-Anon recovery, I was encouraged to put those needs on paper. Courtesty, respect, attention, affection, communication –my list of the areas in which I felt my loved one had let me down went on and on.

My Sponsor applauded my honesty and then suggested that I could bring all the things on my list into my life. The catch: I had to give what I wanted to receive and become what I wanted to attract. Did I present a shining example of courtesy and all the rest? If not, I had a wonderful list of goals already on paper.

I have often heard that we get back what we give, and now I know that it’s true. As I grew kinder and more loving, other people responded to the change. I also felt much better about myself. Today I can honestly say that all the qualites on my list exist in my life at least some of the time. I hadn’t expected these results–or any others, for that matter. I was too busy focusing on myself. I think that’s why it worked.

Today’s Reminder

Today I can take an active role in fulfilling my needs. I can choose to become someone I would want to have in my life.

“Many of us find that as we practice treating others fairly, with love and respect, we ourselves become magnets for love and respect.” ~ . . . In All Our Affairs

END OF QUOTE—————————————

My self-awareness is critical for this law of attraction to be effectively rewarding. I have to call time out on life and my survival impulses long enough to get to know who I am and what I truly need. Self-delusion is an embedded survival skill for my co-dependent mind that I must resist.

If I immediately attempt to change my behavior to kindness in order to have kind people around me, I will establish a façade of compassion with no real relationships. It would be my fearful instinct to protect the real me from being revealed in order to avoid rejection.

This painfully challenging process to know the truth about myself/Self must be tackled first. Then I change my behavior to answer my needs. My improved, genuine expression will then give permission to others to do the same.

Endigar 843 – About God (2021 vs 2011)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on June 14, 2021 by endigar

In 2011, I found that I perceived God as the ultimate manipulator, which was a terribly unuseful idea in this spiritual program of recovery. I remember a particular alcoholic relapse where I showed up to a meeting inebriated. As I was departing, one of the other members stopped me and told me that I needed to learn to surrender. I turned toward him in the full bravado of my intoxication and let him know that I was trained in the military that the only time surrender is discussed is when you are overwhelmed by an enemy. “Is God my enemy?” I asked. I slammed my fist into the side of my pick-up and proclaimed, “I will not surrender!”

“At least let me get you a cab,” he pleaded.

“No, I drive better when I drink.”

In jail that night I pondered my own angry question; “Is God my enemy?” No, I would not even be an annoyance to the force of His will. No, not an enemy. He was something much worse. He was the personification of all the irrational guilt and controlling manipulation I inheritied from my family of origin.

In reality, my active co-dependency associated initmacy with manipulation. In all my attempts to manipulate the Infinite One into what I viewed as a geniune relationship, I felt God ignored me. Today I recognize that the Higher Power is absolutely devoted to the expression of my own will unfettered by burning bush novas that terrify me into compliance. I understand that surrender is active, repetitive consent for aid. Eventually, consent rewarded becomes trust.

Sometimes my fear of life’s terms causes me to attempt to milk God for detailed blueprints. This is where I return to the insanity of pursuing absolute control over my living environment. When I respect the Spirit of Life as a free agent, I myself live free. The mighty force that smashs the chains of addiction and co-dependant expactations is not desinged to forge new bindings for religious appeasement.

Unuseful Idea of 2011: God is a manipulator ~ God is not interested in me, only in controlling me for his own purposes, to protect his distant control on the human species.

Useful Idea of 2021: God and I are one, even though I am not God. This is the paradoxical truth that makes me free in recovery and life. ~ Improving my communication skills between my truest Self and My Higher Power is a key element to spiritual growth and empowerment. God ignores my linguistics degree in manipulation.