Archive for Journal

Endigar 869

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

From Courage to Change of May 8:

“Yes, but . . .” These two words have become a signal to me that I am refusing to accept something over which I am powerless. My world is rich with wonderful gifts: beauty, a loving fellowship, and challenges that strengthen and prepare me for a better life. Is it worth it to deny these gifts by wishing things were different? Will it make them change? No! I prefer to accept them gladly, enjoy them thoroughly, and humbly accept the reality my Higher Power offers without any “yes, buts.”

The harsh tone, the unkind word, the apparent indifference of another is usually over in a few minutes. What price am I paying by holding on to those few minutes? I don’t have to like reality, only to accept it for what it is. This day is too precious to waste by resenting things I can’t change. When I accept everything as it is, I tend to be reasonably serene. When I spend my time wishing things were different, I know that serenity has lost its priority.

Today’s Remember

While I am responsible for changing what I can, I have to let go of the rest if I want peace of mind. Just for today I will love myself enough to give up a struggle over something that is out of my hands.

“By yielding you may obtain victory.”

~ Ovid

END OF QUOTE—————————————

When do I seek to foster acceptance in my life? What circumstances would be better met with neutrality? The following assertions are realities for which I am learning to surrender myself:

My efforts must not require me to cut myself off from my support network. I accept that I am more likely to make good decisions in the light of invested accountability.

My actions need to have the strength and steady growth of an Oak. Explosive impulses scorch the earth like lightening blasts. My energy must find safe conductors to be useful. This is something I accept to build a life I no longer need to escape. “You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.” ~ James Clear in Atomic Habits.

I need to accept gifts in my life and recognize them with gratitude. My Higher Power does not provide frivolously. All magic that finds me has a purpose to be fulfilled. I must accept that gifts from beyond strongly imply stewardship and a personal need I may not currently understand. I accept that such gifts are a quest and not a destination.

I accept that helping others is more powerful than conquering enemies. It is this potent usefulness that I protect from the bloodlust of my isolated ego. I accept that this is how honor is built.

I accept that I will fail while trying. I accept that failure is my teacher while I work. I accept that my perception will make failure a teacher or a mental illness in my life. “There is a lion outside! I shall be killed in the streets” ~ Proverbs 22:13 and “There is a lion in the road, there is a lion in the streets” ~ Proverbs 26:13 are both quotes from the lazy man. His fears quench the fire out of his motivation. He loses heart because he sees failure as a threat. Embracing a quivering fear of failure produces a lazy, withdrawal from the interactive life. This seems to me to be the ultimate failure.

There was a man who had a face that looked a lot like me
I saw him in the mirror and I fought him in the street
Then when he turned away, I shot him in the head
Then I came to realize, I had killed myself

Exploder by Audioslave

Endigar 868

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on November 11, 2022 by endigar

From Courage to Change of May 7:

Why do I find it so hard to accept that alcoholism is a disease? Would I blame a diabetic or a cancer patient for their symptoms? Of course not. I know that willpower alone is not enough to defeat a disease. If alcoholics could simply stop drinking whenever they wanted, many would have stopped long ago. It would do me no good to plead, berate, or reason with tuberculosis; I will not waste my time pleading, berating, or reasoning with alcoholism.

I therefore resolve to stop blaming the alcoholic for what is beyond his or her control — including the compulsion to drink. Instead, I’ll direct my efforts where they can do some good: I will commit myself to my own recovery. I know that improved health in one family member can have a profound effect on the rest of the family. In this way, I can make a much stronger contribution to the well-being of those I love than I ever could by trying to combat a disease that can’t be controlled.

Today’s Reminder

When I accept that alcoholism is a disease, it becomes easier to recognize that I, too, have been affected by something beyond my control, and to begin to recover from those effects.

“Whether or not the alcoholic achieves sobriety, the time for the family members to begin working on their own recovery is now.”

~ A Guide for the Family of the Alcoholic

END OF QUOTE—————————————

What would my young adulthood have been like if I had found Al-Anon before I activated my alcoholism? My mother’s father died of alcoholism when she was seventeen. She idolized him and was devastated by his tragic end. And through her untreated response to his alcoholism the disease continued to take its toll on our family long after its primary host was buried. My siblings who suffered from addiction or mental distress were enabled to live on in their suffering. We were isolated by family pride. Those family members who succeeded to develop something for themselves were expected to attempt rescue of those who were in need of professional help. The rescue was to be a prevention of consequences and not an exposure to accountability. The disease had turned our family into an embrace that smothers.

The wasted life, the pain, the unfairness of this dark network makes it easy to blame the carriers of the disease. I lose the objectivity of treatment when my resentments fester. There is no emotional connection to a parasite. I take Steps to remove it from my life and let my own health act as a beacon of hope for those I love. I can safely draw close to the people I love while staying detached from that insidious blood-sucker, alcoholism.

Endigar 867

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on October 26, 2022 by endigar

From Courage to Change of May 6:

I was intimidated by Step Five, because it meant revealing my darkest secrets to another person. Afraid that I would be rejected for being less than prefect, I put so much energy into hiding the truth that, although no once rejected me, I was as isolated and lonely as if they had.

When I realized how painful it was to continue living that way, I found a Sponsor and asked for help. We worked the Fifth Step, and I shared some of m characteristics and attitudes that I found particularly shameful. My Sponsor began to laugh. “You see,” he quickly explained, “I’m laughing because five years ago I sad the same things to my Sponsor, almost word for word!”

I would never have imagined the universality of my experiences. I would never have guessed that, in sharing what I felt made me different from other people, I would discover how alike we all really are.

Today’s Reminder

Many have known shame and fear and many have known joy. Sharing mine with others today will make my ride through life a smoother one.

“Deep down I had the nagging knowledge that there would be no real relief from myself until I could bring my problem out in the open and talk to somebody else about it . . .” ~ As We Understood . . .

END OF QUOTE—————————————

I have done Step 5 three times in my struggle to find the truth of Me and to be free of the burden of self isolation. I thought my issues were never going to be as significant in degree as others’ experiences. Not true. I thought my confessions would expose my personally repulsive weaknesses. Again, not true. I feared that I would confirm that I was an imposter, completely useless to myself and others. The exposing flames of my own burning bush did not consume me. It revealed Me to myself.

This burning truth of my reality is that I can find a useful uniqueness when I am no longer defined by the flaws of my humanity which are not the flaws of my own existence. I was shown a process to confront the burden of my self-loathing. There are so many things in my past that I used to carry with me. They are gone from my daily thinking. I bear witness that the program works when the moral inventory remains a fearless endeavor.

Endigar 866

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on October 11, 2022 by endigar

From Courage to Change of May 5:

Humility was a tough concept for me to comprehend. Taught from childhood to place the wants and needs of others always above my own, I equated humility with taking care of others and ignoring my own feelings and needs. In Al-Anon I have learned that true humility is not degrading; it doesn’t require that I neglect my own needs. In fact, humility is not measured by how much I do for other people, but by my willingness to do my part in my relationship with the God of my understanding.

I begin to learn humility when I take the First Step. By admitting I am powerless, I make room for the possibility that a Power greater than myself can do all those things that are beyond my reach. In other words, I begin to learn about what is, and is not, my responsibility. As this becomes clear, I am better able to do my part, for myself and for others, and better able to ask God to do the rest.

Today’s Reminder

Part of learning humility is learning to contribute to my own well-being. Today I will do something loving for myself that I’d normally do for someone else.

“We cannot tell what may happen to us in the strange medley of life. But we can decide what happens in us — how we can take it, what we do with it — and that is what really counts in the end.”

~ Joseph Fort Newton

END OF QUOTE—————————————

Humility is a protective virtue. It fends off my tendency to self-delusion. It guides me along a path toward honest self-appraisal. In a home that has been corrupted by the need to endure the addictive behavior of one or more of its members, delusion is a learned skill for survival’s sake. I learned to embody an iconic role to aid my family’s hospital mission for the wounded. We never realized that a family becoming a mental health asylum locked us all in a prison fearful of recovery. Recovery of our true selves. Our purpose was linked to the perpetuation of the disease. Who are we in a healthy world? Humility tells me I am not that protective icon of my childhood. That was what I had to become. Humility allows me to come out into the open and connect with my Higher Power. Humility allows me the courage to find human connection with those who do not need me to be anything other than myself. Humility is a protective virtue.

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

END OF QUOTE—————————————

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

END OF QUOTE—————————————

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

END OF QUOTE—————————————

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.

Endigar 862

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

From Courage to Change of May 1:

At a recent Al-Anon meeting we were asked to fill in the blank in this statement: “If only _____ would happen, I would be happy.” Many of us were tempted to answer that we would be happy if our loved ones got sober or handled sobriety differently. But other “if only’s” also kept us feeling deprived: If only my boss, family, job, government, finances, would change in the way that I want, I would be happy. It became clear that many of us have put our happiness on hold for things beyond our control.

So we applied the First Step, and admitted that we were powerless over these people, places, and things. These “if only’s” made our lives unmanageable, but a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. Many of us decided to surrender our “if only’s” to a Higher Power. When we did, we stopped acting like victims, waiting for things to change. We chose to take a more active role in seeking happiness in the here and now.

Today’s Reminder

There are many areas of my life that I cannot change. What I can change is my attitude. Today I can accept my life as it is. I can be grateful and happy, here and now, with what I have.

“Life holds so much — so much to be so happy about always. Most people ask for happiness on condition. Happiness can be felt only if you don’t set conditions”

~ Artur Rubinstein

END OF QUOTE—————————————

When I hear talk about being happy with life, it is easy for me to confuse an emotional reaction with a willful intent to police my attitude. Emotions are fleeting. Emotions make horrible leaders. But, they can be powerful servants. Gratitude is the training arena for domesticating my wild emotions. I am happy in the morning, angry at lunchtime, and profoundly sad in the evening. I do not have to remain powerless over my emotional reactions. Identifying reasons for gratitude helps me develop the power to summon the most helpful emotions in a given situation. Staying connected with the Spirit of Recovery inside and outside the rooms makes this possible for me.

Endigar 861 ~ Utility of Thought

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on June 26, 2022 by endigar

REF: Endigar 842

Al-Anon has helped me complete what Alcholics Anonymous started. I had identified the destructive internal mantras that I had both inherited and produced. I wrote them down in 2011. Finally, I have replaced them with a more useful way of thinking. Today, I write and publish them. I will make them a page on this site and will update them as life learning dictates. It will be a fluid document. But I want one post were I celebrate the production of some hard fought internal transformation. Here it is:

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.

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.

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.

LOVE: 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.

HUMILITY: 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.

COURAGE: 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.

I am devoted to the building of family that actuates its member individuals, resulting in two statements on powerful self-expression. One of those ideas is that there is no failure except the surrender to personal entropy. An actuated life refreshes its own sources.

I am devoted to the building of family that actuates its member individuals, resulting in two statements on powerful self-expression. One of those ideas is that one can drink freely of the pools of their genetic memory if they can see clearly their own reflection in its waters.

I have identified my antisocial anxiety as a lifelong problem. As I build tools to put it into remission, I can use the balance of my internal creativity with my external productivity as a litmus for successful treatment.

To my own higher Self I will be true, and as sure as the cool embrace of night follows the pulsing activity of daylight; I will not be false to anyone. I will speak as if moving a piece in a great game of chess, and I will listen as if taking in the overall picture of the board.

Endigar 860

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

From Courage to Change of April 30:

I have no idea why the faucet in my bathroom started dripping. Handling the situation with great patience, I watched it drip. And drip and drip. Sometimes I tried adjusting the knob, but I really expected it to stop dripping by itself. Naturally it didn’t work out that way. The problem got worse and eventually did extensive damage. Finally I had to call for help.

I can’t tell you how many problems I’ve handled in this very way, with just as little success. Thanks to Al-Anon, I no longer have to wait for a situation to explode before I face it. One of the most useful tools has been sharing in meetings and with members of the fellowship. When I put my experiences into words, they seem more real and I am less likely to push them aside. As a result, I can often face problems when they are still only slight irritations and deal with them before they grow and take over. Today I am not so interested in high drama; I’d rather have a real life.

Today’s Reminder

Today I will share honestly about something that has been nagging at me. My life deserves my attention.

“One of the most helpful aspects of the Al-Anon/Alateen fellowship is the opportunity we have to voice our dilemmas, confident that we won’t be condemned for speaking frankly.”

Living with Sobriety

END OF QUOTE—————————————

I don’t think about life in terms of day to day problems that must be addressed. Is that a problem in itself? I am not sure. Am I inviting an all-consuming blob where there was only a puke green splatter on a sterile surface? I find that accomplishments mean nothing to me if they serve only to seduce me into a life of vigilant servitude. I am afraid of letting the urgent eat up the important. Defining what is truly important is what the 12 Step program helps me discover. And rediscover.