Category: Al-anon


With spring comes new life, new growth and for most of us – spring cleaning!  Its only fitting that the 4th step is also about cleaning out the cob webs.

Step 4:

Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

I am still working on my 4th step and can’t believe that it’s been a year already that I have been working on it.  I should go back and see what I wrote a year ago.  See how much I have changed.  Filling out the adoption/foster care application was like doing a 4th step.  You had to go all the way back to your child hood and give them an insight into why you are the person you are today and if that person is the correct fit to be a parent of a child in need of a home.  I have taken a few months off from even looking at my Blue Print for Progress book.  The 4th step work book for Al-Anon.  But I have been doing so many other things right now that the 4th step has taken a back seat for the moment.  Not forgotten, just set to the side.  Everyday I can do the 10th step to keep my 4th step from getting any bigger.

Today is the 3rd class in our adventure of becoming parents.  I also started a journal so I can put down all my thoughts and fears and feelings through this process so she knows what we went through to get her.  most parents can tell the kids how they were born, I can share with her the story of how she came to be a member of our family.  And it will be in my own words, as it’s going on, not in 10 years when I am trying to go off memory.

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The little sticker I found

Monday I was feeling kinda blue about the adoption thing because of all the rules and the things we have to do on their time frame when a child is placed with us….just stuff going around in my head that I was letting fester there.  And I came back from talking to a co-worker, on the floor in front of my desk – right where I have been walking all day long was a flower sticker that’s all glittery and girly.  I picked it up, closed my eyes and said thank you to my higher power.  I needed that right then and there.  Sometimes when I forget to get all that crap out of my head it can really make my thinking go to crap.  My Higher Power reminded me that my little girl is out there somewhere just waiting for Hubby and I to be available for her to come home.  I can’t wait to give that little girl a forever home.  If you would like to get updates on our journey please head over to We Wished For You and follow it.  I am trying to keep up with all 4 web blogs.  I don’t post on all of them everyday, but I don’t want to post just to post.

I need to sit down and work on my 4th step again, I also need to try to make it to a meeting again.  Its been about 3 weeks since my last one.  If I miss this week that will be a whole month.  But one late night a week is already almost too much.  It really takes a toll on me not getting to bed at my normal time.  Sleep schedules are very important to someone who has chronic migraines.  I know that having a child means that my sleep will be interrupted on more than one night a week, but that is something that I will work on when it happens.  For now I am just trying not to blow through that much PTO for a self-caused migraine.

How many of you have done your 4th step or are working on it?  Please feel free to sound off in the comments Box.  If you are not sure where to start with your 4th step and you are working the Al-anon program – or even if you would  just like to do a 4th step, the Blue Print for Progress book is a very good place to start.  I got mine off Amazon.

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With March almost over I wanted to do a little check in.  This has been a big month for us.  I turned 30 years old, celebrated 9 years at my current job and we started foster/adoptive parent classes.  I have not been to a meeting in two weeks, I was feeling a little burnt out.  Plus with class being on Wed nights and not getting home till after 9pm the next day I feel dead.  Makes it hard to want to go anywhere Thursday night as well.  I do miss my Al-anon family, but right now I have to take care of myself.

I was taught that in Al-Anon, we have to take care of ourselves.  And right now that means getting rest and not over doing it.  The first class was a shocker and until I get used to staying up late on Wed nights it might be a little bit till I can get to a meeting.  I still do my reading and will still try to keep in touch with everyone.

This being the third month we talked about the third step, I am having to do that a lot and turn stuff over.  Its hard, but I know in my heart that my Higher Power is there right beside me through all of this.  I pray for the strength to stay on track and make it though this process of becoming a parent.  I know my daughter is out there somewhere, just waiting for us like we are waiting for her.

I use the serenity prayer so much om my way to work – it’s a good thing I don’t have my windows down, the cars next to me might hear me yell it over and over to myself till I can say it calmly from the heart.  That’s when I know my higher power has heard me and I feel the calming nature of his presence with me.

What are somethings that you have turned over to the care of God, as you understood him?  What are somethings that you know you need to let go of but are having an issue doing so?

30…part 1

I am not 30 years old.  Last Wednesday night I was  afraid to go to sleep.  If I went to sleep then when I woke up I would be 30.  Like by staying away I could avoid it.  It’s just a number I know, but for some reason 30 was a scary one.  I was watching TV and trying to keep it together.  I had taken Thursday and Friday off work, so my lack of sleep was not hurting anything.  I was trying not to keep my husband (who still had to go to work in the morning) awake with my panic attack.  I remember how I felt as 9pm and then 10pm rolled around.  The panic was almost too much for me.

I got pretty interested in what was on the TV at that moment (can’t tell you what it was now) And I looked over at the time to see it was 1:30am.  OMG, I was 30!  Nothing felt different, the world had not come to an end, no one was calling me telling me what a failure I was.  I was 30 and everything was just fine.  How could I have been so scared and nothing happened?  I had some how let my thoughts do me in.

As of today I have been smoke free for 70 days and saved $230.  It feels amazing to have made it this far and not feel like I can’t go another day and I know that’s what I can do.  Today I am smoke free, I can only live one day at a time…so I wanted to write down a list…or two…or three  Here are my 30 things…

30 Things that I am thankful for – in no particular order

  1. To be alive
  2. my parents
  3. my husband
  4. my sister
  5. My Sweet furry children
  6. Devereux (Foster care agency)
  7. my job
  8. a roof over my head
  9. my health (as bad as I feel today, it could always be worse)
  10. my friends
  11. al-anon
  12. AA
  13. being able to pay bills and some what on time most months 🙂
  14. My Hubbies substance abuse counselor and his wife who have become very close friends.
  15. being nicotine free
  16. loving my job
  17. a bed to make
  18. food in my house to eat
  19. clothes on my back
  20. people willing to donate items to others in need
  21. a husband who understands my migraines
  22. an understanding Boss
  23. supportive family
  24. being able to express my creative side
  25. strangers who smile back
  26. strangers who smile first
  27. warm spring days
  28. waking up to a Boxer who wants to snuggle
  29. falling asleep in my husbands arms
  30. hearing someone say they think I will be a good mom

 

New Month, next step…

The 3rd step is also the 3rd step in my little cha-cha dance.

Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

We made a decision…  this says to me that it is truly up to me to make this choice.  I can choose to be sick and crazy, or I can choose to get better and ask for help from my higher power.  If I ask for help then I have to be willing to get out of the damn way so that He can do what He needs to do to help me. And it’s the care of God not the full control, not the ultimate fix all.  We still have to play a part in our lives, we just have to be willing to ask the right questions and listen to the answers.  It may not be what we want and it may not even be something that we understand at the very moment.  But it is there, if we ask for it.

If I ask for the ability to understand my husband, He is going to give me a situation where I have to be understanding.  If I want to forgive my husband, He will give me a situation where I will need to forgive.  If I ask to be more patient, He will give me a situation where I have to show patience.  He is not going to magically give me what I ask for, He is going to give me the tools to show myself that I have the ability to do it.  Al-Anon has shown me that when I asked for strength, He showed me that I am strong.

So as we start our step 3, remember that it is in this step that we learn that God is willing to show us what we already have inside us, if we are willing to trust Him and ask for His help.  It’s like asking for someone to take the blindfold off so you can look at your self for the first time.  You get to see all the wonderful things inside you that has been there the whole time, it was just hidden behind our own blockades.  We pulled off the blinders, we pulled back the shades…seeing the true self that is there by asking God for His help, we should be ready for the next step – Our personal inventory, but more on that next month.

If no one has told you they love you today, I love you and God does too.

 

 

I never thought to try to relate to the traditions on a personal level.  I just thought they were for my Al-Anon group, not my family group.  Last night that all changed when we talked about Tradition 2.

Tradition 2:

For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority—a loving God as He may express Himself  in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.

My husband was the all and mighty word in our house hold for a long time.  Anything he said went, even if I knew it was 100% wrong or the messed up thing to do.  I was to follow my husband in every endeavor.  Well with the help of Al-Anon I learned that I have a higher power, and it is not my husband.  I do love him and will support him.  But I will not support him in a way that will cause myself harm.  I will not support him in and endeavor that will cause himself harm.  I will support him with love and encouragement to be the wonderful loving man I know he is.

Now that we are both recovery people we can talk in a shared language.  Our slogans and saying in AA and Al-Anon are very similar so we can talk on a deeper level now than ever before.  We are not perfect, we are a work in progress.  I am not sure who my husband looked to as a Higher Power – I know his father was for most of his life.  My father-in-laws attitude was “I don’t put the fear of God in my children, because God doesn’t live here.  I live here and they will fear me!”  And fear him they did.  I am sorry, I may not be a mother yet – but I do not feel that Fear is the way I want to raise my children.  I want to instill in my child a love and respect for not only me and her father, but a love and respect for herself and her God.

We were not very church going people growing up, and the only church thing my husband and I have done together is a Marriage 911 class we took at a Local church.  I would go to church functions with all my friends growing up, my parents let me explore my religious curiosity.  They left if up to me to go to church if I wanted to.  I am all for instilling your beliefs on your children, but also give them some freedom to choose their own path.  They might respect you more for that than putting the fear of wanting something for yourself.  It took a long time to get my husband to talk openly about what he wanted or how he felt.  Hid father did a good job of trying to kill his spirit.

And its so sad because my husband has such a playful and fun way about himself when he feels safe to open up.  We laugh and play and just have the best time with each other.  That’s why I can’t wait to have a child that we can both be who we really are around.  We are young, fun and playful people who want to love and cherish our child.  Teach them its ok to reach for a goal and not quite make it.  At least you reached for it.  I want her to have parents who are just but trusted servants of God, who do not Govern.

I want her to be able to come to us with anything without fear, it unlike how my husband was raised and I feel that because he knows how the other side of that coin feels he will be able to flip it over and show her understanding and compassion he never got.  I was raised in an open household like that, but I still got in-trouble for not sticking to the plan.  I had to follow most of my parents goals for me.  But you know I think deep down I needed that tough love to get me going in life.  They were not cold like my in-laws, but they were not push overs either.  I need to find that firm but loving attitude for my own child.  I want to lead her, not rule over her.

Please feel free to share your thoughts on how you can bring Tradition 2 into your family group.

If no one has told you they love you today, I do and God does too!!

 

Inspired Thoughts…5

“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line.  You Really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” – Lucille Ball

I just love her and yes she was a bit cooky – but I like that about her too.  She loved herself enough not to hide away that side.  🙂  I let my cooky side out every now and then – does it make people laugh yes, but as long as I am laughing too that means no one is laughing at me.  If ya can’t laugh at yourself then life is no longer fun.  Life is hard, but ya gotta laugh and love yourself.  If you don’t love who you are, how the heck do ya expect someone else to?

When I no longer loved who I was, and I didn’t think God loved me anymore and I thought my husband had stopped loving me – my world was dark and scary.  But when I took a step back, looked deep inside of me and saw that I loved myself and I was a child of God who was loved by Him.  I also saw that I had done nothing to cause my husband to stop loving me, if he had then that was him and not me.  But I knew that he loved me, he was just too sick to be able to express it in a constructive way.  We have some so far since those days.

I now love who I am, I am not perfect, I am not always on top of my game – but I am me and that’s just fine by me.  For those who are still suffering from rejected love, it doesn’t matter if you are the addict or the other side of the coin – you have to love yourself first before you can let someone else love you.

If no one has told you they love you today (tell yourself that you love you!) I love you and God does too!

 

Happy Valentine’s Day…

“I don’t understand why Cupid was chosen to represent Valentine’s Day. When I think about romance, the last thing on my mind is a short, chubby toddler coming at me with a weapon.”
~ Author Unknown ~

Hello My Name is Courtney, and I am in love with a recovering alcoholic.  He is in love with a recovering a Co-dependent.  We each have our own programs to help us and we have gone to meetings together to get a better understanding of where the other one is coming from.  It was difficult to sit there helpless while the person I loved was killing themselves.

On this day of love, please take time to tell the people you care about that you love them.  You don’t have to blow a bunch of money on gifts – but spend time with them, have dinner at home, make it together.  Go out just the two of you, or as a family if you have children.

February 2013…

Smoke

Smoke (Photo credit: AMagill)

Hello February – Ready for step 2?  well good because here it is:

Step 2 –

Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

Last year I explored the meaning of the word Restore…why?  Well because it stuck out to me, that’s why.  This year the word that stand out to me is Could.  It could restore us to sanity.  It’s not a false promise, is not a answer to fix all that is wrong with me.  I have to do be present in this journey of getting back to sanity.  My Higher Power can help me get there, if I let it.  I have to get out of the darn way and let him take some of this weight off my shoulders.  If I don’t let go, if I hold on with everything I have to things – how can I take a hold of the gifts of today?  How can I reach towards the future with hands full of yesterdays crap?

Could [kood; unstressed kuhd]
verb

1.a simple past tense of can1 .
auxiliary verb

2. (used to express possibility): I wonder who that could be at the door. That couldn’t be true.
3. (used to express conditional possibility or ability): You could do it if you tried.
4. (used in making polite requests): Could you open the door for me, please?
5. (used in asking for permission): Could I borrow your pen?
6. (used in offering suggestions or advice): You could write and ask for more information. You could at least have called me.
I find that even if I have read all the pages in the ODAT (One Day At A Time, Al-anon daily reader) a story will stick out to me in a different way.  I see what I need to see when I need to see it.  I can get out of a story what I need to hear at that moment in time.  It will be different for me each time, and that’s the best part about it.  That means I can read that book 100 times and still get something different each time.
If I can learn the art of letting go, this happy feeling I have today might just stay with me for a while. Last Thursday was my 30th day of being a non smoker.  I consider myself to be a non smoker now because I don’t want to go back to it.  If by calling myself a non smoker, I can resist giving myself permission to do it again.  So yes, 30 days as a non smoker and today is  30 days till my 30th birthday.  Yeah – what ya got on all my three’s!  I hope you all have a good day.
If no one has told you they love you today, I love you and God does too.

“Life is short, and it’s up to you to make it sweet.” – Sadie Delany (American educator and civil rights pioneer)

Life is what you make it.  At our last meeting we were all handed a little red fuzzy ball.  There was a story we read that night about a lady who at her one year anniversary handed out red balls and a thank you note.  The red ball represented her serenity.   She went on in the note talking about how if she let others effect how happy or sad she was she was tossing her little red ball to them.  She was letter other take control of her serenity.

I used to lob that darn ball at people.  I would almost make them take it from me so I could balm them for my unhappiness.  Heck – I used to even say God must have just been mad at me or punishing me.  I was in a bad way.  It was just fitting that we read a story on a lady giving back the night of her one year while I was celebrating getting my one year coin that same night.  Granted it was a few weeks after my one year, but even still – things happen for a reason.

All of us in the meeting were playing with our little red fuzzy ball of serenity while we were reading the story – some were just holding it – others were petting it like it was alive.  It was neat to see how each person treated it a little different.  Here is a table full of adults and we were like little kids being handed a new toy.  We loved it and played with them – tossed them at each other (hehehehe) But we all had a very nice meeting and got a little keep sake to remind us that our serenity is our responsibility and our’s alone.

So remember don’t give anyone your little red ball!

If no one has told you they love you today, I love you and God does too!!

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