Tag Archive: Al-Anon/Alateen


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.

wpid-img_20130401_135203_557-1

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?

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!!

 

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.

2013 so far…

 

Yesterday I sent off the application for our adoption/foster care adventure.  Devereux Arizona is the center that we are going through, they have been so wonderful.  They guide you through each step and make sure you understand everything.

 

I think I might start yet another blog.  This one is all about recovery, so adoption stuff really has no place here.  I will post updates now and then because it is a part of our recovery.  I do have two other blogs.  I have Dozer’s blog and then my Rants and Stories blog.  Court’s Royal Corner is not the place for the adoptions stuff….so to start another blog or not to start another blog.  I know 3 blogs are hard enough…4 is crazy!  But I feel like there might be people out there who want to hear about adoption or foster care.  I know I went looking for information when we started to talk about it.  What do you all think – should I start another blog?

 

On the recovery front, I didn’t make it to my meeting last night, we tried to quit smoking and hubby is not doing as well with it.  His Job is stressful and he is worried about the projects he is doing here at the house.  I think the adoption stuff is stressing him out a bit too.  So we decided not to go last night, plus it was cold and windy – I didn’t want to leave my warm spot on the sofa.  I am sad that last month was my one year and they didn’t give me a coin.  In AA they ask who has 24 hours, 30 days, multi months, 1 years and so on…   But in my Al-Anon group they just know who has how long and in what month – it’s listed on our phone list.  Well I didn’t get mine and it hurt.  Why should I have to ask for mine?  But that is not Al-anon thinking.  So next week, I will have to figure out how to mention it in the meeting without showing the hurt that I feel inside.  I feel almost like a child, “I want my coin!” But that little round symbol is the symbol of my recovery.  To others its just a coin, but to me it is so much more.  That coin shows that I was able to stick to something, learn from others, make a life change.

 

One year in recovery for me also means one year for this blog.  That makes me so happy to think about all my readers, all of you who add comments, all the support that I have gotten, and all the support I have been able to offer.  It’s what recovery is all about to me.  The support we offer each other, the compassion for another human being who is suffering at that moment and is in need of our help.  Even if that help is just having someone say – “wow that sucks, I am sorry that happened to you”

 

I have been told I need to stop saying I am sorry for things that I have no control over.  I am not taking responsibility for the thing that happened or even trying to personalize it.  It’s just me saying “wow, that sucks and I am sorry that happened to you”  I guess I am alone in the want to have this said to me.  I wish for once someone would just say that to me.  I don’t say what is going on in my head all the time, I don’t say that I am depressed, in pain, sad, angry, upset…what have ya.  If I did I would never shut up about it.  I am in pain ALL the time, I am sad a lot, I stress about money, I stress over if hubby is happy or not, I stress over my health, over if I can pay for my medications that month or not, if we will every really become parents or not, if hubby will freak out and tell me no – tell Devereux we changed our minds.

 

What he said last night really hurt me, and I had no idea how to even tell him.  So I just dropped it.  Sometimes I have to pick my battles, and it wasn’t worth it last night.  There was no reason to engage in a fight, I just let him vent and get it off his chest.  Does it still hurt even though I try not to personalize it, hell yes.  Am I able to let go of it fully? still not able to let things go 100% yet.  But I am working on it.

 

Anyways – I hope you all have a blessed day, Keep praying that we get into the Jan 23rd class.  I love you and God does too!

 

12 days ago was my 9th month recovery birthday.  I feel a little sad that I don’t get the same milestone celebrations as AA members do.  My Al-anon group only does the yearly coins.  I guess there are some Al-anon groups that don’t even do that…So I will just count my blessings.  I never thought those coins could mean something, but after seeing my husband get his – and other get theirs – it makes me want my own little remembrance that:

YES – I can get better.

YES – I can make it through one day at a time.

YES – I can find love, strength, hope and faith again.

YES – I can support my husband without losing myself.

I also have to remember that I don’t need for something to be recognized by someone else to have it mean more to me.  If it is important to me, then that is who I need to get recognition from.  I need to recognize my own self worth.  I also need to make sure that I gibe non solicited recognition out to my husband and others who I see make changes in their lives.  I need to say out loud that I see how far he has come in his recovery.  Him knowing that I see it and had the mind-set to say it will then show to myself and him just how far in my own recovery I have come.

So – here is my 9th month coin.  It’s a Digital one – but that’s OK  – in just 3 short months I will be getting my one year recovery coin.    If you would like your own digital chip, this is where I got mine: http://serenityfound.org/chips/chips.html

We need to have fun in recovery – we need to learn to laugh at ourselves.  I have learned to laugh and have fun – meetings don’t always have to be about sad or bad things.  I think that new comers need to hear about the good things too.  Offers them hope that they will laugh again one day.  Nothing will be posted with the intention to offend – even though that is a risk that I take with every post.  Some people may not like what I have to say, but that’s their choice.  I have a few funny things to post and then maybe do some exploring into what happens when someone has a relapse.

If you would like to post how long you have been in recovery for, your sobriety birthday, or just share words of hope for others – please feel free to do so in the comment box and as always:

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

 

Daydreaming…

I had a daydream or vision – what ever you want you want to call it – it was almost scary real.  After I kinda snapped back to the real world it felt almost more like a memory vs a dream.  I was watching Julie and Julia waiting for my husband to get home from his meeting last night when I kinda zoned out.  I was still watching the movie in my dream, but we had a daughter who was playing on the floor – she came over to me and crawled up in my lap.  She said to me in the softest little voice, “Mommy, I am adopted right?” Taken back a little bit I held her tight and said “Mommy and Daddy adopted you because we love you so much!”  Then she looked me right in the eye and asked, “Why didn’t my birth parents love me?”

Oh Crap!  Now what do I say – “They were sick honey, they did the best they could with what they had but they just couldn’t take care of you as well as they needed to.”  She still looked a bit sad so I went one a bit more, “Daddy and I got a call that a sweet little girl needed to be loved and cared for and we had a lot of give.  So they brought you here to live with us so we could be your parents.”  She looked a little bit better.  Then she said a few things that shocked me, “If they pray, God will remove their short comings for next time”

“Baby Girl, do you listen to Mommy and Daddy when we Read the steps?”  She shook her head yes then asked me when she could go with us to our meetings.  I told her I would look into it and it was time to brush her teeth and start getting ready for bed.  “I can’t go to bed till Daddy gets home!”  “Ok, Ok – Let’s start getting ready so when he gets home you are good to go.”

With that I kinda came to and my Hubby was just getting home – That was the most realistic dream I have ever had involving our one day adopted daughter.  And pretty much the first dream I have had about AA or Al-anon.

Open Letter from the Alcoholic, from the pamphlet: Three Views of Al-Anon (P15)

 

I am an alcoholic. I need your help.

Don’t lecture, blame or scold me. You wouldn’t be angry with me for having cancer or diabetes. Alcoholism is a disease, too.
Don’t pour out my liquor; it’s just a waste because I can always find ways of getting more.
Don’t let me provoke your anger. If you attack me verbally or physically, you will only confirm my bad opinion about myself. I hate myself enough already.
Don’t let your love and anxiety for me lead you into doing what I ought to do for myself. If you assume my responsibilities, you make my failure to assume them permanent. My sense of guilt will be increased, and you will feel resentful.
Don’t accept my promises. I’ll promise anything to get off the hook. But the nature of my illness prevents me from keeping my promises, even though I mean them at the time.
Don’t make empty threats. Once you have made a decision, stick to it.
Don’t believe everything I tell you; it may be a lie. Denial of reality is a symptom of my illness. Moreover, I’m likely to lose respect for those I can fool too easily.
Don’t let me take advantage of you or exploit you in any way. Love cannot exist for long without the dimension of justice.
Don’t cover up for me or try in any way to spare me the consequences of my drinking. Don’t lie for me, pay my bills, or meet my obligations. It may avert or reduce the very crisis that would prompt me to seek help. I can continue to deny that I have a drinking problem as long as you provide an automatic escape for the consequences of my drinking.
Above all, do learn all you can about alcoholism and your role in relation to me. Go to open AA meetings when you can. Attend Al-Anon meetings regularly, read the literature and keep in touch with Al-Anon members. They’re the people who can help you see the whole situation clearly.

I love you.
Your Alcoholic

what about Lois…

Cover of "My Name Is Bill W"

When Love Is Not Enough: The Lois Wilson Story Cover of My Name Is Bill W

We watched the movie My name is Bill W. Staring James Woods from 1989.  It made me ask the question, When did Lois start Al-Anon.  How was it started, did she have help?  They made a Movie a few years go, When Love Is Not Enough: The Lois Wilson Story.  I have not been able to find it on netflix so will just have to order the movie and get the Bill W one for my Husband.

I did some reaserch on Al-Anon and here is a little bit of what I found.

Al-Anon was formed in 1951 by Anne B. and Lois W., wife of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) co-founder Bill W. They recognized the need for such an organization as family members living with AA members began to identify their own pathologies associated with their family members’ alcoholism. In the USA, Al-Anon Family Groups incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization called Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc.  Alateen took its own name and formation in 1957.

After a while I began to wonder why I was not as happy as I ought to be, since the one thing I had been yearning for all my married life [Bill’s sobriety] had come to pass. Then one Sunday, Bill asked me if I was ready to go to the meeting with him. To my own astonishment as well as his, I burst forth with “Damn your old meetings!” and threw a shoe as hard as I could. This surprising display of temper over nothing pulled me up short and made me start to analyze my own attitudes. … My life’s purpose of sobering up Bill, which had made me feel desperately needed, had vanished. … I decided to strive for my own spiritual growth. I used the same principles as he did to learn how to change my attitudes. … We began to learn that … the partner of the alcoholic also needed to live by a spiritual program. – “Lois’s Story” in How Al-Anon Works

 

I will have to do some more research into Lois – I love learning about history and how things were started.  I love watching those TV shows that show you how they make things, or how something was invented.  It amazes me.  as I learn more about her I will share with you.

 

If you have not seen My Name is Bill w – I highly recommend it.

Also there is a new Bill W movie out, for Those people who live in Arizona.  In Tucson there are showing the movie starting this Friday at the Loft. 

Visit the official movie website

I had never panicked before in the presence of alcohol … then I remembered that in trying to help other people it had helped me too. And for the first time I … said, “Geez, you need another alcoholic to talk to. You need a guy like that just as much as he needs you.” Then came a very strange chain of circumstances …

~ Bill Wilson

 

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