Tag Archive: Alanon


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?

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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!!

 

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. 

 

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

 

12_steps_of_aa-080131a

12_steps_of_aa-080131a (Photo credit: beachblogger42)

So tonight we traveled to another town and went to a  speaker AA meeting that we had been invited to attend.  It was a meeting to celebrate the 41st anniversary(also knows as a birthday) of the sweetest lady I have ever met.  It was nice to hear the story of how she came to be an AA.  I say an AA now after hearing a member of that meeting speak.  It was almost as if my Higher power had sent me to this very meeting to answer a question I had on this very day.

As I was getting ready to make the 22 mile drive tonight with my husband, I thought about how I would introduce myself.  Am I in Al-Anon or am I an Al-Anon.  Well, wouldn’t you know that a man at this very meeting would talk about just that.  Is it in AA or an AA.  He said that he felt that if you wanted AA only in your head – then you were just in AA and not fully in it for your recovery.  If the recovery was in your heart, then you were an AA.  So I was feeling the same way then.  To me I am an Al-Anon and not just in Al-Anon.

But I digress, Hearing how this couple had been together and both of them AA for 41 years now – it was beyond words.  To hear of people speak of them in the kindest of love, how their home and hearts are always open, how even after all these years – they walk to and from the meetings hand in hand.  It brought tears to my eyes.

Holding that chip that said 41 in roman numerals on the front had such a power to it.  As that coin made it around the room, each member touching it, holding it and each one adding thoughts of hope and prayers for one day being there them selves.  It really made me feel this blessed sensation.  Once I heard the respective years of sobriety starting to be expressed from each member – the numbers rolled around in my head.  There were hundreds of years in the very room.

Hearing the serenity pray being said by that many gave me the chills.  Then after the meeting when we all stood and held hands, you could just feel the love for one another come pouring through each set of hands.  And then we said the lords prayer, it sounded unlike any lords prayer I had ever taken part in.  No one was somber, no one was standing there cause they felt they had to.  We thanked our God, As we understood him, and all the voices in that room sounded calm, clear and proud.  It made me proud just to be standing there with them.

AA meeting sign

AA meeting sign (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The community that I have found myself in now is heart warming.  These folks welcome you with open minds and hearts – and almost always open arms.  I am a hugger through and through – and is a good thing I am because withing the walls of AA and Al-Anon you will get all the hugs you want.

 

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

 

 

Four horsemen…

Four Horsemen (American football)

Four Horsemen (American football) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

BB p.151, A Vision For You:   Momentarily we did — then would come oblivion and the awful awakening to face the hideous Four Horsemen — Terror, Bewilderment, Frustration, Despair.

I have felt all of these, the four horsemen followed me around for a long time.  They would take turns trying to tear me to my knees.  I get a lot out of the AA big book as I do my Al-Anon daily reader.  If you have yet to read the To the Wives chapter, I highly recommend it.  I need to re-red it myself now that my head is ready to wrap its self around being in recovery.  I was not ready to embrace the concept of being in the desperate need of recovery myself.

I try to read items from both my Al-Anon books and my husbands AA book.  Going to the AA meetings and reading the big book has helped me understand who I am dealing with.  Just because he is sober doesn’t mean he doesn’t still have some of the same thoughts and feelings.  But what is changed is how we both react to those thoughts and feelings.  I can not change him in any way, what I can change is how I react to them.  I can only control myself, that is a full-time job as it is so I should not even dare to try to take on controlling someone else.  I think that is what happened, I tried to control so many other things that I had no choice but to give up the control that I had over myself.

Frustration still haunts me, I still have an issue with that one.  I get frustrated over things, but I try not to let it over take me.  If it is a valid frustration then I need to approach the matter with a calm head.  If it is something that is out of my control then I need to let go of the frustration, cause it is only effecting me at that point.  I need to stay calm and ask the person to stop doing something, or ask them to help me if that what I need.  People are not mind readers.

Cover of "Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story...

Cover via Amazon

 

Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

I am very sorry about how tardy I am in getting this post done, but I have been very ill for the past week.  I have had to miss almost a week of work and have been working from home.

This step scares me, I am not sure even where to start.  I want to get the book “blue print for progress”  I think it will be better for me to have a guide vs staring at a blank piece of paper.  I do that almost every morning when I start to write these posts, but its a little different.  It’s hard for me to explain.  Moral inventory, that involves diving deep within myself and exposing all the bad with the good  I was told that every time you do set 4 it’s like peeling an onion, you go a little deeper each time.  Remember these steps are not just a one time deal.  They are something I will be working on for the rest of my life.  I have yet to find a AA or AL-Anon book with the 12 steps page either torn out or with perforations.  It’s not something that you just run through once and your are good to go.

I know someone who has been working on their step 4 for almost a year now.  There is no time limit, there is not rules as to what you have to put down.  It’s all on how far you can go at this time.  I was told that each time I go through the book “blue print for progress” write it in the book in pencil or write it on other paper, but date it so when you do the step again you can re-read the other stuff you wrote and see how much you have grown.

 

Tonight at our meetings, my hubby gets his 9 month coin.  I am thinking about not going to Al-Anon tonight and going into his AA meeting.  I was also thinking about maybe getting some cookies or a cake to take in – but that might have to wait till his one year – I will be bringing in a cake for that night for sure!!  I am very proud of how far we have come.  He has made a lot of changes.  There are things that are still hard, but we will both always be in recovery.  This is something we will both have the rest of our lives.  I was co-dependent and thought I had to give up my spine.  But I have learned how not to feed off of the negative and how to thrive as a strong women.

Can I live without him? Yes, where as before I thought I could not.  The key thing now is, I know I CAN do it, but I would rather not.  I would rather have him in my left and share with me all the ups and downs than to be without him.  I know I can do it now, so what is keeping me with him is love not fear.  We both know that now and it has helped.  He has told many people, even so I can hear it that he knows he can not bowl me over.  He said I fond my spine within the walls of Al-Anon and he is happy I did.  I had a very overbearing moth growing up, it was her way of the high way, nothing wrong with that, but it made me a little more timid about standing up.

I still have an issue with it sometimes, but I have been able to walk away from something, but go back and say “Hey, that was not nice.”  I have learned that not every comment needs a response, so I can keep my mouth shut when it’s not needed.  (Most of the time)  Has life been hard, you bet!  Has it been hard on us having to pay for all of his court stuff, you bet!  But we would have been in the same boat paying for his drinking too.  Do I wish we had more money, hell yes!  But I also want health more.  Everyday I wake up and have another healthy day, another day on this earth, another day to share with the love of my life and grow and learn together – well I am blessed for everyday I get.  I am just trying to get through one day at a time, cause well how can I fix tomorrow when today is still a mess.  All I can do is right at this very moment.  I can not change the outcome of things.  I can not control everything.

I used to have to feel like I had control over it all, but guess what – I don’t!  I need to work on my letting go and letting god still.  There are somethings I still have an issue with on letting go of.  I need to step back and re-look at everything.

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