Tag Archive: Support group


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!!

 

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

 

My 4th step progress.

Writing a fearless and moral inventory of one’s self is a big step.  After a long busy day at work, a migraine and a rain storm I drove home in – writing about everything I have done or do is cleansing yet exhausting at the same time.  This is a much needed step, and I feel much better already.  Even though I have merely scratched the surface.  Thanks to a hand cramp, becoming sore from sitting in an odd position and pure exhaustion, I have done all i care to do for the rest of the night of my step 4.

It’s not a race and its all on my time, so I don’t feel bad about how far I still have to go.  I am proud of how far I have come thus far with this step.  If I dwell on the negative all the time, the good things in life don’t get their time to shine.  Negative soil will never grow positive things.  So i will be putting positive thoughts into my days and into my feelings.

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

*Written on my android wordpress app*

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.

Wow March already!  I must apologize for being a day late with my welcome to the new month post.  I was quite ill yesterday with a migraine, I try to get a post in even through the pain,

ghost god (pike and 12th)

but I just could not muster the energy.  I just could not put out a post just for the sake of a post that had not heart or feeling in it.  I only put up posts that have my heart and feelings in them, cause well that is the point here.  I just don’t post to post.  Anyways – let’s get on to the matter at hand, step 3!

Step 3: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

OK, God as we understood him.  This is how you see your god, your higher power – for it says as we understood him.  Some people pray to nature, some people pray to the sandals, robe and long hair god, some pray to the ancient roman gods – who ever it is, what ever form they take in our mind – you must be willing to trust them.  You must be willing to hand things over and for most, including myself, this can be easier said than done.  As I have said before, things that are worth doing, things that are the right thing to do, things that we know better about all along – they are never easy.  If it were easy we might not be where we are right now, I know that’s what I did.  I took the path of disrepair and  negativity cause it was easier to give up than fight.   It was easier to hold on to my anger and resentment.  It gave me an excuse to feel like crap.  I gave myself permission to accept all the bad stuff in my life and blame others.  Was his drinking my fault, no.  Was the way I let it into my head my fault, yes.  I am not here to fix my addict, I am here because of him.  Am I here to learn how to fix him, no.  I am here to learn the tools needed to carry on my life that has been effected by alcohol. God, the Father watches us all everywhere.

I had to first admit to the problem at hand, I then had to believe that I could be restored, now I have to believe that I can not to this without help.  Lord knows sitting at home alone with my negative thoughts and actions got me no where for over 5 years, I can give this a try!  I have to tell myself all the time to let go, but as much as I try – I still hold on to the smallest of thread holding that problem to me.

After my meeting last night I was talking to a new comer to our group who is having a hard time, I gave her a bunch of hugs and a few words of comfort.  I told  her that I was where she is right now all but a few months back.  I passed on the Lego that I had been given my first night in Al-Anon.  It came with a story talking o letting go and using the Lego to help to remember to do so.  I thought that she might get some use from it as I had when I first found the program.

Lego bricks

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

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