Tag Archive: Support Groups


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.

 

 

H.A.L.T…..

 

H – Hungry

A – Angry

L – Lonely

T – Tired

Being too hungry, angry, lonely, or tired, are conditions that leave us more vulnerable to the temptations that lead us away from our program of dual recovery. Part of recovery is learning to pay attention to these inner signals and practice appropriate ways to meet our needs and resolve issues in a manner that will enhance our abstinence and serenity.

Why am I so upset?  Why did I say that?  Why did I do that? Whats wrong with me? 

What I should be asking myself is “halt?”  Am I Hungry?  Am I Angry?  Am I Lonely?  Am I Tired?  If I said yes to any of these than what comes out of my mouth may not be the nicest statement.  I might hurt someone with my harsh words, I might hurt myself by letting someone belittle my own feelings, I might let all that bad stuff in because I forgot to take care of my self.  I have to take care of me.  I can not be of any help to anyone, especially myself if I have not taken care of me.

Next few posts will be more on remembering to take care of ourselves first.

 

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

 

Weclome to May…

The 5th step::

Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

This goes along with the 4th step.  I have not done my 4th step, but I have done the 5th step in little bits here and there. Admitting to the crazy bad stuff I was doing but justifying it cause of what he was doing.  I was bat shit crazy and that’s all there is to it.  Even if the words never left my head – just the pure craziness that was going around in my head was sickening.  And it wasn’t just thoughts towards my alcoholic, it was for everyone.  Anyone that upset me or angered me would feel my wrath – but only in my mind.

(deep sigh) so – as I look through the list of questions for my fourth step I can see that there are still things in my head – thoughts and feelings – that could still cause some issues.  As my husband says – it’s about progress not perfection.  We will never be perfect, but as long as we are still making progress than we are doing just fine.

Admitting to Gos is not that hard, he was there and saw the hole thing my friend. Admitting to myself – OK, I can do that…I know what I did was wrong even while I was doing it.  But I justified it.  Admitting to another human being, ooh boy.  Now this is that harder part.  You have to be able to trust this person so that you can truly get it all off your chest.

This is going to be a slow going process.  I like to think of myself as an onion and I will have to pull the layers back a bit at a time.  This is not a race – there is no timer or buzzer.  I can take the steps as they come, but I do know that in order to do the 5th step I have to do my 4th step.

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

as we understood him…

“When, therefore, we speak to you of God, we mean your own conception of God. This applies, too, to other spiritual

AA Big Book

AA Big Book (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

expressions which you find in this book. Do not let any prejudice you may have against spiritual terms deter you from honestly asking yourself what they mean to you. At the start, this was all we needed to commence spiritual growth, to effect our first conscious relation with God as we understood Him. Afterward, we found ourselves accepting many things which then seemed entirely out of reach. That was growth, but if we wished to grow we had to begin somewhere. So we used our own conception, however limited it was. We needed to ask ourselves but one short question. ‘Do I now believe, or am I willing to believe, that there is a Power greater than myself?’ As soon as a man can say that he does believe, or is willing to believe, we emphatically assure him that he is on his way. It has been repeatedly proven among us that upon this simple cornerstone a wonderfully effective spiritual structure can be built.* (please be sure to read “Spiritual Experience”)” (p47 The Anonymous Press Mini Edition of Alcoholics Anonymous

Codependency – Part 2

This is a 5 part Post on Co-dependency.

self-esteem, groups and hate

self-esteem, groups and hate (Photo credit: Will Lion)

Part 2 of 5

Low self-esteem patterns:

  • I have difficulty making decisions.
  • I judge everything I think, say or do harshly, as never “good enough.”
  • I am embarrassed to receive recognition and praise or gifts.
  • I do not ask others to meet my needs or desires.
  • I value others’ approval of my thinking, feelings and behavior over my own.
  • I do not perceive myself as a lovable or worthwhile person.
  • I constantly seek recognition that I think I deserve.
  • I am jealous of the relationships between others I would like to have as my own.
  • I have difficulty admitting that I made a mistake.
  • I need to appear to be right in the eyes of others and will even lie to look good.
  • I perceive myself as superior to others.
  • I look to others to provide my sense of safety.
  • I have difficulty getting started, meeting deadlines, and completing projects.
  • I have trouble setting healthy priorities.

I used to have a big issue with making decisions about the smallest things – where to go eat – what to eat after we go there – what movie to go see – what to wear – what to buy.  It was horrible to live that way.  Or I would make a decision too quickly and then regret it later.  I would buy something and then freak out about it, even if it was just a few bucks.  I even did that for items that were needed.  I always needed to pat on the back for things I did and when I did get it I would not know what to do with myself.  I also would go into this “are they really happy with what I did or are they just saying it to make me happy?”  But truth was, I was never happy – even when I got the approval I was looking for.

I would make things sound like a much bigger deal than they were just to get someone to look at me differently.  I felt like if I didn’t have an interesting story then no one would want to talk to me.  Not realizing that the real me was just as interesting as anyone else.  The problem was that even I didn’t know the real me to be able to talk about her.  I am just getting to know the real me all over again, and you know what I found?  I like the real me, she is a pretty cool chip in her own right.  I am just going to stick to being me from now on, life seems so much better when I have the real me on my side.

To be continued…

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

my guiding light…

Sponsor – wow, I have been thinking about this more and more.  Who, where, how, when?  Who should I ask? Where should I ask her? How do I even ask her? When is a good time?  I have a few Ladies in mind from my home group.  One is much older and has been in program for a very long time.  One is a bit older and has been in program for quite a while.  The other one is closer to my age and has been in for a few years – she is also in a similar field of work that I am.

The last one I mentioned was a new comer into my list of possible sponsors, it just came to my mind in the meeting before last.  *sigh* this is very hard for me, I am not sure why.  Oh wait, it’s called a fear of rejection.  I have had this all of my life.  I even asked a boy out at one point, and he said he would think about it.  I asked him when it was just the two of us, well later while he was around all his friends he made it a point to very loudly explain that there was no way in hell that he would ever date someone like me.  Kids can be so mean.  I never really went for anything on my own after that.  My parents were always shooting down what I asked for as well, so why bother wanting anything.

It was not until I met my hubby that I started to get up the courage to ask for things again.  I pursued him!  Even in my marriage I am usually shot down on my ideas, so I just stopped.  Do I still have dreams yes, do I tell people about them, not really.  I wanted to do so many thing in my life but was always told the reasons why I shouldn’t.  Then I got the guts up to go for the Tech support job at my work, and wow wouldn’t ya know I got it!  They have been the best four years of my working experience.  Had I gone for some of the other jobs I had been thinking about this one might not have been available to me so i am glad it worked out the way it did.  And I guess everything happens for a reason, I just sometimes wish it didn’t come with such negative reinforcements.

When bad things happen I have to remember its cause I was not on the path I should be.  I would love to have someone who has been in program and who has worked the step help me walk not so blindly into this sometimes scary new experience.  I had hopped that my husband would have had a sponsor as well, but I can not wait for him to do everything first, I have to do my recovery pan for me.  Cause its my recover plan so i have to work it for me.  i am not here for the alcoholic but because of the alcoholism.  I am here to fix me, I am here to get me better, I am here to make sure tat I can go through life with the tools I need to carry on.

I love my new-found life with my husband, I love that our recovery plans have brought us to this spot where we can talk to one another again.  I feel that to go further in the program, that i need to get a sponsor.  I hear people talk about how they call their sponsor everyday at a specific time, or every other day or they meet up and get coffee…..I would like that.  I would like someone to hold me responsible in my recovery to.  I would like someone to share my milestones with who has been there and understands the struggles.  I hope to one day be able to offer that to someone too.  I have to get through my steps before I can think of that.  I have to live it one day at a time – one step at a time.

so – all I can do is pray about it and ask my higher power to please help me choose a sponsor who will be right for me.

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

Approval vs Validation

The other day I had a conversation about Approval vs Validation.
ap·prov·al [uh-proo-vuhl] noun
1. the act of approving;  approbation.
2. formal permission or sanction.
val·i·date[val-i-deyt] verb, -dat·ed, -dat·ing.

1.to make valid;  substantiate; confirm: Time validated our suspicions.
2.to give legal force to; legalize.
3.to give official sanction, confirmation, or approval to, as elected officials, election procedures, documents, etc.: to validate a passport.
To me approval is something you seek out and validation is something someone gives you.  It’s OK to want the validation, I think that is healthy.  But always seeking approval to my is where the trouble lies.  Trust me when I say that I was one who always looked for approval.  Maybe it’s because I never felt like I did good enough while I was growing up.   They would always make a big deal out of the stuff my younger sister did, even though I felt that what she did was just part of being a kid.  But in a way – them doing that made me be able to self validate a bit more.  I do still find myself seeking that validation and approval.
I will ask my husband if he liked what I made for dinner, or asking if what I have on looks OK.  But when he comes out of the blue and gives me a complement it means much more than after I have asked him about it.  I was also told that if you feel that you absolutely need the validation, like it is just something that you need to have – then ask for it.  Every once in a while we need to be told that we are loved and that we are special.  The other person who you are seeking it from may not know that is something that you need.
Also remember though that the one person who we want the validation from the most – might either not be able to give it to us or might not know how – or simply care not to.  But the best person to get validation from, is our selves.  “Why should I bother to clean the bath room, he will never say thing about it.”  Well clean it because you live there and it makes you happy.  “Why make a healthy dinner when they will just complain about it?”  Cause it whats you want to eat and it’s good for you.

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

To thine own self be true…

To thine own self be true…
I didn’t understand how I could have let myself get so good at telling lies that I started to believe them myself.  And if I couldn’t even be true to myself, then who could I be true to?  I told myself that he didn’t have a drinking problem.  I told myself that this was how my life was just going to be and there was nothing I could do.  I told myself many times that I was happy and that everything was ok.  I also told myself that it was all his fault and there was no way any of this was cause of me.  Well remember that snow ball thing, I did this cause he did that and he did that more cause I did this.  It’s not healthy and it doesn’t make anyone happy.  So why did I do it?  Its part of the alcoholism and part of my co-dependency.

hon·es·ty

noun, plural -ties.

1.the quality or fact of being honest;  uprightness and fairness.
2.truthfulness, sincerity, or frankness.
3.freedom from deceit or fraud.

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

Welcome to Febuary and to Step 2…

Step 2 –  Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity

Hubby said to him the “came to” in this step means he woke up, I agree.  I was in a dream state – a surreal nightmare that had become my life.  I was aboard this crazy train that was on the war path to a bridge that was out.  I was bound to hit rock bottom and there was not conductor directing the train.  I had been the conductor of my crazy train for a while, then when my sorrow and depression reached its peak I just gave up.  I let go of the wheel and locked the door.  No one could get to the wheel and I was headed out of control.  While sitting in the AA meeting for hubby’s 6 month chip, I saw the red light flashing saying that I was going to crash but chose to ignore it.  About halfway through that meeting it hit me, unlock the door so that my higher power can get me on the right track before I crash and burn!  Once I did that the alarms went off and the flashing red light turned off, I had been saved from the bottomless pit of my self despair.

After reading that you might think that I have yet to get my sanity back, but that’s truly how I felt then.  I was lost, helpless, hopeless, alone, depressed, and desperate.  I felt like I could not to talk to anyone cause no one would understand me.  Anytime I tried to talk to my friends they would not see what I did, the act we had become so good at doing was too good at hiding the pain and trouble we had.  At the same time as soon as someone would voice concern I would come up with all kinds of excuses.  The lies were hard to keep up with, sometimes I would forget who was told what.  I hated to lie, made me feel sick inside, but I could not let on that things had gotten that bad.  I could not stand it if I started to get pity from people.

I had enough self-pity, I could not take it from others on top of it.  I always had what I felt was a good spiritual foundation, but my relationship with God was always fuzzy.  My parents allowed me to go to church with all my friends.  So I went to christen church youth nights, Mormon church dances and functions.  I had friends who were Wiccan, pagan, atheist and what I feel that I am – agnostic.  When I say I am agnostic it doesn’t mean that I don’t believe in God, I don’t believe in one religion over another.  I like some parts from each one, but too many have thing I do not believe in for me to set myself to a commitment to just one.  In a way I feel like a part of all of them, so that is me.  I do not belong to one group or one belief.  The only belief that I have is that of sobriety and serenity, Faith and my higher power.

I talk to my higher power a lot, mostly in the car.  That seems to be when I need the most help!  My higher power is not always God, most of the time it is and he is the under laying faith in every part of my life now.  But sometime when I talk to my higher power I thing of my grandfather or someone who has passed on but still watches over me.  Remember, higher power is God as You understand him.  So that is the way that I understand my higher power.

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

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