Tag Archive: Twelve-step program


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

Step 4:

Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

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

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

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The little sticker I found

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

 

 

A look at Causes of Relapse…

Causes of Relapse (as offered in AA meetings)
1. Failure to go to AA meetings.
2. Failure to take the 12 steps.
3. Involvement in an emotional relationship.
4. Association with the old crowd.
5. Failure to get a sponsor.
6. Failure to read the Big Book.
7. Desire to achieve oblivion.
8. They didn’t “want it” badly enough.
9. Etc.

I never really drank so I can not relate to all things that an alcoholic is going through.  But I do have an addiction to nicotine.  So I understand how relapsing can make you feel like a failure.  You want to blame others, blame things, blame situations.  We come up with all kinds of reasons as to why it happened to make it OK in our minds that we slipped up.

Here is a distillation of Big Book causes of relapse:
Causes of RELAPSE (according to the Big Book)
Count:
7….a. Failure to grow spiritually.
4….b. Fighting with or harming others.
3….C. Failure to work with other alcoholics.
2….d. Failure to take step 5.
2….e. Attempt to shield from alcohol.
2….f. Failure to make amends.
l….g. Selfishness.
l….h. Resentment.

~ I too can have a relapse back into my old ways.  I could go right back to letting my life be ruled by someone else.  I could go back to being sad, hateful, angry, lonely, with-out faith, with-out hope.  It is always there, ready to pounce.  I have to be active in my thoughts and retain my faith and turn things over to my higher power.  If I take my anger and turn it over – there will not be any negative soil for those nasty things to grow in.

~ I too can relapse back into the craziness that was my life for about 6 years.  Not knowing who I was going to get walking in the door when my husband got home.  I had no idea when he was going to be home and if he was already going to have some beers in him.  I had no way of knowing when he left work, where he stopped on his way home, if he was dead or alive.  I worried about him and feared him at the same time.

~ I don’t want to go back to that way of thinking.  It is getting better day by day.  A little bit at a time I am able to let go of those feelings.  It’s not that they might ever really go away – but it’s what I do with those thoughts and feelings that matters now.  I have to tell myself that I can control it, change it or cause it.

All I can do is pray and turn it over.  Everyone will have to face themselves in the mirror and that is the person who you have to deal with.  That person staring back at you from that shiny piece of glass.  Those eyes that show all your inner most feelings – can you look yourself in the eye?  I know that when I wake up in the morning  – I can do that.  I can face myself knowing that I have done the best that I can and that I am the only person who is truly responsible for my happiness.  I am still working on my 4th step, so I can be ready to move on to the rest – one step at a time.  Is it easy – NO.  But the right thing may not always be the easy thing.  Sometimes the right thing to do is the hardest thing you will ever have to do so far.  One step – one day – one moment – one second – at a time.

 

These are not intended to offend anyone – some might get a chuckle, some might see where they have gone off the path of serenity and onto the path of self-destruction.
Twelve Steps of a Relapse

1. I decided I could handle any emotional problems if other people would just quit trying to run my life.

2. I firmly believe that there is no greater power than myself and anyone who says differently is insane.

3. I made a decision to remove my will and my life from God, who didn’t understand me anyway.

4. I made a searching and thorough moral inventory of everyone I know, so they couldn’t fool me and take advantage of my good nature.

5. I sought these people out and tried to get them to admit to me, by God, the exact nature of their wrongs.

6. I became willing to help these people get rid of their defects of character.

7. I was humble enough to ask these people to remove their shortcomings.

8. I kept a list of all the people who had harmed me, and waited patiently for a chance to get even.

9. I got even with these people whenever possible except when to do so would get me into trouble.

10. I continue to take everyone’s inventory and when they are wrong, which is most of the time, I promptly make them admit it.

11. Sought through the concentration of my willpower to get God, who didn’t understand me anyhow, to see that my desires were best, and He ought to give me the power to carry them out.

12. Having maintained my emotional problems with these steps, I can thoroughly recommend them to others who don’t want to lose their hard-earned status, but wish to be left alone to practice neurosis in everything they do for the rest of their days.

 

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!

 

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*

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.

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.

 

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

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