ODAT February 11, 2017 ~ Freedom ~

One Day At A Time

REEDOM

“Always be a first-rate version of yourself,
instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.”
Judy Garland

As far back as I can remember I always wanted to be like — or act like — someone else. I never allowed myself the freedom to be me. I was my parents’ child, my husband’s wife, and my children’s mother. It wasn’t until I came into program wearing all of my identities on my body — 150 pounds’ worth — that I was able to see how unhappy I really was.

I began my journey to recovery by slowly discovering the real me underneath all that extra weight. Working the Twelve Steps of recovery helped me to peel away the layers of fear that kept me stuck.


One Day at a Time . . .
I am free to be me ~
And I am enough.
~ Eileen

Alleged Insight:

“Always be yourself, everybody else is already taken.”  I was going to put the source of the quote, but in going to look it up I can’t find a definitive point.  Oscar Wilde is the most oft referenced, but there is no hard point of proof.

Who are you when I’m not looking, it’s a country song.  It’s also one hell of a powerful thought, but it can be twinned by the line, who am I when you’re not looking.

As children, we are often defined by our parents and their dreams for us.  As young adults we can often be seen rebelling against those same standards, or not, in defining who we actually are in our own right.  If our childhood was troubled however, then our templates are fucked and we need to throw them out and start fresh with some generic templates.

Did you throw yours out?  I sure as hell didn’t.  I tried my hardest to fit into the templates handed to me by my father.  I didn’t fit.  It took me a failed marriage, a pair of suicide attempts and a wake up call at the end of a running away bender to realize what was going on. I was still living somebody else’s life.

So I stopped.  That drifting period was the hardest part of my life.  It took me until last year to come to terms with most of it and catharticly burn the five detailed journals of that time of my life.  While it may have been academically interesting at some point in the future, I really never want my boys to find and read that during their own troubled years, I would rather talk to them in person about what’s happening. Just have to become the person they feel safe calling to do the talking to.  I’m working on that.

Oh my, I seem to have wandered off topic, the lead was freedom.  Ostensibly the freedom to be yourself, and that is the ultimate goal of self-recovery/self-discovery, to become more fully realized as ourselves.  One day at a time, pushing ever forward out of our protective habits formed in those times of trial, and becoming more fully realized as completely and totally our own self free from persecution.

I think I’ll leave off, this is feeling disjointed enough right now.  Cheers, and I’ve got to get back to work.

 

 

Cheers and DFTBA.

Duke of Chaos

Footnote:
Standard Disclaimer: the text-reminder-and quote- herein comes from the book or website as noted at this link HERE. If you want to verify, look up your local AA or Al-Anon group.
But seriously, the work works if you work it. I’m doing this for me, for my wife, for our family and for our future.
By posting this material each day, I hope to hold the ideals in my awareness, and start with the small steps that make a big journey. ODAT is the slogan, and with God as my wing-man there’s a fair chance of surviving this adventure, for a while anyhow.
I am merely a tool in God’s toolbox.
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ODAT December 12, 2016 ~ The Past ~

the-past-cannot-be-changed

One Day At A Time

THE PAST
“Even God cannot change the past.”
Agathon (ca. 448–400 BC)
(Athenian tragic poet and friend of Euripides and Plato, ancient Greek poet)

Each day of recovery, I ask my Higher Power to help me stay focused on today. Although there are things I would like to change about the past, I know that it is not possible. I’ve let myself fall into traps, thinking “If only I had done…” or “If only I’d said…” When I think this way, I find myself wasting a lot of time and feeling bad. This doesn’t seem like healthy recovery thinking. If amends need to be made, then I make them. If not, then I let go of the past.

Worrying about the past is not productive. Regret will not fix anything. It will merely keep me from concentrating my efforts on where they belong … on the present moment.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will stay focused on what is going on around me and leave the past in the past.
Teresa S.

Alleged Insight:

Leaving the past in the past is an awesome idea. But!  Those who do not learn from the past, are doomed to repeat it.  << living this one on the Loop setting it seems.

There are a couple things that I have learned as personal truths, and it came from studying the past, not to repeat it, but to learn from it and grow (or at least try to grow).  First, regrets can often be summarized into to classes, either you can do something about it, (i.e. broken friendships, apologies and mended relationships) or you can’t, (i.e. I never got to tell my father I was proud of him  finishing highschool at the age of 50 after quitting drinking and cleaning up so very much of his life, because he died shortly and suddenly of very aggressive cancer just about right after these events) (yes, four months is a very short time to try to mend a life of broken feelings and relationship).

Huh, there’s more to that topic, but not for this blog I think.

So you can either do something about the regret, or not, but wasting time wallowing in regret is just self-serving.  If you want to make amends, however hard it may be, you can make the moves and make a difference.  I have faith in you.

Second, Guilt is not an end and a terminus.  Guilt is an indicator of something.  You feel guilt, much the same way you feel gratitude.  It is an indicator.  Guilty feelings should be able to point you in the right direction towards the resolution of your perceived wrongdoing actions.  And then we’re back to two choices this time.  You an choose to address the issue and you can acknowledge the situation and learn from it to grow, or you can ignore the issue and just get on with life, continuing to feel guilty.

See what I did there.  Guilt is not from a definitive statement of wrongdoing, that part is irrelevant to all but the interested parties. Guilt is from your perceptions.  You feel you did something wrong, true or not.  I feel guilty all the time for things I feel I did wrong to another, when in fact those actions may or may not have ever happened, and the actual real world truth is not anything like clear.

But to come back to the point of the post, The past is our most valuable teacher, if we’re willing to learn.  Regret or Guilt are just road signs, saying, ‘here is something you need to look at!’ and then we can take the clues or not.

But no matter how bad the past, we can never go back and change it.  The only thing we can do is leave the past where it lies, learn the lessons offered, (or they will surely be repeated), and get on with not doing whatever we did wrong the first time, while working on ourselves for a better future by acting rightly in the present.  Good luck.  It’s going to be a long couple of weeks through Christmas here, so I’m praying for you.

Cheers and DFTBA

Duke of Chaos

Footnote:
Standard Disclaimer: the text-reminder-and quote- herein comes from the book or website as noted at this link HERE. If you want to verify, look up your local AA or Al-Anon group.
But seriously, the work works if you work it. I’m doing this for me, for my wife, for our family and for our future.
By posting this material each day, I hope to hold the ideals in my awareness, and start with the small steps that make a big journey. ODAT is the slogan, and with God as my wing-man there’s a fair chance of surviving this adventure, for a while anyhow.
I am merely a tool in God’s toolbox.

ODAT November 26, 2016 – Ok, Back to Basics

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Hi people,

Today’s a reset, I have no real idea where to go from the feelings I’m facing today, so here’s the very first thing at the beginning of Al-Anon’s program, the Twelve-Steps and Twelve-Traditions.  I am typing this out by hand because I need to, so this is NOT Copy and Paste…

Preamble to the Al-Anon Twelve Steps.

The Al-Anon Family Groups are a fellowship of relatives and friends of alcoholics who share their experience, strength, and hope in order to solve their common problems.  We believe alcoholism is a family illness and that changed attitudes can aid recovery.

Al-Anon is not allied with any sect, denomination, political entity, organization, or institution; does not engage in an controversy; neither endorses nor opposes any causes. There are no dues for membership.  Al-Anon is self-supporting through it’s own voluntary contributions.

Al-Anon has but one purpose: to help families of alcoholics. We do this by practicing the Twelve Steps, by welcoming and giving comfort to the families of alcoholics, and by giving understanding and encouragement to the alcoholic.

*reprinted with permission of Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc., Virginia Beach , VA.

Al-Anon Twelve-Steps:

1- We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had becoming unmanageable.

2- Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

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

4- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

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

6- Were entirely ready to have Hod remove all these defects of character.

7- Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings

8- Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

9- Made directly amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10- Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

11- Sought through prayer and medication to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only fo knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

12- Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to others, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

 

Al-Anon Twelve Traditions:

1- Our common welfare should come first; personal progress for the greatest number depends on unity.

2- For our group purpose there is but one authority – a loving God as he may express Himself in our groups conscience.  Our leaders are but trusted servants the do not govern.

3- The relatives of alcoholics, when gathered together for mutual aid, may call themselves an Al-Anon Family Group, provided that, as a group, they have no other affiliation.  The only requirement for membership is that there be a problem of alcoholism in a relative or friend.

4- Each group should be autonomous, except in matters affecting another group or Al-Anon or AA as a whole.

5- Each Al-Anon Family Group has but one purpose: to help families of alcoholics. WE do this by practicing the Twelve Steps of AA ourselves,, by encouraging and understanding our alcoholic relatives, and by welcoming and giving comfort to families of alcoholics.

6- Our Family groups out never endorse, finance, or lend our name to any outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property and prestige divert us from our primary spiritual aim.  Although a separate  entity, we should always co-operate with Alcoholics Anonymous.

7- Every group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.

8- Al-Anon Twelfth Step work should remain forever non-professional, but our service centers may employ special workers.

9- Our groups, as such, ought never to be organized, but we may create servie boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.

10- The Al-Anon Family Groups have no opinion on outside issues; hence our name ought never be drawn into public controversy.

11- Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, films, and TV.  We need guard with special care the anonymity of all AA members.

12- Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles above personalities.

© Al-Anon’s Twelve Traditions, copyright 1996 by Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc. Reprinted with permission of Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc

New Beginnings Day 91 – March 31, 2013 – Before Al-Anon

Each a new beginning – Day 91 – March 31, 2013 – Before Al-Anon

Quoted from Page # 91 in Hope For Today (Link Here)

Before Al-Anon I despised and feared God. I detested organized religion.  I believed if I didn’t give generously, I would pay horribly for not doing so.  I was convinced I was bad.  I magnified every reprimand and diminished every compliment.  I used to feel angry with God for making me so wrong, so misshapen, so shy, so sexually charged, and so fearful of the objects of my cravings. 

Then I came to Al-Anon.  I attended meetings, got a sponsor, read Conference Approved Literature, applied the Steps and Traditions, and volunteered for service positions. I took risks.  I shared my thoughts and feelings at meetings and in between. I found a Higher Power like nothing I had ever encountered in any organized religion despite everything promised by them.

I found I could express my anger to my Higher Power.   I know I cannot hurt Him or Her or It, and it’s a relief to scream my anger and pain into a sunset or at the starts. Trusting my Higher Power helps me not to obsess about outcomes and not to be bitterly disappointed when things don’t turn out my way. By turning things over to my Higher Power, I can let go of my attachments and feel more at peace with myself, my life and my world.

Thought for the Day

Whenever I go to an Al-Anon meeting, I place myself in an environment conducive to changing my attitudes.  In this way, my world is transformed.

Quote

“In the group we meet people like us who are coping with many of the same problems and finding creative solutions we had not considered or attitudes that make the similar situations in their lives more tolerable.”

 – – Paths to Recovery, p. 19

Alleged Insight:

Aaanndd now I’ve gotta brace the dragon.  God I hate confrontations.  Back in a few for the next post, and as always thanks for continuing to believe that we can live a better life by trying to do so.  Dan.

Vires quod Virtus , Patientia quod Pietas.

*Strength and Courage , Patience and Compassion* (the bold line is Latin, I’m odd that way).

Dan.

God Bless, and DFTBA

Standard Disclaimer: the text-reminder-and quote- herein comes from the book as noted at the top of this post. If you want to verify, look up your local AA or Al-Anon group.  
But seriously, the work works if you work it. I’m doing this for me, for my wife, for our family and for our future.
By posting this material each morning, I hope to hold the ideals in my awareness, and start with the small steps that make a big journey. ODAT is the slogan, and with God as my wing-man there’s a fair chance of surviving this adventure, for a while anyhow.

I am merely a tool in God’s toolbox.

New Beginnings Day 90 – March 30, 2013 – Intimacy and Risk

Each a new beginning – Day 90 – March 30, 2013 – Intimacy and Risk

Quoted from Page # 90 in Hope For Today (Link Here)

I developed a lot of confusion about relationships and intimacy while growing up in my alcoholic family. I yearned for closeness yet was terrified when I was in any sort of relationship.

My father wasn’t able to give me the experience of love and intimacy I needed.  I used to resent this until I came to Al-Anon.  Through working the steps and letting them work on me, I came to understand that my father didn’t give me the love i needed because he didn’t have it to vie.  He, too, struggled with intimacy.

Today I am learning how to have the ultimate close relationship – with myself.  Until I am intimate with myself and treat myself with compassion, kindness, trust, acceptance, and love, I can’t be the spouse, friend, son, or father I want to be.

Intimacy involves sharing my deepest fears and secrets while trusting  the other person will accept them.  This behavior feels risky to me. I grew up trusting no one, but I know if I keep doing what I’ve always done, I”ll get what I’ve always gotten. I want to change.

Thought for the Day

Sharing my intimate self in a safe Al-Anon environment is a risk I’m willing to take.

Quote

“. . . I learned to be intimate with, and accepting of, myself”

 – – How Al-Anon Works for Families & Friends of Alcoholics, p. 295

Alleged Insight:

Today started rough.  I’m behind the 8 ball and in the cross-hairs right now, please understand.  Thanks.  Dan.

Vires quod Virtus , Patientia quod Pietas.

*Strength and Courage , Patience and Compassion* (the bold line is Latin, I’m odd that way).

Dan.

God Bless, and DFTBA

Standard Disclaimer: the text-reminder-and quote- herein comes from the book as noted at the top of this post. If you want to verify, look up your local AA or Al-Anon group.  
But seriously, the work works if you work it. I’m doing this for me, for my wife, for our family and for our future.
By posting this material each morning, I hope to hold the ideals in my awareness, and start with the small steps that make a big journey. ODAT is the slogan, and with God as my wing-man there’s a fair chance of surviving this adventure, for a while anyhow.

I am merely a tool in God’s toolbox.

New Beginnings Day 89 – March 29, 2013 – Balancing

Each a new beginning – Day 89 – March 29, 2013 – Balancing

Quoted from Page # 89 in Hope For Today (Link Here)

I love the slogans. Particularly the ones that come in two parts, such as “Let Go and Let God.”  However, I struggle with working the second half of that one.  It is easy enough for me to concentrate only on the first part. When the alcoholic in  my life left our home, I found it simple enough to let go.  I let go of meetings, literature, and many of my Al-Anon contacts.  I also let go of my mental, physical, and spiritual health. The part of me still harboring resentment toward the alcoholic gave way to guilt for enjoying the fact that he was gone from my house.  I thought if I were free of the alcoholic, then I would be free of the disease.  In the process I lost my conscious contact with my Higher Power, I gained weight, stopped exercising, and lost interest in my home and family.  I started isolating, and I sank into a depression.

Finally things got so bad I went back to Al-Anon.  I realized  that I didn’t suffer only from symptoms of the alcoholic’s disease; I had my own disease too!  Just because he was gone didn’t mean I was going to miraculously get better.  Now I know the second part of the slogan, too.  “Let God” balances the first part and keeps me from proceeding with my own will.  For the letting go part to work, I keep God in my life by attending meetings, reading literature, calling other members, and doing service.  My Higher Power helps me when I help myself.

Thought for the Day

If I’m going to let it go, then I need to give it to a Power greater than myself.

Quote

“Those who simply turn their backs on their problems are not ‘letting go and letting God’ – they are abandoning their commitment to act on God’s inspiration and guidance.”

 – – One Day at a Time in Al-Anon, p. 163

Alleged Insight:

Big things in the works, and it’s Easter Weekend so I’m home to do them.  I’ll post pictures when I’m done (or at least more done than I am now), but in the interests of balancing life and recovery and family and everything, I have to get to work here rather than musing around in circles in front of the computer.  Thanks for understanding.

Vires quod Virtus , Patientia quod Pietas.

*Strength and Courage , Patience and Compassion* (the bold line is Latin, I’m odd that way).

Dan.

God Bless, and DFTBA

Standard Disclaimer: the text-reminder-and quote- herein comes from the book as noted at the top of this post. If you want to verify, look up your local AA or Al-Anon group.  
But seriously, the work works if you work it. I’m doing this for me, for my wife, for our family and for our future.
By posting this material each morning, I hope to hold the ideals in my awareness, and start with the small steps that make a big journey. ODAT is the slogan, and with God as my wing-man there’s a fair chance of surviving this adventure, for a while anyhow.

I am merely a tool in God’s toolbox.

New Beginnings Day 88 – March 28, 2013 – Steadfastness

Each a new beginning – Day 88 – March 28, 2013 – Steadfastness

Quoted from Page # 88 in Hope For Today (Link Here)

the greatest gift I’ve received from Al-Anon is the experience of feeling safe. So many elements provide me with the sense of protection I craved but never received form my alcoholic family.

Growing up with alcoholic parents, I felt as if we were all kids. When I came home from school, my mom would often be passed out on the couch. My dad would come home drunk, wake my mom up, and start fighting.   I usually took care of the house and made sure my younger brothers did their homework.  In a tiny corner of my heart always lurked the fear that something bad would happen.

Al-Anon has been such a different experience. Although I don’t have “parents” in Al-Anon, I receive so much one associates with them – consistency, structure, and steadfastness.  no matter where I attend a meeting, the comforting structure of the opening, sharing, and closing is the same.  When I feel afraid of making a wrong choice, I know Steps Eight and Nine will help me make amends and clean my slate. The Steps provide e with guidance, and the Traditions and Concepts of Service ensure that those Steps, as well as the other elements of the program, will not sway easily.  These Three Legacies stand strong for me to lean upon and count on.  Then there are the hugs and encouragement I get form other members.  They shower me with the acceptance and affection for which I’ve always yearned. Finally there’s that special connection between my sponsor and me, which provides me with the intimacy that feeds my soul.

Thought for the Day

Indeed, there is safety in numbers, especially when those numbers are at an Al-Anon meeting!

Quote

“After having suffered alone with the effects of this brutal disease, the Al-Anon fellowship is an unexpectedly rich and nourishing source of compassion and support.”

 – – How Al-Anon Works for Families & Friends of Alcoholics, p. 11

Alleged Insight:

So I searched Google for the word Steadfast, and the image at the top of this post came up in the middle of the first page.  How awesome is that?

What do you picture when you think of your parents?  Now take away the ‘human’ part of that picture, leaving only the impressions and the emotions?  I always thought of my parent’s as earthy and vibrant, unstoppable and omnipotent.  As I grew up, I realized what I was dealing with more accurately, the chaos, the insanity, and it all came down to strength without structure, power without purpose; a tree growing out of the side of the mountain face if you will.  It’s there, but any strong wind hits just the right way and it will come crashing down.

That’s what happened eventually after all.  It all came crashing down.  Now the seeds of that tree (their marriage and family) are struggling to find a good spot to germinate, trying to grow strong and true despite the turbulent past of their origins (mine and my brother’s that is). Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all bad, most of it was pretty good. There were times however. . .

We all need that steadfastness, consistency and  structure in our lives.  For me, it’s this community online with you, so that you for that.  I get far more encouragement in knowing there are others out there like me than I ever would from attending the local meeting of 60+ year old ladies in the Al-Anon chapter.  Thank you.

Vires quod Virtus , Patientia quod Pietas.

*Strength and Courage , Patience and Compassion* (the bold line is Latin, I’m odd that way).

Dan.

God Bless, and DFTBA

Standard Disclaimer: the text-reminder-and quote- herein comes from the book as noted at the top of this post. If you want to verify, look up your local AA or Al-Anon group.  
But seriously, the work works if you work it. I’m doing this for me, for my wife, for our family and for our future.
By posting this material each morning, I hope to hold the ideals in my awareness, and start with the small steps that make a big journey. ODAT is the slogan, and with God as my wing-man there’s a fair chance of surviving this adventure, for a while anyhow.

I am merely a tool in God’s toolbox.

New Beginnings Day 87 – March 27, 2013 – Lord grant me patience, now dammit!

Each a new beginning – Day 87 – March 27, 2013 – Lord grant me patience, now dammit!

Quoted from Page # 87 in Hope For Today (Link Here)

To me compassion requires patience. Compassion is what I can choose to feel toward myself and others after my patience has been tested to the limits and I’m exhausted.  It takes a great deal of effort for me to extend compassion to certain people. To do so sometimes requires me to look beyond my anger and exchange my fits of rage for acts of kindness. It means letting go of resentments resulting from unrealistic expectations.  It requires setting aside minor annoyances by asking myself, “How important is it?” Compassion is about accepting people, including myself, as they are and loving them still.

A recent event underscored the importance of compassion in my life. A former colleague died as the result of a car accident.  One moment she was full of life; the next moment she was gone. This helped me realize that each and every moment is precious. Life is both priceless and unpredictable; I don’t know how long it will last.  I don’t want to waste a minute o fit on self-pity, worry, guilt, resentment, anger, or any character defect that may stand in the way of becoming the kind of person I want to be.  I don’t want to leave, or be left with, a long trail of regrets.  I want to have as many good memories as possible. Compassion can help me create those memories.  Patience can help me create compassion.

Thought for the Day

Patience in my recovery will lead me to compassion.  How can I practice patience in my life today?

Quote

“Compassion and understanding on my part can have the power to heal. . .”

 – – One Day at a Time in Al-Anon, p. 24

Alleged Insight:

There is  a common joke that goes something like “Lord grant me patience, but please hurry.”

It’s been my experience that most of us survivors don’t have such humility when asking for patience.  At least I sure as heck don’t.  By the time the asking is done, the anger is well underway and the temper has already flared.  Mine is no exception. By the time I remember to ask my Higher Power for some emotional backup, it’s usually too late and I really should have gone to find a quiet place to read or something until calmer heads prevailed.

Patience is a virtue, and one that is in short supply in many circumstances.  Compassion is a gift we can give to others if we’re so skilled,  I am not.

The reading asks, “How can I practice patience in my life today?”  It’s a good question.  I’ve tried to just muscle it under, to force the patience, to relax into patience, and many other options.

Truth is that I’m not strong enough.  I have found, one, and only one way to come by the patience to face down the chaos and display the compassion which is often a soothing balm to a stormy situation.

Space+Time.  Yep that’s it.  Time and space, take the time to make the space around me to allow myself to let it go.  As they try to teach in grade school, just walk away.  Talk later when heads are cooler, hopefully, and maybe there will be a resolution.  I often don’t even manage to come back to the table with an open mind, I’m still looking for apologies and restitution, but hey, I’m trying here.  And as usual, I’m only human.

Thanks for taking the time to hear me out today.  I’ll talk to you tomorrow.

Vires quod Virtus , Patientia quod Pietas.

*Strength and Courage , Patience and Compassion* (the bold line is Latin, I’m odd that way).

Dan.

God Bless, and DFTBA

Standard Disclaimer: the text-reminder-and quote- herein comes from the book as noted at the top of this post. If you want to verify, look up your local AA or Al-Anon group.  
But seriously, the work works if you work it. I’m doing this for me, for my wife, for our family and for our future.
By posting this material each morning, I hope to hold the ideals in my awareness, and start with the small steps that make a big journey. ODAT is the slogan, and with God as my wing-man there’s a fair chance of surviving this adventure, for a while anyhow.

I am merely a tool in God’s toolbox.

New Beginnings Day 86 – March 26, 2013 – Is it safe to be myself?

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Each a new beginning – Day 86 – March 26, 2013 – Is it safe to be myself?

Quoted from Page # 86 in Hope For Today (Link Here)

When I first came to Al-Anon, the meetings seemed strange; they were so orderly and peaceful. I was more accustomed to being in chaotic environments where everyone shouted, talked at the same time, and criticized everything they heard.  Hence I didn’t speak up at meetings for fear of being ridiculed, shunned, or criticized. After coming for a while, I became more comfortable because of many aspects of Al-Anon’s meeting structure seem designed to encourage and support self-expression.

Some aspects are about the right to be heard. For example, when members limit their sharing to the topic, everyone gets a chance to speak. Refraining from advice giving or criticizing creates an accepting and respectful environment in which each member is truly heard and valued. Concept Five assures that differing opinions are welcomed and considered useful.

Other aspects are about the responsibility to speak up. Tradition Two says a Higher Power, as expressed through the group conscience, governs the group.  Concept One says that the ultimate responsibility for Al-Anon’s welfare belongs to the groups. Concept Four suggests participation as the key to harmony.

Accordingly as a group member, I am part of the group conscience. Because the welfare of Al-Anon lies in the voice of each member and participation is the key to harmony, I’m responsible for sharing my informed opinion to ensure that welfare. Since minority opinion is guarded carefully, I don’t have to fear the consequences of expressing a different viewpoint.  In Al-Anon my thoughts and feelings are both invited and protected.

Thought for the Day

do I exercise my right to be heard and my responsibility to speak as part of my group’s conscience?  Am I comfortable stating my views?

Quote

“In Al-Anon I’m learning that it is safe to be myself.”

 – – Courage to Change, p. 111

Alleged Insight:

The short answer to the question posed in this reading?  Nope.  I’m not learning squat. I still bite my tongue, I still withhold my words until I’m pushed to breaking,.

Part of this growing up and becoming more emotionally mature is to be able to express myself without offending, but still being assertive enough to have my say and stand my ground.  That’s more difficult than one might anticipate, given my background.  I am used to being blown down as it were.  My father was great a blustering his opinion and his demands on to his kids, not abusively as such, but there was no room for compromise or negotiation.  What dad said, was gospel, period.  No room for argument, none whatsoever.

I seem to have followed this pattern through to my adult years, and now that I am closing in on 300 pounds, at thirty-mumble years old, I’m still cowering when other’s get assertive, until I get riled up and then I revert to that loud pushy (very aggressive) child I tried to hide from.

What is a guy to do.  I suppose having realized all this (yeah, this post took a while and a LOT of thinking to get down on screen), it’s time to start working at being heard without being hurtful. Standing my boundaries and manning my boundaries as it were.  I don’t want to drag on and on because I have work to get done today and I’ve peeked ahead at tomorrows reading, which I should not have done, but it’s caught my attention and I have to give it some thought as well.  

Cheers and take care of your self out there Sam.  It’s going to be one of ‘those’ days.  .

Vires quod Virtus , Patientia quod Pietas.

*Strength and Courage , Patience and Compassion* (the bold line is Latin, I’m odd that way).

Dan.

God Bless, and DFTBA

Standard Disclaimer: the text-reminder-and quote- herein comes from the book as noted at the top of this post. If you want to verify, look up your local AA or Al-Anon group.  
But seriously, the work works if you work it. I’m doing this for me, for my wife, for our family and for our future.
By posting this material each morning, I hope to hold the ideals in my awareness, and start with the small steps that make a big journey. ODAT is the slogan, and with God as my wing-man there’s a fair chance of surviving this adventure, for a while anyhow.

I am merely a tool in God’s toolbox.

New Beginnings Day 85 – March 25, 2013 – Pursuing Unity

Each a new beginning – Day 85 – March 25, 2013 – Pursuing Unity

Quoted from Page # 85 in Hope For Today (Link Here)

Al-Anon tells me today I have choices.. Sometimes that fact makes my life a little more confusing, even at my precious meetings. For instance, when I see the Traditions being ignored at our group, I often hesitate to say anything, especially if no one else brings attention to it. After all, I am working very hard to give up control, and no one ever appointed me to the “Al-Anon Police Squad.”

At the same time, I also work hard at speaking up.  In the alcoholic family of my youth, I didn’t dare express myself for realistic fear of the consequences.  Haven’t I finally found  anew, safe family where I am free to share what’s in my mind and heart?

In Al-Anon I’ve heard that if I am aware, I am responsible. My understanding of our Twelve Traditions require me to take responsibility by speaking up when I see them being ignored or misused. Then I trust the group to find an answer to the problem.  We have but one authority, loving Higher Power as expressed through our group conscience, of which mine is only one voice.

Thought for the Day

If I am willing to call attention to a problem and equally willing to trust the group conscience with a solution, then it is not control that guides my words but rather my Higher Power’s will.

Quote

“The inclusion and consideration of every member’s opinion in our fellowship of democracy fosters our unity.”

 – – Paths to Recovery, p. 280

Alleged Insight:

Where do I start?  This weekend was a telling one, and I’m still feeling the effects of the fights.  Right now, at this very moment, I have a suitcase packed as a result of those fights, and the truth is that I don’t want to unpack it and put the clothes back in the drawers.

I don’t feel comfortable in my own home, not enough to settle down and think that I’m going to be there for very long.  Now, don’t go all mushy, this isn’t a plea for help or anything like that.

I know marriage is work, and I know all the reasons for why that work is worth it, why I -should- stay and do the work.  But what point is a point too far?

See, the only reason I didn’t leave was that all the emotional shots were pulled during a ‘can we just talk about this over tea?’ request.  That was Saturday.  I still haven’t let go of or forgiven the attacks that occurred that day.  I’m not sure I will be able to in anything resembling a near future.  I am just waiting for the next round of attacks, the next round of screaming and chaos. I’m waiting for the next point at which turning into oncoming traffic seems to be the better option when compared to returning home and facing the pain when I have no idea where it comes from and/or why it’s aimed at me.

And despite all this, I’m still hoping that we can find a way through it all, to find unity and compassion. To both feel loved or at least respected or valued in the relationship.

What does it take to be able to stand up for one’s self and be heard? In the reading above it’s about just being able to speak up and then being willing to be accepting of the solutions of the group.  But in this case the group is just the two of us, And consensus or at least compromise is just about totally impossible.

So once again I’m trying to get past the point where I’m ready to run, just to avoid exposing the kids to the kind of fights that just won’t stop.

I’m not really sure where this whole post is supposed to get to. The reading is about standing up and being counted, then finding a compromise of a solution.  I think right about now it isn’t so much a compromise to a solution as it is the need to find a way to stop intentionally or even absently and accidentally hurting each other as we go about trying to be heard and to feel relevant to each other.

I suppose that work, kids and finances aren’t going to help much in the whole picture, but these arguments were happening long before we even got to this point.

You know what? I have to go pray for a bit, and then get to work. I’ll catch up with you tomorrow ok? Thanks for understanding.

.

Vires quod Virtus , Patientia quod Pietas.

*Strength and Courage , Patience and Compassion* (the bold line is Latin, I’m odd that way).

Dan.

God Bless, and DFTBA

Standard Disclaimer: the text-reminder-and quote- herein comes from the book as noted at the top of this post. If you want to verify, look up your local AA or Al-Anon group.  
But seriously, the work works if you work it. I’m doing this for me, for my wife, for our family and for our future.
By posting this material each morning, I hope to hold the ideals in my awareness, and start with the small steps that make a big journey. ODAT is the slogan, and with God as my wing-man there’s a fair chance of surviving this adventure, for a while anyhow.

I am merely a tool in God’s toolbox.