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.

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 December 6, 2016 – Directions and Intentions

One Day At A Time

Keep It Simple

The strongest of all warriors are these two–Time and Patience.
Leo Tolstay

One of the first things we learn about in recovery is time. Before, we may have tried to control time by Pushing it along. We tried to hurry everything and everybody. We wanted our “quick fix.” But the
program tells us to slow down. Easy Does It.
We probably couldn’t picture ourselves staying sober for the rest of our life. So we were told to just work at staying sober today. We learned to work our program One Day at a Time. We were thought that time can be our friend. Times is our Higher Power’s way of not having everything happen at once.
Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, you are my teacher. You are in charge of the lesson. Help me accept this. Teach me how to use my time wisely.
Action for the Day: Today, I’ll list five ways I use my time in ways that aren’t helpful to me. I’ll work at making time my friend.

Each Day a New Beginning

Each day provides its own gifts. –Ruth P. Freedman

We are guaranteed experiences that are absolutely right for us today. We are progressing on schedule. Even when our personal hopes are unmet, we are given the necessary opportunities for achieving those goals that complement our unique destinies.
Today is full of special surprises, and we will be the recipient of the ones which are sent to help us grow–in all the ways necessary for our continued recovery. We might not consider every experience a gift at this time. But hindsight will offer the clarity lacking at the moment, just as it has done in many instances that have gone before.
We are only offered part of our personal drama each day. But we can trust our lives to have many scenes, many acts, points of climax, and a conclusion. Each of us tells a story with our lives, one different from all other stories and yet necessary to the telling of many other stories too. The days ahead will help us tell our story. Our interactions with others will influence our outcomes and theirs. We can trust the drama and give fully to our roles.
Every day is a gift exchange. I give, and I will receive.

 

Alleged Insight:

The insight today is surprisingly short, and succinct.

See the two quotes above?  Keep It Simple, and Each Day is a New Gift [paraphrased of course]?

These two points sum up the feelings I’ve been having of late.  One Day At A Time is an amazing concept, and it works.  There are many many things I can do for one day that a week or a year of doing so would scare the pants off me.

But there’s a second level to this step.  Yes, live one day at a time, take the readings if you like them, pray the prayers, attend the meetings, get through the day as best you can.

BUT! [and it’s not a small one, I’ve got a big But]

But, I do believe that with the proper attention, living one day at a time with intention, would be a truly transformative force.  Start each day with the end in mind, experience all that day has to offer in the moment, take the joys and the sorrows as the precious jewels and treasures they are, and learn from them.  Here’s where it get’s tricky.  Learning what we were doing wrong, where we failed, learning how to be better than yesterday, that’s amazing in and of itself.  No other creature under God has the ability to assess itself dispassionately, and to consciously make chances based on that assessment.

But, (yeah, came back to my but), if we are able, on a given day, start that day with your end goal in mind, start it with intention, and then apply all the day’s treasures to that end goal.

See, I’m a CPA by training, a father out of love, a husband also out of love, (this one is where the repetitive problems keep coming up, communication on my part mostly, I think), and I intend to be a successfully self-published author by the end of next year, in addition to the rest of this stuff.

This is quite a lot to aim for.  But it’s completely possible, I just have to plan and make it happen, hence, fixing myself, fixing my soul, and then fixing my track.  That’s what this blog was started for before it devolved into a journal to complain and whine about my issues.

Hope that made sense, if you want to unsubscribe I totally get it, but if not, then there’s a real live experiment you get to watch unfold here and hopefully learn from the mistakes I make so you don’t have to make them as well.

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 – Day 17 – I have become the Villain

ODAT- Day 17 – January 17, 2013 – I have become my villain

Quoted from Page #17 in One Day At A Time (the little blue book)

I learn in Al-Anon that a frank, honest look at my way of handling the alcoholic situation may suddenly show me that I possess, and use, a whole armory of murderous weapons.  The are the same weapons used by many spouses: indignation expressed in a strident voice, irresponsible accusations, nagging, tears and hysteria, self-righteousness and many more.  These weapons are killers. They kill the alcoholics desire to find a  better way of life. They kill love and respect. They destroy the alcoholic by increasing his already unbearable guilt. And they destroy us who use such weapons.

Today’s Reminder

I will try to clear out of my life and my mind all the tools of destruction I have been using. I  know they can do nothing to improve my situation.  i will make myself learn to use a new set of tools: tolerance, kindness, patience, courtesy, love and humor – and a firm determination to do what is necessary to improve my life.

Quote

“God, who is all good and all wisdom,

provides me with the tools that are useful

in overcoming my difficulties.

May I be willing to use them.”

Alleged Insight:

Well, today started interestingly.  If you don’t have (or never have had) little kids then you might not understand, but I’ve been up since 4am at this point.  I only have a few minutes, so this’ll have to be stashed until later.  It’s now six fifteen and in about ten minutes I have to be getting everybody else up and running in time for school.  *sigh*  The littlest one was up at four, and I was settling him down when the oldest of the three got up at about five because he had to pee.  (good note, he’s not peeing in his bed), but he woke the other one back up, so now it’s time to get them both settled down for a bit.  By the time I get the youngest back to sleep, it’s six am.  And I sit to type this out.  So, yeah, I’ll come back in a couple of hours to finish this up and upload it, after I get to work and have  minute to check the typing and spelling. No promises that it’ll be perfect, but I try to keep it from being a grammatical disaster.

Ok, back to the topic at hand, now that I’ve grumbled about the joys of having kids.  (playing, I love my kids, really I do, and really early morning snuggles are one of the best rewards a parent can ever get).  So, tools to destroy things?  Yep I’ve used them, and I’ve been subjected to them. See, it’s not the normal run of the mill situation here at home. I’m  not facing an alcoholic who’s either verging on out of control, or already out of control.  I am faced with what is essentially a differently raised version of my own self.  Same base problems, kinda, but different execution and different person underneath.

Umm, where was I going with that?  Right, tools that can build or destroy.  Strength of character and conviction are two of these.  Talk about two edged swords.  I have both used and been hurt by each of these.  See, can I let you in on a secret about me?  For all my two hundred and eighty pounds of teddy bear like mass, I am something of a passive person.  It takes me forever to get to the point where I am frustrated and angry enough to lash back and/or stand up for myself.  Fear and paralysis are my god companions in this situation; the anxiety and adrenaline rushing through my body as I stand and take what’s being dished out (yeah, that time working as a bounder/door guard at the pub, was NOT fun).  But when I do get ‘all worked up’ and ready to fight back, I become everything I hate about me.

The tools we are provided with, much like a shovel, knife or a gun, can be used for good things or bad things, but the aim of this life, and presumably this program that I am trying to work with, is to use these tools to better ourselves, and to enrich both my life and the lives of those around me.

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 little blue book of Al-Anon. If you want to verify, look up your local AA or Al-Anon group, or go here and get yourself a copy. The only part that’s original is the “Insight” component.  
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, The little blue book is the medium, and God is my back-up for this impetus.

I am merely a tool in God’s toolbox.

ODAT – Day 16 – The Good Life, With Dignity and Grace

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ODAT- Day 16 – January 16, 2013 – The Good Life with Dignity and Grace.

Quoted from Page #16 in One Day At A Time (the little blue book)

How can I make myself aware that my weak-kneed acceptance of an unacceptable situation is a reflection on my own self-respect?  Am I a milk-sop, a slave, to be pushed around at the will of a sick personality? Is my long suffering attitude going to achieve any good results?  Or will it only reinforce the alcoholic in his belief that he can manipulate the situation to get his won way?  Am I being fair to him in allowing him to outmaneuver me at every turn? Will he look for sobriety if I give him no compelling reason to do so – not only for his sake, but for my own?

Today’s Reminder

I am an individual with the right to a good life. I must not look to anyone else to make a good life for me; This I must do for myself.  Have I deceived myself into thinking that it is my lot to accept anything life chooses to hand out to me, however humiliating or degrading?

Quote

“I pray to learn the way to see myself as a child of God, bearing in my heart and mind the dignity and grace He has conferred upon every one of His children.  Let me learn to live up to this picture of perfection – a little at a time, bu always going forward.”

Alleged Insight:

I used to dream when I was little. I’d read fantasy tales and westerns. I dreamed of being a knight in shining armor, the lone cowboy who rode in at the last moment to save the day, that kind of thing.  I am sure I am not alone in this delusion.  But not to drift too far from the point, I always fancied myself the hero of the tale, and I proceeded to live my life as though I were that hero, untarnished, unbeatable, just Good.  

And therein sourced my problem, I was Good, thereby judging others as less Good than I was (yes, note the capital G), and so in trying to get through the chaos that was my childhood, this notion of Good and the all too human issue of comparing ourselves to others blended into making me one really not so good person.  I needed to excel, my whole identity was based on being Good-er than the next person, approval of those in power, and blatant passing over of those who were less Good than I but also didn’t need me to rescue them.  So much for my self-styled identity hey?  Dignity and Grace took a back-seat to Perfection.  Oops.

We are all imbued with that something special, that makes us unique from everybody else, I wasn’t better than anybody else, but I wasn’t bad either.  I can look back and see that I was just me, coping the best I could with insane circumstances.  I had no right to try to direct other’s lives like I grew up trying to do, trying to intervene and keep them from experiencing their own lives, always rescuing them.  Why did I do this?  I totally had that ‘hero’ definition all screwed up.  It is not the hero’s role to rescue a person from themselves.  A hero is anybody who steps in when needed, to support and empower people to be themselves, to experience their own life in the process.  Granted, if you simplify the whole situation, then yes, the hero rescues the princess (or prince, as the gender equality minded will no doubt assert), but once that rescue is done, the hero hasn’t rescued so much as leveled the playing field.  Note that in the story, the hero is coming to oppose the actions of the villain as much as to rescue the captive prince or princess.  

We are all entitled to a good life, as the reading indicates. Now, I’m sorry to say that it took me as long as it did to figure out that we are all entitled to make the choices we do in order to pursue our own ‘good life’, and that to do so with dignity and grace takes a special talent that many (including me) do not possess.

It is a rare person that has such skill inherently, but I plan on trying learn these traits, I don’t hold out much hope, but what is life if not trying for the impossible?

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 little blue book of Al-Anon. If you want to verify, look up your local AA or Al-Anon group, or go here and get yourself a copy. The only part that’s original is the “Insight” component.  
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, The little blue book is the medium, and God is my back-up for this impetus.

I am merely a tool in God’s toolbox.

ODAT – Day 15 – I pray and I deal.

Sometimes all you can do is get a cuppa coffee and get back to work on the problem.

Sometimes all you can do is get a cuppa coffee and get back to work on the problem.

ODAT- Day 15 – January 15, 2013 – I pray and I deal.

Quoted from Page #15 in One Day At A Time (the little blue book)

We pray for sobriety for the alcoholic because we believe this will solve all our problems.  This is an illusion.  Sobriety is only the first step in building a good life.  Unless we both work to overcome the emotional conflicts within ourselves, we remain at a standstill.  Our troubles only take new forms because they did not stem from alcoholism, but from the personality flaws that caused the alcoholism and from our irrational reactions to them. Even when the alcoholic has conquered the compulsion to drink, I must remember that I have much to learn about adjusting to the sober alcoholic.

Today’s Reminder

I will not delude myself into thinking that sobriety is the sole goal. I will deal with each problem that comes to me with the help of the Twelve Steps and the loving interchange with my friends in Al-Anon.

Quote

“I pray for the wisdom to take a rational and tolerant attitude toward whatever troubles I must face each day.”

Alleged Insight:

I forgot my phone yesterday, and it’s been really really unsettling as a whole.  Hopefully today will be less problematic, and more productive.

But besides that little glitch fouling up my current thinking, I am rather pensive and somewhat contemplative regarding today’s reading.  I can freely admit that I took quite a while to go over how it applies to me. Truth is that both my wife and I have come from what is referred to as troubled backgrounds.  And we both learned some really counter-productive practices concerning our personal and joint coping mechanisms.  Now it’s not my place to talk about, divulge or judge her in any way, so I won’t.  But I, personally, am a mess when it comes to coping with the difficult parts of life.

Have you ever been in one of ‘those’ situations, where you had no idea it was going to happen, you have no clue what’s actually going on, and to top it off you also have no clue what your role in it all is?  It’s a little like being told you’re taking your wife out shopping for that special gift, when in truth you have no idea what the special gift is, who it’s for (probably her) and you also don’t get paid for another week so you don’t actually have the money to pay for that special gift.

Yeah, life’s kinda like that.  And coming from the background I did, the ability to manage on the fly, with no resources and no information, is usually one of those skills that was taken for granted as I grew up.  But what growing up like that did for me was to install a solid ‘if only’ complex.  If only I had the money, if only I knew what the truth was, if only I understood what she wants, if only …  you get the idea.

Well, I don’t know about you, but my mother raised me on quotes such as ‘if wishes were horses, we’d all be out riding.’  Well, if wishes were horses, I’d be a damned millionaire due to selling off extra horses.  I did (and occasionally still do) a fair bit of ‘if only’ wishing.  Life rarely gives us what we want, and it almost never gives us what we feel we deserve (i.e.  I moved out and left my alcoholic father behind, but I still have the problems, how fair is that?).  But as the reading says, it’s not the drinking that was my problem. And alcoholism, while a contributing factor leading up to our current state of existence, is not the problem.  Hell, I’ve got empirical proof in that my father died six years ago this year, and here I sit, still trying to work out the mess that became of my head while I was trying to learn to live and work with him as a child.  The consumption of alcohol is not the issue I face.  I can have a drink if I feel like it, and if I’m lucky I’ll even finish it before I fall asleep (not that such a thing often happens these days, any excuse to sit still will trigger a nap reflex in me these days).  

No, the problem is the patterns that I need to address.  I need to keep working on identifying and correcting the ’emotional conflicts and the personality flaws and the irrational reactions’ which I bring to the table.  Pinning such things down is not easy, and doing so while in the midst of a troubled chaotic life full of work, kids and all the jazz that goes with both means that it’s an ongoing and rather slow process.  But as the book says “One Day At A Time.”  

Wish me luck, and good luck to you if you’re in a similar boat.

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 little blue book of Al-Anon. If you want to verify, look up your local AA or Al-Anon group, or go here and get yourself a copy. The only part that’s original is the “Insight” component.  
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, The little blue book is the medium, and God is my back-up for this impetus.

I am merely a tool in God’s toolbox.

ODAT – Day 14 – Deceit and Justification

ODAT- Day 14 – January 14, 2013 – Deceit and Justification

Quoted from Page #14 in One Day At A Time (the little blue book)

If someone dislikes me, or resents something I have done, I ought first to consider whether it was I who generated the dislike or resentment.  Was it something I did?  Is it something I should make amends for?  If so, am I inclined to justify what I did when it really wasn’t right?  Answering these questions will give me good practice in being honest with myself.

If I was hurtful, and I make excuses to myself for what I did, I am building a SECOND wall between me and the person I injured.  Let me tear the first wall  down by being honest an dhonestly acknowledging my fault.

Today’s Reminder

What a relief it is to acknowledge that I am only human, that I do make mistakes, and that I am willing to correct them.  I can’t help liking myself better after the air has been cleared.  In solidifying a friendship, I become a better friend to myself.

Quote

“God help me to avoid the temptation to deceive myself by justifying my actions when they were wrong.  Make me strong enough to do what I should to keep me serene.”

Alleged Insight:

I am reading this and typing it and the thoughts are just overwhelming.  I’m picking up on the self-deceit, false impressions, walls of defence, justification for the purpose of making myself feel better about my actions, the list goes on and on. Where to start today?

Speaking of starting, it looks like I am going to have to get used to getting up at five in the morning, since the youngest boy gets up that early lately.  Ok, so many of you have been up for at least an hour or two by then, but I live on the west coast, and well, the sun will not even bee up for another two hours at this time of year.

Anyhow, back to topic, I think the part that speaks most strongly to me on today’s reading is the part where we try to justify our own actions, thereby looking like the good guy, if only in our own heads.  But how does artificially creating that separation between what I see the world to be and what everyone else sees the world to be benefit me in any but the very short term.  The added conflict and the increased tension in relationships is going to make future interactions even more strained.  Is that what I am after?  Doesn’t sound right does it?

Can I truly suggest that I am blameless of doing this?  Am I innocent of putting a spin on things so that I don’t sound as bad as I really am?  Do any of us escape this pitfall of the human condition?  It’s really rather early in the morning for such deep thoughts.  But I can honestly say that I am guilty of spinning the reality I experience so that my internal story is more pleasant to me in review.    Thus the issue is not only difficult to parse and admit to, but by it’s very nature and the nature of the human mind’s ability to track truth and fiction, the problem gets compounded.

Without going into details that will be more than half fiction to start with, I suppose the only real thing I can say here, the only closing I can make is that I will resolve to apply critical thinking to all aspects.  If I can accept my own failings truthfully, not supplanting reality with my own more pleasant fictions, then my recollection of events won’t be tainted and I’ll be able to relate to and communication with other’s without having first to get past an artificially and unnecessarily created walls.  I have to go get the kids up for school, so I”ll catch up with you tomorrow.  See you later.

.

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 little blue book of Al-Anon. If you want to verify, look up your local AA or Al-Anon group, or go here and get yourself a copy. The only part that’s original is the “Insight” component.  
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, The little blue book is the medium, and God is my back-up for this impetus.

I am merely a tool in God’s toolbox.

ODAT – Day 13 – Hold Fast

ODAT- Day 13 – January 13, 2013 – Hold Fast

Quoted from Page #13 in One Day At A Time (the little blue book)

When will I realize that I need not permit the alcoholic’s behaviour to confuse my life and destroy my peace of mind?  When will I learn that there is no compulsion, in law or ethics, that forces me to accept humiliation, uncertainty and despair.  Have I perhaps accepted it because I have a subconscious desire for martyrdom?  Do I secretly relish feeling sorry for myself and want sympathy from others?

Today’s Reminder

I have a right to keep myself from any situation that interferes with my having a decent life and pleasant experiences.  Every human being is entitled to live without fear, uncertainty, discomfort.  I should take a firm stand and hold fast to whatever decision I make, to help not only myself and my family, but the suffering alcoholic as well.  Constant wavering can only hinder me from breaking out of my present thinking pattern.

Quote

“God guide me to make the right decision and give me the fortitude to cling to it against all pressures and persuasions.”

Alleged Insight:

Hold fast.  I read these two words and in my minds eye I am seeing a captain, clinging to the helm of an old sailboat, calling out to his crew who are staying the lines and trying to stand against a murderous storm blowing hard against the ship at sea.

Not that I’ve ever been on a ship at sea, but my imagination is rather good at supplying the details as needed.  The reading feels like it’s pushing me to start taking care of myself against all odds and in the face of contradictory pressures from all others.  Now, I can’t lie to you and say that never happens, because the truth is that life is usually like that.  There are always those who want us to do for them, to cover for them, to give of ourselves (in so many manners) without reciprocating.  The ability to make the decision that is needed to be made is rather a difficult one to master.   Thus asking God for the help to do so is about all we can often manage to do in a situation, it’s that or start to scream invective incoherently at inanimate objects (for me anyhow).

A common topic I fight with is whether or not to answer a phone call while at work.  I am allowed to do so by my employer, but often those calls tend to be very disruptive in my work day.  I have always felt that I was to be ‘there’ for people who need me, and if they are calling then they must need me.  Right?

Um, not really.  The reason this comes up is that the second mental image I get when the term ‘hold fast’ is uttered, is one of me sitting staring at my phone, knowing that to answer it will mean certain conflict stress and misery, while not answering it feels utterly and completely wrong in all the ways that are important.  (specifically, my feelings are fighting my logic) So, as a result I am stuck in paralysis with two options, both of which feel wrong.

Ah well, of late I’ve made a conscious effort to shut down the phone thus avoiding the whole issue, knowing that there is nothing I can do to help the situation by answering it, and often knowing that there will never have been any right answer on my part in the whole of the situation.

Standing up for and holding fast at the boundaries you set in your life is never going to be easy.  It is especially difficult when you’re first starting out to do so, because your self-love is really hard for others to see, understand, or accept; especially when it cuts into the needs they have of you.  They will grow past this stage, and by continually giving in to their demands you (or in this case I) am just prolonging the process of adaptation to a better standard of living.  So, logic and emotional strength prevail.  Life will get better eventually, even if it gets worse for a time first.  Remember why you’re playing this game of life, remember what the end goal is.

You may only be living for today, but may your Higher Power give you the strength and insight to make the choices that will enrich your world in the long run; This is the prayer I say for you, and for me.

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 little blue book of Al-Anon. If you want to verify, look up your local AA or Al-Anon group, or go here and get yourself a copy. The only part that’s original is the “Insight” component.  
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, The little blue book is the medium, and God is my back-up for this impetus.

I am merely a tool in God’s toolbox.

ODAT – Day 12 – A succession of fresh delights

20130110_115111

ODAT- Day 12 – January 12, 2013 – A succession of fresh delights

Quoted from Page #12 in One Day At A Time (the little blue book)

Today I will examine my ideas of enjoyment, pleasure, delight.  Have I grieved over the fact that my life has become empty of them?  Do these satisfactions depend on parties, travel, dancing, movies, television?  Do I feel deprived because I am busy with home, children, a job, so I am not free to pursue some recreation?  If so, it is time I learned to enjoy the thousands of little things that occur in my daily life: a sunrise; the sound of birds; a long walk, nothing all the interesting things I see; a piece of music; a good book; a charming response from a child; a moving story at  an AA meeting; a small household chore perfectly performed; a beautiful meal, created by me.

Today’s Reminder

If my eyes and heart are opened to receive new impressions, each day will be a new adventure.  Even in the monotony of my life, no two days are every the same and the differences will reveal to me a succession of fresh delights – if I am willing.

Quote

“I ask God to make me willing to see clearly my everyday experiences, to sharpen my perception of how much there is to enjoy, even in ordinary things and happenings.  Let me be receptive.  Restore to me my capacity for wonder.”

Alleged Insight:

And we’re back.  Kinda.  That picture at the top summed up Friday for me and my boy.  We were stuck in the hospital waiting. But that was alright, because he got stickers, and we got to spend time reading to each other.

Do I feel deprived and all the rest? Sure as hell I do, all the time.  Life’s busy and often there doesn’t even seem to be time to delete all the email and crap I have to deal with, let alone read most of it. These posts are often done up either so early that I can’t see the trees outside the window, or like today, in two minute snippets during natural work breaks.  The trick is to let go of the feelings that this world is out to get you, and decide to be out to get as many of the little things (like stickers) as you can from each moment of each day.  My boy got no less than three sets of stickers as the old one’s started to fall off.  He charmed the stickers off them nurses he did.  I was amazed at his skill in doing so.  But then again, he is rather cute with big blue eyes and dimples and all that.

I had to take a moment just now, because of the nature of today (constant negative hammering, and none of it from the usual sources, thank you for that my love), I just had to post the short version of the serenity prayer earlier so that I could hear it said aloud, else I was going to go and curl up in a ball and start to sob uncontrollably, for no reason that anybody around me could understand.

So yeah, on a day when the song “One Tin Soldier” has been playing intermittently with a main track of Nickleback and Whitesnake songs (all silently in my head of course) sometimes it’s remembering to let go of the attitude that has kept me down and beaten all day, and just try to remember the little things, like a small cup of hot chocolate with my boys after dinner just now, and the smells and smiles therein.

So to close, a video:

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 little blue book of Al-Anon. If you want to verify, look up your local AA or Al-Anon group, or go here and get yourself a copy. The only part that’s original is the “Insight” component.  
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, The little blue book is the medium, and God is my back-up for this impetus.

I am merely a tool in God’s toolbox.

ODAT – Day 11 – Be the sunshine you want in your world

Sunshine

ODAT- Day 11 – January 11, 2013 – Be the Sunshine if you can’t find it elsewhere

Quoted from Page #11 in One Day At A Time (the little blue book)

Once upon a time there was a woman who was very unhappy.  If you asked her what she was unhappy about, she would say despairingly: “Oh, just everything! And then she would go into the most excruciating detail about her sufferings, the awful things her husband did  the trouble she has with her children. A scared, lugubrious expression was etched on her face.  Although she had been a pretty girl, she could see no reason for making herself look nice – and anyway she didn’t have the time.  While she was looking on the dark side, communication and love between her and her family grew less and less.  Even her friends avoided her, which increased her grievance against life.  Everything would have been all right, of course, if only her husband would stop drinking, and she told him so every day.

Once in a while somebody would get her to an Al-Anon meeting, but somehow she had the idea that all the members were just waiting to hear her latest disaster reports.

One night a member, determined to help her if she could, put all the cards on the table.  She told her that everybody there had plenty of trouble, but with the help of Al-Anon and each other, they learned to stop exaggerating them. “Why don’t you try wearing a smile for a change, and see what happens?  Maybe it would even be such a jolt for your husband to see you pleasant and cheerful that he’d run to AA.”

And, believe it or not, after a while that’s just what happened.

Alleged Insight:

Took this picture on New Year’s Day this year.  Only time the sun came out visible all blasted day, snowed or rained for the rest of it.  Weather-wise it was not a good day at all.  And emotionally, after all the positive vibes and such from everybody but here at home, yeah, we’ll say it was a trying day all around.  But that was then and we survived.  The name of the game is to learn from the past, not relive the past, right?

Today looks to be a good or at least passable day, but yesterday was rough.  As I noted in the last post, yesterday was spent with the middle boy in the hospital fixing something in his back teeth.  We originally had to go in for 8:30.  Ok, no problem, early start, no eating or drinking until after he’s out, so skip breakfast.  Fair enough, unpleasant, but fair.  But then the appointment got bumped from 8:30 all the way back to they finally got him in  and under sedation at about one thirty.  With the whole procedure being finished by three, and then it took him another two hours to wake up from the sedation. So it was a dark day from the starting delay.

I’d like to say there’s a chance that today could have gone sideways, but the truth is that it was headed sideways even before I woke up.  Last night was far too short, with only a couple hours of sleep, and then up to get moving again, and of course there’s the whole “I’m getting sick” issue.  One of the computers was having  an issue even before I got here, (as in it wouldn’t start no way, no how), and a second system was being stoopid as well, so yeah, there’s the morning shot with computer repair when I’m supposed to be working on client’s files.  Ahh, the invisible job description.  But on the bright side, it’s never boring here.  Never never boring.  Oh, and both machines were still under warranty, so after the usual attempts at diagnoses, I called up Dell Warranty support, there will be a tech coming out in the next two business days.

The point here, if you missed it, is that while I could have gone all ‘end of the freaking world insane’ about even starting such a day as this one, I decided early on to take it in stride, and try like hell to be the positive influence in any situation, giving my best to the world and hoping like hell that it pays dividends in other’s happiness as well.

And on that note, I’ve got to get back to work here, since I’m still behind the eight ball for the files that got pushed off this morning.  See you in the morning.

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 little blue book of Al-Anon. If you want to verify, look up your local AA or Al-Anon group, or go here and get yourself a copy. The only part that’s original is the “Insight” component.  
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, The little blue book is the medium, and God is my back-up for this impetus.

I am merely a tool in God’s toolbox.