August 18 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 8 Amends And Willing Alcoholics Anonymous Today's AA daily reflection: "getting well in recovery…" I don't know about you, but I felt so in adequate when I could not beat my addiction on my own, the shame and the guilt and the crushing feelings of failure were deep. Only by realising it was okay to ask for help, that I had a disease for which there is no cure, and asking for help gave me courage to learn life all over again and just for a day…
Video For Today:
Learning to forgive anyone anywhere who truly admits what has happened to them and why is difficult especially for the alcoholic and the addict. A deeply ingrained feeling can kill recovery and that feeling in my case was connected to my ego which made me judgemental and judgement suggested guilt and punishment. Right place and right time anything good and anything bad is possible for any human. There will always be consequences, and we have to face them. Forgiving everything is letting go hate and retribution…
Getting well in recovery… In my case accepting the consequences of everything I have done in my life. How alcohol twisted my perceptions and where truth was lost and dishonesty prevailed. Facing the truth and the consequences and realising that any cover-up or any secrets still stuck inside will undermine new ways of living. It is not easy to face the truth, make the amends without further harm being done, I needed to, to get back on track and live life open honest and willing, and that is why as M Scott Peck said, "life is difficult…"
Thank goodness in my case, learning and putting into practice the twelve steps and twelve traditions is daily progress and never ever perfection. And continuing to learn how to be open and listening, honest in my practices and willing to change my outlook and take on the big picture of life. Taking account of not only my own situation but the situation I am in with people, places and things. Thank god life is forever changing or there would be no hope for anyone…
AA daily reflections:GETTING WELL... Very deep, sometimes quite forgotten, damaging emotional conflicts persist below the level of consciousness. TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, pp. 79-80
Only through positive action can I remove the remains of guilt and shame brought on by alcohol. Throughout my misadventures when I drank, my friends would say, "Why are you doing this? You're only hurting yourself." Little did I know how true were those words. Although I harmed others, some of my behavior caused grave wounds to my soul. Step Eight provides me with a way of forgiving myself. I alleviate much of the hidden damage when I make my list of those I have hurt. In making amends, I free myself of burdens, thus contributing to my healing.
DonInLondon 2005 2011
"Always desire to learn something useful." Sophocles "Everyday I am learning... how to love, be loved back and useful. And at the end of the day, I may be more loving, loved and in the moment of now" Donocles
Can do, cannot do and wisdom to know the difference. Amends to self, give ourselves a break for being human. In recovery we learn the extent of what we can do. Sometimes we feel encouraged and okay to take on new commitments, and then realise we are increasing expectations we are not able to deliver. I need make sure I am open honest and willing to say yes, and in my case ensure I can on the day I am asked...
August 2008 ~ 2010
Self-forgiveness. I always suggest, "Before I go to bed at night, forgive everyone everything including ourselves." There are consequences to our actions and those of other people, how we are trusted and how we trust others. We keep learning from actions and learn to trust as far as we may, love and cherish always...
Education ... just for today. We humans are capable of anything and everything, depending on our life experiences. Pushed to extremes we can find ourselves at rock bottom or the opposite, joy beyond our wildest dreams. As we live in the day, the gift is knowing where we are in reality and less so in fantasy always today...
Publish August 18 2007
DonInLondon - “Day In the Life” Get Creative August 17 2007
Changing from News to Creative Media and Photo Diaries
A good day for making one or two choices. I have enjoyed featuring news on my site, at the same time I realise there as many news agencies as can be, and I am best served doing something else. The news element grew to keep me focussed not only on recovery from alcohol, but a good understanding on life events in the world.
And as time has gone by I realise I need find a way forward which really reflects my interests as well as news. And so the primary purpose of my website remains recovery which a bit more creative content and my photo’s.
I have several thousand ‘snaps’ taken around London, featuring London and People.
People will always be a fascination for me, how they are on any particular day. I have another website where the raw photo’s reside and there are links to it from my web.
I will also feature some pictures I like and what I see is what I will keep as a photo diary.
A long day and I pay a price for getting around. I’ll leave the details of this to another day. I got about and took some chances with my mobility, the upshot is much reduced meandering for a few days so my system gets back to normal.
A “Chair” at High Noon - Eaton Square
A chair is me speaking to a fellowship meeting. The purpose is to share my experience, strength and hope in recovery. And this I did.
I am still understanding recovery and life changes as fast as my learning and ability to change.
I need know now that my spiritual connection to living is simply living the truth. And having spent years in denial I feel somewhat pleased to know that truth represents the best way to develop courage, faith and confidence. Courage and faith are keystones to recovery from anything and especially life events which have grief. Grief is where we alcoholics ended up if we were still alive enough to kick.
I have pondered and wondered and worked out my own understanding around spiritual and anonymity. Anonymity in the fellowship affords sanctuary to find our truth and share it and learn from others and our own experiences.
Anonymity for me is the key to find truth as people develop their understanding of spiritual in sobriety. We need not force ourselves to believe in anything, we might come to believe something connected to God. As things are the connection to truth and spiritual serves me well. And actually God is a personal choice based on personal growth in a particular part of life many misunderstand.
Spiritual is conditional on?
I guess I come to where most people get. I am not God! And the rest will unfold as time enables. As time is limited I need concentrate on sobriety and see how things develop.
God and Spiritual, for some is secular, that is God and spiritual are quite different. Spiritual has its own place for me.
Simply if I can engage in truth, with my emotional, physical and spiritual capacities operating in the present moment, all in alignment, I am better at choosing my path and connection to living.
If I am relying on external forces beyond human perception I may find myself in difficulty. I keep to safe ground and so feel complete in my daily living as best one can.
We get choices back, we make good life as we may, we accept the things we cannot change and change the things we can.
My choices today, keep the recovery journal going for now, and then develop my creative side as I may and see if this ‘flies.’
An old friend turned up tonight out of the blue, it was a real pleasure to see them, and glad they are about, well if only for an hour or so. Good to know old friends are alive these days, as my friends have been flung far and wide.
I wish them all well, and hope they had a day with choice and good endeavours.
August 18th 2006
Distracted What am I going to do Now?
I have a simple tool for helping me determine how I am at any time. The simple tool is not designed by me, it was given me some years ago by two people who used to run a life skills training organisation. This was long before the idea of life skills training was ever vogue.
And life skills, what an industry that has become, with all the furore about life skills these days it’s a fashionable thing to do. Most lifeskillers go to a training school to get their life skills and then go off and adapt what they know and then train others. it’s a bit of a homeopathic creation, where the lifeskillers, well they treat like with like and maybe something rubs off. Often though, lifeskillers are more like life killers as their remedy is neither digestible or practical. Its full of visioning and wishful thinking. A true recipe for self destruction. And where cognitive behavioural therapy comes unstuck too, as therapy needs to lead to action and the action steps of therapy are pretty open to interpretation and avoidance.
I am pleased I got close to the source and got some good simple basics in one tool. How to understand and develop assertiveness and empathy. And assertiveness and empathy are at the heart of open and honest dialogue.
As far as I am concerned it would have been more timely to get this training and personal development initiative a bit sooner. It might have helped me avoid the nervous breakdown which led to a career ending and the decline into all manner of horrid and desperate ways of living.
Anyway it matters not. The point is the tool still holds good today. For assertiveness, it is simply asking myself a set of questions and processing them. The questions are how am I feeling, why and what can I do? Its simple and effective and it fits with my fellowship programme with its emphasis on action, taking a step. And it fits in with other common jargon heard in organisations like & change;. Now how popular would step change be if the realised it was devised by a bunch of old drunks seventy odd years ago?
How am I feeling?
I am tired and shattered. I have not had a good nights sleep in months. I feel pain in my back, pain in my legs and my feet hurt when I walk. I generally ache all over. I feel hot one minute and cool the next. I feel anxious a lot of the time and my mood is always low and has gone even lower in the past week and particularly since Wednesday. I feel hungry and cannot eat properly because I feel nauseous. I feel agitated because I have tinnitus and my hearing is impaired, I feel isolated and alone and facing another wait as the wait and patience is driving me slowly down. My eyes do not focus so well even with glasses. And this can be because of blood sugars or tiredness.
I put it down to the things I am dealing with day to day. The slow march of time, diabetic control, diet control, behavioural adjustments and depression. And a lot of the actual manifestations of my illnesses do not fit one simple tick box where I or others can say what causes what. Other than in general, its just what I deal with on a day to day basis.
What can I do?
Well I can tell people what is going, which I do. And as I have found the information is lost somewhere between me and their records and the steps forward seem to indicate I must be patient and let time have its part to see what responds to what treatment and if anyone is listening.
There are good things to report when I look at this. My diabetic control and blood sugar monitoring is good with support and machinery in place. I am dealing with diet on a day to day basis, even with side effects from medication to help with my digestion. And my weight is reducing, hopefully I will get more news of this later this morning when I go for my health check. And I keep with my recovery programme attending one meeting a day, even when it hurts to walk and get about. I am applying myself to all elements most of us take for granted, ordinary living with three conditions to contend with, type 1 diabetes, clinical depression and alcoholism.
So what more can I do?
Now this is the question for me and my need for more guidance is sought from those experts around and about. I think there may be some things I am missing and don’t know what else there is.
I have written a letter for my GP so she may have something to add. I doubt her interest though as none has been shown so far. Well I hope to see what the clinic at the hospital may suggest. I doubt though they have much to add as their job is not primarily in some areas I need counsel. And as for my recovery from alcoholism. Well this is down to me and a better student will not be found? Well we don’t operate that way, it’s a life long programme to stay sober a day at a time, and the pressures I face without resorting to drink is a testimony to that programme and the fellowship more than me. it’s the programme which helps me stay sober, and others who have recovery too. And doing my service back in the programme is what makes it work.
So what more can I do?
I can express myself here in my journal, a day at a time and keep faith with a programme of feelings and understanding patience and time provide many answers to my problems today. As long as I don’t try fix it quickly, it will work out a day at a time.
So in reality I do plenty each and every day to keep in recovery and monitor all aspects of how I feel and what I do. And often I don’t share with maybe those who need to know what this means in time and energy, as they assume its ticketyboo.
It isn’t ticketyboo though is it, so I need to let everyone know!
Meanwhile I have been to my meetings, Wednesday night and Thursday nights meetings were deep and meaningful and about honesty. They are called step meetings, and the actual step we covered is step 5, which reads, and please take the God references either as God or Good Conscience depending upon your values and beliefs,
Admitted to God, to Ourselves, and to another Human Being, the exact nature of our wrongs.
Now although this is a heavyweight recovery step, it is very relevant to my predicament. If I adjust the words in relation to me asserting my need to inform, it can read relating to my doctors and specialists,
admitting to my Doctor, and myself and to the Specialists, the exact nature of my ills…
And of course hoping that they are able to listen and digest and make some use of the information. And there is doubt in my mind, as overlaps in the system seems to show that as one part does X, the other part assumes that Y is being done too, and the patient who has been seen has been treated segmentally (its ok I know its not a real word) by each part of the overall service, as we know or those engaged in self repair services devised by others only deal with their bit really, but are always forthcoming with their own opinion? So it tends to be a buggers muddle often with homespun advice thrown in for free. Especially anecdotal suggestions from others they treat.
Anyway back to the recovery programme and the meetings. They are as always about experience strength and hope. And my goodness the experience is as diverse as society, the strength to keep in recovery is united and the hope is just one day long to keep a clear head to deal with ordinary living. Or in the case of those in recovery, live with a pernicious extra devil in the head which screams fix me now!
Every meeting we have a speaker, and then we all share what we feel is relevant to the subject and anything relevant to our day and what is going on. I am sharing how I can my day and the consequences on my mood. And you know it really helps to talk.
I am able to share my self loathing at not being fitter, at my probable self inflicted wounds, at my need for careful monitoring and understanding how my diseases affect me. It helps me see the day through just a day at a time. And most of all I can get an appraisal of my situation in relation to others and their stuff they deal with. And some is as bad or worse than my own. So we in the fellowship complain and grumble with one another and then go back to our ordinary lives and don’t pester everyone else with our woes.
Because you know what? We all have our bag of crap to sort out, and everyone deals with things the best they can. So we need not bring our poisonous mixture out too, or it gets us a bad name and prejudice ensues. We deal with it daily and get on, because truthfully people don’t want or have the time to know.
We learn as we can just one day at a time…
Step 8 "Step Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all." "n other words, who have you harmed? You will recall from our discussion of Steps 4 and 5, that a preliminary list of persons we had harmed is generated there. The list will now be refined into a personal amendment plan, which is the product of Step 8."Although this step requires plenty of work, there is nothing frightening in it. Amends are not actually made in Step 8. Instead, we plan for the making of amends in Step 9, which follows. Harm is: injury, hurt, damage, misfortune, grief, pain, sorrow, evil, wrong or wickedness. Have we brought about any of these in the lives of others? The Big Book and the 12&12 also are quite specific about harm." BB Bunch
August Video Reading Step Eight Into Action Link:
Step Eight Reading
“How It Works” Reading Video Link:
“Into Action" Reading Video Link:
I do not speak for Alcoholics Anonymous I speak for myself. Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of unique and authentic people who speak for themselves where they will to share experience, strength and hope about recovery on a daily basis. Anonymity affords sanctuary to find how to live sober and be open, honest and willing to learn life day by day. For me "truth," "love" and "wisdom" offer the best spiritual experience by living reality today. Into the fabric of recovery from alcoholism are woven the Twelve Steps and the Traditions: steps to be open, honest and willing to learn, traditions to live unity, service and recovery.
Spiritual principles ~ Forgiveness Acceptance Surrender Faith Open-mindedness Honesty Willingness Moral-inventory Amends Humility Persistence Spiritual-growth Service