August 26 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 8 Amends And Willing Alcoholics Anonymous Today's AA daily reflection: "by giving it away we get our daily reprieve…" Sharing experience, strength and hope by whatever means to help another person keep sober really does help me as an individual live to the principles of the twelve steps and twelve traditions. Even with social media, it is one individual talking to another individual or simply sharing through words, one day at a time…
Video For Today:
Sometimes we simply share about life being horrible, it feels like another rock bottom, and if it feels like a rock bottom it is another rock bottom. And when we share that the joy of recovery, when we feel that life is wonderful right now, if it feels wonderful, it is wonderful. Sometimes we do things and hurt people and it feels horrible. And if it feels horrible to hurt people, it is horrible. Feelings are very real and in the moment when we keep on learning the truth in the moment of now…
Giving what? Experience, strength and hope… We share truth as it is right now. And sometimes we share opinion about what is good for us and other people will reject it is completely wrong for them. This is in my humble opinion wonderful. If I came to fellowship and continued to come to fellowship and heard nothing new and heard the same old same old, either my listening is faulty or I can only hear my story. I need new stories, and real truth and I get it one day at a time and I grow a little bit today…
Our daily reprieve! To hear the truth, to hear opinion, to hear about the misunderstandings of life. To hear about the joy of new living, to hear about a person evolving out of self obsessed outlooks where self harm and self prejudice were killing us. And to hear about the freedom of choice we get in recovery. Step one and being powerless when indulging in an addiction, to every step opening up the world so we may be a part of it and make free choices based on reality today…
Sometimes when we get a message, when someone says they have something to tell us and they don't give an inkling what it might be about, it can kick off all the old defects right down to the very last thing we may still have kept a secret. And then I try to rack my brains to find out in my own head if I kept a secret about anything in my past. I don't need other people to gossip about me to feel fear indeed I don't feel fear about gossip out there, it is usually the chattering gossip in my head from those who reside in it. Indeed the critic in my head, can be my own worst enemy or frenemey! I have not heard the chattering chorus of critique inside my head for quite a while because I keep near to fellowship and fellowship people every single day…
AA Daily Reflections ~ "Giving it away... Though they knew they must help other alcoholics if they would remain sober, that motive became secondary. It was transcended by the happiness they found in giving themselves to others. [big book]
Those words, for me, refer to transference of power, through which God, as I understand Him, enters my life. Through prayer and meditation, I open channels, and then I establish and improve my conscious contact with God. Through action I then receive the power I need to maintain my sobriety each day. By maintaining my spiritual condition, by giving away what has been freely given to me, I am granted a daily reprieve."
DonInLondon 2005 2011
After eights meeting, issues of later sobriety. Brilliant chair, one similarity: a desire to be sober. And diversity: we are from all walks of life, with an abundance of wisdom. We are trusted servants and no leaders telling us what to do. We can be who we choose to be, just for today…
August 2008 ~ 2010
Moments of clarity: in recovery always today. Living in reality with a sober head, we need less coping strategies, less coping tactics. The more honest our living, the more honest our outlook, needs met wants forgotten, our expectations no longer resentments under construction, clarity only a moment away? Always...
Giving it away for me means sharing experience strength and hope and receiving experience strength and hope from fellow "recoverers". Modest and realistic in our aspirations to be sober today. As spiritual is now, reality is now and everything works in the now, denial and acceptance are now, the odds are good today!
God & Higher Powers... I cannot define God or higher powers. Recently I mentioned I can be an agnostic, atheist and believer all in one. Life experiences offer us evidence of what works for us in our living today. And for me, truth, love and wisdom seem to be the bedrock of living as well as we can. I am full of opinions and self-knowledge based on life experiences and influences around me. Truth, love and wisdom from others helps me make better decisions, improves my outlook and behaviour.
August 26 2007
DonInLondon - ‘Day In The Life’ Sunny Day Vague and Weary
Seems like I have slept for a year! Actually eight hours in a row. Now bad for an insomniac. Chronic sleep disorders are not fixed in a day, yet it seems for a few weeks at least I have improved.
Less Worry More Living The Day
It does feel so, the days have been very straight and enterprising, endeavouring and getting on with what is in front of me.
Powerless Powered Up Living - Peace and Clarity
I realise with my morning meditation, powerless over people places and things, yet powered up to make simple straightforward choices in my living and conduct.
Work with the world and not fight it, offer suggestions not edicts. Accept there is so much I may do and then accept there is so much anyone can do just for today.
Acceptance of safe boundaries, challenging the status quo. We need to accept the world as it is as we see it, and how it works. And also challenge our perceptions of what we see.
Including others and sharing and building wisdom daily is a frame of mind. We can find acceptance of how things are right now, and still develop where and what else we may do to mutual advantage
Life in Life’s Terms
Is feeling the way we do, accept and acknowledging where we are with our living. Making progress and amending and liberating our path to good events and sad events. We need meet life as real, and deal with consequences, see what cannot change, work at changing where we are able, and of course knowing the difference!
Practice Makes Imperfect in this Perfect World
When we realise the world is perfectly imperfect, that we are on a journey, destination guaranteed, what we have on the way is what makes our living worthwhile.
Without pain we don’t know relief. Without sadness we cannot experience the joy of life. Without endeavour we cannot experience the greatness of being.
All these feelings we have, from love as the highest and supra-ordinate emotion in our repertoire to the deeps of peace and desolation. We are gifted as we live to our capacities and more.
Our depth as we tread the journey from cradle to certainty, we are best rewarded with all life offers to our emotional journey.
There is no need to find God lurking in our spiritual path, indeed we are never meant to offer our supplication to a deity, indeed the falseness of any message made by man falters in understanding the workings of this universe and its purpose. Our purpose is determined by providence, nature and our own imagination.
We are merely the product of evolution, beyond most our understanding and god offers a choice to good or the devil to bad. Soaked in our own myth of importance we can find no peace in justifying ourselves to our ourselves. Which is why God is so attractive in defence of our humanity. Whether ego makes us slaves to faith and believe that we are that important, or esteem wishes it so. Redemption is here today in our conduct and not judgment in the hereafter.
May you find him now? God exists as we determine the existence of God.
I am happy to determine that God is our higher power to the good of good conscience. If I were God? I would start over. I am not God so starting over is for me to do from where I come.
Spiritual is simple Truth
With our capacity to imagine and our infinite invention of our truth, we are best dealing as we may in truth for the present and not some recollection or some absolute. We breathe truth as the day goes. We forgetful humans remind ourselves and make some living important, of value and make our truth fit it.
The gift of forgetful peaceful living. We need denial through harsh times and truth to play catch up if we live that long.
Spiritual is truth in this day as we make it work. Let it be so..
And thank God we can
August 26th 2006 [all about last year]
There are No Holidays in Recovery
This might sound worse than is imagined. It is very true, there are never any holidays when it comes to recovery, and I can thank whoever said it to me. I have a horrible feeling it was someone connected to a place which was a hell on earth for me, a place of abuse and neglect and mistaken dreams of mine. I’ll share about this sometime, not today.
I’ve been keeping my blood sugar a little higher the past couple of days after the hypo I had. It’s just 8.7, just 2 points higher than it need be, but I don’t want or need another hypo this week. And whatever was causing the changes, a cold or whatever is still hanging about, I took some extra juice for vitamin c, just in case too. And I got three hours sleep in a row, which is good.
News changes daily, and as I try to keep things in the day. I am still wondering about this news. I practice the mantra of accept those things I cannot change and change the things I can, and work at knowing the difference. And a bit of news to make me wonder.
I had a letter from the Dept of Work and Pensions, the DWP. After the DWP Doctor assessment and the upsetting nature of what happened, with all the information misleading me and their Doctor, he still seems to assessed me as unfit right now for work. And I am not sure or happy or sad. In fact I don’t know how to feel. The painful awareness that this assessment has big implications about next steps and such. I want to work at something at the same time he has come to the conclusion I did too. But it is unhelpful and I will go seek more advice. And I don’t know about how this all happened as fast as it did. Normal communications are prolonged and very hard on me, waiting. At least the wait for this is over and I have some more things to discuss with my psychiatrist next week. I don’t feel comfortable or right or relief. I feel disoriented and cast off, useless to a large extent. Anyway..
There are no holidays in recovery. Whatever we recover from, it’s a day at a time and recovery means we are vigilant and we need address the nature of life as it happens. Planning can make all things achievable or be a set up to pain and frustration. I need be careful not to set myself up and make my expectations of me too high or others too high either. Just take life as it is.
Back in the day, when life meant I could take a day off from me, when I could get out of my head, hmm. Those days are so far away now, where a few drinks to relax and all too often ended up me getting off my face, those days back then are gone. If ever I even contemplated being out of it, well the implications are so dangerous with diabetes, let alone the primary solution on a daily basis is still sobriety, for without it, nothing will work or be possible. I am glad there are no holidays in recovery.
I mentioned working with my feelings on a daily basis, the thing about asking myself, how am I feeling, why and what can I do. This is really a good thing to attempt. And with it I recall every day, what I am powerless over too, people, places and things. That is I have no power or will over people or places or things. And if I ever do consider this to be part of my life, it will certainly become unmanageable. I can manage my choices on a daily basis for myself and my conduct. And this is good in good conscience.
How do we know how to feel? I know I am like every other human being, equipped with all the feelings we have from our nature, the upside and what some feel are the downside, the negatives. Actually feelings are just what they are. And although we don’t like all our feeling abilities we still have them. So as we can love, we can hate, as we can feel joy, we can feel sad and so on.
But if you are like me, well we are taught some feelings are good and some feelings are bad or inappropriate.
And we do definitely learn how to feel as our world changes. So if our world is full of love, we love. And if our world is full of hate, we hate, we learn as we go. And same for joy, we can be good at joy, and crap at being sad, because we may have less experience. Or we have great experience of being sad and never know how to live joy. And so it goes.
And you know as well as me, we are taught not to feel things which get on others nerves. We are taught to suppress our feelings from early times because they don’t fit with what is going on or are inappropriate. Yet while we may suppress and not learn our feelings completely, they are still there and still part of us.
I learned fear well as a kid. Not from home when I was small. I learned fear from the outside world, where punishment seemed to be everywhere, for even feeling good and happy, and content. There is always someone ready to pour water on the fire of good as well as bad.
And fear is good to learn, it keeps us safe. But the down side of it, it means we don’t learn our other feelings as well. Like how to express anger and hurt, in case we get worse for our trouble.
I never really learned anger. And found it completely unhelpful not learning anger later in life. Had I been able to express anger properly, then to the right amount for whatever it was that got on my nerves, then I feel life could have had better balance.
Not learning some feelings, it makes us one sided, or half of our potential and less than balanced maybe, well maybe or not. As a result suppressed anger can become rage inside and rage inside burns and boils its way through our inner being as corrosively as acid on us, and not where it may be best used on those who angered us a bit in the first place.
Rage inside cuts us deep and makes us suppress it even more because we don’t know what to do with it. I am learning that rage is an extreme I simmered a long time, and turned it on myself. When in fact it would have been better to direct my anger where it was due, appropriately and to the right amount, usually small and usually digestible. And usually to resolve a dispute of feelings with others.
Expression of feelings to their rightful amounts in the moment of feeling them enables passage to our next proper set of feelings without making our world completely out of balance as we store up troubles for our next part of life. Ill feeling that drags on drags us down or up to wherever we have got stuck.
Feelings good news and bad news
The good news is I am learning all my feelings again, the bad news is I am crap at it, well to an extent. I can have gold stars for some feelings, and tin stars for some others. What I need is probably silver and bronze stars as feelings get used in the day and to their appropriate level. And this I am learning.
Fear of people, places and things, this is a tough gig. I fear so much I don’t know where it starts or ends sometimes. And my impact on others is a constant wonder and worry. My impact on me, uncertainty as I learn afresh in the world of feeling.
And I fear most something and everything which stops me feeling this world as it is. Like depression of course. And to treat that and feel ordinary and get my chemistry in order I do take an anti depressant called an NRI. Briefly and as described this is what it is and does:
"noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors
A deficiency in noradrenaline neurotransmission is thought to be the underlying cause of many mood disorders, such as depression. Noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors block the sites where noradrenaline is taken back into the presynaptic neuron, and prevent the deactivation of the neurotransmitter. In this way, noradrenaline transmission is enhanced, correcting the deficiency common in many affective disorders."
Actually after I worked out what the drug did, it does one thing, help my brain function to ordinary. It does not bring happiness or allow for a heightened out of the ordinary feeling. It restores balance and hopefully some sort of normal. It is definitely not a happy pill.
As you may have noticed, I have gone through the mill these past few months, but its nowhere near as bad as being so severely depressed nothing is possible, which is how I was at the beginning of the year, when I switched from one anti depressant to another. And this "NRI" I take is compatible with type 1 diabetic control.
Last year and the year before. Well it was a mess. From taking no anti depressant medication I was prescribed mirtazapine. So I went from severe depression to reasonable depression. That is I was functioning to somewhere below par, but ordinary. And the benefit of mirtazapine is some regular pattern of sleep, about 4-5 hours a day.
The problem though, as I then got diagnosed with type 1 diabetes last year, (yes it was out of the blue and not expected, as all my organs had been surveyed and inspected many times in my recovery) mirtazapine and insulin treatment helped me gain weight alarmingly.
I went from 13stone 10lbs, to 18stone in five months, and actually just about 19 stone just before xmas last year, the 19 stone figure was on other scales not at the hospital, so 19 is what I know, not what the hospital know.
So to combat weight, I had to wean myself off mirtazapine (an SSRI)for a month and then start Reboxetine, an NRI gradually to the current dose. The impact was dramatic, I crashed and found myself back in a severe episode of depression as one stopped and the other started.
Reboxetine is working without a doubt as the severe depression has lifted to the usual and persistent depression which is manageable. I don’t sleep of course which is a side effect of the drug, as well as others those of you in the know will be aware. For those who are not, well really you don’t want to.
You might ask then why not sleeping pills? Answer for me as an addict, it would harm me and put me back in a dependence which would harm my recovery. Sleeping pills are addictive. Even those nice zoplicone ones which are not meant to be. Actually the most effective sleeping pill of all time is no longer available to me or anyone I think. I won’t mention it but I am glad in a way, it was used for other purposes by nasty people, all I know it guaranteed 8 hours oblivion and no headache or memory… I think you get the picture.
The good news is I have consistently lost weight since I stopped mirtazapine. From the confirmed 18 stone the hospital checked, I am now 15 stone and still going down to where we think normal will be, yet to be agreed. So about three stones lost in five months. And to make sure I don’t digest too much fat, I then started xenical a couple of months after the reboxetine, which stops some of my fat digestion. it’s a nasty little addition to a diet, and is not recommended by me. Honest.
Xenical works though and the side effects mainly are, you always know where there is a toilet, because if you eat anything out, you can guarantee a compulsory visit to the loo. It is a certainty! If you don’t know where the toilet is, man are you in trouble…
Good job I don’t anything with fat in it, eat out, or eat any fast food, or I’d be on the bog all day.
Anyway that’s some more of me and my regime.
Last night was odd, my regular meeting on a Friday is just nearby. And with some regulars missing, like the organisers and speaker, it could have been a bit of a problem. In AA though we always seem to have back up round here. There are always others who will pick up the baton and get things underway, which we (they who knew, but we in the sense of fellowship) did. And someone volunteered to speak. So we had a good meeting and were only concerned our regular people were ok, no doubt they are and we will find out in due course. As we keep all things manageable we don’t get worried when plans alter at the last minute or harbour resentments if we are long enough in the programme, we just get on and make things work. Now that is recovery!
I am going on a bit here, so I better stop and have my porridge and insulin for breakfast, good job they are both diet compatible and Don friendly, or my early morning meeting would be impossible, more later cheers for now...
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