September 19 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 9 Amends In Action Alcoholics Anonymous Today's AA daily reflection: "acceptance… Emotional and spiritual acceptance" the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous is all about emotional and spiritual well-being one day at a time. We are all equal, we have a right to be involved and not involved as we choose. Emotional, understanding my feelings right now and spiritual, being able to cope with reality is a fundamental and very promising start to any day…
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Often we hear the words, "acceptance is the key," or this is the way it is right now. We hear a lot about denial, denial is an inability to cope with our feelings and even understand them in the moment of now. Usually denial happens when things are so good it's unbelievable, or things are so bad we can't believe it either. And there is another pernicious type of denial, where we just can't see the truth in any situation because we don't know our feelings and how to experience them, and we just don't know how to cope with reality. Pernicious denial in my early days of addiction, never questioning why I could not stop self harm, self prejudice and keep drinking without even realising what was going on…
In rehab: and I spent thirteen weeks in a rehab unit in Kennington South London. The best part of rehab: a roof over my head and the opportunity to get to regular meetings of the fellowship of AA. A bunch of people regularly abused by staff, with the authority to make or break each of us and the power to end help not only from them, but from the authorities who financed the rehab. I saw through all that crap and left and preferred the streets and drink. The good news, I did realise that the fellowship of AA was the right place for me to get sober, the bad news, the pernicious denial of addiction was in full flow for quite a while… And during that time, prison and death would have been preferred to rehab and the horror they created without end…
Acceptance, so difficult when we find ourselves in unacceptable circumstances! And sometimes the most difficult things to understand when we are in recovery is that those we love may still be stuck in a world we cannot be a part of any more, the world of drink, the world of self harm, the world of abusive behaviour which has become the normal for them. And we want to prove to those still damaged that we love them and cherish them. Sometimes we can love and cherish the people still stuck, but their behaviour is so wrong for us as individuals we need to move away. Loving people and hating their behaviour, loving people and not being able to be with them is all part of acceptance of a new way of life. Acceptance is the good, the bad and the ugly, and a new life sometimes means we leave people behind, letting go with love towards them, even when they may continue to abuse us, hate our new outlook and strike out in the only way they can… With hate…
A phrase I have heard quite often, "I suddenly realised I was talking to the disease." When in recovery we say, "my name is… And I am an alcoholic," we own the absolute fact that we are an alcoholic and we have alcoholism. Alcoholism is not separate to the person, it is not something which is going to go away. When we are sober, we talk face-to-face and we are alcoholics in recovery just today. The chattering head, the words spoken when disabled by alcohol and addiction are still our words. Emotional and spiritual well-being is contingent on how we are able to cope with our feelings in the moment and asking for help when we need it from any source and from any direction, and it works just for today. And with each new day, we learn more wisdom and we learn more about our emotional and spiritual condition as we come to believe and understand life in the moment of now…
I need to accept my emotional, spiritual and physical condition. Feelings are good, I got to a meeting last night and listened to many sharing their truth. Spiritual always based on the truth of now starting with my feelings which impact on how I think from moment to moment. Physical condition not so good, aggravated slipped discs and trapped nerve in back. Can feel right in my head, take account of not being so mobile for today. Can do, cannot do, wisdom to know the difference.
Contingent on my spiritual condition, dealing with the truth of my situation I am free to make the best choices. When I am unsure, I ask myself what advice I would give another with similar opportunities today. Then I check my suggestions with others dependent on the issues and options. Letting go of knowing the right answer and checking with people who know, asking for help and advice I am more likely to accept what I may do today...
Nature and Providence… Some talk about saving the planet, all manner of organisations to save our world, and we all have become more aware of our carbon footprint. Do we have power at all? Somehow it can feel futile, a bit like King Canute and his court at the sea side. “Well, my friends," Canute said, "it seems I do not have quite so much power as you would have me believe. Perhaps you have learned something today. Perhaps now you will remember there is only one King who is all-powerful, and it is he who rules the sea, and holds the ocean in the hollow of his hand. I suggest you reserve your praises for him." The royal officers and courtiers hung their heads and looked foolish. And some say Canute took off his crown soon afterward, and never wore it again.
Planet earth part of nature, providence, as life is not as we might wish it so. We do have choices today, personal and as a society over many aspects of human doings.
Powerless over alcohol, people places and things feels like letting go the need to try control the impossible. Yet even the sober in this world are still driven to believe they have control. Mostly it is an illusion of their choosing.
Acceptance of life as it is, truth, love and wisdom seem to flow more positively, rather than trying to hold back the tide of denial we humans need from time to time. Denial a necessary buffer against our reality when reality is too shocking to comprehend, namely powerlessness over an outcome we do not want need or like. Death and taxes are two favourites.
Losing an old life of drinking and what may have been perceived as happiness to history, gaining a new life causes grief and denial. We all have grief, we can deny and cover up and then we find the issues just keep piling up.
Fellowship, twelve steps and twelve traditions actually offer freedom from the past, an end to a mountain of denials and opportunity let denial work for us on a daily basis. When we get those “I cannot believe it” moments in recovery, we recognise sooner rather than later what is going on for us. Hard times, where we barely cover our needs, becoming easier to accept when we realise we still have a life to live. Accepting good times can be equally hard as shame and guilt for past mistakes can pollute our outlook today.
In step nine, the promises can be quite obscure as we live the steps and learn about ourselves. As we realise old ways need change and we mend our ways of living, there is a promise of a brighter outlook. And it means we need change our ways, to open honest living. Working with the truth of our situation as it is and what choices we have. For the promise comes true daily as I live to truth as much as I can and hold to an outlook and way of living which fits with life as it is today.
With my daily needs covered as best they can be, my wants tend to fade. Reality can be difficult; we need not make it worse with denial. Acceptance is the key always…
Acceptance, reality of recovery... a meeting recently, a man sits nearby, relapsed three days ago, grim and fearful, another one year sober and astonished, opposite me another two decades sober accepting all life has thrown at them. And another, saved my life years ago, sober we cherish and accept life today...
Life on life's terms, spiritual acceptance is difficult. Sobriety offers the gift of spiritual living, which is living in the moment of now. Open, honest and willing we come to accept sadness and joy, that we feel everything in the moment with more clarity as we make progress, our choices are imperfectly perfect today...
AA Daily Reflections ~ "acceptance... We admitted we couldn’t lick alcohol with our own remaining resources, and so we accepted the further fact that dependence upon a Higher Power (if only our A.A. group ) could do this hitherto impossible job. The moment we were able to accept these facts fully, our release from the alcohol compulsion had begun. [As Bill sees it]
Freedom came to me only when my acceptance that I could turn my will and my life over to the care of my Higher Power, whom I call God. Serenity seeped into the chaos of my life when I accepted that what I was going through was life, and that God would help me through my difficulties - and much more, as well. Since then He has helped me through all of my difficulties! When I accept situations as they are, not as I wish them to be, then I can begin to grow and have serenity and peace of mind."
"And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing or situation -- some fact of my life -- unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment. "
September 19 2007
DonInLondon - ‘Day In the Life’ All About Recovery
Seems a theme for me today. All about living and doing and being a part of life. We make our way as time enables. Today has felt good. At last a date for my belongings to be delivered. That is my furniture and bits and pieces which have been in store. Lost and found at last, and I am very pleased. It’s been a wait but I realised I might just wait and see. Trying to speed up the process would have yielded nothing and so I have been happy to be patient.
Being patient and knowing what is, and what is not possible feels very right these days. I am not passive about life, as life is about being active and out in it and not necessarily watching it!
Photos, a passion of mine over the years and never able to manage to find a way to develop my interest till now. And I have fun just trying and having something I really enjoy. A far cry from the last decade trying to understand my maladies..
We get there in the end or die in the process, so the last few years has been all about finding out about me and my outlook. As you know if you are a regular here, life has been a struggle from nothing to having a life back.
There are constraints a plenty, and that’s ok. I am not unscathed as life has dealt some fairly hard knocks along the way, and maybe I now see my part in all matters and those of others. A forgiving process. And a worthwhile one.
Tonight has been good, I went out as usual to a meeting of AA, Alcoholics Anonymous. it’s a bit like the old Mars slogan, ‘a meeting a day, helps you work rest and play.’ and whilst the Mars slogan has bitten the dust as it cannot be proven, I cannot say that AA will help you work rest and play either.
I may speak for me.
AA ‘A Cult’
It’s not unusual to hear this or read it especially on my you tube site. I like AA and some people don’t. a sad fact and worthy of scrutiny. As some people in AA can be very single minded in their outlook, so too in any fellowship, then the label of cult comes along.
As I don’t get the cult bit yet, and have not been converted into anything but a sober person, I am happy with Alcoholics Anonymous.
AA has no leaders, has no right to make you anything, offers fellowship and a way out of a bind no rational person would ever want, that is to be an addict.
AA simply is what you make of it and living your life. As to it being a cult, if it keeps you sober to say so, then go ahead. As for me and the fellowship, I live sobriety and find meetings keep me on track. What better reason than that to be in it?
As for anyone else, it’s a matter of personal choice. If AA does not suit, there is plenty of help elsewhere. A disease which kills once it’s got a grip, I am a fervent fan of recovery, and AA helps me find sanity just for today, and that is good enough for me.
As to statistics and AA.. As a fellowship it does not monitor anything or really know who is in it or out of it, there are no records, no secret bits to AA so far as I have found.
The point is we are only as good as we are on any particular day. So the fellowship is just humans doing their best, we learn as we go, and have no way to fix a person, we just learn our own path. More another day…
September 19th 2006 [ all about last year]
Looking After Number One
A friend of mine shared about their sad news last night. I am relieved they have, it’s not good to sit on that type of information too long, even though it’s never a good time to share it. I know it was burning a hole in my well being and not being able to do anything more until they were ready to share it. Now they are able to let others help as they may. And it’s a learning lesson for me too...
You know, all my life I have been at fault in this very basic element of living. For some reason which is stuck in my dim dark past, is something which has always made me put others first. It may not seem like it in recent years, but overall the truth is for most my life this has been me.
And of course wanting to be a helpful person, I do stretch myself in all directions. And now I feel the price paid. And this instance my physical well being is being compromised, A simple task involving helping others. And its consequences on me. I have to learn to deal with some realities. If I push myself too hard, I break down. In this case it’s not too drastic, but the penalties for doing too much are with me today.
Simply, going to a meeting and helping by putting out chairs and after a meeting helping put them away. Now this morning my body is complaining at me. And my back and feet are letting me know I went too far. Diabetic neuropathy medication, only goes so far, it does not work if I do too much:
"Diabetic neuropathies are a family of nerve disorders caused by diabetes. People with diabetes can, over time, have damage to nerves throughout the body. Neuropathies lead to numbness and sometimes pain and weakness in the hands, arms, feet, and legs. Problems may also occur in every organ system, including the digestive tract, heart, and sex organs. People with diabetes can develop nerve problems at any time, but the longer a person has diabetes, the greater the risk.
An estimated 50 percent of those with diabetes have some form of neuropathy. Diabetic neuropathy also appears to be more common in people who have had problems controlling their blood glucose levels, in those with high levels of blood fat and blood pressure, in overweight people, and in people over the age of 40. The most common type is peripheral neuropathy, also called distal symmetric neuropathy, which affects the arms and legs."
So, it is a simple learning for me. Don’t push myself too far or the consequences are more than my enthusiasm to be helpful. When will I learn? By getting others to help me and make sure I let them know what I can do and what I cannot do. It is a real pain, not only in my body, but in my mind. I like to be involved and helpful, I need to learn to pace what I do and not be afraid to say no to some things and yes to others!
I am to make tea at a fellowship meeting, I guess I can do this, maybe I just need to pace myself as best I can. At the same time I need be careful with the amount of physical labour I may do, and consequences are always there from here on in. Consequences I need not elaborate further right now, there will be time enough for that.
A hard learning for me, my new yes is to say no, with good reason and with a gentle voice. I may look right, and seem alright, I am not unfortunately and that is just how it is…
Just For Today, cherish always…
Step 9 "If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves." Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us…sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them." AA Promises
Step 9 Amends In Action Alcoholics Anonymous Anonymous Reading Video Link:
“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
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