September 26 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 9 Amends In Action Alcoholics Anonymous Today's AA daily reflection: "how relationships develop with family, friends, community and work…" Part of the promises is that life will take on new meaning and this is true. For the first time in my adult life, resolving my feelings and knowing what they were started the ball rolling towards truthful and loving relationships. I still had times when I really didn't know what my feelings were, because the whole business of feelings was something which had confused me, and made worse by suppressing those feelings I felt were inappropriate. Feelings are not usually inappropriate, it is the thinking and actions we take which can be very inappropriate and based on life experience and distortions brought on by the way society shaped us over the years…
Video For Today:
Better relationships all round? As a consequence of the past, some relationships cannot be mended. Damage done to us and to others can make it impossible. The stark truth is there are consequences to our actions from the past. And when other people have been hurt, how they are as a consequence is simply the way it is today. And I've learned my job in recovery is to be open, honest and willing to change. It is not for me to expect anything from past relationships and not to be forgiven just because I am changing. There will be plenty of people, places and things from which I will be excluded because of past actions. I can make amends if opportunity arises providing it does no further harm to all concerned, but this is not a rite of passage to be included in those parts of life again…
Step nine amends help me be more aware of what I can and cannot do on a daily basis. Can do, cannot do, what I like to do and what I don't like to do, the people I like and the people I do not like. Emotional and spiritual living, knowing my feelings in the moment and how they impact on my thinking and actions means my choices are more true to myself and my outlooks. I need not be a people pleaser, I can be a people supporter. I can say yes to what is right for me and those I love, and no to what is not right for me and ask those I love for advice and help in making some of these decisions. Asking for help, being included in fellowship, has taught me a lot about where I might be included in family, with friends and community and work. What works one day, might not work another day and I keep on learning the difference as time and days move along…
Sometimes very hurt people will hurt others, "hurt people, hurt people." Loving people able to love unconditionally can produce the same feelings in others, not an overnight change, a change in understanding loving relationships develop through time. Getting to know people, accepting people as they are and not as we might wish them to be. This is all part of life where there can be much joy and deep sadness and much love and considerable frustration learning every single day. Humility to keep on learning is one of the key ways I keep on track and spiritual principle of forgiveness at all costs for my own actions and the actions of others is an imperative. I might be forgiven but excluded, I might forgive and exclude others. I might be forgiven and included, I might forgive and be included by others. It depends on trust, coping with our feelings in the moment and what is possible and not possible as a human on a daily basis… There is no right or wrong, and we have no right to impose our will on others freedom to choose one day at a time…
Attraction and not promotion… I am attracted to? When someone is promoting an idea? In fellowship what you see is what you get, the best a person can be in that moment, imperfectly perfect, flawed human beings. And we learn what it is to be a human being living life in recovery. I am attracted to people who are learning life with humility, and also I have learned so much from those who are imperfectly perfect, still full of the same old same old, but perceptively changing through time and learning what it is to be open honest and willing to live life on life's terms. The medicine men with their promotions, dogma and snake oil charm are all part of the learning process, if you do this they say, "you'll be a winner!" There are plenty of medicine men around in fellowship promoting, but the majority in fellowship are simply like me with the serenity prayer ingrained, learning serenity by accepting what we cannot change and having the courage what we can and learning the wisdom and the difference one day at a time…
War stories... And or drinking stories? And our life story: When I first found myself able to sit in fellowship meetings, listening and judging to what I heard, the more bizarre the better I felt. A lot of tall stories told, for good measure. I worked on my story and made it a thorough horror story. Then I heard my story, stopped trying for the best story ever told, and listened for what worked in sobriety one day at a time...
Real life, learning how to be included and know where I fit No longer a desperate struggle to find my place in society, simply happy in the company I keep inside and outside fellowship. Always in the journey, the conversations in life with friends and family, strangers we meet, words shared and wisdom of life. From long associations to brief encounters there is always something new, even when we still don't know what we are looking for...
If you had told me I could cope with life, death and taxes without taking a drink, I would have thought you mad. Everyone drank, everyone still drank was what I had come to believe. Today in recovery I see life with more clarity, moment to moment, can cope and feel and express myself more truthfully. I am willing today...
We feel everything in recovery; early days we boil in a cauldron of emotions, all of them usually at extremes. We erupt inside and we have fellowship to express our highs and lows. With time and expression, feelings cool down from bottled up years to day size, up and down as life happens, right sized just for today...
No one was ever able to tell me what the promises were. Are these extravagant promises? We think not… The promises in the big book of AA, a collection of true life accounts in recovery from alcoholism. How to live life in recovery: and what how to live and practice the principles and suggestions of the twelve steps and traditions. No person is perfect; we are all subject to life’s ups and downs. We are making progress just for today…
I was part of a meeting the other day, where we shared about the promises in step nine. Step nine is the focus of our daily reflections book for September. I like and enjoy reading about the twelve steps and traditions, to gain a better perspective as they are lived by me, never perfect and not wanting to be perfect. If we are perfect, then we have no room for growth. I feel we are imperfectly perfect, we have the right ingredients to live, and nature and providence take care of the rest. We are all part of creation, creating in our own part as we may in the scheme of…
Promises in my early days, get to meetings, listen and listen some more. And these promises, what on earth were they? I had no clue, a promise of a better life. I lost the lot on the way to rock bottom, and then stayed a long time, drowning in dreams of revenge and torment, self-harm run riot and a mind filled with distortions and alibis. Fact, I was lost doing the wrong things for the right reasons most of my adult life. Fact, today I do more of what is right for me for the right reasons.
Wrong things would be: for me chasing the next best experience, people places and things. Right job, right girl right home, right holiday, and right fun, very righteous and very materialistic as rock bottom proved. And everything lost, empty, riven and excoriated, in a black desolate fugue.
Today what is right for me? To live sober, be open and honest, willing to put in the right actions. To be able tolerate and love everyone including me. Tolerate and love, know we are all making our way as best we can, not judge others and simply judge my willingness to learn what is good for me in living. I can decide what is right for me in good conscience, say yes appropriately and no appropriately in living today.
No one was ever able to tell me what the promises were. I guess the promises are what they are for each and every one who lives in recovery. For me, an end to self-harm, self-obsession, materialism and valuing me and others by their status and material gain, although I might have denied such a way to measure in olden days, it was etched into me by experience.
Life on life’s terms, sober and alive. Able to deal with: success on an emotional and spiritual basis, and similarly be able to deal with setbacks. I have one day to live, today. I can feel life, be more open and honest, be myself and learn the value of life, not my life, all life.
A fellowship, to help us experience emotional and spiritual, to be okay physically and do what we need do today. Needs met, our wants forgotten? In all the best stories we find serenity when it can be, progress when it cannot and even then there is serenity in adversity. We learn what we can do and cannot do, and daily see the difference. Enthusiasm for what is today, progress in acceptance, in the ever present, present moment of now.
AA Daily Reflections ~ "our children, friends and family... the alcoholic may find it hard to re-establish friendly relations with his children. . . . In time they will see that he is a new man and in their own way they will let him know it. From that point on, progress will be rapid. Marvellous results often follow such a reunion. [Big book]
While on the road to recovery I received a gift that could not be purchased. It was a card from my son in college, saying, “Dad, you can’t imagine how glad I am that everything is okay. Happy Birthday, I love you.” My son had told me that he loved me before. It had been during the previous Christmas holidays, when he had said to me, while crying, “Dad, I love you! Can’t you see what you’re doing to yourself?” I couldn’t. Choked with emotion, I had cried, but this time, when I received my son’s card, my tears were tears of joy, not desperation."-/-
September 26 2007
DonInLondon - ‘Day In the Life’ Nearly there and more to Do
So when last I wrote it was Monday. I missed my AA meeting and then yesterday had so much to do I had no time. And also a cold developed over the last day or two. I am bunged up.
New Home And return of my Possessions
Indeed I have a new home, the first it feels like in years, even a whole lifetime which I can call home. My Sister and Mother are away, and they last saw my flat near bare and me sleeping on the floor for some weeks. As furniture I had stored, some was lost in transit for various reasons, mainly nothing to do with me, but changes in policy and storage of goods by my local authority [the local council] when I ended up homeless again. I got some more back yesterday so life is much improved. Some losses of sentimental value and some quite expensive too. I am circumspect presently, not angry or sad by things lost. I am alive and I have friends again today.
I used to be ok in the financial department and worked hard and had a good career, home friends and girlfriends along the way. Then a lot of life happened which left me isolated and alone, after more than one nervous breakdown, I became indigent and along the way alcoholic on top of clinical depressions, anxiety states and a lost soul. Then as you know in my recovery and in good physical shape, a virus left me type one diabetic and insulin dependent. And in recovery from alcohol.
AA - Alcoholics Anonymous
These last few years AA has kept me on track and sober with friendship and fellowship. I know myself better than I ever did. And these days I can make sense of life and living. My ailments are for life, clinical depression and a chemistry imbalance, diabetic and I do have a number of peripheral issues. If you had asked me would life be worth living with what I need do today several years ago, I would have made certain and made sure I would have expired. Today I feel differently.
Maybe it has been my purpose to share my thoughts and feelings as life goes along. Finding the truth in the day. Looking to be honest and transparent in my relationship with everyone and the world, it’s a tall order with so much time taken keeping well emotionally, physically and spiritually.
Evasive and Uncertainty
I know what it is like to be faced with hard truth, about how I ended up. It is not glamorous and not always easy to keep to truth. And I have found the same in others. We all learn the truth as we go. What we feel and understand.
Caution makes us careful and economic with truth. And I have found truth a very hard task master for me too. I have not always found my truth even acceptable to me. And the truth shared as others learn wisdom is as hard.
So forgiving is a special key for me. I need forgive and forgive. And this applies to me too. As with any life we have things we find hard to share. And vulnerability and just trying to live from day break to sunset give us plenty of opportunity to bend the world to our point of view.
Forgive and move On
Indeed as we find our fellowships and friendships, we get wisdom and confidence. We share more truth until lies just hurt us continually if we utilise the selective truth too much and too often.
We are Not Politicians
Indeed we have such bad role models and deceptions in life it’s like a nightmare trying to make good truth at all.
But simply today?
I have a roof over my head. I have fellowship and life is nothing like I ever imagined.
The return of some of my old possessions, well there is great sentimental value in some. I have had memories of old times and there is much to look back and cherish. And the cherishing these days wins hands down over the lasting sadness of times where all turned to the dark of living.
I need be careful of love, always look to nurture and not hurt. And know when it’s time to move along or we find ourselves trapped imagining we have power over anything. In my experience we need keep truth and love and spiritual close. And we need find our path as life enables.
I feel ok today, even though I know there is some hard news ahead. I am can face life, talk out my issues and find friendship as friendship is given. Not always quite as we might wish, but certainly delivered in compatible sentiments and as sincerely as another’s truth affords. I am no different and hope for better experience, strength and hope as time shows me the way.
September 26th 2006
I will Survive
At first I was afraid
I was petrified
Kept thinking I could never live
without you by my side
But then I spent so many nights
thinking how you did me wrong
And I grew strong
And I learned how to get along..
The words are sort of about me and my relationship with what was my best friend, you know the one in the bottle. And I recognise always where it would lead. And the ghost I became is the one never coming back in my life, as long as I keep to my fellowship, and the day at a time way of living.
Recovery can feel like a lonely business. As can life for anyone, after all we come into the world without much say, and leave it just the same. In between we have all the chances for good and bad in between. And sometimes we feel alone even when we have every advantage of family and friends around us. No matter how much we are loved, unless we find that self-esteem inside which makes us feel worthy of being loved back, it is the loneliest place to be.
And being in recovery from anything, from a cold to recovering from a major ailment, our confidence is knocked, and we get the empty feeling inside where the world is spinning and we are out of whack with what’s going on.
Leaving number one son to the perils of University, I understand this in some ways, although I have no kids of my own. It’s like another life is taking off and the role of Mum is superseded by altogether foreign influences, and time shared is gone to a large extent.
A female friend of mine has just gone to University as a mature student. With every encouragement I could make, and a reference from me as well, and with the sure knowledge that as her life changes, our connection grows smaller. I shall miss her terribly. And worse here for me, I did rather fancy her too, and know it would not become reciprocal. So a double blow to my esteem. At the same time I recognise her path is away and full of every experience I would wish for anyone in my life. And as a result our relationship diminishes and ends, for indeed she will fall in love and move on and this best friend is gone and rightly so. That’s life and I accept it, and the hole left inside me. There is right in all this, and although that gap inside is heartfelt, it is just the way it must be. And I will survive as the song goes. There are no bitter thoughts, just rueful reflections as in all things, the gaps fill in other directions.
I realise there are things about my situation which make me less than an attractive proposition as an intimate friend. At the same time the less than attractive, the disabilities are no hindrance to my living. And we never know what is around the corner for us. I am told I still look pretty good, so and with a cautious smile I reckon I will never be alone again, especially with the fellowship. I have my basic qualification and will always fit in there. And this is really as much as it needs to be for now.
Odd though, we can abandon ourselves so easily, and never see the role we play in so many lives. Unless we look outwards and not inwards. And we actually touch so many as long as we keep going out and being part of our community and connected. Isolation is our perilous friend, and isolation makes us lonely and other people forgetful we exist. So I recognise it’s better to busy and out and helping others and joining in in life as much as I can.
Not easy for a clinically depressed individual, as being out at all is torture indeed. Only relieved as we get the right regime to help us, from professional, clinical and community support. And we need to do our bit too. And try turn up for life as much as we can stand until we can just darn well join in and find some happiness!
Yesterday, Monday was ok for me, and full of drama around me. My cold is making my head feel a bit funny as well as the meds. In all though, the world seemed out of sorts. Some of my friends were clearly suffering as the Autumn turn has brought them SAD syndrome.
And in particular, someone who I care for deeply had a really difficult episode. And it’s going to take time for them to get their bearings again. Thank goodness for our friends and their family. And you know it’s a relief to see our "friends" who have much wisdom kick into care and support and rally round and get help where it needs to come from to make sure another soul is in safe hands.
Feel free and this applies to anyone, to hijack or just reply to anything I write. The more the merrier. I may not be able to reply in the particular as there is much I don't know about I realise, but hey, this is an open debate on living, and not really about me, just life around and about. You might enjoy other stuff I send into the BBC, smiles I have got a taste for sharing my views on anything, where blogs and comments are made open. But that’s just me.
My Mum, Sister and her partner, they are away soon for a holiday, so yours truly gets to do some cat sitting as well. It’s good to help out. And be a part of life, even if it’s just keeping the cat safe and well fed! Smiles and what a Monday, made me feel knick knacked.
As there is nothing we can do to take the edge off KT, it seems we feel things as they are meant in the moment. Strong and poignant, and then the emotions, getting their right size as we process things in real time.
Having our feelings back in total was a promise I never expected to be two edged. For now I feel love again, smiles and darn it, I also have all the other feelings back too, and my word, they are as painful and profound as ever they were. At least I deal with them now instead of living in oblivion, that was a hell on earth. As to heaven, well what is one without the other. And there are heavenly moments just being alive and present in this ever present moment of now…
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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