September 5 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 9 Amends In Action Alcoholics Anonymous Today's AA daily reflection: "emotional reality in the moment of now and indirect amends…" How often do resentments seem to come out of nowhere? Something touches a nerve and old history, and what seems like a big situation right now has been made even more profound as we find anger and resentment flare up… Here we go again, as we react in our old ways…
Video For Today:
And the daily reflections touches on our past behaviour today, how fear and putting on a brave face with a brittle ego covering up our indignation at not being taken notice of and other people put themselves first. It always happens, unthinking people stepping on our toes, playing their music loud, blocking the car in, towing the car away, creating nuisance and imposing on our serenity. All we need do is look at the frequency of these occasions and how important they are in a lifetime, they are of little importance usually. Live and let live, some things are just not worth the emotional effort and actually usually we are better off walking away. The indirect amend is not erupting and feeling murderous thoughts. Acceptance of life and reality as it is and not as we expect saves the day…
There are many people who I never knew would have been hurt by my behaviour, until I realise these days much of what I did was done to protect the fearful me and that happened in my early life. I can see clearly now, the superficial rather than the deep and meaningful. It was quite manipulating and controlling, and often I was simply an absentee in my own life and the people around me. And when I plunged head on into love and romance, trying to be perfect, I was simply very trying…
Living reality, where feelings fit the moment of now means most of the time I am not troubled by the impact of others on me and my impact on them. Open, honest and willing and learning how to be truthful about how I feel means people get to know the real me. Posturing and pretending is no good. And I don't feel the notion of faking it to make it ever works. People know when we are faking. After all they too may have done the same for a long time as well. Expression of mood and feelings ensures that what follows in terms of our thinking and our actions are transparent with the people around us. That way we get instant feedback if people can be honest with us, and sometimes they cannot. And that's okay today…
Being ourselves in recovery can be very difficult. First of all we have to learn who we are, and who we are changes daily because of life. Life is always changing and we need to adapt to our situation and the people around us as we go. What worked yesterday may not work today. Successful recovery is about every mistake being positive and every failure a new start. We need not fear failure, and maybe failure is the wrong word. But every one of us in recovery succeeds out of failure one day at a time. Sober, alive and another day above ground…
September 2005 ~ 2011
DonInLondon People matter today. I was sharing with friends the nature of forgiveness changes through time. Often we will not apply forgiveness to ourselves, and yet forgive others everything. At my worst I was doing the best I could, at their worst it was the best they could, forgiving is equalising. We always face consequences of actions at our worst, and hopefully we learn and change as we may. That was then this is now, just for today...
"Get Over it"
So often said in a harsh moment, "get over it" and whatever the “it” may be, we can chew a long time on "it" before we do. The "it" to get over is usually the impact of people, places and things on me or you. An impact we do not like, usually a loss of some we see precious and important to us. Some say we need live recovery like a loose garment, room to move and breathe, get used to new attitudes and outlooks, let go what is not ours to covet is often the answer. Covet ~ "to feel inordinate desire for what belongs to another"
What we most often covet is freedom. And the irony as we learn in recovery is we cherish our freedom to live well, to love, be loved and useful. And then when others exercise their choices and freedoms, we can become quite bitter and twisted very quickly. They don't love us back and we feel useless, followed by every dark thought as a response.
Emotional balance is not a neutral way to live where nothing upsets our outlook. Actually everything upsets our balances. Physically every time our heartbeat goes up or down as our feelings impact on us, we are creating a new balance. So we will feel life as we go, and our heartbeat is raised many times a day by what is going on. All good, and this reaction to our situation keeps us safe and also can put us in harm’s way. Joy and sadness in different amounts are experienced each day.
Our emotions are us, and then we think, often singled minded, to our view and not the overall view of a situation. Balance comes when we accept everyone has the same rights, and same responsibilities. At this moment we find a conflict on so many levels. No one person sees our outlook as we see it, and the same applies, we do not see another’s outlook and situation, unless we pause and reflect...
As we learn, the viewpoints of others and how they differ from ours, we find the connection. How to have empathy, how we see, not how I see all the time. Life is a series of agreements and disagreements, inclusion and exclusion as we learn in the moment.
Balance? Something I see as I swing by... until I ask and connect, until I can accept the situations as they are today and then work on choices based on others outlooks as well as my own.
We "get over it" a thousand times a day; sometimes it is just the one we need really get over, our own point of view, our own ego and our single minded purpose to be right all the time...
September 5 2010 ~ in a judgmental frame of mind, we see in others what we do not see in ourselves. It does not take much persuading to see their faults, and then the world can turn dark very quickly. Better to look inwards to good judgment, make the best choices, let go and move along in a timely manner... today
September 5 2010 ~ a day in the life as you see it... Judged and judged again in the malady of addiction, snap decisions others made to avoid us at all costs... Odd these days we can do the same, judge harshly in recovery when we encounter our fellows in the malady. I am responsible when anyone anywhere reaches out for help...
Video Link To This Day: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3OuzVXF-_CY
AA Daily Reflections ~ "Emotional balance... Made direct amends to such people wherever possible [12&12]
When I survey my drinking days, I recall many people whom my life touched casually, but whose days I troubled through my anger and sarcasm. These people are untraceable, and direct amends to them are not possible. The only amends I can make to those untraceable individuals, the only "changes for the better" I can offer, are indirect amends made to other people, whose paths briefly cross mine. Courtesy and kindness, regularly practiced, help me to live in emotional balance, at peace with myself. "
September 5 2007
DonInLondon - ‘Day In The Life’ Moving Experiences
I might say relocating experiences too. It’s been strange these last two weeks or so. Wondering about moving and then almost out of the blue, having somewhere to move to and then realise I must move right now.
Those familiar with my story know that the last few years has been quite hard and difficult. The onset and diagnosis of three conditions medically, which have made my situation somewhat precarious. I am not unhappy about being afflicted today. The outcomes for a person like me are really against the odds of living through these maladies is not so good. A betting man may have made a wager on me making it this far. I am relieved and resolute in recovery a day at a time.
A condition which I understand has been a part of my biology and chemistry for many years, most likely all my life. This is a condition we find hard to understand as an individual and something we learn to cover up as we grow into mature adults. The severity of clinical depression is not understood by the patient, me in this case, because life has always had a melancholy about it. Even when happy, I have always known the fear of life generally and it having a preponderance to go into decline.
No doubt we can see the connection and the utility of self-medicating away the depressions and absolute godsend of alcohol, which afforded oblivion from the pain of being, until the last few years where alcohol just took me over and made sure I was secured as an addict.
These two conditions, or diseases, or just what they may be, they made ordinary life pretty much impossible. And the outcome has been a revelation to me.
In the end of my days of drinking I realised the madness of depression and drink, the total distortion of life and living. These days in a programme of recovery with alcoholics anonymous, and of course professional help, I have found some peace and stability.
Type 1 Diabetes
After I got into recovery, and had good medical assessments, another condition arrived out of the blue. That is type 1 diabetes. With all it offers and challenges I was fortunate indeed to have found recovery and rehabilitation which helped me with this third condition.
The last year has seen some good recovery in some elements of my condition overall and some unfortunate incapacities which offer no improvement and so far some decline in my health generally.
How am I feeling?
Homeless and Rootless
Over the last decade or so I have seen life chances and experiences change radically, a downward spiral into oblivion and the a slow improvement in some ways as the years in recovery have clocked up.
Until this week I have been without a home and had been classified as homeless. Not such a good thing nor a bad one either as the state did find me a roof over my head. And this week a permanent one.
I am home I feel for the first time in years. The transition will take time, the move has been hard and difficult. The outcome is pretty ok.
I have got some of my belongings back, in store with my local council, most of it so far is missing, I was anticipating its arrival today, and sadly it’s not good news.
Although I am home, and without most of my belongings it is good news simply because the roof over my head now is for good.
These days I don’t see news so much as bad, but more an acceptance that life will have ups and downs, we need find our way to deal with all eventualities as we can.
My DonInLondon - Day In the Life
Resumes service today.
As today progressed, I have now got a working shower, paint and most decorating underway with help.
A fridge will come tomorrow, one essential I need for insulin storage, and the one thing I must get as my supplies are compromised.
Change of address, change in circumstances, all these things are for the good.
I have no bed, just the bed head and the end of the bed, the middle parts and the mattress like most my goods seem to be lost presently. The Outcome is yet to be determined.
I have been busy with some writing, not sure how to share it so far, and as this update is merely filling in the blanks in terms of moving, much other thinking and feeling is happening.
I hope to share more as time permits and my mind can make sense of the changes. I am very tired.
A fellow was sharing about their experience of diabetes, like me they have problems which have caused low blood sugar, then leading to unconsciousness and in their case a seizure. A middle of the night thing.
The outcome for them was to take time out today to recover. I have not shared so much of that in my writing. It does happen to me too, the worry I guess for me or anyone is having help. Fortunately for my fellow they have help to hand. I would wish I did too, but do not. And these things happen, ’hypo’s’ can kill. A reminder for me to keep an eye on me and my diabetes, very timely indeed..
So to bed tonight, well to the floor actually, a bed seems a far off luxury presently, but just for today, its ok.
September 6 2006
DonInLondon - ‘Day in the Life’ Another Day In Paradise
Paradise Is Maybe a Stretch Too Far
Yes indeed it is a stretch to say this. All the hassle of moving, well it is worth it to be here in London and in a flat I can make home. Another night on the floor, but I am happy to a large extent. Although it takes me a while to get up and get going, overall the outcome will be to the good.
No bed, not much in furniture, its disappearance is a strange and yet interesting mystery to me. I have never really enjoyed my furniture, almost in storage from new and almost never used that much, it’s a bit of a concern to its whereabouts.
Other bits for me, a fridge arrived this morning and was just a standard sized larder fridge. It was too big to get in the kitchen without taking the kitchen door off. So a morning of scraping the paint off hinges and then taking off the door and then a fridge in its place and then putting it all back as it was.
And I saw my mother as I headed off to get paint stripper, and get a new batch of insulin, and make an appointment with my GP, long overdue to review medications.
So a busy morning and my sister turned up with a sandwich and then later to a meeting of AA.
Now why all the detail of my Day?
Because it’s a normal day in many respects. The loss of my goods and chattels is neither here nor there in the big picture today. The interesting thing for me is not being wound up by events beyond my control. And to be amiable and right sized is so important.
After years of perfectionism, I am aiming at the middle ground these days so I may the beauty of disheveled living as much as the reality of taking things in a pace which fits with me and my capacities.
And of course there must be forgiveness in this situation with losses. I am sure I have something to do with this, although I am uncertain how my part plays out. It does not matter overall. The roof over my head is pretty solid and the noiseless nature of the area, well not quite is nothing like the trains endured these past few years.
To a country person it might feel loathsome. To me it really is paradise and manageable I am beginning to realise.
Tonight the AA Meeting
At Fulham Broadway
I went and felt good to be there. People I know, people I care for, and new people too. Our meetings feel more full as summer ends and resolutions happen as people wake up to their disease. Well maybe they do for now, and then a Christmas to convince them and then back in the new year. We alcoholics don’t want to miss a thing especially when we cannot understand life without drink.
As for me these days, I see drink as it is, a poison to me and never will fulfill those old promises of oblivion, except the final obliteration of me if I were to go back on the sauce..
Much was made of living the changes we can, and realising life is about the good and not just the bad. So often we can vilify ourselves and we forget sobriety is as good as it gets, with every lump we experience. I am glad to be me today.
And lots of compassion for each and everyone. And this applies to people we have had hard times living with. Not me in this case. Some admissions too for desires of the heart from friends who see the good of being in company and dare I mention, making families themselves. These are the changes people can see and envisage.
Just for Today
I am quite content to make my singular way along, as the changes I have experienced of late, well they make me careful and considerate of my situation with regard to romance, that is I am not romancing just now and realise consolidation is a key.
I may say this and know that as with most of living, living happens and we have little much to say about it as it happens.. Or maybe we choose wisely in sobriety? I have no clue, just for today...
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