October 11 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 10 The Now Inventory Alcoholics Anonymous Today's Daily Reflections: "old ways and new ways… And nervous break throughs." The end of my drinking days involved a complete breakdown, the old ways of life would not work again, that is the old ways fuelled by addiction to alcohol. An emotional and spiritual breakdown, some might have called it a nervous breakdown, I don't know which is right or wrong and labels can be unhelpful if they cause me to prolong denial…
Video For Today:
Years before, a two-year stint, a complete workaholic binge left me completely exhausted, unable to work and in an anxiety state which then lasted two years. I had stopped drinking alcohol for a long time because I felt so low and plunged myself into work, and found no solace. I was crushed and there was no way back to that old work life although I did try with all my might. The old ways left me being a burnt out case. The desolation years following began to fill with alcohol and denial run rampant as much as the sorrow for everything lost. That was the old way gone. The new way of living was a moment of enlightenment, "I cannot do it on my own no matter what I try to do." The new way was simply to ask for help and everything changed… And change took a great deal of time…
The old ways of being, were all about me against the world or rather me proving myself to the world. Standing on my own two feet, a brave face, working it out for myself and never showing weakness. The new ways of being, were all about needing to know and asking for help, not standing on my own two feet, not wearing a brave face and happy to show vulnerability and not knowing the answers. The old ways embracing step six defects, the new way by being open, honest and willing to discover the truth and keep learning the truth day by day. My step seven shortcomings were clear to me, I needed to develop "courage" to change, "faith" in doing the next right thing and having "confidence" to ask the help and have "humility" to keep learning life one day at a time…
The dark old days and ways of living eventually lead to exclusion from people, places and things, the only friend left seem to be alcohol. There was tremendous grief in giving up my best friend, the one thing I could depend on back then. The new days and today, all about inclusion with people, places and things and learning life new every day. How to love, and how to be loved back and useful. We learn to value everyone for who they are and not what they do and each person finds usefulness in endeavours I hope they can choose today and any day for the rest of time…
Now there is more clarity in me about emotional and spiritual well-being, it is simply the "experience of living" which becomes our teacher. Knowing the right approach, and then living the right approach on a daily basis is simply progress and in my case far from perfection. I've often said "life is living the imperfectly perfect moment of now, the good, the bad and the ugly." Imperfectly perfect as life is provides experience to keep on learning wisdom. Bad things happen to good people, and equally good things happen to people being bad and tormented by life. The more open we are to life, the richer the experience, the more we have choices and opportunity to be the best we can be in whatever endeavour we need apply ourselves to today…
Spot check inventory... used to start with "what the F£$%K is happening!" Ready to fight my corner... In early days, there was an argument around every corner. Today inventorying is less often in day to day living. I can go with the flow, see my part in it. I love suggestions in fellowship, but can easily get bent out of shape when instructed. Funny quirk for me…
Self-restraint, starts with “how am I feeling, the why of it and what can I do?” Knowing my mood, my emotions leads me to know what is driving the way I think things through and what action can follow. Mood and feelings, where my thinking is taking me and the next right thing and knowing my part in next steps keeps me safer today…
Step Meeting: Step Twelve Works with the other eleven!
Rarely have we seen a person fail if they keep coming to meetings, and learn about life in recovery. I love going to fellowship meetings. Like tonight I see a friend share about step twelve, what it means to them and how it all works out if we simply keep safe one day at a time.
I see people I know and people who I sort of know. Sometimes we are friendly towards one another, sometimes something stops us from saying hello and good to see you, and sometimes our friends seem very distant. It is just the way it is. When someone is distant with us, there is a reason and maybe sometime we will get to know why, and often never know.
Recovery is always now, and recovery can feel good or harsh, odd and cold, warm and fuzzy. We just don’t know what is going on for other people around us, until they share, if they choose.
We feel what we feel. “Our Emotional and Spiritual Fellowship.” If we can understand our feelings in the moment of now, then we understand most likely what we can do, what we cannot do in the moment.
I feel spiritual awakening is daily event. And that everything is indeed spiritual. Spiritual is coping with reality, and that is how it works for me. Awakenings to what happened to me are historical awakenings, and the future is not written.
Dealing with the mountain and back log of all those awakenings in my life story has made living in the moment, feeling life as it happens and living reality an experience beyond my wildest imaginings.
Asked aged five what I wanted to be, apparently I replied "King of course. "No longer driven to be King! Happy as a human being, being me just for today…
October 11 2010 ~ Anger and resentments are natural, a reaction to life events which provoke us. In practising step ten on a daily basis, we find the cause. Was it the event today, or a tail spin into the past? As we find the cause, we find the right next action. We do not push down the feeling or deny it, we work on what we "can do" today...
October 11 2010 ~ "Things ain't what they used to be." So true for everyone and in recovery we look back at the past and don't stare. Knowing how it was back then and how we fixed ourselves is our experience. Step ten helps us face reality today, work out the cause and effect, looking for a solution rather than stuck in a problem today...
AA Daily Reflections ~ "SELF-RESTRAINT Our first objective will be the development of self-restraint. TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 91
My drive to work provides me with an opportunity for self-examination. One day while making this trip, I began to review my progress in sobriety, and was not happy with what I saw. I hoped that, as the work day progressed, I would forget these troublesome thoughts, but as one disappointment after another kept coming, my discontent only increased, and the pressures within me kept mounting. I retreated to an isolated table in the lounge, and asked myself how I could make the most of the rest of the day. In the past, when things went wrong, I instinctively wanted to fight back. But during the short time I had been trying to live the A.A. program I had learned to step back and take a look at myself. I recognized that, although I was not the person I wanted to be, I had learned to not react in my old ways. Those old patterns of behaviour only brought sorrow and hurt, to me and to others. I returned to my work station, determined to make the day a productive one, thanking God for the chance to make progress that day."
October 11 2007
DonInLondon - ‘Day In The Life’ Endarkenment
When The Lights Go Out
As I mention in my you tube video today, I was up late into the early hours. I visited a website I put together some years back to do with Myers Briggs. The website had old information about me. And when I began to read what I said about me, it felt uncomfortable, so now its saying less about me, the ego driven me, and more about the ordinary me, the more esteemed and more confident me. What is the difference? Ego made me shout, confidence makes me speak with a voice the same size as anyone else.
Equal to life? Well the one I have presently seems about the right size.
All About “AA” Fellowship
What a gift for me these days to know I belong. I am in recovery from a fatal illness most cannot fathom, addiction. Any human can become dependent and addicted to anything. Often we are driven to obsession because something in us wants or needs something. Usually it’s to do with love. Being able to love oneself, so old hat, it’s actually what makes anything and everything possible.
Ego, brave facing, fear of life are some of the things which hamper us, and yet we need these qualities sometimes when we are hard against a rock and a hard place. Some suggest these are defects of character. Yet without them and certainly without their opposite we may perish emotionally far too early, physically deteriorate and end up dead before our time.
The opposite? Maybe for a lot of people is second nature to them, having courage, faith and confidence. In my experience it seems we have all six attributes.
Courage - Faith - Confidence v Fear - Brave Facing - Ego
Our own personal battle ground before we even face others on a daily basis. How we develop our attributes of character really depends on how we experience life and what life throws at us each and every day.
Obviously links with courage faith and confidence?
Obviously links with fear brave facing and Ego?
Hard to work out. It seems pretty obvious, yet we find in life we can switch from light to dark in the blink of an eye. Danger, safety and all manner of events can push us one way or another, depending on our situation and life experiences.
If we grow up in dark times, a lifetime of dark, it’s hard to see the light. And similarly if we live to the lighter side of life, how do we deal with the dark of us? It’s simply what we learn and what we come to believe.
Our life story gives us clues. Our head on straight offers an understanding. And as we get guidance one way or another, we make some sense of living, however it may be.
We are all prone to reflect how we were brought up, how we share our world with those close. We fit in if we are lucky, we cover our needs and then we have wants on top.
We all face risks in life, best we understand the context for our decisions long before we encounter living? If only life were so simple!
11th October 2006 [all about last year]
Masters of the universe - Light and Dark
Smiles here, I am glad you are getting plenty of rest, the winter colds are due and you got yours early so hopefully this may be it for the rest of the season. We can but hope. Vitamin C is always good and you know this of course.
Indeed it has been an agreeable day all round. I had some harsh moments, I watched a programme I recorded over the weekend about a real dire subject and found myself in tears. It may have been the subject matter or just a reaction to good times for a few days. Even with pain, smiles here, or was that a grimace, life is worth living this past few days. And we are always cautious when we get good days as our guard can be lowered and we let dark creep back in. Anyway me too on serenity as you described to me.
Serenity is good when we get it, and like you, I feel it’s only just been a more regular event in sobriety. I recall with a particular partner, I had serenity beyond measure for just a while, after the romance was underway and somewhere before she said she needed to find herself. And promptly, well nearly, well anyway she went and made a new life without me. And that was very, very dark. And had babies with other men than me. And that truly undid me for a while.. We learn do we not? I don’t know what I felt other than complete desolation at the time. I am relieved though as time has sent us on different routes to learning and living, and we would have been compromised beyond belief. She remains a lovely lady, and I thank her for leaving me when she did, even if it did take years to get to that point of view. Love lost is utterly devastating and we take years to grieve, especially when they are still alive I find. I don’t mean to wish her dead, by no means, but the trouble is living in that pain with a heart yearning their return is grievous beyond measure.
Still tonight’s meeting was fabulous simply because of the honesty and the sharing. Sharing was absolutely blunt about the worst of times and best of times. And no one was particularly in the same place of feelings. Feelings up like me, and feelings suicidal as I have experienced over the years when nothing worked at all except my ability for oblivion.
Recalling these times now, I realise is quite cathartic, because I can recall them and accept them as part of my journey to now. And I don’t always have to share openly how awful the experiences have been,
Much talk tonight of the bridge to modern living and what it means for us. For me though it’s good to be in relative stability. And not feel like ending it or finding some way to oblivion.
Mind you world news events don’t help. And our world is quite dangerous. And me, so right sized these days find my part is just what it is these days. Where it may be for now.
I am getting a sense of proportion back, and see much of the things I do help me make sense of some really hard knocks in my experiences. And even though they have been as bad as they could get, I am still here just about.
Being 50 and a "chap" on his own, I do wonder where life would have taken me with a partner. And see it does not matter anymore, to wonder at those conforming patterns with wife and kids. I know it would have been good, but there was some real damage along the way which prevented those things happening back then. And with the right partner, well time has shown she is still out there somewhere, or gone and happily married elsewhere. So many opportunities when I look back and some fearful part prevented yours truly ever making that path in life. Smiles I am better prepared now than ever I was, and time has taught me that life is what it is. And this one is shaping up just fine.
Patience and time, mends and repairs us with what we have to make life work. And the AA programme has made me able to make sense of a world as confusing as ever it was. Simple and straight these days, without as big a baggage of life as I may have thought. Simplified and yet complicated as life will ever be.
And you know what makes it work is being present in this ever present, present moment. That connection to here and now as Providence and Nature affords. Aware and with capacity for every virtue and sin known to mankind, a path chosen to good conscience and the presence to accept what is and what can be as life and happenstance offer to choices we may make.
A good moment tonight. And my connection to living better restored just for today. And with acceptance of hard rocks and future events which come to pass, there will be times to test me merely daily and not set as a lifetimes pattern.
And doing the next best thing tonight, after seeing friends and new people, I can keep my contact with living as I go, and find joy where it manifests and sadness where it occurs. And be happy to be sober another day at time.
I felt the compassion and kindness of strangers, now friends and allies in living a life. This one life and me present for a change. Merely a few days and quite close to that edge where reason can escape me. I know these moments quite well. Life is a brittle moment where wisdom makes good as we go. Some longer and some shorter, and often we don’t know what will keep us together. Being in a fellowship and with good conscience we all have our goal, just simply a day, and we can start all over again! Always look on the bright side of life? As best I can a day at a time. Tears spilled with compassion and sadness from where and for what today? For being alive to know the difference I guess, and on a path with serenity as a companion, when life affords such opportunity. Enlightenment and Endarkenment, constant companions as we touch our universe of now.
Just For Today And Every Day, Cherish Always...
Step 10 "Although all inventories are alike in principle, the time factor does distinguish one from another. There's the spot-check inventory, taken at any time of the day, whenever we find ourselves getting tangled up. There's the one we take at day's end, when we review the happenings of the hours just past. Here we cast up a balance sheet, crediting ourselves with things well done, and chalking up debits where due. Then there are those occasions when alone, or in the company of our sponsor or spiritual adviser, we make a careful review of our progress since the last time. Many A.A.'s go in for annual or semi-annual house-cleanings. Many of us also like the experience of an occasional retreat from the outside world where we can quiet down for an undisturbed day or so of self-overhaul and meditation.”
October 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 10 The Now Inventory
Alcoholics Anonymous | Step Ten Reading Video Link:
October 2012 | Video Reading How It Works:
October 2012 | Video Reading Into Action :
October 2012 | Playlist All About Step Ten :
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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