October 4 2012 | AA 12 Steps In Action | Step 10 The Now Inventory Alcoholics Anonymous Today's Daily Reflections: "a necessary pruning or in other words letting go old ways to make room for new ways of living…" How long does it take to let go the old way of living, or simply living in the past when with glass in hand anything and everything seemed possible and then became impossible. The answer is simple and very difficult when we are impatient with ourselves and desire freedom: "it takes as long as it takes…"
Video For Today:
Over the last few days, discussions with friends in recovery about what some call "extreme AA." "Misery is optional, only share good things, call two newcomers each day, get down on your knees and pray to the God that we described to you and you will have a clear vision of the future…" When somebody in AA suggests there is a fixing philosophy, which denies half the emotional range we have, prescribes and controls behaviour, and enforces a particular opinion and belief about God, that is not the AA I understand or wish to be a part of. The real fellowship of AA is for people with a desire to stop drinking and understand their emotional and spiritual condition and live true to themselves and with freedom at the very core of their being. God is truth and God is love without conditions or narrow interpretation...
Step ten and a necessary pruning… No matter how much I might try to be happy all the time, I cannot make it so. My life experience today will have an impact on my mood, how I think and how I act. If someone comes to the door with a cheque having won the lottery, I might be delighted, indeed I will be delighted and full of joy. And then what to do with it? The temptation to go backwards and celebrate like crazy is a question I doubt I will have to answer, and somehow hope I don't have to. Financing the old life really is not appealing to me, it is dead wood and involves an ocean of alcohol. And I like my new life, with my basic needs met in daily challenges, knowing my feelings and how my thinking is and the actions I can take is really good and may last all of today…!
And step ten and spot-check, every emotional feeling can happen as the day goes along, some just a little bit and hoping for joy and happiness, on the other hand there could be a great big dollop of anger dropped in on my serenity and I need to understand what to do: take a breath, recognise the feeling of anger before I start to think and respond and act angrily. Usually the cause is a person being the best they can in the moment of now. After all we are all the best we can be right now? Not really, but I assume that is the best the other person can be, and take account of my anger, my resentment and my ego playing up… And sometimes I am the baddie, and say "fuck off and mind your own business!" Or better still, I say, "I need to fuck off and mind my own business today." The difference being in the first instance it's all their fault, in the second instance where I need to go away and mind my own business, I recognise my part in it, laugh at myself and sweep my side of the Street clean, as long as I'm not being grandiose about it...
And step ten and spot-check it’s all about me and my behaviour, not them and their behaviour. What turned out to be the world's greatest learning instrument for emotional and spiritual wellbeing is not to be used to judge other people and how they are doing. It is so easy to fall into the trap of taking other people's inventory and seeing our superior outlook as best. My outlook is no better than yours, I have to live with my outlook and don't want to impose it on you. And similarly although I am open honest and willing to change, I can become very reluctant to change my ideas which might become an ideology for me. Better to challenge my own ideas and ideology first, before I go judging anybody else's ideas and ideology today…
"Let me live vicariously through you" experiencing life through sympathetic participation in the experience of another [a vicarious thrill]. The “Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde” My old mask gone and with the help of step ten, no need for Mr Hyde today…
Spot check inventories? Love them and hate them, it’s what goes on inside me I need be concerned about in the moment. When I take my inventory and not yours, serenity is possible in the heated or tranquil moment of now. Progress and never perfect for me…
October 4 2010 ~ so easy to look at others and their behaviour, our twelve step tool kit let loose, undermines people places and things. Steps to improve our outlook: and our attitudes and behaviour. As we see our part in living, we learn to forgive and love ourselves, and then forgive and love, even the unacceptable? A question for today...
October 4 2010 ~ a necessary pruning? Step ten all about our attitudes and behaviour, our reactions and responses to life today. My step six defects, judging and blaming others, based on fear, a brave face, ego to cover up. Step seven, courage faith and confidence to look at my part in life. At sixes and sevens, step ten helps always today...
Refreshed and reminded of times past, times now and the promise of facing life on life’s terms, because I have fellowship. Sunday night meeting “lest we forget,” a great meeting for me and my fellows seemed to be okay. Some may have been upbeat, some down, some indifferent, some with something to say. I can say I was there and I was not alone, as to what else goes on, it is anonymous. It was good to see many friends, and got me wondering about other friends. As always we turn our attention to newcomers, and we remind ourselves the most important person in the room is the newcomer. Even if they don’t seem too good to know, we are better for knowing them. A.A. All about… us, not me!
Steps and always the steps bring us back to earth, where all humans dwell. The traditions hold the fellowship together, unity service and recovery, the steps to develop our spiritual progress.
In emails some discussion of spiritual matters made me realise that evolution is key to us humans wherever we are. The spiritual journey enhanced by our ability to live in reality. As some believe we have choices in the life we choose before we get here, it is also subject to evolution, we are evolving whatever our state of being may be, and it is always in the now, subject to the choices we have based on reality… And reality is where we are, here and hereafter is my guess. I do not know anything for sure, except “now.”
After last night, I was upbeat, and then the inevitable drag this morning, counterbalanced by a ride out on my electric bicycle to see the world, life is very painful walking and cycling unaided is not possible due to on-going injuries. Colourful and busy, seasons are changing and as daylight gets shorter, fellowship meetings help keep me from the dark. Easy does it for me, good things have been happening, at the same time a deep sadness as life is changing as it may.
Gentle moments for today...
AA Daily Reflections ~ "A NECESSARY PRUNING we know that the pains of drinking had to come before sobriety, and emotional turmoil before serenity. TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 94
I love spending time in my garden feeding and pruning my beautiful flowers. One day, as I was busily snipping away, a neighbour stopped by. She commented, “Oh! Your plants are so beautiful; it seems such a shame to cut them back.” I replied, “I know how you feel, but the excess must be removed so they can grow stronger and healthier.” Later I thought that perhaps my plants feel pain, but God and I know it’s part of the plan and I’ve seen the results. I was quickly reminded of my precious A.A. program and how we all grow through pain. I ask God to prune me when it’s time, so I can grow."
October 4 2007
DonInLondon - ‘Day In the Life’ Not the Only One
Not the Only One
Why do I write my journal? For me of course and to share mostly that I am not the only one with? I wonder how many faults and defects I might have. It’s never good to dig to deeply all at one go with our living and how we are.
I am not the only alcoholic on the planet
And in recovery these days, but times were that I could hardly face myself at all and still go out, do work, do my career and come home and drink to oblivion. It was a set pattern for me. Pretty well on my knees with desperation to find a little bit of me with sense and enough courage to stop the habit of a lifetime. Drinking away my feelings and sadness.
It help also to be depressed because then as blackness engulfed all elements of living, it was only right to keep on drinking and going for destruction.
I don’t know I ever had a clear thought or applied the rules to me. I could see everyone else, their faults, their goodness, and their successful living. For me though I felt less than, not worthy and then got really resentful about my life. For all the good I did, I could feel no happiness or success. Indeed success seemed to tip me over to drink more and hope one day things would change. Of course it would not.
I was asked to do a chair last night, and at the same time the person asking was unable to attend, as corporate life had dictated a different evening for them. And I know there is nothing to be done as corporate life requires anyone’s full attention, off the ball for too long and there is no way back to it. Workaholics of the world know, if you ain’t there you lose the plot and there is no picking up the ball when the playing field changes by the day.
Old Corporate Days
I had my finger on the pulse of people, I could see what was going on, the context, the plot, the impact. And I was good at what I did. Seeing the global picture, sifting out and refining how to live in the world of money and more money.
I am glad these days I am broken and can never return to those ways of living. Broken? Now repaired, now different now finding me in this crazy life.
A nervous breakdown or two or three later. And today my outlook is very different. No longer in the money, no longer worried I may miss something, no longer the corporate animal who will work till dropping is all I could do, and still keep going and working, and then after it was all over? Drinking my sadness and living in desolate times. Just plain black and filled with terror.
I do have fond recollections of wonderful people, success a plenty yet it was always tinged with doubt. Making money lost its appeal along the way. Repellent for me as it had warped my values and almost made me happy to be a corporate raider, a user of people, places and things. I lost my connection to me, and now slowly it is being restored.
Knowing the Difference
Seems to me as time has moved along the ailments or as some might like, attributes of success which made me able to be a workaholic are currently
Are under review. These days so many things impact on me, more than ever before and yet I find a better balance, some peace and some joy, and still deal with the dark of my default through clinical depression.
A Friend Shared
After doing my part in the meeting, sitting at the front and sharing my experience strength and hope, a friend shared their understanding of what their clinical depression made life like for them. It was as if a mirror had been held up, as if in a few moments another mind had got inside me and shared my insides out. Rather than fear reactions and revulsion, there was understanding and some ways forward to help me on my way.
A Day At A Time Of Course
And in moments I saw my progress and not perfection in making good a life with every advantage of wisdom learned these last few years. It’s not always good, and often it has sadness so profound the tears and pain are real and churns inside as if gripped by some phantom without form or control.
Comes as it may as does sad and less profound times. Today and this morning I feel ok. Out of a workaholics nightmare, and yet more busy in keeping my life on track than ever.
In all my living as hedonistic as it may have seemed to others, my escapes were always work, and of course, wine women and song. Yet for all those magnificent moments in the very best of intimate company, I was lost and without much of a clue.
I neglected me and made life fun, made life work for so many and had no way to understand or fix myself. Until I got fellowship!
It may be a fellowship which seems preoccupied with drink and sobriety. And it is and it’s not. We stop drinking, we find a life as it may be, we find wisdom and sharing every day. And we connect and realise we are not alone.
As we come to believe..
We do, we get our faith in being human and just human. Some find many other elements of living which always felt out of our grasp. Some find their God, others find humanity, and somehow we all get along in the end. We get our choices to live back again. And oddly as I have found, the answers are personal the choices are as we decide, and we get more than we ever bargained for in this living we make good for a day.
Just for today, from the bleakest outlook any human may have, and me too, we sense and make sure somehow in some way, we will be just about ok.
We go best with the flow of life, gaining wisdom, making choices and not being stuck one way. Till later.
October 4 2006 [ all about last year]
School of Hard Knocks - Life
Sometimes we can get caught in the enthusiasm of life and be persuaded to look again at who we are and what we have. We all have ideas and notions of what is right for us, and this is helped by others views and connections to our living. And this can cause us to review and make assumptions based on wants and not our needs in living.
Doing the cycling, still not sure this is such a good idea as other parts of me now complain about being used. But this may be change in regime and not some longer term incapacity. I detect though that age is catching up with me somewhat. Not a bad thing but I will need to rethink what I am able to do. The Neuropathy is very obvious to me now, and it’s not just my feet.
I just sent a note to my Sister in Crete to let her know her cat, Tiger is in a reflective state at home. Tiger cat is tolerating my interruptions and feeding regime. I am glad to help out with this, being trusted to keep an eye on and care for Tiger and check on the house. And my mother’s too. This may seem a small thing, but in my life it’s important that simple trusts are kept these days which makes up for the liability I became for quite a while in my drinking days.
Some of my friends, not too many I have to say, in and out of the fellowship seem caught up in life and big wants. Want to be this and that, want a better income, want a better career, want to be in a relationship. Wanting to have more than is needed? I don’t think they do, in terms of their life and where they are now. Yet they seem to want the same things for me too. And this is making me a little uncomfortable.
I need to keep my life as simple as can be. Simple in the sense of what needs to be done daily and what I need to make sure my living does not get stressed or too full. I realise that keeping needs simple is making sure I keep three elements of extras I deal with possible. I know I go on about this a lot, and need to. Recovery, type 1 diabetes and clinical depression do not go away.
My friends don’t have these three elements combining all the time to hamper getting on with their lives. And because I don’t share the regime of keeping stable with them, they often forget I do have extra simple processes to ensure life works. Simple processes, which take time and take me to a better understanding of my needs and the possible.
Wanting things beyond my capacity, wanting to engage on the same playing field are not my choices today. Wants will become passions and passions will lead to expectations I cannot match or make happen.
Seems needs and wants are more easily understood by me, now I know the needs and basics, and that some wants just don’t fit with my potential life experiences.
A friend of mine feels I have potential under used in old work I have done. And while I appreciate his kind words, I know this will cause me grief and undo the simple regime which keeps me well physically and emotionally. Having skills is one thing, using them and then breaking down in the process is a troublesome truth for me. And we need recall, that skills not used may be there, but unless they are used they wither to nothing again. My stamina and capacity is limited, I know now, and others would will it back in me. Self will, will do for me. So I let it slide by me and into wants which make life hell rather than simple and free.
You know I am still working on my relationship with me and teasing out the real me and what I need to live. Complicating my life with a relationship? I feel any woman involving herself with me, well they may find me less than satisfactory, simply because it’s taken this man a long time to get a grip on who I really am. And how to treat myself, let alone care and love a partner as she would deserve and appreciate, I smile and know love will always make this decision for me, and now with a clearer head, time usually sorts out the relationships we develop. And love is never far away.
So I need not want to be in a relationship because I want to look right to others. Or because a relationship defines me or success in life. This is not the real journey or a real partnering, unless that bond is developed as we go about living. Or just be in a relationship as it makes others believe I will be happier so. I am happy on my own presently, and beyond this the pleasure of partnership is about all elements and not adjuncts of life.
Last night was good for the meeting I went to keeps me establishing good and useful patterns of life and living. Makes my outlook outward and involved. At the same time, discussions on the phone and with friends helped me see my purpose in helping others, and not to be drawn into others views of what my life is about.
The most important way to live is free from want, covering the needs which make life worth living. Utilising my capacities to their optima and not being afraid of my own path and how that plays out. It might not be as exciting to external eyes, and it does not compare to old times and my earlier life. Actually my life today is better emotionally than it has been for a while, and incapacity in living affords a more balanced approach to what life really is about.
Long conversations about life and where others are headed, they tell me where I have already trodden those tracks, and my road is elsewhere. Not sure where it may go, and that is just the way it may be today. Just for today!
We all deserve a break, in the sense that we all need work hard to be prepared for whatever life throws our way, be it work we can do, partnerships we develop, love that grows for living and others. Love of a good woman, smiles now who knows about this? Time will tell me…
Just For Today, 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 semiannual 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
About Psychosis And Depression: