Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Alcoholics Anonymous | August 6 | DonInLondon | Step 8 "Amends And Willing"

August 6, 2013: "telling the truth to ourselves, being open honest and willing!" No one wants to admit when life is difficult? And although we might accept that life is difficult, when it is difficult, I am very grateful for all the steps which help me, moment to moment, minute to minute, hour to hour and hopefully all day long. I will experience all my feelings today, all of them good bad and ugly and recognise them as my friends and not my enemies. All feelings are perfectly acceptable; it is the actions which they evoke which can be very unacceptable.

For a long time in my life, I seemed only to see and feel the moment very occasionally. Either I was trapped in feelings of past experiences, or worried and concerned about getting to the place where I would feel okay. Alcohol, a good way to take the edge off and find oblivion in difficult times. And especially when times were extreme, loss of a loved one who died, loss of a loved one when a relationship ended. Somehow when somebody dies, the immense pain will lighten through time. I was surprised that the grief and loss of a partner, who simply had to make their way without me in their life was even more painful and heart-breaking. There is a difference.

Fear of telling the truth about our feelings, means we push them away, push them down when we cannot deal with reality. Sometimes when we feel deep feelings of love, we can be frightened to share our love and express our love openly. Fear, fear of not being good enough always seem to lie behind this in the past. Not today, I can say I love you and not be concerned. It is okay to love people even if they cannot love us back in a similar way. And the sooner we know, the better because we are not pretending anything and we don't have to fear others pretending to like or love us back. Acceptance early on is key and then we can learn what we can do and cannot do. And stop barking up the wrong tree!

Sometimes we can be attracted to people who on the surface and probably deep within them, we feel they are good to know. And although we may be attracted to them, we find they may be quite bonkers and living life in a way which is inappropriate for us. In the old days we might have gone along with the notion of something superficial and been quite indifferent to the consequences. Learning our feelings our true feelings, and understanding that we are not here to hurt people by being superficial and indifferent, we do not go back to old ways, we consider the new ways of life. This all depends on how we want to cherish, rather than be superficial and indifferent. Friendships become deeper, we learn how to love, we will learn what it is to be loved back and life takes on new meaning.

I don't know why these feelings and thoughts came to mind just now. Probably a lot to do with talking to family and how each member of my family has had to grieve for people over the years. Alcohol was a very useful self-medication in the most terrible of times. In my case alcohol became an addiction over which I had no control. So it is true to say that some make it through and don't get addicted, or the many I meet in Fellowship are like me in that similarity of addiction. And in the end the self-medication took control, we needed it for every feeling we thought was appropriate. I don't think my feelings today, I feel my feelings today, more often and hopefully in the moment of now…

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