Al-Anon Lifer

Anonymous sharings from a long-time member of Al-Anon, which is a safe place to recover from the effects of alcoholism in a friend or relative...

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Snow, Snow, Snow!!

I won't bore you with another picture of snow. It all looks the same, even though there are a 100 or more different kinds. And I won't bore you with how tired we are of snow, even those of us who say they like and used to miss winter. I'll instead bore you with the fact that I went to a meeting today, then called a sponsee back, then decided to do nothing else but relax. Hey, it is Sunday after all, and I worked yesterday taking down Christmas. I miss the lights. Guess I'll light a candle or two along with turning on the fireplace. I also miss building fires in my woodstoves and snuggling with my kids who are all grown... Guess I can look forward to that grandchild now, and my sponsee's baby coming... Life goes on and I'm grateful to still be a part of it!! Hugs to all of you out there!!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

My Apologies

I know that I've not been blogging, and I apologize to anyone who keeps checking in to read my thoughts in blogland. I will try harder to blog more often, even daily. I have many thoughts I've jotted down during my morning meditations. But today, just for today, I am grateful for:

1. A new meeting time where we will simply be studying the 12 steps of recovery.
2. Lunch with my friends after the meeting to celebrate my belly-button birthday.
3. My grandma who turned 102 last week, so I am not even close to getting old.
4. My sober husband who is taking me out to dinner with all of my grown children tonight.
5. The sun, warm enough to be melting more snow and ice today.
6. My dog who kept me company this week while my husband was out of town , the first time I've been alone in my house since my last child moved out last month.
7. My health which I'm slowing improving through diet and an exercise plan.
8. Time to organize and declutter my home, and look through old pictures and school projects of my children.
9. A massage this week and a visit to my chiropractor.
10. My Higher Power, my sponsor, my service sponsor, and all of my friends in the Al-Anon and A.A. program who have become the family I didn't have growing up, who have always accepted me where I've been at, whether they liked me or not, who love me unconditionally and yet tell me like it is, but only if I ask. Who are always there for me when I reach out. Because of you, I can face my life, no longer regretting the past and looking forward to the future!

Friday, January 05, 2007

Feeling Out of Control

This photo does not do justice to how shriveled my poinsettia really is. I was hoping that I had watered it in time, but I didn't. It was already too late when I saw it drooping. I know there are people out there who could revive it, but I'm not one of them. I can't even seem to get my bathroom cleaned or paperwork on my desk started.

My life feels out of control. There is too much to do and not enough motivation to even start. I don't know where to start...

Yes, I know "First Things First" but I don't know what takes priority. I'm thinking "How Important Is It?" but none of it feels urgent or important. Yet it is all screaming at me to do something, anything, and the rest will follow - one thing at a time.

I get into this place once in a while where my life feels unmanageable simply because I have a lot to do and no motivation. I've chosen this lifestyle where I have no real schedule, no boss, and sometimes no client. So "Just for Today" should I clean house or sort through files? I don't know. I don't care. Does any of it matter?

Yes, I know this sounds like depression, but it's not clinical depression. It is just the "blahs" perhaps due to the fact that the holidays are over and my company left yesterday and I didn't sleep well last night and my husband went back to work today and it's snowing again and, and, and, and...

Maybe I need to make a gratitude list first and foremost, then I need to realize that I am already doing something. I am blogging which is a good outlet for me as well as a way to pass on my experience, strength, and hope to others. Maybe there is someone out there feeling the same way I am... beating themself up for not being perfect, for having a dirty house and piles of paperwork and thinking that this is what constitutes a disorderly life...

But is this really the essence of who I am - how my house looks? How my environment appears? I think not. This is old thinking, that if I can just get my house and my office in perfect order that both I and the world will think my life is in order. The fact is that I was a lot better at looking the perfect wife and mother and employee when I was at my sickest, when my husband's drinking was so out of control that I was trying to cover it up with my organized life.

So here I am looking around me, seeing so much that appears out of control that I think my life is out of control, when in reality I spent the holidays mostly enjoying myself and others and taking care of my physical, emotional, and spiritual needs rather than racing furiously around to make everything appear perfect while inside I would have been a resentful wreck.

Ooh, I like that term, resentful wreck. That is what I was. Now I am a serene slug, someone more interested in the spiritual side of life than scrubbing the shower stall doors.

Yes, I know I'm a spiritual being in a physical body and there are facts of life that demand some sort of order and cleanliness, but my home is not a hospital and my kitchen is not under inspection. And it is not as "bad" as I think it is. Along with blogging, I am also doing laundry. I can hear the dryer in the background. Soon I will be folding towels. It's not like I'm doing nothing, which would be okay, too, should I choose to have one of those days.

My original purpose of this blog was to share how reading Al-Anon literature can get me back on track, onto my spiritual path, rather than allowing my circumstances to control my thoughts and with them, my life. This line told me to stop feeling guilty about my imperfect home - to remember who I really am and that some things just aren't that important:

"Although I have temporarily lost control of my life, I have not committed a crime. "
Hope for Today, Jan. 4th
Okay, so even though it is almost noon and I have yet to get dressed, I still have most of the day ahead of me and I can do one or two things to begin the process of getting back to normal after the holidays and being snowed in a couple of times... First, I can call an Al-Anon friend to make a coffee date for later in the day (a reward to get myself motivated). Second, I can clean one part of the house along with doing the laundry. And Third, I can make the decision to toss out a dying poinsettia...

Monday, January 01, 2007

Seeking God's Will in the New Year

What better way to start out the New Year than to seek God's Will. Duh.

I've been fighting with myself for a week now about how to fix two major relationships in my life as well as how to get a client to pay me. And guess what? All the crazy thinking has gotten me absolutely nowhere except crazier and crazier.

So this morning I read in "Hope for Today" about seeking God's Will and the Power to Carry That Out. Step 11 was like a whole new concept for me, even after practicing it for years and years, even with the same relationships I'm trying to fix now.

It's amazing how fast I slid backwards into that old insanity. But today, I'm back to serenity simply by giving it over and asking for direction and then getting on with my day, my life, a brand new year!

A special thank you to a very special Al-Anon friend who called me today and reasoned things out with me for over an hour. What a piece of heaven that was for both of us!