- My will is an investment, and in the past I didn’t invest it very well. But if I invest it into my HP’s will, my HP will invest in me.
- Superman doesn’t just hang out with kryptonite.
- Gratitude is a salve. Apply liberally.
- In the three Cs, if there’s a fourth C that is “contribute” – how am I contributing? If it’s negative, it’s C minor. If it’s positive, it’s C major and that changes everything.
- The concept of abundance also applies to time.
- Note to self: add “please” to Serenity Prayer.
To turn my will and my life
Over to Your care
I pray only
For knowledge of Your will for me
To carry it out
Grant me serenity
To accept the things
I cannot change
Grant me courage
To change the things
Grant me wisdom
To know what
The difference is
I pray only
For knowledge of Your will for me
To carry it out
To turn my will and my life
Over to Your care
I’ve lately been irritable and unreasonable and out of touch with my program, so I’m doing 90 meetings in 90 days, which is ridiculously easy in the Zoom-and-Covid era. If you wanna do that too, here’s one place to find meetings. Another thing is to Google Al-Anon Zoom meetings and you’ll get lots of district and area results from all around. A lot of these meetings are not listed at WSO as electronic meetings, so you can expand the number of meetings you know about hugely by doing this.
I’ve just had a massive obsession attack because I couldn’t bear the thought of leaving this site all effed up. And it was all effed up. I hate BoldGrid very much and now I hate WordPress in general too. I really have to find some other thing next time I want to launch a blog. I only chose WP because I knew it was easy to import from Blogger into it, and that held true. The import bit was ridiculously easy. The rest really wasn’t.
I need to be able to give myself permission to let an effed up thing lie around like that when I have higher priorities waiting.
As mentioned before, the Googlization of Blogger has really put a damper on this blog. But now I’ve moved to a WordPress installation, and I’m hoping that means I can preserve my anonymity here. Fingers crossed.
Sometimes I hear people lament that they have prayed for God to take away their pain, but God doesn’t do it.
Why would God take away pain?
I can’t speak about your Higher Power, so all of this is about God as I understand God. I don’t think God is in the analgesic business.
The Creator created pain too, and very intentionally. The Creator knew that beings would sometimes be sick or injured. How to let them know they need to do things to take care of themselves and each other? How about a mechanism to create discomfort until the situation is handled?
That’s what pain is.
Sure there will be times that pain occurs and there’s nothing we can do to heal or fix whatever is wrong. The Creator gave us substances, intelligence to process them, and intelligence to create more for this eventuality. No, they don’t always work. Nothing always works.
In the end, the final relief is that all things are temporary, even life itself.
If you find yourself in pain, have you done all the things to seek healing? Are you sure? Did people suggest things that you refuse to try? Could you possibly be in denial that you need healing?
My experience with chronic pain sufferers who have indeed done all the things is that they are more at peace with their pain than they were before the did all the things. And maybe that’s a bit of healing, too.
So, do what is necessary to heal. And maybe that is, after all, how God takes away the pain.
I’ve been finding out that the way my sponsor explained boundaries to me is not very typical, but it certainly works really well for me.
Someone in an online group recently pointed out that a boundary that had been mentioned was actually a rule. It was along the lines of, “You may not x while y, and if you do, I will z.” I’m so used to everyone’s boundaries being expressed differently that I totally didn’t notice the poster had posted a rule. So glad the commenter said something.
My first sponsor said that a boundary is a deal I make with myself to take care of me. It comes in the form of, “If x happens, then I will y.”
The way to apply it is to think of 3-5 things that are most likely to happen. If I think of every single thing that might happen, I get drawn into futurizing, and that’s no good, so 5 is the limit for now.
For each thing that might happen, I think of an appropriate way to take care of myself in that situation. I might even give myself alternatives, or set up escalating boundaries.
- If my mom criticizes me on the phone, I will:
- Say, “Gotta go, Mom. Love you. Bye!” and hang up. Or,
- Ask her how her peach trees are. Or,
- Ask her to hang on a second, I need a drink of water. And then get one.
- If someone keeps interrupting me at a meeting, I will:
- The first time, say, “Hang on, I’m not done.”
- The second time, stand up to speak.
- The third time, leave the room.
- If the other adults in the house don’t have a job by the end of next month, I will:
- Get an apartment and move myself and my kids out. And
- I will also stop paying for the house.
- Respects me
- Respect for others
- A service ethic
- Shares some of my interests
- Has interests of their own
- Humble, for real
- Respects and supports their family
- Responsible with money
- Well employed or otherwise self-supporting (7th tradition)
- Encourages me to be self-supporting
- Can be silly, but not the default state
- Can be very serious
- Has goals and plans of their own
- Expresses self in work or hobbies
- Has their own sense of self worth
- At least as mature as I am
- Caring, thoughtful
- A good neighbor
- A good friend
- Accepting of me
- Accepting of my sexuality
- Accepting of my orientation
- Willing to dance, can enjoy it
- Sexual compatibility
- Political compatibility
- Similar values
- Healthy attitudes about sex
- Is happy
- Has or is willing to have a dog
- Respects whether I’m ready to live together or not
- Politically extreme
- Prone to rage
- Controlling, dominating
- Criticizing, disparaging, judgmental, blaming
- Buys into toxic masculinity or the patriarchy
- Buys into toxic femininity
- Expects all my unstructured time to belong to them
- Assumes I’m wrong about everything I say
- An alcoholic or addict
- Insists that we have to live together
I haven’t been posting in a long time. It became a lot less convenient after Google took over Blogger and made a lot of changes. To preserve anonymity at the level of press, radio, TV, films, and the Internet, I had to put my Al-Anon account on a separate Google ID than the rest of my life. So that meant doing a lot of login shuffle. And I … just didn’t.
So it’s been a few years. I’m not married anymore. My spouse changed my life without my consent, and I wasn’t willing to go further. I learned a lot about my program and ways to apply it during our marriage, and it was a growing experience. I remain sure my HP wanted me to have that experience, and I’m glad I did.
I am happily single again. My first sponsor would have told me right after the divorce that it was the right time to make a new list of what I want in a partner. I did give it a half-hearted attempt, but I just didn’t bring myself to do it. There are a few drafts in my various notebooks. Also I have started lists of what I don’t want in a partner.
Looking over my old list, I see that my former spouse did not meet some of these criteria, but I didn’t know it at the time. They did engage in criticism (I would say even derision and scorn.). They were not mature. They were indeed controlling and not dependable. How would I not get fooled again?
In any case, I am not looking for a partner. I am happily living on my own, in my own space, with my own pets. I have a good job. I have goals and plans. My program is not as strong as it was, probably because I’m not leaning on it as heavily. That’s something to work on. I would like to have great program regardless the circumstances.
I am working the 12 steps again and am now at Step 6. I have been for quite a long time. Maybe I’ll be “entirely ready” soon?
Sometimes I get so frustrated with me because I keep forgetting that a key symptom of alcoholism is acting like an asshole. It seems I get complacent and cozy, and then when my alcoholic says or does something that is just unbelievable, I forget just what a cunning, baffling, and powerful insidious disease I am dealing with. Instead I think, “What an asshole!” I get judgmental. I get offended. What the alcoholic does is just so incredibly painful to me, when it has no right to be.
I bet this means my program has weakened again. Or that something is going on with me, and I’m practicing my program poorly because of it.
There are some days when my alcoholic is so deep in the disease that it’s just this avalanche of continuous unacceptable behavior.
Me: Okay I’m running late now, so I need to leave by 8:15. I have to go finish getting ready.
Alcoholic: Okay darling, Just take a minute and show me how to …
(Insert several interruptions, distractions, trying to carry on conversation from a different room, etc.)
Alcoholic: Look what time it is. (It’s 9:00.) You are getting quite late now. What happened?
I am a spectator at an event, sitting next to my alcoholic. I have been watching the proceedings off and on through a pair of binoculars. As the event approaches a climax, this is when my alcoholic begins affectionately, yet vigorously, rubbing the arm that is involved in binocular holding.
It is a day that begins very early and contains many events and tasks. As we get home, I let my alcoholic know that I am exhausted and going to bed now. The next day, while I am expressing my appreciation for all the things my alcoholic does, the alcoholic complains about having felt abandoned the night before.
Imagine this kind of thing all day, every day! Pity me! Poor poor me! Wah wah wah.
Truly, it does feel like the disease within the alcoholic is constantly trying to provoke a fight with me. If I say anything at the time about the alcoholic’s behavior, next comes huge offense, sulky behavior, and snide remarks for days. No wonder one of my parents firmly believes that alcoholism is actually demon possession! My perfectly wonderful, lovable alcoholic becomes this complete asshole, and then tries to make me pay for standing up for myself.
So it’s probably obvious to you that Scenario 1 displays a lack of practicing my boundaries. When the alcoholic attempts to derail my schedule, I can weigh my options and choose to come in late, or to ignore the distractions, or maybe even some other choice that I am not aware of. Whatever I choose is my choice, so fuming about it all day means I’m having a slip and need to work on acceptance.
Scenarios 2 and 3 are plainly in No Big Deal territory, and don’t really require a response. They certainly don’t require fuming resentment for hours or even days. Again, guess just whose sickness is really messing with me!
I know that I can take care of myself by going elsewhere, by doing something else, by diverting my attention to the next right thing to do right know. I know that in my brain. I don’t always know it in my bones, and sometimes I get really, really tired. It feels like I can never really relax and just be there. That’s when I start asking myself just what the hell am I doing in this relationship anyway. What is the point? What am I supposed to be doing?
When I have no answers, I become depressed.
Today, I am sure I am here because my HP has something for me to learn. I feel that there is so much for me to learn, and that’s why I am so uncomfortable.
It’s the alcoholism that’s the asshole, and I don’t have to take it personally. If I can remember that and practice it, I’ll do better.