And You Are???

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It’s not always easy to identify myself, when someone asks “What do you do?”  When I think about it, it’s a kind of funny question.  I mean I “do” lots of different things, but what I do doesn’t always define who I am.  I can counter that question with another, like “Do you mean work-wise, or are you asking about my marital or spiritual status?”  There are many responses to that question.  I’m no longer belligerent when asked “Who are you?”  That’s another question that can generate many answers.  I try to help the conversation by defining just what information is being requested of me.  I no longer feel the need to divulge my entire life to people I am meeting for the first time.  More information can be revealed as the relationship progresses.
Who is the “real me?”  I am a complex human being, just like everyone else.  To try to simplify the definition of anyone, is a disservice to them.  There are physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional “sides” to me, and many of these seem to be in a constant state of flux.  I am ever changing, growing and becoming the person God always intended me to be.  With the help of God and the Program of A.A., I believe that I will continue to change and grow, continue to learn new life lessons which will help me to accept the “real” me, whoever that may be.
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It’s ME Again

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Loneliness is a choice for me.  I don’t have to be lonely, I know today that I can change that with a quick phone call, a prayer, a meeting, or some type of communication with another, especially if that person is also a member of Alcoholics Anonymous.  There are times when I “feel” lonely, the difference today is that I know I don’t have to stay stuck in those feelings.  I can change my behavior, which will inevitably change my feelings.

I am grateful for my commitments as they help to break up my day.  I feel better when I have a more balanced day which includes various activities and events.  I believe that God is present in my life and that He encourages me to “reach out” to others, be they friends, family, trudge buddies, or merely acquaintances.  To that end I will dedicate at least 3 hours today towards participating in my own recovery – which means a meeting later today, lunch with a sponsee, phone calls to others (at least 5 others) and I also intend to spend some time with my Higher Power who always comforts me.  Loneliness?  I choose not to feel those feelings – instead I choose to participate in my life and in the program if Alcoholics Anonymous.

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Listening and Learning

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In the meetings I share my experience, strength, and hope with others who are present.  Usually there is a topic identified for discussion – but in the meetings there is no “crosstalk.”  That means that members are encouraged to speak to their own recovery, their own program, their own relationship to that topic – without direct comments from others.  Communication with others, verbal exchange, comes before and after the meetings, and have been referred to as the “parking lot meetings.”  This is where “conversation” occurs.

I focus on my recovery, and am then available to others, be they sponsees, friends, or simply other members who are on the same road I am – the “Road of Happy Destiny.”  I remember my first days in the Program; the fear, the questions, the feelings of being unsure – and the absolute terror of knowing that I had reached the “last house on the block.”  I had arrived at a place of peace, a place where solutions were found, I found a “group” of friends who shared with me, not just the insanity of my disease, but the solution to many of my “life problems.”  I had arrived at God’s door, and it was wide open, all I needed was the courage to take one more step – I am forever grateful that God gave me the strength to take that final step towards recovery.  Once through the door, I found the “place” I had been searching for.  “Someone” had saved me a seat, “someone” said they had been waiting for me, and that “someone” turned out to be my Higher Power -  Thanks, God!

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Feeling Angry?

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I am fortunate that I don’t get angry feelings often, but when they come they are very strong, and I have to work to ensure that I don’t erupt and hurt myself or others in the process.  It’s better for me to take a step back from the angry feelings, until I can understand where the anger is coming from.  If I can just turn around and walk away, keeping my mouth buttoned – it will be better results for me and any relationship I have.  Justified anger is the hardest to deal with – because I have justified it – it’s what I do with the anger that really counts.  My behavior, my reaction to the anger, is where the hurt and abuse come in to play, and where I work to be careful with my words and actions.

The best way for me to “handle” my anger is first, to acknowledge it.  Secondly, try to understand where the anger is coming from, and thirdly try to find the right words to express my anger without hurting myself or others.  In this way I can release the anger and get on with my recovery.  It’s a process for me, and I know that it is better to gain an understanding of the anger before I respond to it.  I also know that this process requires time.  I need to let others know this by using phrases like “Let me think about that.” or “I need some time to process this.”  The very best I can hope for when angry feelings come, is that I will learn another lesson about life, feelings, emotions and how complicated relationships can get.  Regardless of the feelings, I do have some control over my behavior – that’s the difference between being in recovery and being an insane alcoholic.

Photo Courtesy of AinV

Photo Courtesy of AinV

Trust in God

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Faith in a Power greater than me, greater than my addictions, and greater than my mental and physical obsessions is truly a blessing.  It is the direct result of this new-found faith in my Higher Power, that I have recovered from these defects of character, to some degree. The life I live today is quite the opposite of my previous life, thanks to the Program of Alcoholics Anonymous and to my Higher Power, God.

Little did I know that I could rely on the God of my understanding, that He would be there for me, always.  Life can throw me some problems that, at first, seem insurmountable; but when I turn to the steps and my Higher Power, things happen!  Faith in God gives me the power I need to be useful to others.  Through the Program, I have learned to rely on my Higher Power for strength to keep going forward in recovery, to keep taking that all important “next step.” I have learned to be useful to others, that they then might pass on what was given to them.  I have learned to stay on my “side of the street”  when it comes to judgment.  My business ends at the end of my nose, the business of others is not my business, nor is it my place to judge.  I am grateful for all the lessons I continue to learn in the Program, and for all the lessons, and that I am BLESSED!!

Photo courtesy of Mark S. Beautiful. If you'd like to submit, email: this24submissions @gmail.com

Photo courtesy of Mark S. Beautiful. If you’d like to submit, email: this24submissions @gmail.com

I Resent That!

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I am harboring a resentment, right now.  I know better, I know that resentments only hurt me, and that bit of knowledge only adds to my resentment.  Why is it that knowledge of problems does not dispel them?  I know what the Program teaches about resentments.  I know no good can come of retaining a resentment.  I know that gratitude can be used to counter feelings of resentment.  Why do I find it necessary to hold onto resentments when I know what those feelings cause in me?  It’s again, a matter of head over heart.  I “know” what to do – but until I accept that action in my heart, it does not get done.

I surely have other things to do rather than sit here stewing over past poor behaviors of others.  The Program teaches me much in the way of interacting with others.  I may not always like what these “others” have to say about me, or about my choices.  They are entitled to their opinions, just as I am mine.  Staying positive, both in thought and deed, is a big step to “managing” those resentments.  Being willing to voice my thoughts and resentments, if any, is another step towards growth in recovery.  Address the issue and then get on with my life – that’s the action I work to choose.  I have other issues to deal with, other areas where growth is needed, and other behaviors that require not only my attention but my correction/change whenever possible.

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Isolating?

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This is one of my areas that I work to be mindful of.  I tend to isolate – and this is made much easier because I do not have a job right now.  I do this thing we call sobriety, solo – and that can be difficult at times.  Sometimes, it’s not an intentional isolation, I mean I do have friends and family I can call on to dispel those feelings of loneliness.  The fact of the matter is I enjoy having alone time – but I can only have so much “alone time” and then I get to a point where I need to reach out to others, to remind myself that I am part of the world.
In the Program of Alcoholics, I have found myself, and I have found a program that works for me.  I am grateful for my commitments as they tend to get me off the couch and out the door – and I need
that.  Isolating?  Maybe a little – but nothing like it used to be.  I remain grateful for the Program, for my Higher Power, God; and for all my friends and  family, which includes everyone who reads these words.
Photo Courtesy of M.K.

Photo Courtesy of M.K.

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