WHO IS YOUR HIGHER POWER?

DO YOU KNOW WHO YOUR HIGHER POWER REALLY IS?

Third Step Prayer short version

God, I offer myself to Thee—to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt.  Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will.  Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and The way of life.  May I do Thy will always!

A DOOR KNOB IS NOT A POWER GREATER THAN YOURSELF THEREFORE IT IS NOT A “HIGHER POWER”

We want to choose a god deserving of our faith not an inanimate object that has less power than the man who installed it into the door.  Why not seek God with our heart in prayer?  Seek and we will find.  Could it be our resentment, pain, and hurt is much too deep to even consider seeking a god whom we feel is the reason we have suffered?   Or is our desire to control all things too strong in us to risk relinquishing control?   Our pain and consequences of active addiction must be more intense than our fear of the unknown and giving up control.  

In Narcotics Anonymous it has been said many times and is a popular belief that we may conjure up and name our own Higher Power.  Also members have said, if we want to use a door knob as a HP we can.   They say a door knob will work just as good as if we had one of the well-documented HP’s.  Perhaps the “Doorknob” is the official-unofficial HP of N.A.  But again, a doorknob is not a power greater than any human.

Continue reading “WHO IS YOUR HIGHER POWER?”

Why Am I an Alcoholic?

Why Are Addicts in so Much Emotional Pain?
Why do addicts seem to have a proclivity towards self destruction?
Why are addicts so inclined to blame others for their own choices?
And the biggie, why do our sponsors teach us to not ask “why”?
Answer number one: THE PROBLEM

I was in so much pain that I needed to numb myself due to a life-time of hiding away my true identity. By hiding intense feelings and thoughts away my pain lived inside me till I finally was taught how to let it all out.

Continue reading “Why Am I an Alcoholic?”

Is AA Really Spiritual NOT Religious

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.

– Aldous Huxley

http://aaagnostica.org/2012/05/27/the-courts-aa-and-religion/?subscribe=success#blog_subscription-2

While our pre-conceived notions are ripped to shreds by Linda R’s factual, and informative article we may take solace in the truth that our rock, AA IS A SPIRITUAL PROGRAM.   This, in spite of the high courts multiple rulings that AA is in fact a religious program.   “Spirituality” is not a contradiction of religion.  And religion does not mean non-spiritual and bad.   One thing for certain, in A.A. we choose, seek, and find our own Higher Power.  Whether it’s by our sponsor introducing God to us or by receiving a revelation and white light experience through prayer and meditation or we simply reconnect with the God of our parents we still make a choice of who our Higher Power is.   Our AA belief system is very different from dogmatic religion in that way.

However, the question has arisen in some of the highest courts of our nation whether or not A.A. is religious.  And it has come up for good reason, the separation of church and state.  Parolees do not want to be forced into a religious AA program  against their constitutional rights.  This separation of church and state is a fundamental aspect of US law, known as the Establishment Clause, and is explicated in the first amendment to the US Constitution, which states

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”

By Linda R.

Inside AA, one hears members frequently repeat the well-known phrase “AA is spiritual, not religious.” AA takes pride in saying it’s not religious. But what do outsiders, such as the court systems, think about AA’s claim?

In the ten year period between 1996 and 2007, five high-level US courts — three federal circuit courts and two state supreme courts – did take a long and hard look at AA’s claim. Each of these cases involved a person who was being forced to participate in AA meetings, either as a condition of their parole or probation, or while actually incarcerated. These cases reached the highest level of judiciary scrutiny — only one level below the US Supreme Court — because they involved the critical issue of separation of Church and State. This separation is a fundamental aspect of US law, known as the Establishment Clause, and is explicated in the first amendment to the US Constitution, which states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”

The parolees, probationers and inmates in each of these cases claimed that the State was using its power to force them to participate in a religious activity. They claimed that AA meetings were religious. Thus, their required attendance was a violation of the Establishment Clause, which requires governmental neutrality with respect to religion and a wall of separation between Church and State.

read more from “aaagnostica.org” by Linda R.

Step Two of Alcoholics Anonymous

 

Sanity step two and relationships

STEP TWO

Heavenly Father, I know in my heart that only You can restore me to sanity. I humbly ask that You remove all twisted thought and addictive behavior from me this day. Heal my spirit and restore in me a clear mind.

Overcoming Fear the human condition from which all addictions spring

“Let no man condemn himself; for it is by self-condemnation that we set ourselves above God who is our only True & Righteous Judge.  For it is He & He alone who possesses a capacity for the unconditional Grace and Love which mankind’s collective soul so desperately needs to survive the deceptive throngs that encompass death and the grave?”

It is written that the fear of death is the mother of all fears and from it springs all manner of worry, fear, and anxiety and so we engage the great struggle to defeat these feelings. 

We can quickly destroy all our loving relationships due to natural knee-jerk reactions that fend off fear and the feelings that fear creates.  Some deadly knee-jerk solutions are blame, criticisms, hate, playing the victim or the oppressor anything that relates to putting down and condemning others to make ourselves feel better if even just for a short while.  There is no shortage of people to condemn including ourselves.  In the meantime we lose what our hearts really need and crave…to Love and to be Loved, to comfort and to be comforted, to understand and to be understood, to follow our conscience and to live guilt-free.

John 14:27
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

They say that the most common phrase in the Bible is “fear not”.  Some say it is written in the Bible 365 times once for each day of the year.  Staying in faith and trusting in God is easier said than done.  Things happen that strike fear in us, fear of loss, fear of losing control of a situation, fear of sickness and death, fear that people will not like us or will desert and abandon us.  It is said in the rooms of AA that people most commonly have fears associated with these three things.  Sex, Society, and Security.

Firstly we often fear losing our partners, boyfriends, and husbands.  Second we fear losing our “status” in our society of peers.  Thirdly we fear losing our homes, jobs, money, and car.  The feelings that fear produces is at the core of addiction and codependency so we must find solutions to gnawing and torturous feelings.

When we are well grounded in our Higher Power by exercising regular prayer, meditation, meetings, and service work we not only receive fulfillment by that charity but we also have less reason to fear because our faith has been exercised and strengthened by regular communing with God. We must get our [daily bread], our spiritual feeding to continue trusting God and to repel fear.

When we pray and meditate yet find that our lives and minds are still full of discord, animosity, worrying, anxiety, and stress then there is more we can do.

“Out of the problem into the solution!”  We write down our fears in a list, we look it over and realize we lack trust in our Higher Power.  We then courageously ask God to help us to trust Him/Her/It and if our religion requires we repent.  We remember our second step and the insanity that God has delivered us from.  Sometimes the insanity of a second step returns if we are not active with living these steps.  We remember that beating ourselves up is counterproductive and not a solution to anything.  We revisit our Third step and remember that we have put our life and will into Gods caring hands so everything will be ok if we do our part.  Have we done a formal and thorough fourth step if so; do we have any new active resentment?  If so, we do a proper fourth step and ask ourselves what our fear is behind the resentment.  Have we completed our amends by either apologizing or giving back what we have stolen?  We do not gravel or expect any certain reaction from the persons with whom we make amends.  We can’t make them feel better by amends but we will feel better by it no matter their response.  If we still resent anyone we have worked a fourth step on we pray blessings upon them daily until we forget about it and the resentment is gone.

By these steps which include God we learn to Love ourselves and others.  By these steps we replace our old survival skills of blame and all its cohorts with healthy and loving coping skills based in truth, honesty, righteousness, Love and compassion.  We replace character defects with good character.  In this text on a day by day basis I will explain the why’s and how’s of working the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous which can apply to any addiction including the addictions called drama, self-hate, and co-da.

During the first year of my recovery I had the opportunity to be in an addictions therapy group.  During therapy I learned that there is no wrong feeling and that I must believe this in order to accept myself.  For when I label my feelings “wrong” or “bad” I label myself and my own God given heart wrong and bad.  Terms like; “I shouldn’t feel this way” or “but there’s nothing to be afraid of” are no longer in my vocabulary because there is always a valid reason for the way I/we feel.  Even if that reason comes from years prior or is physiological there is always but always a valid reason for the way our hearts feel. 

We are not bad or wrong ever by the way we feel.  Usually if our emotions get “stuck” in us and we hurt and fear seemingly endlessly it is because no one has taught us how to process our feelings.  They certainly didn’t teach it in school even though teaching a healthy emotional process should have been at the top of the curriculum.  Actions and reactions are the only things that can ever be wrong or bad.  I have found solutions to the feelings that I don’t like and have learned that some feelings just take time to walk through and that I need not let them paralyze me anymore.   I have learned that feelings are “right” and appropriate yet sometimes unpleasant such as grieving a death or fear of a situation that’s new and different.  In this book along with the 12 steps I will teach emotional processes to help let go of anger, rage, hurt, disgust, and the rest of the fear based emotions that we feel.  I will share with you what has worked for me during my eight years of recovery from my two devastating bottoms which did include incomprehensible demoralization like the Big Book addresses.

HOPE & TEARS

HOPE AA

Even though I am crying please do not think I have given up hope.  Feelings are a part of me and should be expressed.  Crying is a healthy emotion.  What hope do I hold inside?  I hope for success in every way.  I want to get ahead in life financially.  I pray to accomplish goals that will provide a nest-egg for me and my partner’s retirement.  I pray that we can afford a new house not because I am greedy or ungrateful but rather because the one we live in is old and decaying. 

I work hard to get ahead and then I see myself fail.  I see some dreams slip away beyond my reach. 

I know what “time” shall make us become, if we live.

So  I regroup my hopes and set my eyes on the eternal, the incorruptible and have faith these hopes WILL come to pass.

Even if I don’t accomplish Earthly or carnal success now, when I die I will be with my creator.  That is a much more spiritual hope.  Salvation is not an achievement.  Eternal life is ours as children of an eternal creator.  Our evolution from birth as a human-aging-death-then we step into our eternal bodies.  

I will then understand the mysteries of our universe, I will then have a deeper and much higher purpose.

Then I will not feel pain, then I will no longer cry, then I will no longer feel the separation from God that has haunted me as long as I can remember.

Being separated from God is my problem

Dying (not suicide mind you) is my ultimate solution

I see now time is very short and so I better Love while I can and that includes loving myself.  I have no right to condemn or spank myself it is non-productive.  Self-punishment will not help me attain my goals.

What is your Hope?  When the carnal dreams are crushed reach for the spiritual dreams called hope.

 

THE SOLUTIONS FOR DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY

WHAT CAN I DO TO OVERCOME DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY?

Click here to read SOLUTIONS

HURT PEOPLE HURT PEOPLE….YES BUT

Hurt people usually hurt themselves first and foremost by their limited ability to accept new people, new places, and new things.

What do we do if we are so hurt from our addict driven past and horrific childhood that we are unable to Love and accept others?  And why is it that a lack of acceptance and the alcoholic go hand in hand?  Our parents didn’t teach us healthy emotional coping skills or we would not reach for such destructive emotional survival skills like the drink and drug.  The thing is as long as our using (drug abuse) and blame-based coping skills worked to keep us reasonably numb & feeling shame-free we had no reason to stop using them….right? 

Why is it that the serenity prayer is an addicts most valuable coping skill known far and wide?  The Big Book reads that a lack of power was our dilemma.  Meaning when we feel we are not in control within and without we buck, we freak.  We lack acceptance when we are sick and suffering on such a grand scale that we block new, different people and ideas out of our lives.  We can’t cope with any kind of change…it’s too scarey.  But again Why? (Oh I’m not supposed to know the answers to any “why’s”? that’s first 90 days sober AA jargon.  If we are going to really be healed of our underlying emotional issues we must allow ourselves to seek & find some knowledge.)

Blame, criticism, and looking for the wrong and the bad in other people and their ideas is the most wide-spread destructive emotional coping skill on the face of the Earth used by addicts and normies alike.  AS LONG AS I CAN PUT A “BAD” LABEL ON SOMEONE TODAY MAYBE I WON’T HAVE TO SEE THE PAIN LIVING INSIDE ME.  IF I CAN JUST BE “RIGHT” AND FEEL THAT I AM “BETTER THAN OTHERS” THEN I WON’T HAVE TO SEE THE SICKNESS THAT LIVES IN MY SOUL.

I need to ask myself some questions…how long have I been sober and why am I still having anxiety attacks and suffering from intense rage and depression?  Why am I having repeated migraines?  Why have I pushed all the people I love out of my life?  Why am I still isolating and beating myself up?  Have I left something out of my program? Could my prejudices toward religion and therapy be hindering my healing? What can I do to really overcome depression and anxiety?

The serenity prayer and twelve step work are two grand survival skills for us.  When we share our story of what it was like what happened and what it is like now, if sincere & heart-felt processes out a little bit of our pain and sickness bit by bit.   Telling our story builds self-worth and confidence.  However it also feeds our ego and can be a deflection from our own emotional wounds.  Step 12 and chairing meetings are mere band-aids covering a wound that needs far more healing and medicine.  We need a deep and searching moral inventory we need to address our underlying issues or the infection in our soul will just keep hurting us and those around us.  The symptoms that are screaming at me are depression and anxiety.

SO WHAT THEN?  WHAT ARE THE SOLUTIONS TO DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY AND HOW DO I APPLY THEM IN MY LIFE?  Know this solutions will go against the grain of the disease and make us feel very uncomfortable.  PLEASE KNOW THERE IS NO WRONG FEELING, ONLY WRONG ACTIONS.  EVERY FEELING IS BECAUSE OF A REASON, AN EXPERIENCE, A REACTION TO AN EVENT THEREFORE WE SHOULD NEVER SAY…I SHOULD NOT FEEL THAT WAY.  YOUR HEART IS THE PLACE THAT FEELINGS COME FROM AND YOUR HEART DOES NOT LIE.  WE WILL NO LONGER BE ASHAMED OF WHO AND WHY WE ARE OR HOW WE ARE.  BUT WE CAN LEARN TO OVERCOME AND WORK THROUGH NEGATIVE FEELINGS RATHER THAN ALLOWING OUR FEARS AND FEELINGS TO PARALYZE US.

SOLUTION 1
Well firstly I need to work the steps more thoroughly starting with my spirituality and lack thereof.  I need to seek God with every fiber of my heart and being.  Ask my Higher Power to guide my step-work and my actions.  God answers the heart, every testimony of spiritual experience I have ever heard or had began with an intense seeking of God with one’s heart, mind and very depth of soul.  Please, shallow prayers reap shallow rewards.  Then I keep seeking, I go to churches, tent revivals, Unity God-self type temples,  Mausks, Catholic church.  Any place that people congregate to find and become closer to God, that is where I need to seek Him/It/Her, not just AA.  People are not on their knees praying in meetings, people are not crying out at the alter for healing in meetings.  If I am not willing to take this action to seek my Higher Power then I must not be depressed enough or maybe I have just gotten comfortable in my depression.  Depression is anger without enthusiasm to that I can attest.

SOLUTION 2

Therapy, I need to open up my deepest and most vulnerable self to me and a therapist.  I need to share my fears that I am ashamed of, I need to share my feelings that I think are wrong, stupid, weak and I am ashamed of.  I need to share my shame and guilt.  Not just in my journal but also out loud to a human or in group.  I need to let down my emotional protection in a safe place and tell people who I really am.  The child within needs to be heard.  If I was abused I need to talk about it.  If I was neglected and rejected and need to share it.  If I was sexually abused or abused others sexually I need to share it.  First write it down that makes saying it outloud much easier.  My deepest darkest shames need to be exposed to the light.  I need to get real about who I resent.  I need to put myself and God (most likely) on my resentment list.  My fourth step should have “The cause” or what happened to start the resent ment and delve into what my fears are behind the resent me.  Do I think I am unlovable, ugly, stupid, not good enough, that the person who accused me is right?  There is always an insecurity and fear of some sort crouching behind the hate for mankind.  I need to get at my own insecurities and express them on paper and then out-loud.  I need to accept my weaker-self and make myself vulnerable to others.  This isn’t part of the fourth and fifth steps it’s part of a honest and thorough fourth and fifth step.  Notice the “(fear)” and “(self-esteem)” that was written in the fourth step grid in the Big Book?  What I am explaining to you…the shame the feeling of not good enough that is what’s meant by self esteem and fear in  that fourth step grid.  If we can’t address this stuff we most likely will not heal from depression and anxiety.

SOLUTION 3

STEP 12, I need to allow the steps to work in my life.  I need to open up and say what’s really going on with me in meeting.  If I am depressed I need to share it, If I am happy I need to share it, if I am angry I need to share it, I should confess all my resentments not leaving out organizations and groups of people.  People with certain appearances.  And the big one I need to write down and confess anything I am ashamed of and am keeping secret.  I should work these 12 steps in an orderly fashion with a sponsor that will not shut me down.  I should attend step-study-meetings.  I should regularly go to jails or institutions of some type to tell my story of what it was like, what happened and what it is like now.  I should do a very thorough step 6 & 7.  Out of the problem into the solution.  Every day I should shower, put on my shoes and do at least TWO things towards my recovery.  I should clean my house and do my dishes.  I should get sober phone contacts and call people.  If I have an emotional upheaval and think I have been wronged I call someone and talk about it.  And of coarse if I want to drink or drug I confess it in a meeting and or call someone.

SOLUTION 4

I keep doing what works, I don’t stop, I don’t slow down.  I am relentless.  Four meetings a week, Church of some sort (meetings are not church) one day a week.  

SOLUTION 5

I learn and practice real meditation.  I lay down, I get quiet, and I do a mantra by trying repeatedly over and over to concentrate on only one thought.   When my mind drifts I reel it back in and concentrate on only the mantra.  I picture each sentence in my mind.  If my mantra is the Lord’s Prayer I picture each line, I see my father in heaven I think about his/her sacred name.  I picture his kingdom-coming etc. etc.  I practice meditation daily for at least a half hour a day.  I begin my meditation with a prayer.  I can use crystals or props, candles, and incense I make it a ritual.  My mind will wonder but eventually I will train my mind to stay on one thought.   After practicing for quite some time my mind will naturally empty…and I will hear God.  I will be more patient, self-aware, more tolerant, more likely to think things through rather than being sporadic and impatient.  Sometimes in the beginning it’s necessary to just moan during meditation.  When trying to lye till and quiet because of the negative energy living inside it’s hard to be still.  I remember feeling like there was an alien inside of me trying to get out so I moaned like I was taught to do to release that energy.  Then I can better concentrate on the mantra and meditate.

SOLUTION 6

GUTERAL SOUNDS

Release guttural sounds from your body on a regular basis in private in your car, alone at home.  Guttural sounds come straight from core and underlying issues of the emotions and the soul.  Moaning, Screaming, shrieking, and sound that needs to come out.  Try it, it will feel weird and insane but it works to get out the very energy that is causing the depression and anxiety.  Do it for years as long as needed.  It releases the poison from our bowels that we have stored there by pushing down our anger and hurt until it makes us sick.

SOLUTIONS 7

Diet, exercise, and nature.  These are self explanatory stick to natural foods as much as possible and to to the beach or just take walks in the woods but get outside and exercise.  Get fresh air daily, drink lots of water.  Eat lots of fruits and veggies.  Sometings exercise alone relieve a huge part of our anxiety.

 

And remember “OUT OF THE PROBLEM INTO THE SOLUTION”

Don’t stay I the problem spinning around.

REMEMBER NOTHING CHANGES IF NOTHING CHANGES.

HOPE

DEPTHS

 

 

“Hope”

Yesterday I felt horrible and I wasn’t sure why.  I kept having a bad re-occurring memory of me at a very young age feeling rejected and even loathed by my father.  I wrote about the memory and shared my feelings with my close confidants in AA.  I felt a huge relief after I shared my core insecurities of inadequacy and worthlessness.  But there was more…there was something else going on with me yesterday and in the past few weeks.  I have been working toward some business goals and things were looking pretty darn good where finances are concerned.  Then suddenly out of nowhere I had some pretty big set-backs occur that threw me for a loop.

I have had expectations; high expectations that my websites and business were on their way up!  When everything took a turn down hill at one time I was shocked.  I did not expect the setback at all.  I beat myself up for not using the money I had been making in a more responsible way.  Somehow I really didn’t expect my E-bay sales to slow down either.  I realized this morning that I had lost hope.  I felt like my efforts were stupid…like “what did I think I was doing expecting my financial life to be above average or even average for that matter  Who did I think I was.”  “Did you forget young lady that you are a piece of shit and don’t deserve money”.  “You have lived from week to week all of your life and it is not going to change because your Higher Power will see to that!”  “Give up hope for the good life Laura because you don’t deserve it, who do you think you are!”  This is what my head said at a very, very deep subconscious level mind you.  And that is what my feelings dictated so I laid down in hopelessness losing the warm reassuring vision of a bright future and concentrated on fear of the future instead.   YIKES!

Please keep in mind when you are reading this and maybe judging me as totally wretched.  The logical mind in humans says one thing while feelings and emotions can speak quite another thing.  And just because my logical mind knew I really had nothing to worry about because God always takes care of me.  I still experience the insecurities.  False pride will not allow a man to confess his weakness.  Without confession negativity multiplies.  Fearing what other people may think of me if I do admit weakness means that I feel inferior to others anyway and am ashamed of who I am.

False comparisons are just that…they are false.  I should not compare my insides to other people’s outsides as they say in AA.  People wear masks and to a certain extent masks are necessary.  We don’t usually “unless we are writers” need to advertise our struggles and weakness to more than one or two close confidants.  However in the name of compassion and sharing so other people will not feel so inferior themselves we should let them know what is going on inside of us and that we are not perfect by any means.   I share to let other people know what works for me emotionally, spiritually, and mental health-wise.

“Fear of people and economic insecurity will leave us” so says the Ninth step promises in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.  But what I was going through was a definite financial insecurity….I needed to put my future….and my thoughts into the Loving hands of God.  I have a Third Step God box that me and some ladies in AA all sat down and made for ourselves.  It is stuffed full of fears that have passed.

And so I had not lost my spiritual gift called hope I had just misplaced it per-say.  I experience deep and wrathful anger during that period at which time I prayed deeply that I wouldn’t hurt anyone by my words.

I learned a valuable lesson as I sat I said to myself and God, “I can see why some people do not seek God and reject Him all together.  My feelings of anger were so deep that I could only do what I knew was right and true from my experience.  Because in the moment of my rage I hated everyone including God and myself.  That hate made me realize that I have judged many a man without walking in their shoes or feeling how they feel or going through what they had been through to get to the place for which I looked down on them.

ISN’T IT STRANGE THAT IN THE DEPTHS OF MY EMOTIONALLY NEGATIVE AND UNKIND PLACES WHERE MY SOUL SLIPS AGAINST MY OWN WILL.  IT IS THERE THAT I AM HUMBLED AND FIND MY MOST VALUABLE SPIRITUAL LIFE LESSONS.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Resentment Is The Number One Offender

It says in the Big Book that resentment is the number one offender.  That means it will get us drunk or high before any other emotion.  And sure, I get that.

 
RESOURCES FOR PANIC ATTACKS AND ANXIETY DISORDER
I woke up angry as hell today!  I went to check on a recent order I had made online.  I couldn’t get into my account.  I have had several problems with ordering from a certain online store so I was very aggressive with my tone when I called them.  “I just want my fabric!”  I realized I was wrong about the way I spoke to her so I sent her an email apology.  Seems she locked me out of my account by making my email address invalid.  Ouch!  I never wanted to hack a system so bad in my life to get back into my account.  I am angry as hell and don’t like the way that feels.  I realize I have been feeling allot of anger recently.

My new and healthy emotional process works like this; I don’t shut down my emotions because that leads to anxiety and depression. But rather I ask myself why do I feel so much anger toward myself lately?  Why have I felt self-destructive even?  I give thanks to my Higher Power several times out loud as a defense against hate.(it works)  I take a look at all the good and positive things that I have been doing lately.  Sometimes flashback feelings of self-hate just happen.  There are times when I regress back to my childhood my sister criticizing me my mother ignoring me and my dad invalidating my identity.

WAIT A MINUTE!  WHY AM I WORKING ON SELF-RESENTMENT ISSUES WHEN IT’S EVERYONE ELSE THAT I RESENT BECAUSE THEY ARE SO WRONG AND BAD?  My emotions are the fault of everyone else right?  Wrong!  They can’t process or fix me emotionally…all they can do is give my ego a temporary fix.  They can’t build my self-esteem or give me inner peace.  If I often resent other people it directly reflects the way I feel about myself deep deep down within my heart.  Resentments toward others are always about me.  Alternatively if someone wrongs me it is appropriate to get hurt or angry by and at them.  But this is different than an on-going resentment because I am able to let the anger go, anger is a healthy emotion when it flows through us rather than getting stuck and festering.

I am a worthwhile child of God I tell myself!  I refuse to believe the lies my head is telling me of how worthless, and stupid I am.  I AM A HUMAN BEING AND HAVE A RIGHT TO BE WHO I AM!  I pray for all of those who I resent including myself.  Next I get the heck out of the house and see the bright new world because…even though I woke up very angry I refuse to take my shit out on anybody which is a test of my emotional sobriety and…

THIS MY FRIEND COULD BE THE BEST DAY OF MY LIFE!__________

HERE IS THE “RESENTMENT PRAYER” FROM BB, Freedom from Bondage:  552) THANKS TO http://friendsofbillw.net/twelve_step_prayers

A 4th Step Resentment Prayer:

“God, Please help me to be free of anger and to see that the world and its people have dominated me. Show me that the wrong-doing of others, fancied or real, has the power to actually kill me. Help me to master my resentments by understanding that the people who wrong me were perhaps spiritually sick. Please help me show those I resent the same Tolerance, Pity and Patience that I would cheerfully grant a sick friend.** Help me to see that this is a sick man. Father, please show me how I can be helpful to him and save me from being angry. Lord, help me to avoid retaliation or argument. I know I can’t be helpful to all people, but at least show me how to take a kindly and tolerant view of each and every one. Thy will be done.”(66:2, 66:3, 66:4, 67:0, 67:1)

**Dear God, I have a resentment towards a person that I want to be free of. So, I am asking you to give this person everything I want for myself. Help me to feel compassionate understanding and love for this person. I pray that they will receive everything they need. Thank you God for your help and strength with this resentment.  (BB, Freedom from Bondage:  552)

I didn’t get sober to be miserable although at times that’s unavoidable.  If I don’t learn to live life on life’s terms and have a peaceful and somewhat loving existence I may end up being one of the MANY suicidal old-timers who kills themselves when they have no-one left to blame for their misery.  Unfortunately the suicide rate among alcoholics and addicts in recovery is high.

http://alcoholrehab.com/alcohol-rehab/suicide-in-recovery/

http://www.thenationalcouncil.org/lindas-corner-office/2013/09/suicide-and-addictions-the-neglected-link/

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/real-healing/201402/suicide-one-addiction-s-hidden-risks

I have done a first hand survey among sober alcoholics and most people I have interviewed who have over 15 years sober know at least 3-5 people who have committed suicide while in recovery.  Myself at 9 years sober know at least 2 and possibly more due to vague explanations of cause of death by authorities and family members of the deceased.

If you think about it you probably have had at least one or two in your own hometown, sober and suicidal.

Please I am not trying to be negative but rather want to express the importance of getting down to underlying causes for addiction rather than continuing to apply band-aids to emotions that require antibiotics.  It’s imperative that we learn how to process our emotions in a healthy way so our emotional disorder doesn’t become grave emotional disorder.  The way to do that is by getting honest about the way we feel with people who are empathic and won’t shut us down and label it self-pity.  Please read my article about solutions to intense negative emotions. At a year sober we ask “what’s wrong with me?”

Things change, ideas change, and I change.  I wrote this article today which is my experience with a #1 addiction offender

Is Resentment the Number One Offender?

http://www.recoveryfarmhouse.com/2/whats-wrong-with-me/

http://www.recoveryfarmhouse.com/2/grave-emotional-disorder/

http://www.recoveryfarmhouse.com/2/the-carrotsome-old-timers/

Why Do Humans Pray?

twelve steps and crow

Step Eleven Prayer

There are two things that motivate us to pray from our hearts and with earnest.  The first is gratitude, a wonderful warm and sweeping feeling that travels from our brain and through our entire being. When we recall the grace that God has poured into our lives we are grateful and we thank God.

Grace is unmerited favor Grace also happens when we don’t reap the consequences of our mistakes and wrong choices. But instead we get a reprieve from likely consequences and receive joy, peace and when our children are healthy and happy that is Grace.

The next thing that prompts us to pray is fear. When we are afraid of losing what we have or when we do not get what we think we need ouch!   Also, when our families or loved ones are in trouble Yikes, we run to our prayer closets.

There is nothing wrong with either of these types of prayers. Sure we could be filled with faith and humility and so assured of Gods goodness that we don’t fear at all.   We are in that place of fearlessness many times but not always and that’s OK.

It is written in The Bible that “Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.  ” Faith and Peace are intermingled faith is the assurance that everything is and will be OK accompanied by a warm and poetically still pleasant feeling.   When we receive the gift of peace we know it is better than any worldly gift.
The better we know God the more at peace we will be. I pray today for a visitation from The Most High God and Spirit.

The more contact we have with our Higher Power the more faith we have in turn our peace of mind is increased.

Today I will pray because it is my choice to build a stronger and more understanding relationship with my higher power.

THE POETS PAGE – PLEASE SEND YOUR POEMS TO:

edgarlaura826@yahoo.com ——————mark “POETRY” for E-mail subject.
Send me your poems.  Then just check in the next week or two your poetry will be published on this page.

There’s a secret place in the color of day
where ancient sacred entities play
reveal your face oh blessed king
of light and color and dancing stream
my dreams and visions you catch in the night
how is it this day I see the sight
of the great illusive “dream catcher”

EARTH
Earth, gives and takes.

Sun presents water sparkling bubbles teasing air.

Thick green leaves give life.

Ant sharp sting strike back.

The desert dry hot barren it takes.

Do not test the desert father dear do not tempt snake rattles.

Fang shiny wet death realms unseen.

Earth, experience duality.

Today sacred Earth you are seen.
By Admin

Two Rights Don’t Make A Wrong

 

FAULT FINDING IS THE COUNTERFEIT FOR SELF-ESTEEM AND A TRUE FEELING OF SELF-WORTH.  Fault finding will replace self-esteem for a while until  we can do the next right thing long enough to actually build some.

Why is it that we see on all recovery websites and AA, NA chat rooms people are always looking for someone or something to pin the label “BAD” or “WRONG” on? It just never fails, and why?

Anyone who has worked the steps thoroughly and honestly knows that their most common character defect or carnal survival skill has been “BLAME” in the past.  

BLAME comes in many forms such as: attack, accusation, criticism, gossip,resentment,self-pity, and hate, even righteous indignation. These all reek of blame. The state of “blame” is a state of denial. Even if our blame is in the form of righteous indignation it is still a state of denial. When we blame others we are denying the real core reason for our yucky feelings.

We in recovery must learn the hard hard lesson of not only taking responsibility for our own feelings by owning them but also finding healthy and harmless ways of processing those feelings such as;
hitting with a plastic bat, punching bag, punching a pillow, writing, the [fuck you] letter that we never send, screaming, crying, sharing with an empathic listener, moaning, groaning, and other guttural sounds all promote release of emotions from the gut and relief. If we want to heal we have to feel not blame.

All of these method of processing feelings are usually looked down upon by others and considered crazy or weak.  Therefore it is best we exercise them while we are alone in a private place.  Beating ourselves up is not a healthy way to deal with our feelings.  Our hearts are innocent and need to be listened to by us without judgement.

We take our feelings and we write them down; “I feel hate or resentment toward Betty.”  Behind every resentment is fear.  When we find our core fear and ask God to remove it we find peace.

“I am afraid of losing my partner because I feel like I am not good enough I feel like Betty is better than me so I hate her” Wow! Was that so damn hard? Its ok to admit being afraid and feeling [less than] when we have solutions for that state of being.

Remember feelings do not have to be logical.  The fourth step work is an ongoing tool that should not be thrown by the wayside after accomplishing it one time.  Doing the fourth step should be a way of life in addressing every one of the blame characteristics listed above.  Humans fear they are not good enough especially if they were relentlessly taught that in youth. 

We can feel yucky without blaming anyone for it. Feeling bad does not mean we are weak it means we are human.

 

FLAVORS OF BLAME: attack, accusation, criticism, gossip,resentment ,self-pity, and hate, even righteous indignation are all by-products of blame. Addiction is a disease of denial which travels through the psyche in many ways. Denial or the lack of knowing how to take responsibility for our own feelings and blaming others for our feelings is the number one cause of failed relationships among addicts. The refusal to own our own feelings walks hand in hand with resentment. But don’t be too hard on us, no-one taught us how to process deep dark feelings. Addicts have a huge capacity for emotional pain in turn when we heal we have a huge capacity for understanding and Love. Once we learn how to own and honor our feelings, process them in a healthy way there is no limit to what we can accomplish for Love.

Who knew crying is a healthy emotion, privately screaming is a potent way to release anger. (not at someone) Writing a “fuck you” letter that we never send is an awesome way to release intense feelings of hate. Confessing shortcomings in meetings in a general way is a awesome solution for that defect.

We have the tools, we CAN stay sober and find Love, fellowship, and a psychic change.

Taming the Tongue Step Eleven



Taming the tongue

I will not debate with wrath although my own false pride would have me do just that. Wrath knows no logic, rage knows no compassion nor can it be reasoned with….natural anger can be managed with the tools and a little self-honesty. The accuser of the brethren that old crusty angel of lies (the disease) will come alive in me if I allow it. The tongue a small organ yet strong enough to wield the power of life and death, Love and hate in its grasp. A man can conquer ten cities but who can tame the tongue?”

I wrote this a few years ago as a status in another secret group. I find personally that doing step 11 at length instills in me the self-restraint necessary to stand quietly through the manipulation of my mother or other emotional triggers. She throws out the fishing line and hook to bait me into telling her how to live her life or what choices to make and then she never does what I suggest anyway.

I end up with a feeling of struggle and strain in my heart and frustration…inevitably I get an emotional hang-over. Verbal struggles don’t always come in the form of sarcasm, insults, name-calling and lies. . Sometimes my struggles are fears within my own mind or me trying to be the director.

SOLUTION: Step Eleven and self-restraint of keyboard & tongue. It is not my place to tell other adults how they should act or to make their choices for them. If they are not breaking a law or harming someone literally physically then it’s none of my business to control other peoples interactions with one another.

EACH PERSON HAS THE RIGHT TO REACH THEIR OWN LEVEL OF INCOMPETENCE! Each person must learn their own lessons…we are all at different places in our recovery…on different levels even however, we are all of equal value as human souls with hearts that need to Love and be Loved.

STEP SIX of Alcoholics Anonymous & Humility

HUMILITY

STEP SIX Alcoholics Anonymous

HUMILITY IS NOT THE ACT OF TELLING EVERYONE HOW MUCH I SUCK.

 

 

Humility One definition of humility:  To be aware of one’s own character defects. False humility on the other hand, is to belittle one’s self or take a false view or statement of one’s self in a belittling way. For instance to know of yet to deny one’s own spiritual gifts, positive traits, abilities, good behaviors, intelligence, and maturity.  These examples are the epitome of false humility.  Denying our good behaviors and traits is a dishonest way of trying to show that we in fact are humble, however it is dishonest therefore listed under “false humility.”

Starting our day from the stance of a humble heart will prompt us to ask our Higher Power for help.  For instance if we have humility we ask God to remove our character flaws that we may better do His (or its or Her) will.   Humility protects us from making decisions out of false pride and ego.  

Hypothetically if we were thinking with our false pride we may assume that we could handle a drink or a drug without consequences.  Yikes!

A humble addict mind knows his limitations yet accepts its high value in the eyes of God.   If we are thinking with ego we assume we don’t need anybody’s help including a Higher Power.   A humble person does not consider him or herself more important than others nor does he consider his opinions above that of other people as a rule.

We should consider ourselves to be on the same level as all humankind though many of us are in a different place spiritually, emotionally, psychologically, physically, and mentally than others.  Humility knows that we all have shortcomings and come from different starting points. Therefore we do not possess  the all encompassing knowledge that it takes to judge others fair & accurately.

We don’t know how people were raised, we cannot see on another person’s heart or what has led them to where they are presently.   Humility does not harshly judge other people. 

“We have quit the debating society” (big book) therefore to avoid argument we generously say: “You may be right.” Humility is able to say: “I was wrong and I am sorry” without any buts behind it.  We can identify our patterns of character defect by working steps four and five.

When we do step six and seven it further aids us in identifying our character flaws.  We do this not to condemn or belittle ourselves but so we can ask our Higher Power to remove those flaws on a regular basis.

Sometimes God removes a flaw from us and other times we must work on our flaws by self-restraint, fifth step confession, and a daily request for God’s help to resist that flaw. Working the steps are an act of humility in itself and a foundation to further our good character.

Mathew 18:3
“And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”

Ninth Step Promises

Ninth Step Promises click

 

The program does work.  Fear of people and what they think of us will leave us.   If we work the steps and do plenty of step twelve service work.  If we bring meetings into jails and institutions, chair meetings, and work on our core issues and underlying causes.  Furthermore if we build a relationship with our Higher Power and  do a thorough fourth step we will get not only a psychic change but also a spiritual experience that will help us to rely on God rather than mankind for what we need emotionally and spiritually.

“Fear  of people will leave us” is a quote from The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.  It is written under the “Step Nine”  heading in the “Into Action” chapter and considered one of the “Ninth Step Promises”.

This link is to the Twelve & Twelve Step Nine:

http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/en_step9.pdf   twelve and twelve step nine

In the Big Book step nine is on page 76  and starts in the middle of the page.  The ninth step promises are on page 83 starting at the bottom of the page.

http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/en_bigbook_chapt6.pdfNinth Step Promises

 

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THE NINTH STEP PROMISES

If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are halfway through.  We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.  We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.  We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace.  No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others.  That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear.  We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows.  Self-seeking will slip away.  Our whole attitude and outlook on life will change.  Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us.  We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us.  We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.

Are these extravagant promises?  We think not.  They are being fulfilled among us____sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly.  They will always materialize if we work for them.

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I believe that when Bill W. wrote “Fear of people will leave us” in The Big Book under the Ninth Step, what he actually meant was, “fear of what people think of us will leave us.”   

Alcoholics and addicts when in their addiction and early recovery tend to be nervous around other people.  Alcoholics have anxiety attacks, they have the desire to isolate and steer clear of other people often. 

All these symptoms show a fear of being around other people.  But not because they are afraid of being robbed or attacked.  These fearful behaviors stem from our own insecurities and self-loathing.  We addicts often simply feel like other people are better than us.  We are afraid of being judged by others.  We fear getting close to people because they may hurt us emotionally.   We don’t want to set ourselves up for another emotional loss so we reject human interaction and relationships all together.  

We often feel (subconsciously) that if people get to know us they won’t like us much because… bottom line…after years of going against what our own conscience says to us we don’t like ourselves much so how could anyone else like us…we think.   Many times in meetings and around A.A. people will say “I don’t care what people think of me” usually we, say this as a defensive measure to make ourselves look better to  others, as if it is weak and socially shameful to care what others think of us.   

However, caring what people think of us is an emotionally balanced social human trait. So many recovering addicts and people in general say they don’t care what others think of them, yet their actions prove otherwise.   Contrary to what most people in recovery so defensively state, I believe people DO care about what others think and say about them.  Of course that healthy caring can be taken to an extreme and turn into fear of what people think of us.  That’s where lying, dishonesty, faking this and pretending that come into play.  Vanity and false pride are character flaws driven by fear of what people will think of us.

 

It seems like addicts don’t know it’s OK, NOT WEAK to care and it’s normal socially to want to be liked and admired.  Seems some have an inability in their minds to distinguish between fear and healthy concern. Caring is not a bad thing and its human nature to want to dress nice and look good to our fellows.

 

People generally love to be the best at things, be the smartest, the fastest, and be a winner so they can feel good about themselves and look good to others.  Certainly if we were repeatedly taught as children that we are bad and wrong and received little if any parental validation of our feelings and ideas we will carry a low self-identity with us until it is reamed out by either therapy or spirituality.  Until that self-image is changed we will be hyper-sensitive to any perceived criticisms.  And unfortunately once a self-image is burned to our psyche it can’t be removed easily.  Just knowing that our self-image is inaccurate won’t change it.

 

Personally it does concern me when people dislike me or accuse me but I must put it in perspective.  Firstly, I ask myself if the accusation is true.  Then I delve into trying to understand the motivation behind the accusation.  When I understand the accusers reasoning it helps me accept their views.  If their opinion sticks in my craw too long and a resentment grows in me I will pray blessings upon them until I forget about it…works great!

 

Yes I care what people think!  I am not ashamed to admit it.  My admission of care does not make me a weak person, actually it shows I am self-assured enough to not fear appearing weak by that admission. 

  In other words, if someone is overstating the fact that they don’t care what others think of them you can pretty much bet that they’re healthy social caring has morphed into a fearful self-consciousness of what other people think of them.