RECOVERING SOBER WRITERS WANTED

Tell your sober story.  “What it was like,(addiction) what happened (got sober), and what it’s like now. (recovery as you experience it)”

WRITERS WANTED To post recovery oriented articles on Recovery Farmhouse no professional experience needed.

Basic editing skills preferred.  Please put your article through an editing process best you can. Your writing does not have to be perfect just from the heart.  Writing for Recovery Farmhouse is a little more that just sharing your experience strength and hope.  You are allowed to have an opinion and state it.  However open-mindedness to other people’s views and acceptance for same is a definite plus.  Poetry is accepted too.  Please e-mail me at edgarlaura826@yahoo.com with your articles.
writers wanted

 

 

SEXUAL INVENTORY

You can find the directions to do your “sexual inventory” on none other than  page 69 in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.  HURRAY for great coincidences.    My personal favorite Bill W. wrote: “WE DO NOT WANT TO BE THE ARBITER OF ANYONE’S SEX CONDUCT. An arbiter is a person who settles a dispute or has ultimate authority in a matter) OF ANYONE’S SEX CONDUCT.”

Firstly  I try to remember that not everyone’s moral compass is set on the same settings as mine.  As long as no law is being broken and no one is getting  (badly) hurt then like Bill W says; other people’s sex conduct.

The Fourth Step Sexual Inventory only works when I apply it to myself.  So what kind of things  do I needs to write down?  God gave mankind a great gift called the “conscience” and that is what I will use along with prayer.  The things in my past that I feel guilty for and ashamed of these things need to come out into the open, out of my mind they will then lose power over me.  First I put them to paper then I confess them aloud in my fifth step.

WHY?!!!!!  WHY DREDGE UP THE PAST, BURYING IT SEEMS LIKE A BETTER IDEA.  Yes so it seems, however experience teaches us that confession is good for the soul.   Furthermore the intense emotions that we try to hide WILL come out sideways.  Things like wrath, blame, emotional struggles, and intense anger derive from the feelings that we bury.  These emotions need to be expressed and then let go.        It takes either a miracle or some emotional work to clear the wreckage of the past is to face it and come to terms with it.  The Fourth Step runs more people out of the rooms than anything else.  I have had countless women make it through steps one, two, and three, only to bolt at the prospect of confessing their deep dark secrets.

The good news is that on page 69 there are a group of questions to guide us through the sexual inventory.  Also if we pray before we start the work IT WILL give it the supernatural kick we need.  We are striving for a psychic change.  “The same man will drink again” therefore we must do the work that is outlined in the twelve steps.

And most importantly remember, its all been said and done before.  There are only seven deadly sins and there are  only so many sexually perverse things we can engage in.  Usually the sponcee is the only one affected by his own actions.  When we confess our shortcomings we most likely will feel relieved but we most certainly will improve our emotional healthy by it.

OUR E-MAIL IS UP AND RUNNING

HELLO FROM RECOVERY FARMHOUSE

I HOPE YOU ARE DOING WELL!  MY NAME IS LORI E AND I AM AN ALCOHOLIC.

I just wanted to thank everybody who reads my articles and has subscribed to the posts.  I had no idea but our e-mail system was down for quite some time.  It is working again and you will receive weekly posts or whenever I write new ones sometimes more sometimes less often.  Please I invite your feedback and any suggestions you have to improve our website and my writing.

Welcome back everyone lol!  There is a simple unsubscribe at the bottom right of the new e-mail delivery page.  If you unsubscribe you will still be registered with us.

Thanks again here’s to growing old sober!  Lori E.

RELATIONSHIPS IN ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS

IS IT LOVE OR IS IT FEAR?

RELATIONSHIPS IN AA, SOBER IN ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS AND LOVE & INTIMACY

How can I tell if I am acting out of fear or if I am really acting out of Love?  When it comes to relationships so many times we throw around the words, “I love you” for the wrong reasons.  We may say the words to make someone feel needed or Loved which in itself is a kind manipulation.  We may say it to make someone feel obligated to us as if being loved has a price tag on it.  Or we may say it because we have been hurt by someone and we want them to feel extra guilty…”how could you leave me for another woman I love you!”

Often-times drug addicts have to learn how to manipulate people to ensure that their using needs will be met.  To make sure that I would have the drugs I needed I had several enablers on a line.  Enablers tend to have their own underlying reasons to enable us but that’s a whole other matter.    So in my mind the numerous “sugar daddy’s” that I had on the line had the following reasons to want me around.  They wanted to be seen with a young and beautiful woman, “hood ornament” per-say.  They wanted sex, of course that’s the most common one.  They just wanted affection and to feel loved.  They wanted to feel important and needed.  They wanted to feel masculine, sensual, strong, and beautiful or maybe they just wanted to feel.  And I was there to accommodate and fend off their insecurities.

Armed with this knowledge I would tell them what I thought they wanted to hear and much of that was the “I love you”.  So I lied I cheated, I manipulated and said I love you because of fear.  I was afraid if I didn’t say and do these things I wouldn’t get what I needed to stay well and wanted to feel good.

But what about regular intimate romantic relationships that aren’t cursed with drug addict motives?  Do we still act out of fear and say the “I love you” for the wrong reasons?  HELL YES it happens all the time!  The primary reason is control and fear of loss.  Oftentimes people in relationships tend to act out because they are afraid of losing…especially addicts who no longer have their drink and drug.  Now the sober addict has a person that they begin to obsess on and become way too dependent on emotionally and perhaps financially.  The “I love you” becomes a staunch obligation to the partner rather than a giving and affectionate tid-bit of verbal yummy.  Lol!

So if our partner interacts with other friends do we find ourselves feeling threatened subconsciously and then react by using sex to get then under control?  Or maybe we find a reason why the partner shouldn’t be with their friends like…it’s dangerous, I am worried about you.  Or when they come home do we throw a fit about how worried we were about them because “WE LOVE THEM”.

We can use this thermometer Love is charitable, it is giving, Love does not attack verbally but fear does.  Love does not try to play god, but fear does.  Love would never tell another adult how to live.

If we are concerned about a Loved one then we share our concerns in a respectful manner such as sharing our fears for that person by speaking in the “I” context.  NO “YOU’S” you this you that tends to be an attack.  For instance if my partner is hanging out with his old using friends I could say.  “Wow you must be stronger than me if I were hanging out with my old using friends I would relapse for sure.”

One of the oldest control games in the world is limiting freedom for one’s own well-being for one’s own good.  All people deserve to have peace and freedom.  Once we are adults our mommies don’t control us any longer.  The law and our employers are the only authorities that we endure.  Each man has the right to make his own mistakes.  Each man has the right to have peace in his home.  Sponsorship means we suggest and we ask questions we don’t make our sponcee’s decisions for them that is enabling as well.

We should treat our life-partners or significant others like friends giving them the same respect and freedom we would give a good friend.

 

 

RELATIONSHIPS IN ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS

IS IT LOVE OR IS IT FEAR?

(for those who don’t know what RULE 62 is it means, “don’t take yourself so seriously.”

RELATIONSHIPS IN AA, SOBER IN ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS AND LOVE & INTIMACY

How can I tell if I am acting out of fear or if I am really acting out of Love?  When it comes to relationships so many times we throw around the words, “I love you” for the wrong reasons.  We may say the words to make someone feel needed or Loved which in itself is a kind manipulation.  We may say it to make someone feel obligated to us as if being loved has a price tag on it.  Or we may say it because we have been hurt by someone and we want them to feel extra guilty…”how could you leave me for another woman I love you!”

Often-times drug addicts have to learn how to manipulate people to ensure that their using needs will be met.  To make sure that I would have the drugs I needed I had several enablers on a line.  Enablers tend to have their own underlying reasons to enable us but that’s a whole other matter.    So in my mind the numerous “sugar daddy’s” that I had on the line had the following reasons to want me around.  They wanted to be seen with a young and beautiful woman, “hood ornament” per-say.  They wanted sex, of course that’s the most common one.  They just wanted affection and to feel loved.  They wanted to feel important and needed.  They wanted to feel masculine, sensual, strong, and beautiful or maybe they just wanted to feel.  And I was there to accommodate and fend off their insecurities.

Armed with this knowledge I would tell them what I thought they wanted to hear and much of that was the “I love you”.  So I lied I cheated, I manipulated and said I love you because of fear.  I was afraid if I didn’t say and do these things I wouldn’t get what I needed to stay well and wanted to feel good.

But what about regular intimate romantic relationships that aren’t cursed with drug addict motives?  Do we still act out of fear and say the “I love you” for the wrong reasons?  HELL YES it happens all the time!  The primary reason is control and fear of loss.  Oftentimes people in relationships tend to act out because they are afraid of losing…especially addicts who no longer have their drink and drug.  Now the sober addict has a person that they begin to obsess on and become way too dependent on emotionally and perhaps financially.  The “I love you” becomes a staunch obligation to the partner rather than a giving and affectionate tid-bit of verbal yummy.  Lol!

So if our partner interacts with other friends do we find ourselves feeling threatened subconsciously and then react by using sex to get then under control?  Or maybe we find a reason why the partner shouldn’t be with their friends like…it’s dangerous, I am worried about you.  Or when they come home do we throw a fit about how worried we were about them because “WE LOVE THEM”.

We can use this thermometer Love is charitable, it is giving, Love does not attack verbally but fear does.  Love does not try to play god, but fear does.  Love would never tell another adult how to live.

If we are concerned about a Loved one then we share our concerns in a respectful manner such as sharing our fears for that person by speaking in the “I” context.  NO “YOU’S” you this you that tends to be an attack.  For instance if my partner is hanging out with his old using friends I could say.  “Wow you must be stronger than me if I were hanging out with my old using friends I would relapse for sure.”

One of the oldest control games in the world is limiting freedom for one’s own well-being for one’s own good.  All people deserve to have peace and freedom.  Once we are adults our mommies don’t control us any longer.  The law and our employers are the only authorities that we endure.  Each man has the right to make his own mistakes.  Each man has the right to have peace in his home.  Sponsorship means we suggest and we ask questions we don’t make our sponcee’s decisions for them that is enabling as well.

We should treat our life-partners or significant others like friends giving them the same respect and freedom we would give a good friend.

 

 

Nurture Our Inner Child

How do we nurture our inner child?

Do not underestimate the value of writing and it’s affect on our emotions.  Writing has helped me heal.

There is a small child in each of us, innocent, full of wonder, with feelings that are hopeful and fragile. The heart of a child longs for the most powerful gift to humanity, which is LOVE. When we Love one another by our deeds we feed our inner child. We mustn’t repress our innocence and label it “weak”.   Our intellect may reason out to do just that. The Love we show one another now is an opportunity for immortality, our Love echoes in eternity!

Lori E

Sobriety Year Seven

SEVEN YEARS SOBER, ALCOHOL WAS BUT A SYMPTOM OF A DEEPER SICKNESS

 

I ran into a lady a Wal-Mart, she invited me to church.  I gave her a brief summary of what God has done for me in the last nine years.  I told her I have stayed sober nine years.  She looked at me amazed and said, “Wow!  That must be hard, it’s hard to stay sober.”  I thought to myself about the last years in sobriety and how easy it has been to stay sober anymore.   I thought to myself this life of mine is the closest this former drunk has ever been to a “normal life”.  I told “June” (is her name), I said, “June it was hard, very, very hard to get sober and the first four years where absolutely filled with processing my core issues. 

 I worked very hard to clear up the wreckage of the past and root out the underlying causes of my addiction.  Not to mention the twelve steps were and are my guide through my sober journey.  In the twelve steps lies the magical jump-start that made all my healing and psychic change possible.  That magic is my Higher Power.  I relentlessly worked step eleven meditation daily for years.  I connected with God, I met my Spirit Guides and I became strengthened to the point of a new self-confidence and awareness of who I really am.  I let little Laura out of the closet and she isn’t so bad after all.                                                                      

My underlying cause was “emotional disorder”    Not to mention I was ate up with shame.  Until I went to AA and had one full year of recovery based therapy I had no idea what to do with feelings.  Feelings used to scare the shit out of me to put it bluntly.

Why does the addict work so hard to change the way he/she feels?  How is it that the new re-habs are advertising that they have the “cure” for addiction when we are taught in the big book that we will always be alcoholics?  Is it possible that Bill Wilson was wrong?  We are taught to keep an open mind and to never limit God and His power.   Maybe Bill Wilson just never did find the courage and where-with-all to return to his childhood traumas and scream and cry them out as that small child.  Letting the hurts out rather than holding them in and allowing them to rule over out action and emotional responses is the sickness.  Letting hurt out is the process that leads to our healing but not everyone can make themselves so vulnerable.  Crying is a healthy emotion and should not be repressed.

If the underlying cause is healed by God and we are taught how to express our feelings in a healthy way, then it becomes very easy to stay sober. Is it a cure?  Well that’s a matter of semantics.

NEVER-THE-LESS I AM SOBER BY THE GRACE OF GOD WHO PICKED ME UP OFF THE STREET WHERE I WAS DEAD TO THE LIGHT AND HE OPENED MY EYES AND HEALED

THE TOOLS TO STAY SOBER IN ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS

Staying Sober, The Same Things I did to stay sober nine years ago I do to keep me sober today.

Is anyone having a hard time staying sober today, we in Alcoholics Anonymous ask?

THE SAME THINGS I DID TO STAY SOBER NINE YEARS AGO I DO TO KEEP ME SOBER TODAY.  TEMPTATION STRIKES AT NINE YEARS SOBER!  DOES THAT MEAN MY SOBRIETY IS NOT QUALITY SOBRIETY?  

List of Sobriety Tools link

I used to love to drink the frothy brown head on the top of a cold Amber Bock or Dark Heineken beer.  I preferred my beer nearly frozen.  I would chug down the first one till I remember getting a warm fuzzy feeling in the pit of my stomach.  Then I felt the alcohol coarse through my veins almost like a shot of heroin straight into my blood stream.  I would sit around with my friends connecting on a level that made me feel brotherhood and a sense of belonging.  I had found my place in life and it took alcohol to get me there.  

So when I walked to my neighbor’s house yesterday to pick up my little dog I was a bit taken by the ice cold cooler full of Amber Bock and the fellowship that I found.  At nine years sober I must admit my mind went to a place where I asked myself, “Can I safely drink?  After all I am a different person now.”  When they kindly offered me a beer I laughed and told them that I quit nine years prior and that drinking got me in trouble.  They laughed and said, “We thought that was the whole reason TO drink….to get in trouble that is”.  I kindly laughed-back enjoying the prospect of being enabled by alcohol to do the things that my pesky conscience wouldn’t allow.  And is that the “why” behind the wealthy man’s reason to drink as well as the poor man’s?  Who knows?  All I could remember were the good times and that’s ok temporarily that is.   I did have some good memories of drinking and met some wonderful people.

The counselors at Bridge house Rehab gave us a little sobriety tool called “play it through”.  This tool, if you really do want to be free from the miseries drinking brings, works.  It works for me and it works for those I got sober with back in 2006 who are still around.   

My brain’s travelling neurons then took an abrupt turn into an exit ramp and caught my pain-staking-ly built sobriety bridge.  By doing the “next right thing” and by God’s grace I have built a bridge over the carved out and well used roads in my brain labelled “This way to Hell”.  After nine years of recovery my minds neurons have learned to travel on the well-lit highways or “neural-pathways” of sobriety.  And what did I find on my well lit road leading me away from the Hell that I have had enough of?  You guessed it, I found awareness.   I recovered the memories of the hangovers, the regrets, the wrongs I committed, and my destructive actions.   I found memories of throwing up, of waking up so thirsty from a black-out that was so deep it could only have been induced by poisoning my brain.  I remembered crashing my vehicles, and the regret of sleeping with countless men just so I could feel I had some value.  I remembered the jails.   I remembered my moral compass and self-esteem being crushed even further into the dirt.  I remembered doing the things that a hurt child of God does while just trying to make sense of a young life filled with betrayal, evil, hurt and pain.  And so I knew then as I sat on my neighbor’s porch that drinking was not my choice, not today and hopefully never again.

SO IS MY SOBRIETY QUALITY?  I DIDN’T DRINK, I USED THE TOOLS, I DIDN’T DISRESPECT OR JUDGE MY DRINKING NEIGHBORS, I AM NOT ASHAMED OF WHO I AM AND MY THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS.  QUALITY SOBRIETY HAS MANY FACES INCLUDING A FACE OF PAIN.  BUT THROUGH IT ALL IT HAS A FACE THAT HAS EYES TO SEE PAST THE EVIL INTO THE GOOD.  YOU BE THE JUDGE.

12 STEP PRAYERS

ALCOHOLICS PRAYERS 

THIRD STEP PRAYER, ELEVENTH STEP PRAYER, SEVENTH STEP PRAYER, ST. FRANCIS PRAYER, SERENITY PRAYER SHORT VERSION & LONG VERSION, LORDS PRAYER, 23 PSALM 1-6

AA prayers

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!

 

 

 

Seventh Step Prayer

My Creator,  I am now willing that you should have all of me, good & bad.  I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to you & my fellows. Grant me strength, as I go out from here to do Your bidding.

 

Eleventh Step Prayer

Lord, make me a channel of thy peace–that where there is hatred, I may bring love–that where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness–that where there is discord, I may bring harmony–that where there is error, I may bring truth–that where there is doubt, I may bring faith–that where there is despair, I may bring hope–that where there are shadows, I may bring light–that where there is sadness, I may bring joy.  Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort than to be comforted–to understand, than to be understood–to love, than to be loved.  For it is by self-forgetting that one finds.  It is by forgiving that one is forgiven.  It is by dying that one awakens to eternal life.

 

Serenity Prayer Short Version

GOD, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,  Courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.  Living ONE DAY AT A TIME; Enjoying one moment at a time;  Accepting hardship as the pathway to peace.  Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it. Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will;  That I may be reasonably happy in this life, and supremely happy with Him forever in the next. 

 

St Francis Prayer

Lord, make me a channel of thy peace, that where there is hatred, I may bring love; that where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness; that where there is discord, I may bring harmony; that where there is error, I may bring truth; that where there is doubt, I may bring faith; that where there is despair, I may bring hope; that where there are shadows, I may bring light that where there is sadness, I may bring joy.

Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort than to be comforted; to understand, than to be understood; to love, than to be loved.  For it is by self-forgetting that one finds.  It is by forgiving that one is forgiven.

It is by dying that one awakens to Eternal Life.

 

 

 The Serenity Prayer

 

 

God grant me the serenity

To accept the things I cannot change;

Courage to change the things I can;

And wisdom to know the difference.

 

Living one day at a time;

Enjoying one moment at a time;

Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;

Taking, as He did, this sinful world

As it is, not as I would have it;

Trusting that He will make all things right

If I surrender to His Will;

So that I may be reasonably happy in this life

And supremely happy with Him

Forever and ever in the next.

Amen.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

THE LORD’S PRAYER

Our Father who are’t in heaven hallowed be thy name.  Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses.  As we forgive those who trespass against us.  Lead us not into temptation.  But deliver us from evil.  For, Thine is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory for ever and ever

Amen

 

Our Father, which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done in earth,
As it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
The power, and the glory,
For ever and ever.
Amen.
__________________________________________

Twenty-Third Psalm

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters;
he restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley
of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff–they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
forever.

— Psalms 23: 1-6

Read more: http://www.lords-prayer-words.com/lord_traditional_king_james.html#ixzz3vBh6QQpA

____________________________________________________________________

Children’s Bedtime Prayer


Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep:
May God guard me through the night
And wake me with the morning light.
Amen.

________________________________________________________________

Third Step Prayers

The following prayer is the third step prayer found in the Big Book and used by Bill W.:
God, I offer myself to Thee To build with me & 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 & Thy way of life.
May I do Thy will always.

 

However, there are numerous third steps prayers used as part of the program of recovery, including those used by Dr. Bob and Clarence S.  There are also third step prayers for each religion or faith.  While the ones on this site show a sampling of these prayers, it is by no means exhaustive.

Here is a list of the third step prayers I have encountered over the years: Dr. Bob, Clarence S., NA, Native American, Christian, Buddhist, Wiccan, Eastern Orthodox, Jewish, Baha’i, Universalist, Catholic, Set Aside Prayer, Before Getting Out of Bed. Again, this is by no means a complete list, it is just an example of the different types of third step prayers used today.

Native American 3rd Step Prayer

(short version)
Great Spirit,
whose voice I hear in the wind,
whose breath gives life to the world,
Hear me.
I come to you as one of your many children,
I am small & weak,
I need your strength & wisdom.
May I walk in beauty.
And how my life is unmanageable.
I need to learn & remember that
I have an incurable illness & that
bstinence is the only way to deal with it.

Long Version

Oh Great Spirit whose voice in the winds I hear,
And whose breath gives life to all the world-
Hear me.
Before you I come
One of your many children.
I am small & weak.
Your strength & wisdom I need.
Let me walk in beauty & make my eyes ever behold the sunset.
Make my heart respect all You have made,
& my ears sharp to hear Your voice.
Make me wise that I may know all You have taught my people,
The lessons You have hidden in every rock.
I seek strength, not to be superior to my brother,
but to fight my greatest enemy – myself.
Make me ready to stand before You with clean & straight eyes,
So when life fades as the fading sunset,
may my spirit stand before You without shame.
Mitakuye Oyasin

Third Step Prayer (Alcoholics Anonymous)

God, I offer myself to Thee
To build with me & 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 & Thy way of life.
May I do Thy will always!

3rd Step Prayer

Take my will & my life,
Guide me in my recovery,
Show me how to live.

3rd Step Prayer (Jewish)

Grant me inner peace…, Let my body be completely subordinate to my soul & have no other will or desire but to follow the desire of the holy soul, which is to do Your will.
Let peace reign between my soul & my body. Let my body be sanctified & purified until it becomes united with the holy soul & I carry out all Your commandments & do everything You want of me, body & soul, willingly & with great joy.

Let my body & soul unite in love & peace to do Your will sincerely, until I attain complete inner harmony & am ready to order my prayer before You perfectly. Let my prayer rise before You like the incense & perfect sacrifices offered by those who are whole & perfect.

3rd Step Prayer (Dr. Bob)

Dear God, I’m sorry about the mess I’ve made of my life. I want to turn away from all the wrong things I’ve ever done and all the wrong things I’ve ever been. Please forgive me for it all. I know You have the power to change my life and can turn me into a winner. Thank You, God for getting my attention long enough to interest me in trying it Your way. God, please take over the management of my life and everything about me. I am making this conscious decision to turn my will and my life over to Your care and am asking You to please take over all parts of my life. Please, God, move into my heart. However You do it is Your business, but make Yourself real inside me and fill my awful emptiness. Fill me with your love and Holy Spirit and make me know Your will for me. And now, God, help Yourself to me and keep on doing it. I’m not sure I want You to, but do it anyhow. I rejoice that I am now a part of Your people, that my uncertainty is gone forever, and that You now have control of my will and my life. Thank You and I praise Your name. Amen.

Third Step Prayer (Clarence S.)

Lord, I ask that you guide and direct me, and that I have decided to turn my life and will over to you. To serve You and to dedicate my life to You. I thank you Lord, I believe that if I ask this in prayer, I shall receive what I have asked for. Thank you God. Amen.

Third Step Prayer, Life With Hope

Higher Power,
I have tried to control the uncontrollable for far too long.
I acknowledge that my life is unmanageable.
I ask for your care and guidance.
Grant me honesty, courage, humility, and serenity,
to face that which keeps me from you and others.
I give this life to you to do with as you will.

EASTERN ORTHODOX

O Lord, grant me to greet the coming day in peace, help me in all things to rely upon your holy will. In every hour of the day reveal your will to me. Bless my dealings with all who surround me. Teach me to treat all that comes to throughout the day with peace of soul and with firm conviction that your will governs all. In all my deeds and words, guide my thoughts and feelings. In unforeseen events, let me not forget that all are sent by you. Teach me to act firmly and wisely, without embittering and embarrassing others. Give me strength to bear the fatigue of the coming day with all that it shall bring. Direct my will, teach me to pray. And you, yourself, pray in me. Amen.

Christian Prayer

Dear Lord JESUS, I thank You for this day.
I thank You for my being able to see and to hear this morning.
I’m blessed because You are a forgiving God and an understanding God.
You have done so much for me and You keep on blessing me.
Forgive me this day for everything I have done, said or thought

that was not pleasing to you.
I ask now for Your forgiveness.
Please keep me safe from all danger and harm.
Help me to start this day with a new attitude and plenty of gratitude.
Let me make the best of each and every day to clear my mind

so that I can hear from You.
Please broaden my mind that I can accept all things.
Let me not whine and whimper over things I have no control over.
Let me continue to see through God’s eyes and see his people with love.
And when I sin, let me repent, and confess with my mouth my wrongdoing, and receive the forgiveness of God.
And when this world closes in on me, let me remember Jesus’ example –
to slip away and find a quiet place to pray.
It’s the best response when I’m pushed beyond my limits.
I know that when I can’t pray, You listen to my heart.
Continue to use me to do Your will.
Continue to bless me that I may be a blessing to others.
Keep me strong that I may help the weak.
Keep me uplifted that I may have words of encouragement for others.
I pray for those that are lost and can’t find their way.
I pray for those that are misjudged and misunderstood.
I pray for those who don’t know you intimately.
I pray for those that will delete this without sharing it with others.
I pray for those that don’t believe.
But I thank you that I believe.
I believe that God changes people and God changes things.
I pray for all my sisters and brothers.
For each and every family member in their households.
I pray for peace, love and joy in their homes that they are out of debt

and all their needs are met.
I pray that every eye that reads this knows there is no problem, circumstance, or situation greater than God.
Every battle is in Your hands for You to fight.
I pray that these words be received into the hearts of every eye that sees them and every mouth that confesses them willingly.

Wiccan Prayer

I know the Laws of Nature are you, Lady.
Keep me mindful that I step upon Your Body,
with your feet,
that my sorrows are Your sorrows,
and that a healthy priest makes all things sound.
I feel Your breath in the wind, and Your hand in mine.
Keep me sincere.
Give me Your work,
which is to be joyous,
and to tend all things, because all things live, of themselves,
and with Your spirit.Your will through mine, so mote it be.

Buddhist Prayer

With every breath I take today,
I vow to be awake;

And every step I take,
I vow to take with a grateful heart–

So I may see with eyes of love
into the hearts of all I meet,

To ease their burden when I can
And touch them with a smile of peace

I take refuge in the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha
Until I attain Enlightenment.
By merit accumulations from practicing generosity and the other perfections
May I attain Enlightenment, for the benefit of all sentient beings.

Bahai Prayer

O my God and my Master! I am Thy servant and the son of Thy servant. I have risen from my couch at this dawntide when the Daystar of Thy oneness hath shone forth from the Dayspring of Thy will, and hath shed its radiance upon the whole world, according to what had been ordained in the Books of Thy Decree.
Praise be unto Thee, O my God, that we have wakened to the splendors of the light of Thy knowledge. Send down, then, upon us, O my Lord, what will enable us to dispense with anyone but Thee, and will rid us of all attachment to aught except Thyself. Write down, moreover, for me, and for such as are dear to me, and for my kindred, man and woman alike, the good of this world and the world to come. Keep us safe, then, through Thine unfailing protection, O Thou the Beloved of the entire creation and the Desire of the whole universe, from them whom Thou hast made to be the manifestations of the Evil Whisperer, who whisper in men’s breasts. Potent art Thou to do Thy pleasure. Thou art, verily, the Almighty, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting.

Bless Thou, O Lord my God, Him Whom Thou hast set over Thy most excellent Titles, and through Whom Thou hast divided between the godly and the wicked, and graciously aid us to do what Thou lovest and desirest. Bless Thou, moreover, O my God, them Who are Thy Words and Thy Letters, and them who have set their faces towards Thee, and turned unto Thy face, and hearkened to Thy Call. Thou art, truly, the Lord and King of all men, and art potent over all things.
Bahullh

Unitarian Universalist Prayer

I know little of who you are. I know little of your plan. I can understand only specks of your power. I cannot begin to comprehend all of what you are. But this I know. You do not give love, you are love. You do not project beauty, you are beauty. You do not allow hope, you are hope. You do not lend strength, you are strength. All that is good is your gift. All that is bad is the consequence of man s attempt to reject or mold you. The solutions to my problems, my fears, and my shame are all found in you.

All things I wish to be come from my desire to be closer to you. I see you every time I see the light shining through a tree. I see you every time a sunset or mountain vista takes my breath away. I hear you ever time I open myself to the wonder of life. I feel you every time my heart fills with joy and love. I doubt you only when I allow fear, and greed, and selfishness to assume the power to control me. I know that if I allow you in my life I feel peace. When I embrace you I feel love. When I seek you I find strength.
Father, show me the way to serenity so that I may be of help to others. Show me the way to responsibility so that I may give to others.

Mother, show me the path to compassion so that I may comfort others. Show me the path to healing so I may help others heal themselves.

Grandfather, show me the road to wisdom so that I may teach others. Show me the road to strength so that I may carry others until they can carry themselves.

Grandmother, show me how to feel love so that I may love others. Show me forgiveness so that I may forgive myself and others.

God, help me remove the blinders of self-will. Help me see what is true. Teach me so that I can be of service. Free me from fear, from hate, from greed, from discontent so that I may contribute myself to your work. Allow me to see what you would have me do and grant me the strength to follow through. Without you I am empty. With you at my side I am whole.

Thank You.

Catholic Prayer

Father, Help me know Your will through the spiritual wisdom and understanding that comes from the Spirit so I may live a life worthy of You, pleasing You in every way. Help me to bear fruit, to influence others’ lives in every good thing I do. May I constantly be growing in my understanding of who You are and in my awareness of how You work in the world.

Help me offermyself as a living sacrifice, desiring not to live like those who are giving in to the ways of the world but to be totally changed by the renewing of my mind. Then I will be able to know Your willYour good, pleasing, and perfect will.

May I yield my will to Yours and set my hearts on doing Your will. Help me set aside my own desires, seeking only Your will, standing firm and keeping on in Your strength. Help me be strong and not give up no matter what happens filled with joy and thanksgiving.

May I have no other desire than Yours. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Prayer of St. Francis Assisi

Lord, Make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me bring love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
Where there is discord, harmony.
Where there is error, truth.
Where there is wrong, the spirit of forgiveness.
O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console.
To be understood as to understand.
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned.
It is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Dear Lord,
So far Ive done all right.
I havent gossiped,
havent lost my temper,
havent been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish or overindulgent.
Im really glad about that.
But in a few minutes, God,
Im going to get out of bed,
and from then on,
Im going to need a lot more help.

The Serenity Prayer

God Grant me the Serenity
to accept the things
I cannot change,
the courage to
change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know
the difference.

Living one day at a time
Enjoying one moment at a time.
Accepting hardship as
the pathway to Peace.

Taking as He did,
this sinful world as it is,
not as I would have it.

Trusting that He
will make it right;
If I surrender to His will.
That I may be reasonably
happy in this life,
and supremely happy
with Him forever
in the next.

PEACE OF MIND The other greatest gift

“PEACE” The other greatest gift

EVERY COURAGEOUS ACT STARTED FROM A FEARFUL BEGINNING.

I did not know just how valuable Peace of mind was until I found it.  Alternatively….I did not know how valuable Peace of mind really was until I lost it.  Either way there is no doubt in my mind that peace of mind is one of the most wonderful things a person can possess  and that lack of Peace is at the core of the addicts malady.  When one has peace of mind, they are not in a wanton state of craving, obsession, or intense need.  Peace of mind stirs through our being and shoots out from us touching the lives of everyone around us, When we are at-peace we have no need to be mean, or sarcastic, we have no need to belittle our fellows with snide remarks.  We are not in fear because the presence of fear is the absence of peace.  It is said that Love is the greatest spiritual gift and that hope, & faith are next in value.  However, mixed into all three of these greatest spiritual gifts is Peace, which lingers amidst each one of them.  Peace is the by-product of the greatest spiritual gifts.

The absence of peace of mind can happen in different degrees.  We can be extremely fearful to the point of anxiety, panic attack, and even complete emotional paralysis, which is the absence of not only faith but of peace as well.  Mankind seeks out many destructive devices to outrun its torturous fears.  Seldom if ever does the fearful and miserable man admit or even realize that he is afraid or that it is fear that tortures him.  For he has been taught that to admit fear would be admitting that he is weak, bad, and not as good as his peers so, much of mankind (not just active addicts) choose denial over truth.   Moreover, we all know what we were taught about those who fear when we were young and impressionable…scaredy-cat, chicken-shit, pussy, pansy, yellow belly, yellow, woosy, and any other negative descriptive word that would shame us for being who we are….human and afraid.  I must remind myself that without fear there would be no courage and that every courageous act started with a fearful beginning.

So it’s ok to be human and afraid but we need to have a way to get out of fear.  We need to forbid fear from taking power over our actions.  We must step out of the box and deploy Love in defense against fear so we can experience that wonderful thing called spiritual peace.  How in the heck do you “deploy Love?”  You might ask.  We deploy Love by looking fear straight in the eye and walking, or taking action in spite of how we feel.  We walk through the fear!  If it is sobriety and reality that is paralyzing us then we get up, put on our shoes, and we go to a meeting.  We work the steps and do a fifth step in spite of our survival instinct which screams “keep your shortcomings a secret!  We deploy Love by doing service work, Step twelve.  We pray to our Higher Power when we feel like we have better things to do.  We write out our Fourth Step because we want to feel and get better.  We put the things on our fourth step list of which we are most ashamed.   Deploying Love does not necessarily feel good at the time but it is what is good for us and will bring us peace.  By the same token Love tears down our character flaws.   Working the Twelve Steps cuts flaws like false pride, self-loathing, lying, sloth, procrastination, lust, wrath, gluttony, envy, and greed to the quick.

Character flaws within us have a life of their own and when we begin working the steps they cry, scream, claw, and scratch at us from the inside.  Our character defect patterns do not want us to change and they will tell us all the good things that we need to do instead of working a program because the bad that we would do won’t work to trick us into not working the steps.  Meaning, our brain will tell us “you need to take you children bowling because you should spend more time with them, or you need to clean the house, or you need to job hunt or you need to work.  Yes all these things are good to do in recovery but if we do not have the foundation of the twelve steps we can easily slip.  Doing ninety meetings in ninety days will expose us to the program enough to get us started with a sponsor and some new sober friends to hang out with.  If we are going to stay sober and do the responsible thing for us and our families we need to do first things first.  All the other “good” things should come after our daily meeting, getting a decent sponsor, one who shows respect and emotional maturity, and working the steps.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOW DO RECOVERING ADDICTS & ALCOHOLICS DEAL WITH MONEY?

MONEY AND THE RECOVERING ADDICT.  FREEDOM FROM COMPULSIVE SPENDING.

How do addicts handle their finances after years of spending money on the wrong things and suffering the regret?  In the past personally I crossed many moral boundaries to make my money and then spent it on drugs instead of paying the bills, buying important things for my family and myself.  Since I now have years of sober time under my belt I do question my occasional compulsive spending, I analyse it and am now sharing it with you.

I remember at the start of my recovery I continued in my willingness to cross moral boundaries to get money a time or two when I needed that money to get to a meeting or put toward my rehab stay.  I had the gift of desperation that is a key in opening the lock of  sobriety.  I don’t save money well I never have.  Neither have my parents, they didn’t teach me good financial planning or skills.  However since I have been sober I do much better with my money, I get my bills paid even though sometimes they are late.  I enjoy shopping but if I know a bill is due I usually pay it first.  I say “usually”.

When it comes to walking in a Wal-mart with a pocket full of money even though all I need is a gallon of milk I will tell myself “I know there’s something I need” just so I can shop.  Shopping is a high for me and if I go to the grocery store hungry I may forget all about my bills temporarily until I get home and wish I hadn’t spent so much money.  I wonder…is it the shopping or the beating myself up that I get more satisfaction from.  Maybe subconsciously the thought of just being good bores me to tears and since I no longer drink and drug because it became too painful I must replace that debauchery with another of a different flavor.  One thing sure if we are busy doing Step 12 we won’t have time for self abuse.

The cycle of guilt is a merry-go-round that does not enjoy being put to rest.  Whether it be illicit sex, stealing, yelling at our loved ones, gossip, over-eating, or greed recovering addicts seem to have a need to keep the merry-go-round of guilt and self-punishment alive.  After all what will we do with out emotions and thoughts if we don’t have some negative aspect of ourselves or others to focus on?

The 12 steps help us to STOP the cycle of guilt and remorse.  Perhaps not completely however,  believe it there are degrees of guilt.  Remorse can be so deep that it becomes intolerable after all where does depression step from if not from a deep nagging dissatisfaction of one’s self?   The program gives us all kinds of new things to focus on and yes new things to criticize and balk at.   Aren’t the very nature of steps 1,4,6,7,8,9, & 10 about asking ourselves “what have I done wrong today and in the past”?  YES THEY ARE however the steps offer us solutions to that guilt so we don’t have to walk around ashamed of who we are.  Without steps two, three, five, eleven and 12 our wonderful recovery program is nothing more than [ more of the same], more insanity and a continued process of self-abasement without the solutions.  At the same time without the self-examination of our shortcomings we cannot clear the wreckage of our past and put our emotions from “disorder” to order,  It is completely understandable why so many people take a peak at AA and then decide it’s not for them.  They see all the negative self-examination and say “It does me no good to dwell on the past there is nothing I can do about it now its gone.”  To an extent they are spot on and that is the best attitude if a person does not have steps 2,3, 5, 11,12.

Ignoring and repressing guilt will only get us so-far.  Unprocessed emotions will come out of us in the form of criticisms, gossip, verbal attacks on other people, and it will turn bitter inside of our bellies and prompt us to jealousy, envy,  and make us sick.  Repressed guilt turns to shame which turns to fear and hate.  We as recovering addicts need the 12 steps like a fish needs water.  We must not give way to homicidal and suicidal thoughts but instead have the courage to do self-examination and admit our wrongs and then tell someone about it.  We must let the cat out of the bag by doing our Fifth Step which is so important for our emotional recovery.  Our relationship with God is so important but we must have at least one confidant that we can tell anything to.    Where there is no sense of accountability personalities digress.

So how does all this fit in with our finances?  We recognize when and if we are using money to continue somehow our cycle of shame and guilt.  If we learn to work the 12 steps properly and  as women focus on our feelings when doing so and honor them by validating and sharing them in our fifth step we can then let the pain go rather than hold onto it like Gollum held on to the ring….his Precious.  We shall put our emotions into a state of “order” rather than sick and depressive “disorder”.   By admitting that we do experience guilt and shame instead of labeling such feelings weak and shameful we can and will simply grow out of them.

SELF LOATHING

Check google pagerank for recoveryfarmhouse.com

FROM FOCUS ON GUILT TO FOCUS ON INNOCENCE

FOCUS ON INNOCENCE

Imagine your life as a long-running movie.  Now see it made by two different directors.  The first movie, in the hands of the director is a movie about fear, anger, scarcity, and anxiety.

The other in the hands of a different director is a movie about Love, peace, innocence, abundance, and happiness.

One director is your ego the other is The Holy Spirit and the star of the movie is you.  By Marianne Williamson from  “The Gift of Change”.

I have said it before…if you have made it to a sober place and have crawled out of the pits of hell.  Where you were surrounded by violence, shame, betrayal, guilt, pain, remorse, and condemnation, then a window of opportunity is open for you.

It is no accident that you made it out of hell alive,  The only trouble is early sobriety is scary.  Massive fear crops up for the unknown.  And why not!   We have rarely been clean and sober for more than a day or two in years!

No more heaviness we cry!  No more pain we beg our higher power.  Will God really help us through the mess of baggage we call our lives?

Hell yes He/She/It will!  We are valuable children of God!  We deserve to be happy for a while and have peace.  We have paid our dues in spades by god!

Sit back, quit fighting, soak up the recovery in the rooms of AA.  Soak up the sanity that our counselors offer.  Lie down in detox and take the medicine they give to get you over the first big hump.  Then make your way into rehab where you don’t have to be in charge any more.  You don’t have to have all the answers.  You can be a patient instead of a doctor, be a student instead of teacher.

We are all students and we are all patients from time to time.  Become a student now and it will save your future and bless the family you have possibly violated and neglected at best.

The 12 steps are designed to relieve that very guilt.  AA & NA are designed for the insane addict (as I was) who continues to do the same thing over and over expecting different results.  The steps if we take action and do them will show us how and empower us to see our innocence rather than our guilt.

Breaking Bad, Or, Ending the “What Ifs”

Breaking Bad, Or, Ending the “What Ifs”

by Kayko

What is it about endings anyway? Why are they so difficult, even when they hold the promise of making our lives better? I’m thinking the end of relationships (romantic or otherwise), marriages, jobs, and, of course, addictions. In particular, I’m thinking of relationships and marriages that aren’t working, jobs that are hell to go to day in and day out, habits that are clearly unhealthy, and, ultimately, addictions that are killing us.

Some would posit that change, in and of itself, is the culprit, especially for those of us who are “prone to addiction.” I’ve been told time and again that “we” don’t like “change”—even if it’s for the better. I buy that. A promotion, for example, can be a tremendous source of fear simply because it raises the specter of the unknown and the possibility of failure. I know what to do in my current job; I know what’s expected of me; and I know how to do what I’m supposed to do well. (That, of course, is why you’re offering to promote me, isn’t it?) Even though a promotion may mean a raise in pay as well as status, it also raises the suddenly very real possibility I will fail, that I will not be as good at my next job as I am at my current job, and once I leave my current job, you may never let me come back to it if I fail at the new job. “What if?”

Changing jobs may also hold the promise of getting away from a co-worker or boss who causes us anguish on a daily basis. But what if people at my current job like me because I complain with them about the annoying boss or coworker— our common enemy? What if there’s no one to complain about (not likely) at my next job and no one has a built-in or automatic reason to like me? Worse still, what if I’m promoted and become “the boss” everyone else complains about. What if I become the enemy? “What if?”

Oh, woe is me. Change categorically sucks; even when the odds are in our favor it will be good for us.

Still others would posit that, ultimately, fear of being alone is the major motivator for staying in bad relationships and bad marriages—for failing to end them. I buy that, too. The end of friendships, love affairs, and worst of all, marriages that aren’t working anymore is fraught with misleading emotions.

First, there is that distracting memory of what was once “good.” Even though things haven’t been good for a long, long time; even though the same behaviors are repeated over and over to the same unhappy end; even though we know it’s insane to stay in the present situation, we think “What if …” Maybe tomorrow the old spark that originally united us will return and the relationship will right itself, right? What if we miss thatopportunity, right? Even though that opportunity has been there every day for as long as we can remember, “What if tomorrow …”

And second, even if things don’t change for the better, there is that overwhelming fear that ending the relationship may leave us … alone … forever. Which, of course, is rarely the case. And, even if it is the case, being alone isn’t always or necessarily a “bad” change. Some of us “badly” need to learn how to live well alone so that we can become “livable” partners in our next relationship. I’ve spent some of the healthiest years of my sobriety in relationship solitude. As my one-and-only roommate in sobriety liked to say, “There’s a lot of serenity in being single.”

Endings are difficult, I agree. And there are countless reasons we shy away from making them happen. But I would argue that it’s the “What ifs” more than anything else that prevent us from taking that “first step” toward making the clearly necessary endings happen. It is the “What ifs” that keep us from seeing change and the unknown as an opportunity rather than as a source of paralyzing fear.

Today, whenever I’m seriously contemplating a change in my life—and especially a change that means ending one thing and beginning another—I try to think about the first time I managed to stay sober for an entire week. Bottom line … plain and simple … all other bullshit aside: By the beginning of the fourth day, I felt better than I had felt in YEARS! I broke the bad habit of making myself physically ill by drinking myself into oblivion on a daily basis, and, if nothing else, I felt GOOD. Sure, the first few days were hell—especially in the absence of a program or any support. But I could tell, moment by moment, that I was feeling better. By the seventh day, I actually had HOPE—hope that, rather than running on a treadmill to the gates of insanity or death, my life might actually, one day, improve. Unfortunately, that first time around I didn’t believe I needed support or a “program of recovery” to stay sober, and I ended up drunk shortly afterward. But that’s not the point. The point is that the seed was planted. The point is the memory of that week is probably the single most important reason I have been willing to quiet the “What ifs“ and make other changes in my life since. More important, that memory—that simple source of hope I was given by ending something bad and taking the first step toward change—is probably the biggest reason I’m still alive today.

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/

IS LAUGHTER AND CELEBRATION ALWAYS A SIGN OF “QUALITY SOBRIETY”?

WHILE SADNESS AND GRIEVING ARE A SIGN OF WORKING A BAD PROGRAM?

 

Depression is often repressed anger that lacks enthusiasm, 12 step action should be taken to fend depression off.  But also a deep emotional process of cries, guttural-outbursts, writing, sharing, moaning, and screaming needs to take place to release the emotional pangs misery that encompass the feelings of the adult who missed out on emotional Love and nurture while growing up.  “

 

Oh wouldn’t it be nice to feel totally secure & happy, with not a fear.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be aware of our own mortality and yet not fear the unknown when it confronts us?    Isn’t the happiest person in recovery synonymous with the most spiritual man in recovery?  But wait…truly any man facing his own reality on this Earth with eyes wide-open should be afraid.  There are entirely too many horrible things that can happen.  There are too many terrible things that WILL HAPPEN…THAT IS, IF WE LIVE LONG ENOUGH TO EXPERIENCE THEM. 

 

Don’t you just love those drug company commercials that relentlessly remind us of the many horrible illnesses that could befall us as we walk into our twilight years?   Struggling as we go to fend off the Alzheimer’s and decomposition?  Or how about the endless ads in the mail once we hit the magic age of 50 for final expense and burial insurance.  Or how about the progressive memory loss and thinning hair line?  Just to name a few…the better we are at “denial” of all this reality the happier we may be.  And isn’t denial dishonest at its core and contrary to every Twelve Step principal we have learned? 

 

Nevertheless, however rewarding our pleasant & various distractions from our sickening reality may be these pleasantries may not be in OUR OWN best interest.   Staying in the house of gaiety, celebration, and gratitude may seem like our highest achievement in recovery not to mention how we do enjoy appearing [above it all] to our fellows.   After all doesn’t our happiness prove that we are working the best program out there? 

 

In spite of the world-renowned 12 step solution of teaching us to grab pencil and paper to write down all the things we are so wonderfully thankful for, at the on-set of any signs of ill-at-ease.  Beware this 12 step solution may NOT always be [the-next-right-thing]. 

 

We may be experiencing on-going discontent and irritability for a very important reason.  Our discontent could be our call or the only thing that draws us to our higher power.  Perhaps instead of distracting ourselves from our sadness we should be accepting, owning it, then we should take a much closer look at the reality of our own impending doom as mortals.  This wake-up call per-say could be so we will seek GOD the lasting solution rather than repeated and temporary Band-Aids that we stick on our skin while under the surface we deteriorate along with our soul’s spirituality.

 

King Solomon the wisest man of all time has written a message to us:

 

Ecclesiastes 7:2-4

 

“It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of everyone; the living should take this to heart.

 

Sorrow is better than laughter,

For by a sad countenance the heart is made better.

 

The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure.”

 

Gotta feel to heal and gotta seek God diligently to find.

STEP ELEVEN
STEP ELEVEN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“RARELY HAVE WE SEEN A PERSON FAIL…

WHO HAS THOROUGHLY FOLLOWED OUR PATH.” ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS WORKS!

NOW IS THE BEST TIME TO START YOUR RECOVERY FROM ADDICTIONS AND EMOTIONAL DIS-ORDER!

 

Make a list of your sobriety hopes and dreams and check it twice!  

It is written in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous that “Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path”  If you have the capacity to be honest enough with yourself to admit you have a problem….then you have a good chance of staying sober for a very long time.  The main ingredient of recovery is truth.

If you are willing to take the steps that are suggested by the people in Alcoholics Anonymous that have stayed sober before you for years, then you will not fail.   Regardless of how many times you have sabotaged your own sobriety.

Sit down, make a list of all the good things that you want from your sober life and in 6 months you will realize you have been given and achieved far more than you had hoped for.  This is a common story told among those in AA. 

When I sat in jail in 2006 hoping to spend just one day with my daughter at my favorite beach I was full of fear that I could not stay sober or out of jail long enough to do that.  Nine years later I sit amazed at the accomplishments and blessings that I have experienced by turning my fears and control over to my Higher Power.

Once I realized that the 12 steps are my recipe for staying sober and at peace with myself I knew I had it made.  The reason that I did not fail is I learned to “get out of the problem and into the solution”.  I went to 90 meetings in 90 days at first then for the next four to six years I went to four meetings a week.  I enjoy meetings now it’s not a burden.  I have cleared the wreckage of my past by doing the 12 steps.

Between therapy and the Fifth Step I learned how to express myself from my heart.  I learned to share my fears rather than stuff them down till they make me sick.  I learned that crying is a healthy emotion and a part of life.  I learned that pain is the beginning of healing.  Journaling my feelings is priceless to my emotional health.  And meditation feeds peace and anointed guidance to my very soul.

One day at a time I have earned my degree in sober school.  There is no need for me to pretend that I am alien to progress.  I have made much progress and you can too.  If you are willing to become a student.

My friend I am sure that you are wise in many ways.  BUT, having the wisdom to become teachable again will save you.  The horrible suffering that addiction brings transforms into the willingness and desperation needed to take your leap of faith.  Fear of the unknown can lead to the fulfillment of your deepest heartfelt desires when you get out of the problem and into the solutions.  Do not prejudice yourself against any possible help, rehab, therapy, AA, and religion are all a step in the right direction!

A.A. HIGHER POWER

God is Love. I have run the gambit where religion and spirituality are concerned.   

I believe in Christ He is my higher power.  I use the terms “He” and “Him” even though I believe my Higher Powers are Spirit not flesh.  I also believe they could become flesh anytime they want.  I use the “Him” term because I am just so used to it, I do hope it doesn’t put you off. 

Anyway Before I met Christ I had a prayerful relationship with who I call “God the father”.  Christ brought me closer to, God the Father.  I had one drastic life altering white light experience where I was delivered, yes delivered (one of those religious terms unpalatable to many especially to recovering Catholics & addicts) from a life of deep and twisted addition.  I learned allot about God’s Grace and unconditional Love after I turned my back on Him by sinking into a deep dark and long relapse.  I say I learned much about His grace because he again pulled me from the mire and brought me into the program of AA. 

The first time I got sober due to my white light experience I was also involved in NA.  I didn’t work the steps or get a sponsor.  The second time I got sober I pretty much did everything suggested and learned and worked the steps more thoroughly than most woman I know.  (I can say that because I have worked the 12 steps with countless woman and I know to what depth of awareness they worked.  Granted this doesn’t make me better or of more value than any soul just self-aware.  False humility is not one of my defects I won’t hide behind a mask of false bravado pretending to be unaware of my own accomplishments for fear that acknowledging my progress would be vain or defective.  (Pet-peeve sorry) There is a thing called footwork and I have done plenty of it!  I won’t stand by and say I don’t know anything either as I have seen countless both blessed and knowledgeable men do.  That would be dishonest of me wouldn’t it seeing that I KNOW different.

These misguided attitudes are a luxury to those who perhaps fear that if they did acknowledge any goodness in themselves or acknowledge that they achieved (for lack of a better term) an “A” or “B” level of recovery they would quickly be swept away by the false pride that would send them plummeting to their last and final grave & incomprehensible relapse.  Let me point out that one character defect (false humility) will not protect oneself from another character defect (false-pride).  It’s not the little quirkish traditions of local AA lore that get and keep us sober.  And certainly self-degradation won’t keep me close to God or sober for that matter. 

Let me also clarify what humility really is, it is the awareness of one’s own character flaws or patterns.  We acknowledge these patterns not so we can publicly announce them but rather so we may avoid acting them out.  Sitting in a meeting and stating that I am garbage without God and the program implies that God does make junk.  Do I need God to be good and stay on track?  Hell yes!  However no matter how reliant upon my Higher Power I am cutting myself down openly or privately is a form of condemnation, harsh judgment and criticism. 

Ok back on topic…God the supercomputer.  For us Bible believing folks we like to validate ideas by lining them up with the word.  It’s written that “man was made in the image of God.”  The Bible speaks of the “hand of God” and other various body parts such as His eyes, arm, and mind.  Scientists have proven that our human brains are a computer of sorts.  A fleshly computer to be precise.  In deep meditation I have had many visions but most recently I have had visions that make me believe God can download us mere mortals with any program he wishes.  He can change out our hard drive or do a complete recovery on us.  Is it coincidence that when you clean out a computer it is called a “recovery”?   Ok I know what your thinking…Lori’s cheese has finally fallen off the cracker. Lol!

When I was delivered from addiction the first time around I was clean for years I stayed on a pink cloud for at least a year.  Prior to that I was plagued with anxiety, and panic attacks, I was a heroin and cocaine junky who had to have a shot of dope to get out of bed in the morning.  After one touch from God my thinking was changed dramatically.  I no longer had anxiety or panic attacks.  After one download in a little Baptist church in the meadow.  As windows 8 calls it, by one “refresh” I was set in a direction of service and Love toward mankind.  I received a new operating system with my files or memories left intact.  My resentments were quelled and my sickness abated.  I loved my mother again that in itself was a miracle. 

Let’s face it folks steps 10, 11, and 12 are the maintenance steps when I meditate I get spiritually fed, I get a disk defragging, a disk cleaning, and vital updates.  Why is it different this time clean and sober for me?  Granted I had much joy my first round of sobriety, I learned allot, I changed in a huge way morally and I became Loving but God had only begun my overhaul.  The first time I was sober I didn’t wholeheartedly believe that I was a good child of God.  I believed with my head but my heart deep down was telling me that I was bad and of Satan.  I still carried deep shame within my heart from the sexual abuse I suffered as a child and my actions during years of addiction.  Deep down I knew I would screw things up again.  Why? 

There are three things that I did different this time (I got sober this time in 2006) One; this time I worked the steps with a sponsor honestly and thoroughly, everything came out in my fifth step.  Two, I got empathic recovery therapy and learned how to continually share my true, illogical and fearful heartfelt inner feelings.  People are usually ashamed of their true feelings because nobody (well most people) wants to be vulnerable or be looked upon as different.  The thing is everybody except perhaps true sociopaths have illogical fears and deep child-like feelings that they don’t like about themselves.  So we cover them up with the mask, distractions and lies.  Therapy taught me to vent these feelings so they don’t fester, or turn to rage, and obsession.  Thirdly this time I practiced meditation on a regular basis for the first six years I was sober.  What this did is open my mind to receive God’s blessings.  Meditation improved every aspect of my recovery and most importantly helped heal me both emotionally and spiritually.  

When I say “meditation” I don’t mean picking up a book and reading a passage.  I am talking about the kind of meditation that takes an hour a day to be still, silent, and open.  Meditation when practiced regularly brings a steady flow of continuous spiritual experiences that can move mountains and heal the heart the soul and the mind.

Funny thing…different things have different ways of communicating.  Animals have their own way, humans speak to humans verbally, computers have their own language, electricity speaks to the light bulb and it reacts, the light speaks to our atmosphere and it reacts and becomes visual, the sun speaks to the flower, the moon speaks to the Earth, even water speaks to our bodies and we live.  Action and reaction but how does man speak to God?  Should we use our tongue as if God were a man that has ears…perhaps so but God my friend “looks upon the heart” so it is written.  Should we not try seeking God with words straight from our heart and then talk to Him with our minds as well? 

Seek and you shall find but seek with your hearts language for it is the language of truth absent of all the editing that our mind thinks should be done.  For out of the heart bursts forth the well-springs of life.  Eternal Life“  

What is logical to the mind is folly to the heart and what is truth to the heart is valid to God.”   

CHARACTER ASSASINATION

CHARACTER ASSASINATION

The temptation to assassinate the character of he who has done me wrong is huge when I am hurt and fuming with anger.

Hurt people hurt people.

I want to lash out badly but I am responsible for processing my own pain and lashing out is counter productive to my own healing.  A good cry on the other hand sends poison gushing out of my heart along with the tears.  Strange yes but that does not make it less true.  Crying brings emotional order where there has been emotional disorder.

I have the resources to blast my perceived enemy into dust!  However if I were to scream from the hilltops their continued debauchery…sure that just might hurt them.  But it’s me unfortunately that I would really be hurting and its me that I especially do not want to hurt.

Spiritual laws are not earthly laws.  Spiritual laws are magic and silent consequences that occur when I wrong someone but it’s me who receives the inevitable occurring spiritual consequence.  What trumps Karma…not a whole lot.  (Only “Grace” trumps Karma.  To not receive the horrid consequences of my wrongs, that is Grace.)  Spiritual consequences do happen just like emotional, physical, and other earthly consequences.

Once I realized that character flaws and defects hurt me when I am mean to people or wrong them more than anyone else I was not so tempted to act out.  The good part is when I do a good deed or in AA language “the next right thing” I receive the good karma for it.  “We reap what we sew.”  “What comes around goes around”.   “With the yardstick we use to judge others the same will be used to judge us.

SPONSORSHIP AND SPEAKER MEETINGS

When we go to the jails and institutions and share our experience, strength, and hope, we are strengthened.  Oftentimes it helps us more than it helps others.

Do not worry, we may not see anyone getting sober around us as a result of our sponsorship or sharing.  Oftentimes we just don’t know the good we have done for others.  But the bottom line is; we simply are not remembering that we are the one who is still sober and that is the fruit of our labor.  As far as the spiritual Karma of our good works, we will receive ten or a hundred fold in good spiritual blessings for that which we have given from our hearts.  Spiritually it is always “better to give than to receive”.

Sexual Abuse and addiction

Addiction is a symptom of childhood sexual abuse.

Is it just coincidence that every woman I have known in AA and in NA were sexually abused as children?

Why is it that some people commit suicide after being sober for years at a time?  I am sure each person has their own reasons for suicide but what if we work the steps, go to lots of meetings, work with others, and are active in the inner workings of AA but are still depressed and have intense anxiety?  When it comes to deep emotional trauma, sexual abuse, and the mental issues resulting from that trauma unless you have a sponsor who is a therapist as well AA will not be enough to clear the demons eating at you from the inside out.  When we lash out at those we love most in this world there is something inside us that needs attention.   It just means that AA is not equipped to address the emotional issues that a survivor of abuse in recovery will suffer.  Getting sober brings up all the emotional pains and shames that we have been trying to stuff down for so long.  Many people would rather continue stuffing their memories and feelings down and just accept a diagnosis of “anxiety disorder” or “bi-polar” or depressive disorder rather than work on the underlying reason for their addiction.  It’s understandable...feeling the pain that is responsible for our ongoing misery is a horrifying concept.  Most people just want to let sleeping dogs lie.  I think mainly because they don’t realize that if they could delve into their past and really cry, scream, and share about all of their core issues with God’s help they would heal.

Why refuse help when it’s available.  Why refuse to pray when God has helped so many.  Why refuse therapy and procrastinate when empathic therapy has helped so many.  And lastly….why refuse to go to AA and throw ourselves into the program with every bit of gumption we can muster up?  

AA works, therapy and addressing core issues works, God works.  Jesus came for the sinner and the sick.  He is the Higher Power that answered my call.  He came into the world not to condemn the world but rather that the world may be saved

Please don’t end up like one of those bitter old-timers angry because he is tortured inside and can’t bear the thought of either drinking or continuing his life.

True joy comes from God, peace of mind comes from God.  We can work with others till we are blue in the face but what’s inside of us will come out sideways if we don’t express it emotionally and share.

We have a right to be content no matter how low or how many bottoms we have had.  With the three keys of God, AA, and therapy we have a chance.

 

There is nothing wrong with getting outside help.  It does not mean that AA doesn’t work we don’t have to be jealous over AA.  AA won’t get it’s feelings hurt if we get help from religion and therapy.  And believe me by religion I do meant God & The Holy Spirit.  In spite of whatever name you choose to call God if you seek with your heart your heart will receive and find.  It’s not our intellect that needs a healing if it was we could go online and do computer exercises to build our brains up.  If we want to build up our muscles we work out with our muscles.  Active addicts are spiritually sick in their hearts and it is our heart that needs the healing.  I don’t mean our physical heart.  So we seek God, we work the steps, and we go to therapy and open up with our true feelings and our true thoughts.  

 

Disease dis-ease causes and conditions

Is addiction a real disease?

I guess that depends on your definition of the word.

But did the word originate somehow from the word dis-ease.

Not in any language study I can find.

The word disease did not originate from dis ease contrary to popular AA lore. It does however have Greek & Latin origin words with definitions that are complex. These core Latin and Greek words mean suffering, various “opathy’s” disease type categories including psychopath(y) neuropath(y), and feelings, empathy, sympathy and various “pathy’s”.

However like the word dishwasher the “dis” is not a prefix meaning “separated from” as it occurs in the word discomfort and other words like it.

The word disease’s core definition is not dis-ease. Here’s Mirriam Websters def.dis·ease noun \di-ˈzēz\
: an illness that affects a person, animal, or plant : a condition that prevents the body or mind from working normally

: a problem that a person, group, organization, or society has and cannot stop.
I will stop you right there Mirriam by saying there are allot of things that society can’t stop yet we do not define them a disease. That’s a poor definition Mirriam.

SHAME BEGINS AT A VERY YOUNG AGE BUT I WON’T GET INTO THAT.

Addiction is a spiritual malady because of our own moral boundaries that we cross when addicted. These rationals result in deep and embedded shame and guilt which cause the need for further numbing of feelings.

Addicts are experts at denial…it’s an emotional survival skill. Deep denial leads to self delusion meaning we often end up being blind to what’s really going on with us and our emotions.

Addiction is also an emotional sickness because of emotional disorder or an inability to regularly engage in healthy emotional processes like crying or sharing deep feelings pile up in us.

IT IS VITAL TO LEARN HOW TO REACH OUT AND SHARE, TO LEARN HOW TO CRY OR BEAT THE BAG, JOURNAL, SCREAM IN THE CAR (ALL EMOTIONAL OUTLETS) IF WE ARE GOING TO SURVIVE SOBRIETY WITHOUT VIEWING SUICIDE AS A SOLUTION AT SOME POINT OR RELAPSE OR ALIENATE EVERYONE WE LOVE BY BLAMING THEM FOR THE WAY WE FEEL INSIDE.
IT TAKES ENERGY TO PROCESS REPRESSED EMOTIONS. DEPRESSION IS HURT TURNED TO – ANGER WITHOUT ENTHUSIASM.
In my opinion

PS part of the cure is not drinking.

THE SAME MAN WILL DRINK AGAIN & STEP THREE

 

THE SAME MAN WILL DRINK AGAIN…BUT WHAT WILL THE CHANGED MAN DO?  And how do we know that we are really changed?  Initially the first real proof that we have done step three right or with our heart is that we will continue on and do the rest of the steps especially a thorough step four.

“The evidence of the Spirit of God is Love”.  How do we know that our third step prayer has taken hold?  How do we act after our Higher Power gives us the psychic change that will keep us from self-destructing?

One huge misconception among the church folk and early born-again Christians is that once God has delivered, healed, and made us new we will no longer sin, be unhappy, get depressed or cry.  Even the Bible’s versus imply that we shall “go and sin no more.”  Big mistake to expect perfection and perpetual joy from any human being no matter how intense their white light experience has been.  This view of somehow being born of Spirit and then sinning no more is exactly what drives many baby Christians into shame and isolation.  Oh how those of the church Love to put on their Sunday go to meeting masks and pretend they are sinless, while all the time engaging in the worst flavor of sin called judgments and hypocrisy.  Surely that is what drove many a man away from the church and crawling into the bosom of AA.  Where they find the same God under different labels and precepts…the same God nevertheless.  After-all how can we relate to a room full of perfect lives?  Of course we don’t fit in!

What’s in a label if the heart is in the right place?  “God looks upon the heart.”  Or so it is written.  God jealous?  Really?  I surmise that God, He, She, or It doesn’t mind being called by different names as long as He is called.  “Seek and ye SHALL find.”  Personally I believe that when a heart seeks its God, its God will answer.

Perfection and constant joy are off the table!  Next, what about all those yummy and sweet fluffy scriptures about “Love” in the book of 1st John about if we Love we know we are in Christ but if we hate we are of the devil?  Being “of” or “in” Satan or Christ really just means we have choices and free will to choose with fear or Love.  Yikes…Being Loving all the time is off the table as well I don’t care how deeply you were touched by the Great Spirit of God.  As long as we are in our human flesh we will feel resentment even after we have done a thorough fourth step.  So the changed man knows the solutions for resentment while our old man or addict man stays in the blame.  The changed many does not condemn himself for having a resentment.  He acknowledged it and does what it takes to expel it.

Loving all the time is off the table!  But wait a minute?  What then does happen after a spiritual awakening and intense white light experience or even a mild touch from the Great Spirit?

We will Love ourselves and others a little more.  We will seek out emotionally nurturing solutions to our emotional disorder.  We will care for and help others a little more.  We will no longer view alcohol as a solution to our feelings.  We will reach out for the solutions that we learn in AA instead of sitting in the problem and spinning around.  After absorbing enough meetings, working the twelve steps and establishing enough sober relationships we will have developed a set of coping skills that will steer us through our emotional upheavals without drinking or smoking crack.  We will have a self-awareness called a conscience that we will have learned to listen to (most of the time anyway).  We will have learned that The Twelve Steps are all tools to pick up and use at any time especially when we have a resentment or are bungled up with fear.

The changed man is humble not self-condemning.  That changed man Loves his brother and does not take hostages.  The changed man takes responsibility for his actions rather than blaming others for them.  The changed man cries a little, laughs a little, and continually relies on his Higher Power rather than pretending to be a Higher Power.  The changed man teaches by example rather than emotional punishment and control-ism. 

The changed man knows that he has a choice.

WE DO HAVE A CHOICE OF HOW WE DO OUR STEP ELEVEN AND WHAT FLAVOR THIRD STEP PRAYER WE BELIEVE IN.  HERE ARE SOME OF THE MOST POPULAR THIRD STEP PRAYER VARIATIONS BY VARIOUS FAITHS.  THANK YOU FRIENDS OF BILL W.  http://friendsofbillw.net/third_step_prayers

Third Step Prayers

The following prayer is the third step prayer found in the Big Book and used by Bill W.:
God, I offer myself to Thee To build with me & 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 & Thy way of life.
May I do Thy will always.

 

However, there are numerous third steps prayers used as part of the program of recovery, including those used by Dr. Bob and Clarence S.  There are also third step prayers for each religion or faith.  While the ones on this site show a sampling of these prayers, it is by no means exhaustive.

Here is a list of the third step prayers I have encountered over the years: Dr. Bob, Clarence S., NA, Native American, Christian, Buddhist, Wiccan, Eastern Orthodox, Jewish, Baha’i, Universalist, Catholic, Set Aside Prayer, Before Getting Out of Bed. Again, this is by no means a complete list, it is just an example of the different types of third step prayers used today.

Native American 3rd Step Prayer

(short version)
Great Spirit,
whose voice I hear in the wind,
whose breath gives life to the world,
Hear me.
I come to you as one of your many children,
I am small & weak,
I need your strength & wisdom.
May I walk in beauty.
And how my life is unmanageable.
I need to learn & remember that
I have an incurable illness & that
bstinence is the only way to deal with it.

Long Version

Oh Great Spirit whose voice in the winds I hear,
And whose breath gives life to all the world-
Hear me.
Before you I come
One of your many children.
I am small & weak.
Your strength & wisdom I need.
Let me walk in beauty & make my eyes ever behold the sunset.
Make my heart respect all You have made,
& my ears sharp to hear Your voice.
Make me wise that I may know all You have taught my people,
The lessons You have hidden in every rock.
I seek strength, not to be superior to my brother,
but to fight my greatest enemy – myself.
Make me ready to stand before You with clean & straight eyes,
So when life fades as the fading sunset,
may my spirit stand before You without shame.
Mitakuye Oyasin

Third Step Prayer (Alcoholics Anonymous)

God, I offer myself to Thee
To build with me & 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 & Thy way of life.
May I do Thy will always!

3rd Step Prayer

Take my will & my life,
Guide me in my recovery,
Show me how to live.

3rd Step Prayer (Jewish)

Grant me inner peace…, Let my body be completely subordinate to my soul & have no other will or desire but to follow the desire of the holy soul, which is to do Your will.
Let peace reign between my soul & my body. Let my body be sanctified & purified until it becomes united with the holy soul & I carry out all Your commandments & do everything You want of me, body & soul, willingly & with great joy.

Let my body & soul unite in love & peace to do Your will sincerely, until I attain complete inner harmony & am ready to order my prayer before You perfectly. Let my prayer rise before You like the incense & perfect sacrifices offered by those who are whole & perfect.

3rd Step Prayer (Dr. Bob)

Dear God, I’m sorry about the mess I’ve made of my life. I want to turn away from all the wrong things I’ve ever done and all the wrong things I’ve ever been. Please forgive me for it all. I know You have the power to change my life and can turn me into a winner. Thank You, God for getting my attention long enough to interest me in trying it Your way. God, please take over the management of my life and everything about me. I am making this conscious decision to turn my will and my life over to Your care and am asking You to please take over all parts of my life. Please, God, move into my heart. However You do it is Your business, but make Yourself real inside me and fill my awful emptiness. Fill me with your love and Holy Spirit and make me know Your will for me. And now, God, help Yourself to me and keep on doing it. I’m not sure I want You to, but do it anyhow. I rejoice that I am now a part of Your people, that my uncertainty is gone forever, and that You now have control of my will and my life. Thank You and I praise Your name. Amen.

Third Step Prayer (Clarence S.)

Lord, I ask that you guide and direct me, and that I have decided to turn my life and will over to you. To serve You and to dedicate my life to You. I thank you Lord, I believe that if I ask this in prayer, I shall receive what I have asked for. Thank you God. Amen.

Third Step Prayer, Life With Hope

Higher Power,
I have tried to control the uncontrollable for far too long.
I acknowledge that my life is unmanageable.
I ask for your care and guidance.
Grant me honesty, courage, humility, and serenity,
to face that which keeps me from you and others.
I give this life to you to do with as you will.

EASTERN ORTHODOX

O Lord, grant me to greet the coming day in peace, help me in all things to rely upon your holy will. In every hour of the day reveal your will to me. Bless my dealings with all who surround me. Teach me to treat all that comes to throughout the day with peace of soul and with firm conviction that your will governs all. In all my deeds and words, guide my thoughts and feelings. In unforeseen events, let me not forget that all are sent by you. Teach me to act firmly and wisely, without embittering and embarrassing others. Give me strength to bear the fatigue of the coming day with all that it shall bring. Direct my will, teach me to pray. And you, yourself, pray in me. Amen.

Christian Prayer

Dear Lord JESUS, I thank You for this day.
I thank You for my being able to see and to hear this morning.
I’m blessed because You are a forgiving God and an understanding God.
You have done so much for me and You keep on blessing me.
Forgive me this day for everything I have done, said or thought

that was not pleasing to you.
I ask now for Your forgiveness.
Please keep me safe from all danger and harm.
Help me to start this day with a new attitude and plenty of gratitude.
Let me make the best of each and every day to clear my mind

so that I can hear from You.
Please broaden my mind that I can accept all things.
Let me not whine and whimper over things I have no control over.
Let me continue to see through God’s eyes and see his people with love.
And when I sin, let me repent, and confess with my mouth my wrongdoing, and receive the forgiveness of God.
And when this world closes in on me, let me remember Jesus’ example –
to slip away and find a quiet place to pray.
It’s the best response when I’m pushed beyond my limits.
I know that when I can’t pray, You listen to my heart.
Continue to use me to do Your will.
Continue to bless me that I may be a blessing to others.
Keep me strong that I may help the weak.
Keep me uplifted that I may have words of encouragement for others.
I pray for those that are lost and can’t find their way.
I pray for those that are misjudged and misunderstood.
I pray for those who don’t know you intimately.
I pray for those that will delete this without sharing it with others.
I pray for those that don’t believe.
But I thank you that I believe.
I believe that God changes people and God changes things.
I pray for all my sisters and brothers.
For each and every family member in their households.
I pray for peace, love and joy in their homes that they are out of debt

and all their needs are met.
I pray that every eye that reads this knows there is no problem, circumstance, or situation greater than God.
Every battle is in Your hands for You to fight.
I pray that these words be received into the hearts of every eye that sees them and every mouth that confesses them willingly.

Wiccan Prayer

I know the Laws of Nature are you, Lady.
Keep me mindful that I step upon Your Body,
with your feet,
that my sorrows are Your sorrows,
and that a healthy priest makes all things sound.
I feel Your breath in the wind, and Your hand in mine.
Keep me sincere.
Give me Your work,
which is to be joyous,
and to tend all things, because all things live, of themselves,
and with Your spirit.Your will through mine, so mote it be.

Buddhist Prayer

With every breath I take today,
I vow to be awake;

And every step I take,
I vow to take with a grateful heart–

So I may see with eyes of love
into the hearts of all I meet,

To ease their burden when I can
And touch them with a smile of peace

I take refuge in the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha
Until I attain Enlightenment.
By merit accumulations from practicing generosity and the other perfections
May I attain Enlightenment, for the benefit of all sentient beings.

Bahai Prayer

O my God and my Master! I am Thy servant and the son of Thy servant. I have risen from my couch at this dawntide when the Daystar of Thy oneness hath shone forth from the Dayspring of Thy will, and hath shed its radiance upon the whole world, according to what had been ordained in the Books of Thy Decree.
Praise be unto Thee, O my God, that we have wakened to the splendors of the light of Thy knowledge. Send down, then, upon us, O my Lord, what will enable us to dispense with anyone but Thee, and will rid us of all attachment to aught except Thyself. Write down, moreover, for me, and for such as are dear to me, and for my kindred, man and woman alike, the good of this world and the world to come. Keep us safe, then, through Thine unfailing protection, O Thou the Beloved of the entire creation and the Desire of the whole universe, from them whom Thou hast made to be the manifestations of the Evil Whisperer, who whisper in men’s breasts. Potent art Thou to do Thy pleasure. Thou art, verily, the Almighty, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting.

Bless Thou, O Lord my God, Him Whom Thou hast set over Thy most excellent Titles, and through Whom Thou hast divided between the godly and the wicked, and graciously aid us to do what Thou lovest and desirest. Bless Thou, moreover, O my God, them Who are Thy Words and Thy Letters, and them who have set their faces towards Thee, and turned unto Thy face, and hearkened to Thy Call. Thou art, truly, the Lord and King of all men, and art potent over all things.
Bahullh

Unitarian Universalist Prayer

I know little of who you are. I know little of your plan. I can understand only specks of your power. I cannot begin to comprehend all of what you are. But this I know. You do not give love, you are love. You do not project beauty, you are beauty. You do not allow hope, you are hope. You do not lend strength, you are strength. All that is good is your gift. All that is bad is the consequence of man s attempt to reject or mold you. The solutions to my problems, my fears, and my shame are all found in you.

All things I wish to be come from my desire to be closer to you. I see you every time I see the light shining through a tree. I see you every time a sunset or mountain vista takes my breath away. I hear you ever time I open myself to the wonder of life. I feel you every time my heart fills with joy and love. I doubt you only when I allow fear, and greed, and selfishness to assume the power to control me. I know that if I allow you in my life I feel peace. When I embrace you I feel love. When I seek you I find strength.
Father, show me the way to serenity so that I may be of help to others. Show me the way to responsibility so that I may give to others.

Mother, show me the path to compassion so that I may comfort others. Show me the path to healing so I may help others heal themselves.

Grandfather, show me the road to wisdom so that I may teach others. Show me the road to strength so that I may carry others until they can carry themselves.

Grandmother, show me how to feel love so that I may love others. Show me forgiveness so that I may forgive myself and others.

God, help me remove the blinders of self-will. Help me see what is true. Teach me so that I can be of service. Free me from fear, from hate, from greed, from discontent so that I may contribute myself to your work. Allow me to see what you would have me do and grant me the strength to follow through. Without you I am empty. With you at my side I am whole.

Thank You.

Catholic Prayer

Father, Help me know Your will through the spiritual wisdom and understanding that comes from the Spirit so I may live a life worthy of You, pleasing You in every way. Help me to bear fruit, to influence others’ lives in every good thing I do. May I constantly be growing in my understanding of who You are and in my awareness of how You work in the world.

Help me offermyself as a living sacrifice, desiring not to live like those who are giving in to the ways of the world but to be totally changed by the renewing of my mind. Then I will be able to know Your willYour good, pleasing, and perfect will.

May I yield my will to Yours and set my hearts on doing Your will. Help me set aside my own desires, seeking only Your will, standing firm and keeping on in Your strength. Help me be strong and not give up no matter what happens filled with joy and thanksgiving.

May I have no other desire than Yours. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Prayer of St. Francis Assisi

Lord, Make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me bring love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
Where there is discord, harmony.
Where there is error, truth.
Where there is wrong, the spirit of forgiveness.
O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console.
To be understood as to understand.
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned.
It is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Dear Lord,
So far Ive done all right.
I havent gossiped,
havent lost my temper,
havent been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish or overindulgent.
Im really glad about that.
But in a few minutes, God,
Im going to get out of bed,
and from then on,
Im going to need a lot more help.

The Serenity Prayer

God Grant me the Serenity
to accept the things
I cannot change,
the courage to
change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know
the difference.

Living one day at a time
Enjoying one moment at a time.
Accepting hardship as
the pathway to Peace.

Taking as He did,
this sinful world as it is,
not as I would have it.

Trusting that He
will make it right;
If I surrender to His will.
That I may be reasonably
happy in this life,
and supremely happy
with Him forever
in the next.

EXPECT DISTRUST YOU HAVE EARNED IT

“EXPECT DISTRUST YOU HAVE EARNED IT”.

So they tell us in rehab and so we know is true, but not only that.  We are also learning to trust  others all over again.

 

Trust is built by one fearless choice at a time, trust in ourselves, trust in others and trust in our Higher Power.
We came from a dark place where trust was very dangerous and led to betrayal.  It’s absolutely natural that we would choose to NOT trust easily or anyone for that matter due to our pasts.  But if we don’t trust we are keeping up emotional walls around our hearts so deep that they are at the level of our soul.  These walls block not only betrayal but true Love.  Being made aware of our trust issues while recovering from addiction gives us the courage to extend baby steps of trust in our fellows & Higher Power.  We experiment with trust and reap the results.

 

It is a perfect beginning when we pray the third step prayer with faith and wait to see what God will do.   Expectations of a perfect life is a set-up for a let-down.  But as we make the right choices we watch how our Higher Power gives us just what we need. 

 

We may feel something like this member when we start building new sober relationships:  “I have chosen to begin trusting a man whom even now I know is only human. I have hope he will not betray this trust I have given. If he did, I would (presumably) have to feel the pain that would be nearly unbearable.   I have made this choice cautiously and initially, fearfully.  

 

She is so right, we do not know what the future holds, and watching people’s patterns of interaction with others gives us audience to how they will also treat us in spite of their self-advertisements.

 

Like the proverb Jesus spoke, if we are faithful in small things we will be trusted with big things.  Regarding others trusting us…we have earned our distrust while living the addict life.  Trust starts small, keeping a friends confidence, following up on commitments etc. They tell us in re-hab, expect distrust; you have earned it. And we surely had.  So we give our trust now cautiously and carefully.  As for our old friends and family…well they may never trust us again we try to understand why.  It is far better to understand than to be understood.  Why?  Because with understanding comes inner peace all we get is a little satisfaction when we are understood.  On the comparison chart peace of mind has spiritual depth satisfaction is shallow and un-spiritual therefore not nearly as beneficial to us.

 

But the most important part of all this recovery-trust stuff is that without trust, “Love” pure and precious is stifled. When our caring for others has been betrayed we pull out our paper and pencil and ask: What did I learn? What is the life lesson? We allow ourselves to cry, we admit we have been hurt that way can trust and Love again this is our new emotional process it is healthy and does not shut out life____________________________________

 

THIS TOO SHALL PASS

This Too Shall Pass

Things get difficult sometimes.  

Disaster is a test of our character.  If we show Love and respect in spite of our troubles we show good character. After we

have been sober for a few years we no longer feed on Kayos.  We no longer need catastrophes, disasters, and general negative distractions as a solution to our inner pain.  When we work the steps honestly and thoroughly we release the guilt & shame that tortures our emotional condition.  When we work step twelve we learn to communicate in a respectful way with others.  We don’t have to keep waiting for the other shoe to drop.  We have learned to love peace

Long story short at two years sober if we have done the work we will prefer peace of mind and the peace of God over problems and upset.  And in our new sober life we live & work to get the things we need to be comfortable.  Unfortunately sometimes disaster occurs even though we are doing all the right things.  Uncomfortable things happen and it strikes fear in our hearts. 

Stuff is beyond our control.  Life happens, life on life’s terms is hard at times.  During difficult time we can usually say “this too shall pass” knowing that negative life changing events are only temporary.

Faith is easier said than done.  Building faith is not easy.  We tell ourselves that God has our back and this disaster will work out for the better.  We hope that somehow our disaster will make life easier in the long run.  We visualize that we will grow emotionally and spiritually from our struggles.

We band together with our loved one’s when disaster strikes.  Taking our stress out on those closest to us must be a thing of the past.  We show understanding and empathy toward our loved ones during their trouble instead of attacking each other.  We grant our partners grace and forgive them if they do project there problems onto us as if we were the cause of their plight.  We must not be driven by fear!  We are there for one another and if we stick together disaster strengthens our bonds.

EMOTIONAL VAMPIRES

Birds of a feather flock together…

So they say.  CHOOSE YOUR COMPANIONS WISELY.

EMOTIONAL VAMPIRES ARE REAL AND THEY ARE RUNNING RAMPANT IN THE ROOMS OF AA!

Two important rules-of-thumb; if they gossip about other people to you then they gossip about you to others.  Number two, “Know people by who they show you they are not by who they tell you they are.”

 What is an “emotional vampire?”  An emotional vampire doesn’t know that they are sucking strength and peace from those around them.  They simply have an inherent ability to push your emotional buttons.  They can trigger in us the emotion of struggle and control accompanied by anger. Intolerance and a general negative excitement of sorts is what they bring out in us.  Or put plainly they easily rile-us-up by their conversation.  

Yes this sounds dangerously close to the “blame-game” however its something different.  Once we are aware that certain people have this effect on us we can avoid them…we don’t invite them into our homes.  Now if everyone pisses us off and we label the whole world, ’emotional vampire’ then we may lack the ability to take responsibility for your own feelings.  Some people are just sand-paper to us.

Other people CAN CHANGE THE COARSE OF OUR LIVES.   I asked my partner “why is it that I seem to absorb the people that I hang around.”  When I spend time with my sister, as neurotic and confused as she is I part her company with a negative attitude and often-times I am critical of her.  Whether we get along with, like, or dislike our neighbors we always take something away from our interaction with them.   Perhaps that is partly one of the spiritual answers to “why” the 12 step programs work.  We as humans need one another to spiritually & emotionally feed, nurture and stimulate us.  We are as one, every man woman and child on this earth is our brother & sister.

 

Ya, ya, ya but where is the wisdom in this well-founded theory that we are all one?  The wisdom is to open our minds and channel-in beneficial information from our positive friends and neighbors.  And to hear with our hearts which direction we should go to find the humans that feed us Love.  Time & chance figure into many aspects of our reality, don’t believe them for a minute when they echo in your ears “THERE ARE NO COINCIDENCES.”   Really?  So if every little thing that happens on the face of this big earth is planned out by the creator then all is “providence.” In which case, we are all robots anyway so we may as well hang up our hats and go to sleep in the back seat of the car…and stay asleep.  NO!  Sorry I don’t buy it.  If the word ‘never’ or ‘always’ is in the sentence its usually inaccurate.  As the great & wise “Preacher” King Solomon said in Ecclesiastes: “Time & chance play a part in everything!”  Amen Solomen!

 “I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.”

 The kinds of people to avoid are the negative, soul sucking emotional vampires that will never be filled no matter how many victims they suck into their lair.  But really these are just sick people, the complainers, the antagonizers, the creators of Kayos!  Those that will stab us in the back as soon as we get half-way turned around.  These are the ones that although they are a great distraction from our own pain we will have to detox from them once we break away from them.

 We may feel an emotional hangover because of the way that they draw out our own lower, negative nature.  This is not a blame tactic, we are always responsible for our own actions including choosing our company.  In simple English they tempt us to act out in some character defect…usually gossip so we have to work harder when we are around them to keep our side of the street clean.

 BUT WAIT!  Let’s talk about these more Loving less fearful people that seldom engage in kayos and the manufacturing of misery.  When we spend time with these people they encourage us.  We open up to them because we feel comfortable talking to them, they don’t seek to find the wrong in everything we share.   We share our worries and they are understanding and quick to remind us that we are good people.  “Encouragement” is not a four letter word even if it seems that way in certain cultures.    When we walk away from these people we feel strengthened, we feel validated, we ask ourselves why we don’t see these people more often.  As providence has it I believe God puts certain people in our lives so we have half a chance to survive.  IF YOU DON’T HAVE A PERSON IN YOUR LIFE LIKE THIS THEN IT’S TIME TO GET OUT OF THE HOUSE AND GO TO A MEETING.

 

Medications & Recovery

 

THE TOTALLY CONTROVERSIAL TOPIC OF: TAKING MEDS WHILE IN TWELVE STEP RECOVERY.

FINDING THE PERFECT BALANCE THAT LIES SOMEWHERE BETWEEN “MARTYR” & DOPE FIEND.

AA put out a pamphlet on medications & recovery.  In a nutshell it’s easy to anticipate AA’s stance if you have read the Big Book. Listen to your doctor, doctors are good, we members are not physicians etc.  http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/p-11_aamembersMedDrug.pdf  Or rather a group of AA’s members and their stance on taking medications while in recovery.   There are many drug-addict/alcoholics in AA who have medicinal needs whether it me psychological meds or pain meds.  It seems to me that the recovering alcohol-addicts who wrote the AA pamphlet do not have a well-rounded view of doctors and their common practices.  CLEARLY BY MY OWN EXPERIENCE AND THOSE CLOSE TO ME DOCTORS DO NOT ALWAYS HAVE THE PATIENTS WELL BEING AT HEART.  How can they help no promoting drugs that they are getting kick-backs from the drug company for…and it’s completely legal.

The AA pamphlet called, “THE AA MEMBER: MEDICATIONS & OTHER DRUGS” which, mind you is full of good advice, excuse me “suggestions”….well, under certain circumstances  it would be good advice.  Unless of coarse, your doctor is harboring a century old resentment toward his alcoholic & addict parents for instance…not such a good idea to spill your wide-eyed confession out onto the highly toxic floor.   Then there’s the doctor who goes right to treating the symptoms, the hell with healings & causes!   He applies drugs no matter what the ailment in spite of what his (perceived) feeble-minded patient informs him of.  What does a patient know after all?  Uneducated and below his own social status.  This kind of doctor will object to any curtailing of his normal methods of doctoring.  This kind of doc seldom listens to any patient.

Really?  Does everybody just automatically take the doctors prognosis as gospel?  Seems like the people I have heard share in AA on this topic have absolutely no inclination what-so-ever to question a doctor’s advice….I find that odd.   I have repeatedly heard physicians painted as all-knowing saints who should never be questioned by the lowly and  conniving alcoholic.  In my subconscious I am wondering what’s behind that kind of blind faith in any human being.  

And just to stray off topic a bit…assuming that every addict lied and cheated his way into his oh-so-successful addiction is an assumption that reveals the character of he who assumes.  Everybody lies at one time or another, yes.  But not everyone stooped to a standard level of “if they’re mouth is moving they are lying” I came from the school of “honor among thieves”.    But oh_________ how some people love to brag in a packed meeting about their “stealing your dope and then helping you look for it.”     It’s only a fifth step confession by the way if your feeling at least a little guilty about it.   Boasting is a whole other matter folks categorized under the flaw of false-pride.  “false” because it isn’t the good “pride” in a hard worked job well done.  This boasting (hypothetical but common member) is a prideful balloon of ego ready to pop wide open at revealing his next villainous act.   Sorry..back to the meds!

Truly writers of this pamphlet and the Big Book obviously haven’t been watching the commercials that inform us about the many lawsuits over hanus prescription drugs advertised by lawyers everywhere.  Nor are they taking into account the kickbacks that doctors get for prescribing certain harmful and questionable, newly developed drugs.  Don’t get me wrong like I said “good advice” but only under the circumstance that you have a truly good man or woman as a doctor.  What are the odds?

We must as addicts in recovery find our own boundaries where meds are concerned and this is not an easy task it will take time and counsel.  We cannot depend on our doctors in many cases for the best “next right thing” to do.  We must be true to ourselves where meds are concerned and find the perfect balance that lies somewhere between martyr and dope fiend because both are self-destructive.  Martyr being the man who suffers so badly with a physical or emotional ailment that he is continually miserable in sobriety.  Yet he refuses all and any help from the doctor because of his NA counterparts that deem such consumptions a relapse.  At some point we should as people learn to let ourselves off the hook and not be so rigid with ourselves and others.  At the same time we don’t want to become so lax that we are not connected to what fulfills us.

Abstinence from prescriptions is not always best in fact it can be dangerous.  Many if not most people in AA are on anti-depressants.  Anti-depressants will most likely quit working at some point.  Doctors have to continually switch people around from drug to drug, change dosages, and try different combinations.  Whatever works.  And hey I mean that it’s not for me to judge.  Next there’s the pain issue.  If you’re a narcotics addict and pain drugs are your drug of choice best draw the line at surgery.  Especially early on in recovery.  Meaning don’t take them unless you have severe pain.  There are drugs like “Buprenorphine” that are non-narcotic yet very strong.  There is allot of controversy about this drug.  And if you are in Narcotics Anonymous good luck with finding a sponsor who won’t dub you “still using”.  If  this is the case, hey there are lots of addicts in Alcoholics Anonymous, “the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking.”  If you are in AA and are not abusing your Buprenorphine then you are sober.  

The addict mind prior to a psychic change better yet a total mental transformation is incapable of thinking like a normal person regarding drugs therefore if you have to have surgery in your first five years or so don’t expect to not hear the voices of obsession in your head when you bring home those Percocet for post-operative pain.  You can take them as directed but most likely they will talk to you in between doses…they did me.  That doesn’t mean I relapsed it meant I was triggered by them.  A thought does not constitute a relapse.  I was going by the book with my meds and doing the right thing while at the same time the addict in me had her voice as well.  Things are not always just one way they can be both.

More about suboxone & methadone.  Well if an addict gets on these drugs early on and uses them temporarily to “adjust” emotionally to sobriety that could be a good thing if there is a gradual and complete reduction.  I have seen these drugs help people transition into sobriety slowly and successfully.  I know some people who started with methadone, switched to suboxone, weened off that  and have been sober a very long time.  They got off both drugs within a year.  Keep in mind that these success stories also include doing allot of step work, getting a sponsor, having therapy, going to many meetings, opening up to people and making new friends in AA.  

If my friends had stayed on those drugs past say a year chances are they would not have worked through their emotional underlying issues…YOU HAVE TO FEEL TO HEAL.  The drugs may work for a while to suppress painful emotions but when they stop working the addict will either honker down, work the 12 steps, get some therapy and start to really recover or they will just go up, up, up, on the dosage until other drugs like cocaine, alcohol etc, start to look like a solution. 

Remember if alcohol is only a symptom of a deeper problem then finding and alleviating that problem is the solution.  Usually that problem is grave emotional disorder.

The important thing is to learn how to live and work the steps often and at least when we need it and to establish an ongoing relationship with a Higher Power.  If drugs interfere with that process or cause unmanageability then that constitutes a slip.  If a psychic change doesn’t take place “the same man will drink again”.  People who get on pain meds which cause no unmanageability have not relapsed…. have they?   Again you have to feel to heal.

My advice no suggestion  (if you’re new to AA the word “advice” is extremely and politically incorrect)…anyway, if you have a serious pain issue say you broke your leg or severed a limb personally I wouldn’t tell the doc at the ER “I am an addict” you’re liable to go home with a bottle of aspirin.  Seriously most doctors are either all in or all out when they hear the word “addict”.  Either they will prescribe when it’s unwarranted or they won’t prescribe when it’s truly needed in spite of the label you are wearing.  

It’s a matter of throwing the dice.   I have had it go both ways.  My pain doctor knows my story and he has asked me lots of questions about recovery life, it interests him.  If I am in pain he works with me he is neither all in or all out he prescribes judging by the symptom and watches me for any evidence of what he calls “deviation” from recovery.  I have also had the opposite happen when I told one new doctor my history and was swiftly treated like I was an inmate in a prison by the meanest jail guard there.  With no logical explanation this doctor cut my seizure medication in half.  Not a good idea it could have killed me.  So prayer and common sense play into it.

Be sure to talk to someone about your medicinal situation if you have guilt feeling get them out.  We addicts oftentimes lay guilt trips on ourselves.  False guilt will eat us alive and there is always someone out there looking to validate how wrong you are.  By the same token there are emotional enablers a plenty.  Finding an emotionally  balanced confidant in any 12 step program is very important.  Addicts tend to swing to either one extreme or the other.  Therapy, the 12 steps, and spirituality WILL bring you emotional balance after a time…and two times.  Thank you so much for reading along.  If you are a writer submit your recovery articles to http://www.recoveryfarmhouse.com/2/recovering-sober-writers-wanted/

THE PAMPHLET

• No A.A. member should “play doctor”; all

medical advice and treatment should come from a

qualified physician.

• Active participation in the A.A. program of

recovery is a major safeguard against alcoholic

• Be completely honest with your doctor and

yourself about the way you take your medicine.

Let your doctor know if you skip doses or take

more medicine than prescribed.

• Explain to your doctor that you no longer

drink alcohol and you are trying a new way of life

in recovery.

• Let your doctor know at once if you have a

desire to take more medicine or if you have side

effects that make you feel worse.

• Be sensitive to warnings about changes in

your behavior when you start a new medication

or when your dose is changed.

• If you feel that your doctor does not

understand your problems, consider making an

appointment with a physician who has experience

in the treatment of alcoholism.

• Give your doctor copies of this pamphlet.

 

 

THE FIFTH STEP

THE FIFTH STEP

LIFE ON LIFE’S TERMS

Because of what life throws us quality sobriety doesn’t always look pretty.  At times the appropriate sober emotional response is to throw down the mask and promptly fall apart.  We must release the poison that negative human emotions can create in our hearts if we are to survive not only sober but sane as well.  Contrary to common belief crying is a healthy emotion that should not be shut down by force of habit.

Psalms 30:5 “Weeping may endure for the night, but joy cometh in the morning.”

Pretending we know no sorrow does not exhibit strength it exhibits weakness and fear by forbidding others from seeing who we are and how we truly feel sometimes.  It is not sincere for those in the program to constantly portray that “It’s all good” all the time as if those who are having struggles are inferior for lack of a decent program.

Sharing from our heart during times of struggle is often a huge relief to our fellows because now they know…they are not alone.  By the same principle of honesty the most important thing to share on a fifth step is the deep dark secret we are the most ashamed of.  Shame is an exhausting emotion that cannot stand the light of confession and so it leaves.  Thank God we have a way to emotionally heal.

 

5

 

SELF ESTEEM IS BUILT BY TAKING ESTEEM-ABLE ACTION

SELF ESTEEM IS BUILT BY TAKING ESTEEM-ABLE ACTION

PROBLEM

One thing sure that will put a human-being in defensive character-defect mode is having low self-worth. One thing sure that will cause us to put on a mask of deceit, beat ourselves up psychologically, and fear (not care) what people think of us is if we think we are just not good enough as people. A negative mind-set makes us think everyone else is better than us so therefore subconsciously we reason-out that we had better start some defensive maneuvers to fix the way we are looking at us. And these maneuvers are usually not the kind that really do work to raise our self-worth. Things like anger, criticism, lashing out, looking for the negatives in other people and lesser addictions. That’s how the “ego” usually copes with low self-worth in recovery and along the way we lose any chance of filling our lives with joy, Love, and true self-worth.

Furthermore even if we have worked the steps several times we can still slip back into a low self-worth mindset because we had lived with that thinking for so long before we got sober. Our neural-pathways were set and even though we have built a recovery-bridge of healthy neural-pathways over the sick ones sometimes our thinking falls off the new bridge onto the one below and goes into a path of destructive and negative thought. Not to say we want to drink or drug…no, we no longer see drinking & drugging as a solution to anything. We have worked the steps but God did not render us defect-free nor does he take away our free-will.

SOLUTIONS

So what can we do to boost our self-worth? Step twelve…chair a meeting as the “facilitator” not the controller. A facilitator serves the group not himself. We can share from our heart what God and AA has done for us with newcomers. If we share from our ego or to control others it will not work like sharing the naked and humble truth from our heart of hearts. We can do some work, clean the house, wash the car, get some tasks done that we have procrastinated about finishing for a long time.

We can do some Step Eleven meditation and prayer and be sure to speak to our Higher Power straight from our heart about our issues and give thanks.

Before we pray and meditate to God we should consider if we have left any amends undone. We should get right with our neighbors and then commune with our Higher Power.

We can confess in a meeting (step five) how we feel. We should say that we have been speaking to ourselves in an unkind way and that we have been driven under the common addictive delusion that if we beat our self up enough we will somehow get more good things done when really it’s counterproductive to run ourselves down in our minds. Fifth step confessions like this cut false pride to the quick and leave the destructive ego lying on the floor of the room.

If we are well-off financially then we can give to a charity or one of those guys in the median standing with a “please help” sign. Especially if we usually judge those guys harshly, giving to them in spite of negative feelings toward them will cut the character defect of greed, & harsh judgments to the quick. Furthermore we do not have enough information to fairly judge anyone in such a way as condemnation dictates. We don’t know what people have been through in their lives. They may be planted on the median by God just so people have the chance to give and in turn get blessed (Jesus was clear that it is more blessed to give than receive) (Acts 20:35) or alternatively to judge the homeless guys harshly and in turn be judged. (For whatever yardstick you use to judge your brother it in turn will be used to judge you.) Mt.7.2

Unfortunately allot of money has a way of making us feel secure, empowered, and better than those without it (not always of course) therefore we tend to want more just so we can get more or, keep those nice feelings we get when we increase our holdings. Jesus also said it’s harder for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God than for a camel to walk through the eye of a needle. (Mt.19:24)

OUT OF THE PROBLEM INTO THE SOLUTION!

AA How Addiction Effects Our Children

How addiction effects our children

Read the poem “Does Baby Know”

I wrote this poem eight years ago when feeling the deep deep pain of hurting the one that I Love the most in this world as most parents do.  Especially for us mothers; neglecting our children hits us harder in the guilt department than any of our wreckage .  Here is one of my processing poems that helped me get the pain out.

 

Does Baby Know?

 

Baby’s so sweet in her Mickey Mouse clothes

Innocent cuddly wonder if she knows

Most mommies don’t need pills before starting the day

of cooking and work to keep jonesin’ at bay

 

Baby’s so bright in her eyes does she know

Most mommies don’t shoot dope to get up and go

 

Sometimes the little girl gets so annoyed

“Mommy wake up and look at these toys!

Don’t run off the road any more cause I’m scared

We could crash and burn, your eyes closed your not there”

 

Still baby loves mommy the most cause her daddy

Yells all the time she goes with mommy gladly

Daddy is mean frustrated at mom

she won’t do as he says he does not keep calm

Baby’s becoming a young lady now

 

Ten years have passed by mommies wondering how,

they survived the years before she straightened up

quit shooting her dope and getting fucked up

 

Baby’s so beautiful in her brand new school clothes

and daddy still yells but baby knows

they both really care and are doing their best

to show that they love her

 

God’s doing the rest____________________

2-14-2018 UPDATED comment about poem.  **My ex-husband has long since been removed from our lives.  He was very abusive and the trauma he caused my daughter was devastating.  All due to my own ability to leave him back then.  She was nine when I got sober and 10 when I stood up to her father and cut him from our lives.  She is an adult now.  Doing a step nine with here was a freeing experience for both of us and probably saved my own life.  Please do the steps on your most intense issues.  If you don’t have an understanding sponsor, fire them.

This part was written back when I wrote the poem-****Nearly nine years after I wrote this sad poem my daughter is happy and healthy.  She will graduate this year God willing,  she is driving her first car and is a beautiful young lady.  She has a fighting chance at a good life and shows no signs of addiction praise God!  I am there for her which I never would have been able to do had it not been for AA and the 12 steps.  Thank you AA and thank you especially to my Higher Power who I am sure made it all happen like a magic red carpet ride of sobriety.  Change and healing can happen for anyone who has the willingness to do the work honestly and thoroughly until it becomes a way of life.

 

 

 

 

HOPE IS A PRELUDE TO FAITH

What is “hope”?

Hope is a spiritual gift straight from our Higher Power

What is hope?  Hope says, “everything will be alright” when things may not look so good.   Without a little fear there is no need for hope.  Hope is present when courage is in action.     Hope accommodates peace of mind.   We rest in the hope that God has our back even though we may have some doubts.    When we practice hope regularly “HOPE IS A PRELUDE TO FAITH”.

Undeniably  we addicts have our trust issues.   Fear is as natural as faith.  When faith takes over our fear, hope, & doubts disappear with a dose of new faith and trust in our Higher Power that the unknown really will be OK.  Let’s face it…the future can be a scary thing but hope takes that fear of the unknown and eventually  turns it into faith & trust  mixed with a little desire.

Hope is a spiritual gift grouped with Love and Faith as the greatest gifts.

We must remember to allow hope to live in us because the opposite of Hope is hopelessness which is accompanied by depression and a lack of Love for life.  We Nurture the Hope that we are given so it will transform into a faith that will move mountains.

AA “Get In The Middle Of The Boat”

They say in AA to “Get in the middle of the boat” if you want to get and stay sober.

 

  

Important suggestions for early sobriety.The first thing we should do is put ourselves out there in a meeting.  Introduce ourselves as a newcomer and share our fears, feelings, and any other struggles we are having.  This will attract people to us and make us approachable.  We must get to know people.    Just what and where is the middle of the boat.  Firstly we go to 90 meeting in 90 days that way we will establish some new relationships with sober people…soooo important.  We need to find out who and how people are staying sober. We should join a “home group” for sure, it’s important to feel “a part of”.  After all we have earned our seat in the rooms of AA and NA by our history, we have been in a war with ourselves that has not been easy…it is time to surrender to our hearts call. 

I believe there are spiritual windows in time that make it easier for us to stay sober within a certain starting point…as if it were a spiritual call.  Trying to get sober without that spiritual window things just don’t “click” like they do when the window is open.  Don’t worry you will feel it when it happens.  For instance I got sober and arrested on Good Friday in 2006 which also fell on Easter weekend.    I must say many times people that stay sober for years and years have a sobriety date that is either a holiday or some kind of special date.  Just a little factoid.  People stay sober, the program works regardless of the date in time.  Do not be discouraged.

Secondly after a few months of exposure we should get a sponsor start working the steps.  Also we should make a commitment to one of the activities that AA-ers do like chair a meeting once a week or speak at a jail or institution.  None of these commitments will feel natural. Oh contraire it will feel uncomfortable but you will be growing both emotionally and spiritually because of it.  Taking meetings into detox is the easiest place to begin with to share your experience of how sobriety is for you.  When we see those sick and suffering addicts in detox it works like magic to keep us sober.  It makes us remember all too well what it was like and we realize how far we have come.  We addicts in recovery usually need reminding that we are doing well.

After 6 months of sobriety and a completion of working the 12 steps we should definitely volunteer to sponsor newcomers.  This process happens very quickly.  Don’t worry too much if you are on probation, I have found that probation actually helps build a structured life in the beginning of sobriety and gives us something to focus on odd as that may sound.  Not to mention the drop tests aid in keeping us sober.  Sobriety is not for sissies it is a challenge that we can meet with hope.  One day at a time.

Step Five of Alcoholics Anonymous (2)

Topics: Fear Not, Step three and Step Five of Alcoholics Anonymous

HELP LINE

Suicide rate statistics among addicts.

“Fear not” is easier said than done. We need to learn the 12 step tools and especially invoke step three to keep fear at bay. There is no shame in revisiting a third step to remind us that God has our back! One of the first things we do when beginning our walk in sober school is identify, seek, and find a Higher Power.  Step five in the Big Book is the magic step that alleviates our guilt & shame but make no mistake, it is not a one-time job!  Unless of coarse your perfect or sociopath.

 

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 used phrase in the Bible is “fear not”

 

The psychological make-up of an addict

Many of us when we were very small children were often told by parents that we had nothing to be afraid of when we expressed our intense child-like fears. Unfortunately during our forthright expression of true feelings our parents often implied by their lack of empathy and understanding that our fears were not only unfounded but ridiculous and perhaps absurd. These adults knew no better. 

Parents do not usually know that some validation of our feelings along with comfort and logic was necessary for our emotional health. Therefore our intense little feelings were invalidated, we felt “wrong” for being afraid.   After-all our parents knew best how we should feel so our fears must be wrong.  But instead of that making our fears go away it motivated us to hide our fears for shame.  My parents used shame to control me.  They used shame to oppress me and steal my dreams and hopes.

What’s worse once we got to pre and elementary school we found out just what kind of people express their fears openly. We learned about the scaredy-cats, the chicken-shits, the pussies and the yellow-bellies. We learned that people who express any form of fear will be ostracized greatly by their fellows and friends.   We must be bad we must be wrong!

And so we learned to stuff down those big fears into our guts, we learned to act, and we learned to put on the mask of fearlessness.   No-one would call us cry-baby again!  Ever!  We learned, even…to shut off our tears.  Showing any kind of hurt emotional or physical would label us weak.  So we turned our hurts to anger.  Who could blame us…we didn’t want to be labelled by everyone.  Between our parents and our school-mates we were really left with very few people if any in whom we could confide our true feelings so we could let them out. 

Most of us women in addiction were sexually abused as children.  We hid the feelings from that away as well…deep in our bowels lie the pain and hurt of a wounded, neglected, and abused child.  We did not trust that our feelings were right therefore we could not trust our parents to tell them what happened…or maybe our parents are the culprits of the abuse.  Either way we had no adult to confide with about the abuse and the feelings of self-loathing that resulted from it.

AND SO GOES THE STORY OF THE TYPICAL ADDICTS EMOTIONS…expression of feelings was off the table so what would we do with all those feelings inside us that were ready & able to cause an explosion of wrath.  We usually weren’t cruel people we didn’t want to take out our feelings on others so we beat ourselves up for being who we were.

We developed a voice in our head that screamed at us for things we said and did and things we didn’t say and do.  We became our own worst enemy. 

The self-hate, the anxiety, and the depression that we felt had to stop! 

SO WE MEDICATED!  After-all the last thing we would do is confide in someone so they could turn around and use it against us!

Ohhhh how the drugs worked, ohhhh how they made us feel better…for a while anyway!

Robin Williams-an addict in recovery hung himself today.  Why would anyone with all that money, in the program, sober for quite some time want to kill himself?

“Our liquor was but a symptom, so we had to get down to causes and conditions.”

I have a friend who is a therapist and in 12 step recovery.  He loves both programs.  But he has quoted me shocking numbers of addicts/alcoholics in a 12 step program who have committed suicide.  The statistics are staggering.  What you will find behind the statistics is an ability to express and share negative feelings. .  My friend insists that all his sponcees do regular fifth-steps in meetings by telling “WHAT HAPPENED AND HOW IT MADE ME FEEL.” 

FEELINGS ARE NOT AN OUTSIDE ISSUE, THE SOLUTIONS DO NOT LIE IN SHUTTING DOWN OUR FEELINGS AND PRETENDING THEY DON’T EXIST.

“WE ARE AS SICK AS OUR SECRETS”

WE MUST FIND AT LEAST ONE PERSON WE CAN TELL ANYTHING TO.

IN THE U.S. SUICIDE STATISTICS FAR OUTWEIGH OTHER COUNTRIES.

 

The solutions to anxiety and depression are simple but not easy.  You can find them on my website:

HTTPS://WWW.RECOVERYFARMHOUSE.COM

 

Fear of people will leave us, Ninth Step Promises

STEP ONE OF AA

NINTH STEP PROMISES

“THE FEAR OF PEOPLE WILL LEAVE US”

When I first got sober & clean I was emotionally numb. I had separated myself from my feelings. I was dragging them behind me like a dead rag doll so full of pain, hurt and fear that my ego refused to own.  I rejected my own truths, I white-washed my fears with my shallow tough-girl persona.  I denied every deep and precious pain I ever felt.  I refused to be myself instead I made up a false identity who was socially acceptable in my eyes.  I had to create this other person because my true identity was weak, bad, ugly , and wrong in my eyes.  That’s what I was taught in my formidable years and that’s what I believed.   I laughed when I was nervous. I smiled as I told my new recovery counselor about my near death experiences during addiction.

But wait! Why did I smile when I recalled the tragic events of my life? I refused to feel because feeling is what scared me the most. Sharing my true feelings was a vulnerability I would not chance! Why would I?  Every time I showed my true self I was cut down at the knees.  My vicious older sister made certain of that.  My parents were not evil but they knew nothing about emotional nurturing.  So I laughed at my pain.  But no, WAIT!  To recover I had to make myself vulnerable. I had to tell someone my true feelings and who I was to release the pain that my poor inner child was lugging around behind me…me the ego self, me the tough girl.  I had a bucket full of sick emotional survival skills that took no account of hurting others.  I could blame every failure every wrong and dishonest deed on the beast of burden of my choice.   And usually that meant a boyfriend or a husband.  If I didn’t make my own choices then I wasn’t responsible for the outcome.

When I got sober at first the only feeling I knew was intense fear of facing life and other people without my drugs. I was completely out of touch with my true inner feelings and inner-man. I was walking around in-body with my soul and emotions dragging behind me like carrying a rag-doll by her hair that drags behind me on the floor. I remember telling my counselor after attending a women’s issues group that I didn’t belong in that group. All the women were crying and talking about their pain while I was numb…completely numb and I really thought I had no emotional pain. Little did I know I had a boatload of pain it was just…I had separated myself from it.

I remember one day in therapy telling a horrific story to a counselor about a traumatic event in my life and I held a protective smile on my face subconsciously thinking to myself…”I refuse to feel what I am talking about”. The counselor said to me “Laura why are you smiling?  That is a tragic event you are telling me about.” At that very moment my soul re-connected with my body along with all my baggage and feelings.   The rag-doll and all she carried came crashing down in an epiphany of just how terrible things had really been.

My heart at that moment began to thaw out.  But still, it took months before I was able to cry, really let it out.  I had froze myself up so well when the tears finally came they didn’t stop for, well I think I cried for about two years regularly, every time I was alone in my car.  I didn’t know that crying is a healthy emotion.  I didn’t know that feelings are to be honored and felt and then released.  Denying my feelings and repressing them made me sick and full of wrath.  But finally I was able to cry that poison out of my soul.

Acknowledging my feelings was the first step in my recovery. That was the beginning of my healing from “grave emotional disorder”. Nine years later….I have learned how to become and stay healthy emotionally and it took the 12 steps….a year of therapy…and regular spiritual maintenance.  Coupled with fellowship & meetings to get better.

FEELINGS FOLLOW ACTIONS

Step Eleven

THE BIG BOOK

FEELINGS FOLLOW ACTIONS NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND!

GOOD FEELINGS FOLLOW RIGHT ACTIONS MORE ACCURATELY PUT.

“On awakening let us think about the twenty-four hours ahead.  We consider our plans for the day.  Before we begin, we ask God to direct our thinking especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives.  Under these conditions we can employ our mental faculties with assurance, for after all Gad gave us brains to use.  Our thought-life will be placed on a much higher plane when our thinking is cleared of wrong motives. “   This quote is taken from pg. 86 of The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Today my mind may be telling me that my life is a disaster and that I am a mess!  I refuse to believe this because today I am taking action for my recovery and my well-being.   Today I will help others & do no harm.  I will exercise, eat right, and go to a meeting.  

Many times before I joined AA and learned how to live and take responsibility for my own actions I used to often say “I don’t feel like it!”  I said this in response to being faced with many responsibilities.  I said it when people asked me to go places, on social outings, to the beach, on a road trip, pretty much in response to anything that would take me out of my isolation and out of the state of sloth. 

I used to think I had to wait until my feelings were right to do the task at hand.    I would get to-it when I felt up to it.  I feared somehow that it would hurt me to take an energetic action.  Somehow I felt I had to nurture the deep emotional pain that was inside of me.  Depression & isolation were my bedfellows.  Not to mention I feared subconsciously the unknown and felt it was a risk to go to new places and do new things.  However what I feared was an illusion.

I have since learned by working the steps and addressing core issues that feelings nine times out of ten, are a result of my actions and I can act my way into good feelings.  Please understand that healthy emotions include a certain amount of grief, hurt, pain, and anger and so-on that should be neither ignored nor shrugged off.   We should not put a mask over our feelings nor should we let them rule us. 

Emotional balance in recovery and understanding when to ignore feelings and when they should be addressed & processed takes time and much work.  In early recovery it’s beneficial to both explore our feelings with a therapist or empathic listener on a regular basis and to spend time doing recovery based activities, laughing and forgetting ourselves and all our self-consciousness.  However we mustn’t swing from one extreme to the other.  Labeling all feelings character defect based is very dangerous but also labeling all feelings a priority at all times is just as dangerous.  Just because our feelings are always valid does not mean we let them paralyze us or always give-in to tears.

Good feelings do follow right and constructive actions.  If I get up in the morning and feel like crap I do not have to make my day follow suit.  I don’t have to create a crappy day.  I must not allow my feelings to rule over me and oppress me.  If my character defect is sloth then the spiritual remedy is to repeatedly take action contrary to sloth such as go for a run or go outside grab the hose and pour cold water over my body and take a walk.  If I clean my house I will feel better about myself.  (Opinion) Sloth is a spirit that attaches itself to humans and tells us immobilizing lies that we hear in our mind.

Sloth is the enemy of recovery as is wrath.  If I am angry I should never, ever take it out on those around me.  Again in early recovery we must learn outlets for anger.  Denial and distraction works for a while but it is not a solution.  The rage I feel inside is MINE I need to own it and then learn the solutions for it.  I have written many articles on the solutions for anger.  Anger is not the defect of character wrath is.

My message today…..feelings follow actions not the other way around.  You are a beautiful child of a Creator.  God don’t make junk!  No one taught you how to deal with the intense feelings that drove you to drink and drug therefore you are innocent.  You, if you are an alcoholic or addict are a sick person trying to get well not a bad person trying to get good.  In this way its true AA is not a moral program.  However if you continue working on the steps and stay in meetings, work with others and do the maintenance steps of 10, 11, and step 12 you will learn to follow your heart and this will bring you peace and morality both.  All morality really is, is the act of following one’s own heart of which we also call the conscience.   

We in early recovery must first learn what our true heart’s desire is so we may follow it to find peace.  Many of us for survival sake learned to disconnect our hearts truths from both our intellect and our sense of reality through deep denial.  He who learns to follow his own heart and resists perfectionism has found wisdom.

FEELINGS ACTIONS SNIP

WRECKAGE OF THE PAST

Wreckage of the Past

Growing up emotionally

Clearing the wreckage of the past means growing up emotionally.  “INDECISION”    Page 86 of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. Step Eleven “In thinking about our day we may face indecision.  We may not be able to determine which course to take.  Here we ask God for inspiration, and intuitive thought or decision.  We relax and take it easy.  We don’t struggle.  We are often surprised how the right answers come after we have tried this for a while.

Why was it so hard to make any decision when I was newly sober?  One huge reason is because I was afraid of the outcome of my own choices.  My decision could turn out bad or wrong and then I would be bad and wrong.  And why not, I made so many wrong choices in life I was used to the badgering and consequences of my selfish actions.  Obviously the “bad” and “wrong” label was stamped on me at an early age therefore it is at the core of my “fear of people” issues. 

One of my valuable (old behavior) survival skills when drinking and drugging was to let others make my choices for me.  When I hand over power to someone by asking them…”what should I do” I am offering them ego-feeding material.  Furthermore if the decision turns out “wrong” I can quickly blame that person for the outcome.  This is why a sponsor should always answer objectively when a sponcee tries to hand over their power of choice by responding with “it is your decision but we can go over your options and I can suggest to you what may be the best choice.”

Why does the Ninth Step promise us that “fear of people will leave us” and how does it leave us?  Between our connection with God and our customary twelve step work our confidence and self-esteem are rebuilt and we no longer fear making personal choices.  We need no longer fear “bad” outcomes because life is a journey, we are only human and we have been created to make mistakes and to rely on a Higher Power.  We are and will never be perfect while human.  When we make right choices and do the next right thing we receive positive consequences which are confidence and true pride the good kind.

When I hand over power to a person it is a manipulation skill that keeps them coming back.  It feels good to rule over someone and make their choices for them.  However when that kind of power is snatched back…ouch!  The person feels empty and lacking and usually they don’t react well.  How do I snatch power back?   By going against the advice given or just pushing the adviser right out of the picture all together by walking away.

It also says on page 88 that “faith without works is dead.”  Therefore we should be sure to have some Step Twelve action going on even if it’s not in the capacity of AA.  Not everyone fits into AA’s traditional version of the twelfth step, by chairing meetings, becoming an officer & active in business meetings, making coffee, speaking in institutions, speaker meetings, joining the activities committee etc. there are many ways to share the message outside of AA that will work to give the same good effect. 

“Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principals in all our affairs”.

However if we choose to not do traditional twelfth step work we may be in danger of missing out on valuable personal growth, maturity, self-esteem, confidence, and emotional sobriety that happens when we do the things underlined above.

Learning to take responsibility for our actions and building confidence takes work.  Fear of people will leave us IF we work the steps.  One thing sure if we don’t put ourselves in uncomfortable and vulnerable positions by working step 12 we will not gain the confidence that no longer fears people and makes independent choices. 

STEP 12:  Courage & willingness means doing the next right thing when I just want to go home and hide in my bed.  It means telling my story at detox when I am nervous as a cat.  It means chairing a meeting when my hands shake, courage is making coffee when I fear that everyone at the meeting will tell me it tastes horrible, courage is doing a fifth step when every fiber of my being says “keep it secret”,  courage is asking someone to sponsor me when I am afraid of being told “no”, it is sharing my secrets when I fear betrayal, it means making a friend when I fear I will just be abandoned again, it means putting pen to paper when I feel like it will all be a waste of my time.   Without these kinds of courageous actions and the willingness that goes against our core fears we might not grow in the miraculous and amazing ways that are promised in Step Nine “fear of people will leave us”, furthermore we may not stay sober at all.

THE SAME MAN WILL DRINK AGAIN.

 

FOR WOMEN ONLY “Sexual Inventory” pg.69 of the Big Book

Alcoholics Anonymous

Relationships

Step Four SEXUAL INVENTORY AA

 

(This article is based on my experiences in Alcoholics Anonymous for over 10 years. )

Why is it that there are more men getting and staying sober in the program of AA than women? Why is it that we women seem to have more emotional issues that need addressing than men? Partly we just talk about our issues more, men usually repress on a much larger scale. Nevertheless we woman that do stay sober are usually more of the “tomboy” type. The very feminine and highly fragile woman rarely can get through what it takes to stay sober.

Experience teaches that us “ruff” types often  bi-sexual women have a much higher chance statistically of staying sober than do the frail and feminine. (taken from Triangle Club Gainesville, Fl statistics (Triangle club meeting scheduleClearly experience teaches it’s the “alpha” females who stay sober in much greater numbers than the more submissive woman.   However, we must learn to make ourselves vulnerable emotionally rather than protecting ourselves emotionally. “Sobriety ain’t for sissies!” So bone up ladies! You can do it but it’s gonna hurt! The bad news is…we can feel again, the good news is…we can feel again. Yes and we have a boat load of emotional issues and character flaws to give to our Higher Power and to ebb-away at.

Most addict women (who I have met) were sexually abused as children, (every stripper addict I knew when I danced (I took a pole) and the women I have gotten to know in recovery have shared this information with me).   I have silent theories that this commonality is the “why” behind most addictions. The guilt and shame that a young child will place on herself for something she was not equipped to fend off is astounding and life-changing. We addict woman have learned by the age of ten or younger that we can use our sexuality against men (or women) to control them, manipulate them, and force feed them guilt to get whatever we want from them.

In spite of how men have wronged and abused us it is vital that we see “our part” concerning our resentments so we can not only stay sober but more importantly…learn to Love and keep Love close to us and in us. WE DEPLOY LOVE IN DEFENSE OF FEAR.  I am saying Love is of greatest importance in our recovery however we are usually incapable of showing Love or even defining what true spiritual Love is.  Often we are incapable of acting out of Love in a truly giving way when we are deep in our addiction.  Sobriety must be our priority if we are to fully recover.

For those of us who were abused all we really wanted when we allowed the sexual-predators affection and didn’t run to an adult and snitch the assailant out was someone to Love us. We confused physical attention with Love and we thought to get Love we had to drop our moral boundaries. We thought we had to be hurt to get what we needed. Most addict women suffer in dysfunctional relationships, it goes hand in hand with our addiction.

I have heard many stories in AA.  We normally share our story with the group by the time we have 1 year sober.   We share “what it was like, what happened in AA, and what it is like now”.  Some of us even sold our bodies outright for money to get drugs. We were exposed to many disgusting and painful situations. Some that we barely made it out of alive.  It’s no wonder we learned to hate men.  It’s no wonder we learned to hate women!  They were our competition they betrayed our confidence!  Screw woman we thought!  We could manipulate men much easier.  

THE SOLUTIONS

But now we must put our “woman’s issues” on our fourth step.  We will need other women if we are to heal and stay sober.  So we pray for God to put the right woman in our lives so we can experience the “sisterhood of The Spirit”.   Men absolutely are incapable of relating to many aspects of our personalities therefore they are of limited use to us in recovery when working through these core woman’s issues. If we have a chance to get into a woman’s meeting we DO IT! These meetings are much more intimate and women will share things that you absolutely will not hear in a regular meeting, shares that are vital for our healing

We begin to let our abuses out of our bag of secrets. We expose some shameful actions of our past in our fifth step with a sponsor and we expose other secrets in the rooms with the woman. We will find that doing so will put in place the connection that we need to other woman. When we listen in our women’s meeting we train ourselves to LOOK FOR THE SIMILARITIES RATHER THAN THE DIFFERENCES!  We lay down our staunch invisible walls of defense and blame to let healing in.

Finding someone to criticize is an old survival skill that deflects self-guilt. Criticism feeds the ego that which it needs to go-on however, criticism is not what we need now…we need empathy, we need healing and that will never come whilst seeking differences so we can criticize others. We write ourselves a note “seek the similarities don’t criticize!” and we put that in front of us in every meeting we go to until we have trained our brains and have built a bridge over the sick neuron-pathways called addiction. Our brain-bridge is called “survival for the sober”. Building a sober brain-bridge takes work and a supernatural kick so we start by attending ninety meetings in ninety days and we pray for willingness, clarity, guidance, healing, and for our Higher Power to make a way where there seems no way.

We have deep and embedded trust issues that simply must be ignored to an extent so we can get what we need. We may not be able to trust but we will nevertheless choose a sponsor and work the Fifth Step leaving no debauchery uncovered. That which we want to keep secret the most should be at the top of our fourth step. The Truth will set us free.

We put the “blame-game” in the garbage. We are responsible for processing every feeling that comes into our hearts. If we have sex with a person they owe us nothing! It is our choice whether we have sex and unless we tell the person up-front a price for that sex…they owe us nothing.   Not a phone call, not to fix things for us, not to make our choices for us, nor a place to stay they owe us nothing.  If we expect something from a person we are in bed with then we should be up-front about it.  We can propose that if they are screwing other people we will have to leave the relationship. They are adult they can do as they please. They can make promises they won’t keep.  If they don’t respect us then we leave the relationship it is our choice if we stay therefore blame is off the table.  Granted we can command respect but it is us who must draw the line in the sand and walk away when it is crossed.  We cannot make other adults do anything we can only request and suggest.

If we feel we have been wronged we should call a woman and talk it out. If a law has been broken we may call the cops. We often find when we talk things out with another woman, it is our unresolved issues that are haunting us rather than the person we are in bed with in the present. We addicts tend to carry an ink-blotter stamping “guilty” on anyone we are intimate with once the fairy-tale phase of the relationship is over.   Not anymore!  Now we journal, we write “fuck you” letters (do not send) to vent our angers.   We scream alone in our cars if we have to, it helps and releases endorphins.   We beat the pillow, we talk it out with woman but we do not blame anyone anymore for our feelings ever.

Even if we are wronged…can the person process our emotions for us? No! If others had the responsibility of processing and dealing with our feelings then we would be slaves to other people which we are not. We are learning how to take responsibility for our lives and our emotions.   It is not easy, it is not for sissies.   But you recovery sister, can do it because ‘we’ are stronger and capable of a deeper Love than most women can even imagine. Why? Because of the deep pain you have suffered.

Your emotional pain has carved out a deep dark hole in your heart. You will process that hurt and replace it with Love. That is why we women in recovery are more capable of a deeper Love than anyone who has not been through the trauma that we have. Seek God and The Sunlight of The Spirit and you shall be a vessel of joy, Love, and happiness amidst the tears that have gone un-cried for too long.

 

 

PLEASE NO MORE Feelings! & Is Step Ten Enough?

Step 10

Alcoholics Anonymous

“We are as sick as our secrets”

 

Which Feelings Need Addressing & is Step 10 enough?  I woke up in the middle of the night with an intense feeling of impending doom.  I felt like I was somehow in a position where I had no safety.  I felt like I was dangling miles high in the air with no safety net.  In my heart and mind I must be putting my well-being in the hands of the wrong thing.  It is not uncommon to sub-consciously put our faith into a cigarette or a pill while in recovery from a traumatic addiction.  When in that addiction our neuro-pathways had been trained to take the direction where drinking is a solution.  Sometimes in recovery our brain takes a wrong turn if you will.  All we need do is put our faith back on the right neuro-road where we depend on our spiritual God rather than a person, place, or earthly thing. When I was a very young child I remember having an intense realization that one day I would die.  It frightened me because there is no earthly solution for death.  It prompted me to seek and connect with my Higher Power. 

When I experience impending doom all I have to do is pray and tell my Higher Power how I feel (fear) and remember that He/She/It does have my back and the feeling of fear will leave me.  Maybe it was the prospect of death itself that haunted me.  Perhaps I had awoken from a nightmare that I don’t remember.  Do I need to write a fear list?  If the feeling does not let-up by prayer alone then “Yes” back to Step Four! 

The fear list is an important part of our on-going maintenance in sobriety.  You will find the directions for it in Step Four of the big book.  “But that’s Step Four I should be over that!”….So some say.  However my experience is in the matter of emotional sobriety and overcoming grave emotional disorder I revisit the fourth step as often as needed and Step Ten is far from enough maintenance to keep my emotions in check.

In Step Ten the book reads that we are pretty much cured of regarding drink & drug as a solution, this is true to any extent.  “The problem has been removed, it does not exist for us.” However emotions and emotional sobriety are another matter, if I don’t stay emotionally balanced I will eventually see alcohol as a solution.  Absolutely we do “recoil” from alcohol if we work the steps but will we “recoil” from being self-destructive or hurting others?  Or will we just switch to another self-destructive habit?

 

 

STEP TEN-“Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.” 

This is a very limited prospect of which is useless without the rest of the 12 steps. 

Step ten works good enough for a quick apology or when simple self-acknowledgement of a defect then a little prayer will resolve resentment, shame, guilt or fear but if it doesn’t rectify my deep negative feelings a little more work may be necessary even though I have worked the steps thoroughly.  Truly Step Ten is not much of anything without the rest of the 12 Steps actively in place in our lives.  Furthermore without prayer and meditation we are usually not spiritually fit enough to take our own inventory anyway. 

Do I have any unresolved resentments I ask myself?  If so I need to pray for that person and if that doesn’t work I do a step four and five including “my part” and not eliminating “wrongs done to me” and how both of those have made me feel. If it brings up deep feelings I let myself feel them and I cry.

If I have a reoccurring memory of an event in my past and it is attached to an intense feeling; that is when prayer is not usually enough.  That does not mean I don’t pray.  It just means that there is something in my past that I need to explore with an empathic listener who can hopefully relate to the event.  I write down what happened.  Have I wronged anyone?  Do I feel guilt or shame?  Remember our heart does not have to make sense it just needs to express itself, raw, & without editing.  I share my feelings with a listener whom will neither shut me down, shame me, nor invalidate me for my feelings.  

Staying disconnected from our feelings is an old survival skill that worked.  To truly process core feelings we need to connect with them 100% and write, cry, scream, talk, moan, run, or even punch (the bag, pillow) them out.

Let’s face it folks some AA, NA members are in the business of invalidation.  These members will always look for the differences instead of the similarities.  Furthermore they will look for the “wrong” in anything you propose to them.  This may work for some people…but blame is a principle of co-dependency not a principle of healing in recovery.

Do I feel dirty, wrong, and bad?  We must not allow our intellect to cloud our fourth step by invalidation.  Admitting core feelings like “bad, dirty, wrong, disgusting, or cheap sounds embarrassing but these are the common human feelings that surface after living an addicted life.  These deep feelings need to come out or they will make us sick.  Let’s face it not only have most of us crossed our own moral boundaries when in addiction but we also have core issues that need addressing from childhood.  Oftentimes adults taught us that we were just plain “wrong” and that we don’t even have a right to be who we are and feel how we feel. 

Remember we in recovery usually reach out for some secondary dependencies or lesser addictions when we get sober.  You won’t hear it talked about in the rooms much but that’ what we do. 

There are two kinds of people in AA those who struggle and admit it and those who struggle and don’t talk about it.  We certainly don’t struggle at all times and we do reach a place of peace if we work the steps but we are never finished doing the work while human and alive.

Do not be too hard on yourself for that is a character defect within itself! Come on folks!  We are all doing the best we can for right now.  From what I have experienced in Narcotics Anonymous the way they sometimes ostracize fellows for secondary addictions it feeds into the sickness of keeping secrets, repressing emotions, and feeds our shame issues.  Some groups forbid members to chair meetings if they are on much needed psyche meds or pain meds even non-narcotic meds.  Intolerance and a lack of acceptance for others and their personal medicinal status is just that…a lack of understanding and empathy.   

In recovery we often struggle with sick relationships (co-dependency), cigarettes, food, sexual promiscuity, anger issues, even your non-narcotic prescription drugs…nevertheless we are doing way better than we were before AA and the 12 steps.  Do not think that your recovery is counterfeit if you struggle with one of these?  Believe me we all struggle at times.  You will find that when one of us overcomes ALL of our little crutches we then become highly judgmental, and our control issues hit their highest peaks.  It’s always something!  Not a justification just fact.  Best we accept ourselves and other as human and remember “OUT OF THE PROBLEM INTO THE SOLUTION”!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer:  Oftentimes people in recovery from addictions, usually men do not need to ever return to a fourth step after doing it once, they don’t need to talk about their feelings, nor do they need an empathic listener.  They are emotionally and spiritually healthy.  These type fellows have either had an intense spiritual healing experience or they have gone to therapy for a year or more and worked through their core emotional issues, or have done both. 

Alcoholism in itself is traumatic experience to our hearts and minds.  My suggestions in the following articles are for those in recovery who have a knowledge of the 12 steps and have had trauma in their past and are in need of an emotional healing from that. 

AA OLD TIMERS

 AA OLD TIMERS

& A LOOK A STEP 12

 

THE CARROT”

It’s the way of some of the AA old-timers to go to an extreme by denying that their emotions exist.  They confuse emotions such as anger or hurt with character defects.  A feeling is not a defect again I say it comes from our heart which is a place of truth.  Actions are the only things that come under the heading of “character defect” .  These old crotchety types will teach the new-comer that crying is self-pity and that expressing hurt from being wronged under any circumstance no matter how horrific is always a character defect in us

POET & SONGWRITER  JOHN MELLENCAMP          EXCERPT FROM “PINK HOUSES”

 “Oh but ain’t that America, for you and me

 Ain’t that America, we’re something to see baby

Ain’t that America, home of the free, yeah

Little pink houses, for you and me,

oh baby for you and me 

Well there’s people and more people

What do they know, know, know

Go to work in some high rise

And vacation down at the Gulf of Mexico

Ooo yeah”

What do we do after we have processed our painful traumatic pasts, we have a new set of friends in AA, we have let our feelings out, talked about them and the circumstances surrounding our feelings, (make no mistake it is vital we express both our feelings and the circumstances that surround them,) we wrote about same, identified & related with others about same, talked about our shame, and thoroughly worked our steps, we have reconnected with God YET we feel bored.   We feel something needs to be done, its as if the spark is gone from our recovery and all we do is work, work, work!  

So, I tell my partner “Partner” I say, “I am bored and feeling unfulfilled because I must work, work, and work some more!”   He says to me; “partner, set your eyes upon the CARROT” .  He jogs my memory by his suggestion.  I had forgotten how valuable the carrot is for me emotionally and how it improves my attitude.  And so I do just that.  I work, work, work, and keep my thoughts on my up and coming “vacation down at the Gulf of Mexico Oh yea!   I pack my camera, my bathing suit, I buy a $3 raft and I am on my way!  Yaay!!  I have worked and I deserve a rest to reflect, revitalize, and remember how good life really is!

And yes, the next paragraph of the song by the way talks about “the pills that kill” but I shall save that for my next article on that and the choice of taking meds for pain, anti-depressants, psych meds etc. while in recovery.  If I can’t go to the gulf then I will go to the local springs or wherever I can get with nature and be refreshed.  I count my blessings and am filled with gratitude when I get close to God’s natural creations and then I do it all over again. 

Step Twelve work gives me a purpose when I share the solutions at meetings.  AAers need to talk about what is going on with them.  It is not our place to shut anyone down who needs to express their emotional pain. Recovery is about learning what to do with our emotions not pretending we don’t have emotions.  Staying in emotional denial feeds anxiety, fear, and secret-keeping.  We are as sick as our secrets and that includes secret emotions.  

It’s the way of some of the old-timers to go to an extreme by denying that their emotions exist.  They confuse emotions such as anger or hurt with character defects.  A feeling is not a defect again I say it comes from our heart which is a place of truth.  Actions are the only things that come under the heading of “character defect” .  These old crotchety types will teach the new-comer that crying is self-pity and that expressing hurt from being wronged under any circumstance no matter how horrific is always a character defect in us.  

Oftentimes alcoholics have been sexually and emotionally abused as children and have never had the chance to express the pain associated with the abuse.  Getting sober will always bring those deep pains to the surface so we need an outlet.  God gave us tears for a reason and crying is absolutely a part of the healthy emotional process.    We who have learned the remedy for addiction share the solutions for the newcomers pain in meetings and that is a twelfth step action.  

 We gain fulfillment by sharing in meeting however it can get old continually  being around negativity especially when we just want to enjoy life and stay on a positive train of thought.  Nothing wrong with taking a break from meetings when we know how to live the program.  

When we vacation down at the Gulf of Mexico we get to go to out-of-town meetings that are new and different.  That in itself is a positive change. 

And so we use the carrot as one of our survival tools for the good life  in recovery.

A THOUGHT: Yep acceptance is a part of healing. Where there is no acceptance there is denial., However denial is also one of the stages of healing. Denial keeps us alive until we are ready to face past traumas and process or cry them out…or scream…or write…or punch the bag.

 

OLDTIMER SNIP

PSYCHIC OR PSYCHOTIC?

Grave emotional and mental disorders

Step Eleven

Spiritual Growth

DSCN3436

PSYCHIC OR PSYCHOTIC?

In “How it works” in the Big Book it says that even those of us who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders can stay sober too.  I do write much about “emotional disorder” as Bill W. mentioned in “How it Works” and the solutions to that. But today I want to tap into the topic of “mental disorders” which our founders mentioned as well. Furthermore I don’t know if anyone has noticed but bi-polar people make up a huge part of our 12 step programs.

What is schizophrenia? I am not so sure weather our schizophrenic fellows are crazy or have actually tapped into a real dimension that most of us never hear or see. I am not a physician therefore medically I am not equipped to give the whole story concerning mental illness. However, I do know people that can hear my own thoughts and I know this beyond a shadow of a doubt. These psychic friends of mine believe that schizophrenics have the ability to hear into other realms and that is what drives them to drink and worse. . Many times we humans label those who are spiritually gifted as “crazy” and “insane”.

We as humans who depend so highly on what we can see with our eyes cannot connect with higher realms unless we close our eyes and develop our “Third eye” the one that does not optically view things but rather shows us visions by our minds eye.
Step Eleven requires that we quiet our minds to the point of open-ness and a child-like hopefulness that we are going to tap into our own supernatural gifts as well as communicate with our higher power.
Step Eleven teaches us that we need to seek through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understand Him. However initially our understanding of God is marred by our emotional issue laced perceptions and an inability to see and hear with our higher mind.

We start by repeating a mantra so we can learn to focus on just one thing.Once we have practiced that for quite some time it is natural for our mind to move into a state of emptiness. Usually when we hit this phase of meditation a door will be presented to us that will appear as a symbol that we are comfortable with which represents our higher being. For me it is usually crosses and triangles that appear surrounded by blackness and stars.
Our door will appear to us usually surrounded by the Earths outer realm called the “In between” which holds other images we won’t want to focus on. And so we maneuver our mind through the door by focusing on it.
From here we can communicate with our higher power. We can astral travel to other realms or times. We can see visions and even great mysteries will be revealed to us.
DOES THIS MEAN WE ARE CRAZY OR DOES IT MEAN WE ARE GROWING SPIRITUALLY?

We are in the care of our Higher Power if we have done our Step Three therefore we need not fear the many different realms that may be dangerous or evil. I always pull out of any places that seem spiritually dangerous to me. Everything we need to seek and find God we already have within us.

MANKIND WILL ALWAYS TRY TO PUT SPIRITUALITY INTO A BOX LABELLED CARNALITY, meaning mankind tends to apply his/her own character defects to his spirituality. But don’t be too hard on us we can’t help it. I am sure you will see some prime examples of this in my own writings, I am not “all spiritual” and my mistakes do not stop me from continuing my writing and fighting the good fight.

If we do our Step Ten regularly and keep our side of the street clean we will be less likely to look for someone to blame and something to control. Not everything as a matter of fact very little is under our control therefore trying to keep things under control is as futile as thinking that we as the chairperson in AA control the meeting. Of this we are but facilitators just as we are only facilitators of our own actions and nothing more. Realizing this takes a huge burden off our shoulders.We sigh with relief because we need not judge anyone as “crazy” including ourselves.

We are not responsible for the human race we are only responsible for “me

STEP FIVE Alcoholics Anonymous (1)

SELF-LOATHING

SOBRIETY SABOTAGE

STEP 5 AA

STEP FIVE-There is a huge difference between the healthy emotional processes of steps 4 & 5 versus struggling for unattainable perfection, failing to live up to it then relentlessly beating ourselves to a pulp in our heart and mind for our guilt.

It is flawed thinking to surmise that somehow if we flog ourselves enough for our perceived imperfection THEN we will be good and acceptable to our Lord and our fellows.    The pure and anointed process God has set down to relieve our guilt by confession (or fifth step as we label it in AA) works famously to relieve self-hate.   The trouble is most self-haters don’t realize that it is themselves that they hate.  Because of our ability to survive emotionally we put blame quickly into action.  Then it becomes the world’s fault that we are miserable.  Oh well….no not “oh well”, this emotional survival process that so many of us humans engage in of blinding our self-awareness is at the core of every sick murderous and violent act against mankind that we can imagine.  Plainly said, blame is at the core of our worlds straying from Love.WE, THE CHILDREN OF A CREATOR ABSOLUTELY DO NOT HAVE THE INALIENABLE RIGHT TO CONDEMN OR PUNISH OURSELVES or anyone else. The decision to punish or not to punish lies in the realm of our Higher Power and the law.   Furthermore it is a common and subconscious illusion that self-abuse will render us pure and perfect…probably rooted in childhood punishments.  Interestingly my spiritual teacher whom was a missionary, a reverend, a grandmother, and a friend once informed me that “there is a counterfeit for every spiritual principal in existence on our Earth”.  Surely our former destructive methods of cleansing ourselves by self-abuse (even when it is done subconsciously) is surely the counterfeit of the pure and enlightening act of confession or “Step Five”.  And if your a religious human who prays often.  Do not be fooled by merely confessing all your wrongs to God and leaving out the “human” angle.  There will be little humility gained by confessing faults only to God.  This keeps false pride and sick secrets snugly in place in our hearts.  Confessing to a human and God are both vital to recovery.

Step Eleven

STEP ELEVEN AND NATURE

GREAT PLACE TO DO STEP ELEVEN MEDITATION, AT THE BEACH, OR AT A CHURCH THAT HAS A GROTTO.

Step Eleven in the Big Book can be done at a deep level or a very shallow one.  Find a place in nature to sit still and seep your Higher Power with your heart.  Prayer and meditation are so beneficial to anyone trying to stay sober.  Only God can heal a broken heart by His mighty Spirit.  Labels are not important.  God looks upon the heart.

HOW TO MEDITATE   

This is one of the few posts that has copyright laws in place.  It was taken from the the book “PARADISE FOR THE HELLBOUND” BY Laura R. Edgar  You are welcome to copy it but please remember to give credit to the writer.  Thank you

 

“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”

 

The places that I go during meditation are a “secret place” where God abides where it is just He (She,It,The I Am) and I.

 

I start by finding a quiet serene place away from distractions.  I light a candle and drink some water sometimes I light incense.  Often I use my favorite precious stones/crystals as listed in Revelation chapter 21:10-21 to aid in my meditation, Jasper stone sapphire, chalcedony, emerald, sardonyx, sardius, chrysolite, beryl, topaz, chrysoprasus, jacinth, and amethyst.  John the Revelator who wrote the Book of Revelation mentions all these stones as “most precious”.  Sometimes I put a stone on my forehead or my throat.  There are seven spots on the human body believed by many through the ages to be centers of spiritual power or energy power points of my body.  My body is the temple of God and the stones are most precious therefore, I do not accept that using such sacred and natural objects to seek God is evil or witchcraft.  I believe using crystals just makes for a stronger connection to the beyond.  They are tools like many other tools used by man to aid in spiritual exercises.  Such as anointing oil, prayer cloths, crosses, statues, etc.  The goal is to empty my mind so I can hear God’s direction and receive whatever blessings await me supernaturally.

 

Lying down with my crystals on or around me I consider my most recent interactions with people because these thoughts are usually foremost in my mind.  After processing my interactions if need be I clear up any guilt or shame by repentance and plan my amends if merited.  Once I have cleared my conscience I spread my arms and invite Jesus and the Holy Spirit in, I pray for God to help me meditate.  I ask God that I may His will and to bestow upon me the power to do His will.  If I fear Satan or his demons, I pray the protection of the blood of Christ.  I then pray the Lords prayer visualizing every sentence in my mind.  I picture God in Heaven; I picture His kingdom alive in me and on Earth and so on.  When my mind drifts toward worries of this world I reel it back in and start again, each sentence of the Lords Prayer can be visualized.  I picture myself kneeling in front of the throne of God as I pray the Lords prayer.  I may have to reel my mind in several times to get to the end of the mantra.  The key is perseverance to make my mind stay focused on the prayer mantra.

 

I remember when I first started practicing meditation, as I laid still I felt such horrible energy clawing inside me.  Candidly put it felt like I had an alien or demon inside my body.  It was so hard to be still with no chaos or confusion to distract me from my feelings.  I pressed on sometimes I had to moan to release the energy inside my body.  Sometimes memories came up that needed to be resolved or processed.  I use the exercises of writing and sharing when this happens.  Meditation will give you the self-knowledge to clear up emotional issues and clear up your chakras.

 

I practiced meditation like this for quite some time until I was able with God’s help to clear my mind of all clutter and noise quickly and easily.  When my mind became quiet, I began to have visions and travel to beautiful, exciting places.  After a couple years of practice, I travelled to a place during meditation where I met my spirit guides.  My Guides are a group of beings whose purpose is to help me fulfill the will of God in my life.  My Spirit Guides are appointed by God to make my life easier and more fulfilling.  We all have them though most people do not stop and seek long enough to meet them.

 

I practice meditation as often as I want.  It is best for me if I do it on a regular basis.  If I get away from it for a while, it takes time to clear the clutter and noise from my mind to get back to a quiet mind.  When I let up on meditation, I tend to become more worrisome, agitated, and impatient.  I react to people abruptly and have less self-restraint and control.  When I let up on meditation, I may become fearful again.  It is amazing how much it benefits me when I lie on my bed, spread my arms, and show God all of my heart.  Meditation is communing with God.  Meditation is listening to God.  Meditation is seeking God at a higher level.

 

First Corinthians 1:9

“God [is] faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.”

 

Remember the only explanation we have of why we were created is to commune with God.  Meaning to glorify Him, to praise him, to cry to Him and to listen and talk to Him.

 

Let Him get to know you at a deeper level.   We will never be free of human nature while we are human.  It is ok that we are not perfect before God.  We can still approach Him dragging our guilt and shame behind us.  I notice many times when I get close to God in this way it provokes crying and then I feel such relief from stress and worry.

 

Meditation starts with being able to focus on one thing, the mantra.  Then the next phase you will notice with your minds eye is the presence of a black space or black energy this is the place of doors, windows and who knows what all.  There is nothing for us in that region of black except the doors God is pleased to let us walk through.  Let your mind travel past the dark into the lighted visions of beauty and Hope.

 

Once you allow yourself to take time and seek God in this way, your astral-travel will come naturally.  Just as a child learns to walk, we can learn to travel with our higher awareness one-step at a time.

 

Supernatural travel starts in the black…  I want to call that black “outer space” but It may be a place of consciousness void of actual physical “space” by our earthly terms however it looks like dark outer space.  I usually see crosses and triangles in the black, which represent my own personal symbols of Christ and religion.  The triangle is about fellowship, unity, and sharing what God has done for me.  You will probably see something similar that has meaning for you in that place.  These shapes are somehow the door which I pass through into other realms.  Focus on your door then allow your mind to move on from there. You will not have to travel through the black darkness to get to the light it is more as if you hit hyper-drive into God’s realm in a split second once you find your personal door.

 

Sometimes I fall asleep during meditation that is good I must have needed the rest.


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 THIS MIGHT BE A KAPOK TREE

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 GREAT PLACE TO DO STEP ELEVEN MEDITATION, AT THE BEACH, OR AT A CHURCH THAT HAS A GROTTO.

 

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DSCN3408RecoveryFarmhouse.com all right reserved, “Paradise for the Hellbound” copyright, Laura R. Edgar 2003copyright

 

 

How do we increase our Faith?

 FAITH

SPIRITUAL GROWTH

step eleven

Increase faith

STEP ELEVEN  If we don’t communicate with God then how will our faith ever be increased past the initial morsel that is given to us at the dawn of our lives?  “Each man is given a measure of faith” so it is written in the Holy Bible.    

Some manage to increase their faith when going through trials at which time they pray and ask God for a safe outcome to the adversity they are facing.  I am guessing that not everyone reaches out to a Higher Power when facing adversity but apparently many do since the act has a label called “foxhole prayers”.   For those of us that do pray, when the outcome does turn out as we requested we are blessed to have our faith increased.  And when the outcome does not go our way we just reason out that the answer from God was a “no”.

But surely we can have our faith increased by other means besides foxhole prayers.  One way to do that is by meditation as suggested in Step Eleven.  Meditation is a quieting of the mind in an effort to seek out and become closer to our Higher Power.  Meditation will increase our faith, tolerance, and patience if by nothing more than training ourselves to be still. 

It’s 12 step appropriate to start our meditation with a prayer to “improve our conscious contact with God as we understand God praying for the knowledge of His, (Her, It’s) will for us and the power to carry that out.  Some people pray to be protected during their meditation.  Seems a little strange that we would need protection while embarking on a spiritual exercise to seek our Higher Power (the next right thing) but here’s the reasoning behind it. 

It’s a fact that most humans use very little of their brains…10% is the common number.  It has been shown by MRI result that those who meditate have light in parts of their brain that those who don’t meditate do not have.  So who can say what could happen during meditation in the way of astral-travel, data collection, visions, possible alien encounters, dream-travel and so-on that’s why a little prayer to our Higher Power for protection can’t hurt.  

Hypothetically some people have faith enough or a lack thereof that they don’t fear any aspects of meditation therefore have no need to ask for protection.  Clarification-total lack of faith in God would dictate that meditation will get us nowhere except to places within our own mind.   Or thinking could be that if astral-travel is possible the universe is made up of nothing but pleasant fluffy fairy beings that dance to and fro and that even the word “supernatural” equals Love and goodness so there’s no need for protection prayers. 

Alternatively belief in the supernatural and a faith in God implies that there are evil spiritual beings as well as good and that these evil entities, perhaps demons would do harm to us if they had half a chance.  Some Christians for instance believe that deep meditation can open a person up to evil.  However given that knowledge a person with a strong faith will know that they are protected and safe during meditation. 

Some of us were raised by parents who glorified and gave more credence to the evil and scary supernatural power of Satan than the supernatural and miraculous power of a good and righteous God and so we pray for protection when we endeavor on our supernatural quest to find a deeper connection with God.  

What other ways are there to increase our faith besides communication with our Higher Power?  We who are in the program of AA and NA are blessed and present to watch those who come in after us broken and afraid.  We then see them restored to not only sanity, but to health and happiness in a miraculous way due to the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and its members. 

This experience also increases our faith and warms our hearts.

 

 

 

SPONSORSHIP & A LUST FOR POWER & CONTROL

SPONSORSHIP

SELF-ESTEEM

THE 12 TRADITIONS

TRADITION 2

“For out group purpose there is but one ultimate authority-a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience.  Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern., 

 

Sponsorship & a lust for power & control can go hand in hand if we are not carefully self-aware.  Sin is an uncomfortable word for many addicts probably because of being judged harshly by religious people in our past.  After all, power over others can be very seductive and addicting.  We need to be very careful and stay mindful of this when we sponsor newcomers.  Being an authority in a church has its own sinful temptations, and pitfalls such as the obsession to control others.  

Usurping authority over others, and the elation we humans often get when we are allowed to manage another person’s life is often downright luscious to our flesh.   The desire to play God is the exact reason why our early founders of Alcoholics Anonymous set up the 12 traditions the way they did.  Bill W.  and the rest of the early members knew that power corrupts and that if addicts got a taste of power it would be all she wrote for AA.  

Greed and the lust for money are right up there with the hunger for control and authority.  It is written in the Bible that; “The Love of money is the root of much evil.”  This scripture gets mis-quoted probably more than any.   It’s the “Love “of money rather than the Love of God which turns our insides into a den of thieves and makes us sick.   One solution for these greedy & selfish fear based character flaws are to realize that we aren’t trusting God when we struggle for more, more, more and simple giving. 

To combat greed we give away something that we absolutely do not want to give away like a hundred dollar bill or something we covet.  Giving away what we covet takes sins power and smashes it into smithereens.  It also frees us from our own fears that drive us to selfishness.    Giving away something we value or covet will curtail possibly even cure our greed.  Giving away that which we don’t want that bad anyway won’t work in the same way. 

It’s a spiritual law that is obvious to the spiritually minded furthermore Jesus spoke about this Karmic law  in the New Testament when a ruler asked Him how or what he needed to do to have eternal life.  The man was very rich and Jesus suggested to him that he give all his material possessions away and follow Him. (Luke 18:22)  I believe the ruler walked away saddened by the instructions unable to carry the directions out.  

We also need to firstly not hand over our power by asking others to make our decisions or take on our responsibilities and second we should never tell our sponcee’s what they must do.  Our sponcee’s are sick and they oftentimes will want to turn over their power of choice to someone of authority like a sponsor.  No doubt if we start making their choices for them at some point the power they gave us will get snatched back and we will be left wondering why we feel like crap.  Not to mention when the choices we have made for them don’t turn out well we will become their beast of blame.  Best we help them by going over their options, possibilities, and then they can make an educated choice and reap their own consequences called self-esteem and confidence.

AT A YEAR SOBER WE ASK; WHATS WRONG WITH ME????

STEP THREE….LETTING GO & LETTING GOD

AT A YEAR SOBER WE ASK; WHATS WRONG WITH ME????

 Real Recovery doesn’t always feel or look like quality sobriety

“If anybody knew how I really felt inside they would know that I am not doing well in my recovery. I feel like something is wrong with me. I must be doing something wrong! I am sober but I am depressed, I am sober but I still have anxiety attacks. I mustn’t tell anyone how I feel or they will know I am not really emotionally sober. I don’t have quality recovery how could I if I did I would not feel like this.”Hmm??? Ever hear anybody share the above statements in a meeting? Most likely you answered no. However the above scenarios show the way that many addicts think and feel even though they have worked the steps and regularly work steps ten through twelve.WHY????????????

First let’s define this type of thinking and what it’s connected to in us. Let’s explore the dreaded word, feeling, and thought called “SHAME”. Alcoholism & addiction have been explored and painstakingly researched by many experts who have finally defined addiction as a “shame based disease”.In the Big Book it is written that alcohol is but a symptom of an underlying problem. And that we alcoholics suffer from spiritual and emotional maladies. So what is this underlying malady and how do I fix it? In “How it Works” it is written that some of us suffer from “grave emotional disorders”. It says that those who suffer from these disorders can also get better and stay sober. Well guess what ALL ADDICTS AND ALCOHOLICS SUFFER FROM EMOTIONAL DISORDER in my opinion. It takes some serious open-mindedness and lots of journaling, meetings, therapy, working with a sponsor, prayer and meditation to get in touch with and admit to ourselves our underlying malady of shame.Shame tells us that we are not worthy of a Higher Powers Love. Shame tells us that we don’t deserve anything good. Shame tells us that we are bad, wrong, evil, and that we must keep who we are a secret or we will never have anything we want or need. Starting the day from the platform of shame blocks us off from so many good and spiritual things. It causes us to have to justify and defend ourselves. It causes us to be in defensive mode. It shuts us off from Love. Shame shuts us off from God even in our prayers we block off certain parts of our heart hiding parts of us from our Higher Power in hopes that even He, It, She will Love us if we pretend to be someone we are not.
What’s the solution?

We must first realize that we are human and we will never be perfect as long as we are human so we can never ever approach God as a perfect and totally worthy person. We must quit hiding and keeping secrets from God and man.
ACTION:

We should lay on the bed or floor stretch our arms out as far as we can to our sides focus on God and expose all of our heart to God. We should approach our Higher Power in all honesty and transparency and say; “here I am just as I am, I want a relationship with You I need your help.”

We are our Higher Powers creation and we were created INCOMPLETE that’s why we feel so incomplete. Not because we are bad, wrong, unworthy etc. but because that’s the way we were made. We are only complete & fulfilled when we exercise an ongoing relationship with our creator. Fulfillment, enlightenment, encouragement, comfort, and healing are some of the things we get from opening up to our creator. That’s why the steps work, they show us how to have a spiritual connection with our creator.

WE ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO FEEL GOOD ALL THE TIME
even when working the steps correctly, we were not created that way. It doesn’t mean something is horribly wrong with us.
So, we acknowledge and honor our feelings no matter what they are and we continue on with our daily lives in spite of them. We don’t let our feelings create Kayos in our minds. “THE

NEGATIVE THOUGHTS THAT ATTACH THEMSELVES TO MY FEELINGS ARE NOT FACTS.” FEELINGS themselves ARE FACTS because they are very real to us and come from our hearts experiences. It’s the thoughts that get us in trouble. If we don’t honor our feelings and journal them, talk about them then we are dishonoring and invalidating who we are. Our unhappy feelings come from somewhere real and often times we need to do some crying, some screaming (not at anyone) some beating the bed with our fists to get these intense feelings out in a healthy way so they don’t come out sideways at other people.
Addictions spell emotional trauma and that trauma needs an outlet. Emotional trauma does not have to mean that we were abused as children by adults. Emotional trauma can result from emotional neglect and a lack of nurturing as children. Deep hurts from rejection and abandonment don’t go away just because we are grown. We usually blame other people for the way we feel we are confused because other people trigger intense feelings (from past events) that live in us. Blaming others for the way we feel gives us temporary relief but will never ever help us heal.

All humans have a capacity to be hurt emotionally by others, if we do not have a healthy outlet for hurt it will evolve into anger and continue to live inside us until we connect with it and express it in a healthy non-attacking way.
When deep emotional hurt does not have an outlet it turns to anger which in turn can evolve into rage.

Depression is anger without enthusiasm
it happens when we are just too worn down by our own anger & we haven’t the energy to be angry anymore. We have not processed our anger we have merely changed our focus so the anger evolves into depression.
ACTION: Putting our emotions in order by talking about our feelings with someone who won’t shut us down and will be empathic is healing. Journaling is healing, moaning in guttural sounds to let hurts out is healing. Putting on our shoes and getting out of the house to do 12 step work or meetings is healing. Crying is healing. Screaming when we hurt so bad emotionally that words will not suffice is healing.

WE DO NOT RAMBLE ABOUT HOW BAD OTHER PEOPLE ARE AND WHAT THEY DID TO US UNLESS IT’S ON PAPER. WE ONLY NEED TO SAY IT ONCE OUTLOAD, IN A MEETING AND AGAIN TO OUR SPONSOR OR EMPATHIC LISTENER. It’s the talking about “how it made me feel” that heals us. It made me feel worthless for example or it made me feel dirty etc.
I am talking about healing core issues that are the cause of our relentless effort to numb out our feelings and our life. But let’s face it had we really wanted to be dead we would have gone through with suicide. What we really want is balanced and orderly emotions not lack of emotions.

We woman will die if we don’t talk about the way we feel. Criticizing others, character assassination and living in blame are character defects that we should not confuse with the expression it takes for healthy emotional order.

ACTION: What about anxiety? The fourth step in the Big Book has an exercise called the “fear list”. We write down all our core fears, we explore them.

REMEMBER FEARS COME FROM OUR HEART AND DO NOT HAVE TO BE LOGICAL. Just because our mind knows we don’t have to fear something if our heart fears it we should recognize it and honor it. Furthermore we should not let our shame throw us into the deep river of denial. Our fears need expression if we want to stop the anxiety attacks. So we write all our fears down and consider them. We realize we are not trusting God and that our faith is sometimes little if we are in fear. So rather than sticking our fear in the “denial box” we stick it in the “God Box”. We then ask God to remove our fears and help us to rely on him, it, or her.
Anxiety is intense fear that we have buried rather than expressing it, perhaps it’s a fear associated with trauma. After all who wants to be labelled “chicken shit”, “spiritually unfit” or other judgmental words to label he who has fear? But guess what? Every human on the face of the earth has fear it’s just learning how to express it and taking action in spite of it that turns it into courage or emotional growth. Intense fears need to be expressed and released (not dwelled on) so they don’t live in us and turn into intense anxiety.

THOUGHT PROVOKING QUESTIONS: Why is screaming a natural response to intense fear? Screaming releases boatloads of endorphins and is a solution to fear. Why do some soldiers come back from the war with PTSD and others don’t who have the exact same experiences? Because often times we were taught that our expressions of fear and hurt and anger are wrong, bad, weak, stupid, ugly, disgusting etc. We were taught that our healthy emotional expression was wrong by some adult when we were very young and so we believed them and we became ashamed and shut down our own healthy emotional process.
What’s the solution to emotional disorder? Drinking and drugging of course! Yes I am serious. What happens when drinking and drugging quits working because of the consequences? Find a way to express and process our emotions in a healthy non-attacking, non-hurtful, non-destructive way.

God gave us vocal cords for a reason we can either save our face or save our ass! It’s time to let the emotional child within us out of the box so she, he can have a half way decent recovery.
Disclaimer: I own two supernatural boxes. One is called the “GOD BOX” the other is called the “DENIAL BOX”. I have and do use both.
 

 

 

Early Recovery topics “The good is the enemy of the best”

HOW IT WORKS & WHY IT WORKS

NINETY MEETINGS IN NINETY DAYS

Early Recovery topics

Recovery sabotage… is very common in early recovery and happens more often than not.  Let’s face it, most of us have tried and tried again to stay sober with many failed attempts.  Each failure we beat our self-image to a pulp and leave our self-esteem in the gutter. 

“Recovery ain’t for sissies” they say, but hey, screw that!  We are not sissies!  Nor are we “bad people” who make a conscious effort to hurt our loved ones and ourselves by our addictions.  We are sick people trying to get well!

Therefore folks, it helps to know one of the most insidious sub-conscious sabotage techniques that our addict mind uses to keep us sick.  The good IS the enemy of the best.  In early recovery ninety meetings in ninety days is a must.  We know that we should take this suggestion because it worked for so many people in the rooms that have multiple years sober. 

Usually what happens is we get a couple weeks sobriety under our belt and we are living responsibly so we miss meetings to do some “good” thing such as…take our children to the fair because we have neglected giving them attention and time for so long.  Or we might finally get a job and put that before our daily meeting.  Or maybe we are finally getting some work done around the house that we have procrastinated on for years.  Perhaps we are finally considering visiting our parents to tell them how good we are doing now.

These types of tasks are the only ones that can logically pull us away from meetings because we can justify that they are “good tasks”  “responsible activities” and we are doing the “right thing” by putting them before our meetings. ……….NOT!

The thing is if we do not attend the ninety meetings in ninety days our new-found responsible behavior will quickly fall by the wayside.  To build a truly responsible life, one of which we are no longer hurting ourselves emotionally, beating down our self-esteem and destroying our relationships we must stay sober.  And to stay sober we must build a foundation in recovery by attending allot of meetings initially.  Why??? 

  1. To build relationships with sober friends. 
  2. To build new habits and behavior patterns. 
  3. To learn the solutions for emotional meltdowns. 
  4. To establish a knowledge of the Big Book.
  5. To get a sponsor and work the steps. 

Put it this way my sacred and lovely fellow addicts who deserve a kick-ass & wonderful life.   Our brain needs a new program, it needs re-wired.   Rewiring of the brain is absolutely possible and it does happen allot but it takes installing a new program and the download time for the sober program is lengthy. 

The initial download for the installation of a sober brain is ninety days of daily meetings.  After that you can cut down to four meetings a week if you like.  Then somewhere during that four meetings a week if we work the 12 steps including a fifth step with a sponsor we will no longer view meetings and the program as a pain in the ass.  Fulfillment and enlightenment will occur along with an amazing psychic change and we will take hold of the solutions to addiction by doing them.

So when we have a “good” and “responsible” task that we think is best to put before our meetings; buyer beware!  It could be our addict mind cunningly and insidiously plotting our demise!  After all, we are too smart to fall for missing a vital life changing meeting just so we can watch Netflix or take out the garbage.

 Footnote:  Bill W. said “the good is the enemy of the best” somewhere in our AA literature.  I will confirm at a later date.  If you have the info please post it below.

A Little Apology

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To all registered readers of Recovery Farmhouse we want to apologize for a horrible glitch that was in the website.   Due to super-slow load time on header pictures we have discontinued the social “share” buttons for Facebook, Google, etc.  

So sorry you guys had to suffer through such slow loading times YIKES!   Blame it on procrastination we were duck hunting!  We are recovering addicts too and took way too long to straighten it out.  

Anyway, until we can identify a plugin that won’t slow down the system there will not be any “share buttons” on the site.

Thank you readers you are awesome!  We Love you!  Sincerely Recovery Farmhouse.

Are our animals simply pets or are they Ordained & Anointed Ministers?

 SPIRITUAL PETS?

RECOVERY

PROVIDENCE

Are our pets ordained by God sent directly to us from heaven?  Perhaps they are reincarnated x-humans who are doing penance.  Perhaps we ourselves have a ministerial calling of sorts and our pets are one of our allotted spiritual tools to help keep our attitude and spirits positive.  Maybe our little fury friends signed a heavenly contract with us when we where in heaven still Spirit to encourage us to keep on keep-in’ on.We should be sure to remember that these creatures are capable of Loving unconditionally like few others can.  This in itself begs the question; are they actually higher spiritual beings than we assume.Twelve step work deploys us in a direction of helping and encouraging the still suffering alcoholic and addict.   However, we need a dose of love and encouragement ourselves if we are to continue comforting others with a positive attitude and so our little dogs get us up and out on walks through the paths of the Earths natural beauty.Our pets jump on our bellies in the morning with their dogie or kittie smile just to wake us up to start the brand new day.   They make us smile.  

It has been proven by psychological studies that people with animals live longer.  When we pet our little friend they pull affection out of us which magically returns to us in a good way.

Giving is always better than receiving even if we cannot understand how, perhaps when we pet our little begging animal it is an act of giving and our spiritual Karma is refreshed and renewed.And so the great mysteries of spirituality should never ever be boxed into carnal ideals.  Meaning all of the above is very possible