Its been several years since I updated this site. Last December I got caught taking something at the store without paying for it. I came pretty close to getting arrested. Luckily my angels were looking out for me. I took $89 dollars worth of stuff and the security guard took pity on me. I don’t do drugs or alcohol or normally shoplift. I went in front of the judge got a $600 fine and did community service. The community service was good for me because it opened my eyes to work, which I had avoided all my life. I did 3 hours and I said to myself “No wonder my sister is jealous of me!” It was a wake up call. I am back on track and starting meetings again. I still live at the same place, I am still loved and I still have food, shelter and transportation.
LIFE IS LIKE A ROAD
You start your journey on the road helpless and unable to walk, with time you travel down it with others. Sometimes you carry baggage with you, and sometimes you pick things off the road you don’t need.
There are milestones and signs and sometimes you don’t know where to turn. Sometimes the road is uphill and rocky and unpaved, but there is comfort when you look for it.
Loved ones leave you, and others take their place. Your determination and drive help you move, and faith is the key that opens the door to enlightenment.
When others leave you in the road of life, there may be no answer why, be mindful the idea is to rely on God and stand firm with your convictions.
When you do leave the baggage and are willing to learn, great things are ahead of you.
God did not promise an easy life, but he did promise a future and hope.
One step at a time and take it slow, it goes by quicker than you think.
RAY OF HOPE
When the clouds are dark and there seems no way out. A ray of hope shines through the clouds like an unexpected gift. I am reminded that forgiving myself and becoming a new being is like a butterfly coming out of a cocoon. Clearing the wreckage of my past and being in the here and now, accepting I have made mistakes and becoming willing to be part of the solution. I am worth the time and effort to help myself, and that I can help others. Rainbows remind me of the promise made long ago. That we are protected by God and He sees us all as equals and loves us all. A deep love that is with us when we believe that we all deserve to have love and to give it.
This is a poem I wrote early in recovery:
I sit here by myself thinking, where do I fit in, am I a misfit, or a loner? Then I remind myself a group of misfits are not alone. A tiny piece of puzzle in the wrong box is still colorful. I do not wish to be a judge, your past behavior does not define who you are now. Growth is gradual and my eyes have been open to new ideas and thinking. Shed off your old self to reveal the butterfly inside. Belonging is part of our Humanity, there are tribes, clans and support groups. God has provided for me well, and I still worry. I am grateful for my support and my faith which has kept me alive. Be optimistic about life and love and don’t take life too seriously.
I see a lot of people who need a lot of help when they join the program. Some don’t change, but struggle and often drop out of the program. I found that there is usually a way to find free therapy and most people are unwilling to find help for mental health issues. Even without addiction problems a lot of issues can be dealt with proper medication. I know that the meds are not a cure-all or will change someone without their participation in the process. I see a lot of people fall through the cracks and riding public transportation I see a lot of people who don’t even consider they need help. I found for myself the hardest thing for me was to reach out and say I can’t do this myself. Western culture has put an emphasis on self reliance. The notion a person can do things on their own and stand firm without anyone else. No man is an island and most everyone can use a good therapist. I found that since I have joined I haven’t been as prone to find books on self help that don’t serve me. I was always looking for the secret to happiness. I know that the basis of my unhappiness is stubbornness. When I did my fourth steps I realized how much I needed to let go of. I still have things that I haven’t let go of but awareness is the beginning of change. Without my willingness to change and becoming teachable I will not progress in my recovery.
i read somewhere the best way to teach is to model good behavior. Actions speak louder than words. A good example of this is when a friend of Yolanda’s daughter Tanner was rude to me. I caught myself being rude back. I decided that this wasn’t accomplishing what I desired. I want him to act appropriately and me reacting to his rudeness by mirroring his behavior won’t change him. I then compromise myself by acting like a kid. I know that my default age is around 5 and I am catching myself acting immaturely. Now that I live with a group with various ages and some people older than me are emotionally immature. I strive to keep my sanity and do the next right thing. The only person I can change (with God’s help) is myself. The only person I am responsible for is me. I can’t change others but I can stop reacting to events that I find unacceptable. Without the program I would have never thought of these things or came to the conclusion that I need to grow up. One time my mom asked me about the 12 step program. I said it changed me and she said didn’t God do it, and I replied the program helped me find God.
If nothing changes, nothing changes.
I come to the point where I feel like “What is the use, I don’t care anymore.” Another one is “I don’t need recovery, I think I will be alright without it.” When I stop doing what helps me, it sets me up for another relapse. At one time I had 18 months of continued abstinence. When my sponsor decided to fire me for not doing what I was told it was a wake up call. I know I am capable of putting days together. Of course one can have sobriety and a person can have no recovery. The term dry drunk refers to a person who quit the behavior but hasn’t changed.
How do you deal with change in your life? Do you punch and fight, wallowing in that place where you stay shocked and unhappy or afraid, or do you accept change with grace acknowledging that things are not always as we think they should be?
It all boils down to an issue of control. You cannot control everything that happens in your life and things don’t always go as planned or expected. When you loosen the grasp for control of the uncontrollable, you can learn to ride the waves of change with more ease. You can be disappointed with certain changes, but you can learn to accept that disappointment.
How can this be done? Separate your feelings from your response to them says Chris Colin at YogaJournal.com. “By distinguishing your core emotions from those that pile on afterward, you don”t limit your emotional life; on the contrary, you unclutter it. It”s the clutter that leads you away from your true experience and into murkier territory.”
One thing that is good to remember is that the Self remains unchanged throughout whatever changes you may be experiencing in your daily living. Yoga, meditation and pranayama remind us that there is a part of us that is unchanging, peaceful and joyous. Centering on this and accepting the impermanence of all things can allow you to ride the storm a bit easier.
Next time you feel anxious or overwhelmed by an unexpected change, step back with your awareness and take a few deep breaths. Remember all things are impermanent and let go of attachments or expected desires. Acknowledge your core feelings and find acceptance.
One great asset being online is the speaker tapes. What I do is go to a search engine and type AA speaker tapes. There are some free downloads and some sites that ask for money. I stick with the free ones and they are helpful. I don’t agree with some people who speak sometimes, but the idea is to keep an open mind and see what I can learn from them. All 12 step programs have websites that I am aware of and they can help to connect you with books and ways to connect with others if you can’t get to a meeting. OA and SAA both have phone meetings. If you would like to talk to me on the phone, which I will be happy to do email me and I will give you my phone number. firstname.lastname@example.org
I have used this site to get to know the big book better. I want to use it more and I hope it helps you also.