Linda G December 23, 2015 One Day at a Time in Al-Anon, Courage To Change, Hope For Today, Beside Blessings

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Linda G December 23, 2015 One Day at a Time in Al-Anon, Courage To Change, Hope For Today, Beside Blessings

ldgorham
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One Day at a Time in Al-Anon
Setting our goals too high can lead to frustration and worse. The perfectionist, clinging stubbornly to her ideas of what life ought to be, often has difficulty grasping both the acceptance and detachment elements of the Al-Anon program. She demands too much of herself and of the alcoholic partner.
This compulsive drive for perfection--and unrealistic idealism--can be a neurotic symptom as difficult to deal with as the alcoholic's compulsion to drink. It makes big problems out of the little ones, increases our despair when things don't work out as we hope they will and hampers us in coming to terms with the life has it is.
Today's Reminder
I will learn to yield a little here and there and accept what I may be impelled to challenge and resist. I will try to achieve a balanced kind of detachment which is not abandonment of or disinterest in the alcoholic, but a decision not to let myself be touched too deeply by happenings that are essentially unimportant.
"To adapt ourselves with the quiet mind to what is possible and attainable, therein lies happiness."
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Courage To Change
I went to my first Al-Anon meeting because I wanted to show my support for a close friend who was a member. To my surprise, I found myself identifying with almost everyone who shared. I couldn't understand it--I was positive that I didn't even know any alcoholics! For weeks I kept remembering what I had heard in that meeting, and finally, timidly, I returned, and I stayed.
But I felt like an imposter every time I heard the Third Tradition, which states, "The only requirement for membership is that there be a problem of alcoholism in a relative or friend." This guilt made it almost impossible for me to share in meetings. But I kept coming back, and slowly I began to feel better.
It took me over a year to realize that I was an adult child of alcoholic parents. I am so grateful that I was given the time and the support to come to this awareness when I was ready.
Today's Reminder
One of the signs that I have been affected by alcoholism is that I think I know what everyone else should do. As Al-Anon's Twelve Steps & Twelve Traditions explains, Tradition Three speaks directly to those of us "who mistakenly feel a newcomer should be rejected when, actually, he or she does meet a condition for membership." I must decide for myself whether I fit the requirement for Al-Anon membership. I will extend the same courtesy to others.
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Hope For Today
During the past two years, I had to work with the senior-level administrator and alternately felt intimidated or furious at functions we attended together. I took personally everything he said or did not say. I believed he constantly attacked or minimized my beliefs and feelings. Obviously, I had a major problem because I had to be in his company every day.
By placing principles above personalities, has suggested in Tradition Twelve, I learned not to react to everything this man said and did. After a year of really paying attention, one day at a time, to my feelings, attitudes, and behaviors when I was around him, I began to feel better. I shared about my struggle of meetings and with my sponsor. I began to let go of caring what this coworker thought of me. I stopped trying to make him into a person I could like and started accepting him for the person he was.
I would not want this person as a friend, but I do need to work with him as a professional. I don't like him, and the Twelfth Tradition has taught me that this is my right. However, in order to practice the Al-Anon program, I treat him with the same courtesy and respect I would like him to give me, regardless of whether or not he gives it. I let it begin with me and act rather than react.
My workday is much more calm today. At times my coworker's behavior still irritates me, but I can let go of my annoyance much more quickly. My level of acceptance profoundly impacts my serenity.
Thought for the Day
Placing principles above personalities frees me from reacting and restores my self-respect.
"When we commit ourselves to . . . placing principles above personalities, we choose a path of personal integrity . . ."
How Al-Anon Works for Families & Friends of Alcoholics, p. 123
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Beside Blessings
If we would ask more, we would have more. But because we don't ask, we don't have. I wonder how many wonderful gifts are left wrapped in heaven because they were never asked to be unwrapped on earth? They just remain there, unasked for.
You do not have because you do not ask.
James 4:2
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Linda Gorham Yankton South Dakota
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Re: Linda G December 23, 2015 One Day at a Time in Al-Anon, Courage To Change, Hope For Today, Beside Blessings

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Re: Linda G December 23, 2015 One Day at a Time in Al-Anon, Courage To Change, Hope For Today, Beside Blessings

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