One Day at a Time in Al-Anon
This year is a book of clean blank pages on which I will write a record of my experiences and my growth through the daily use of the Al-Anon idea. I turn to Al-Anon has a last resort because I was living with a problem that was too much for me. I know I can deal with this problem through applying Al-Anon to myself, to my thoughts and my actions, every day. If I allow myself to be influenced by what the alcoholic says and does, it will make blots and smears on the pages of my year. This I will try to avoid at all costs.
I can live my life only one day at a time. Perhaps my confusion and despair are so great that I will have to take it one hour at a time, or one minute at a time, reminding myself constantly that I have authority over no life but my own.
"Realizing that nothing can hurt me while I lean upon my Higher Power, I ask to be guided through the hours and minutes of each day. Let me remind myself to bring every problem to Him for I know He will show me the way I must go."
Courage To Change
We live in a society of instant gratification: instant coffee, instant breakfast, instant money from our local ready bank machine--it's everywhere we look! No wonder so many of us arrive at Al-Anon doors looking for the instant answer to all the problems that come from living with and loving an alcoholic.
Recovery is a process. It takes time to regain, reclaim, and recoup all that was lost while we tried on our own to cope with active drinking. Building trust takes time, change takes time, healing old wounds takes time; there are no immediate, ready-made solutions. But the tools and principles of our program--Steps, Traditions, slogans, meetings, sponsorship, service--can lead us to the answers that are right for us.
We all have dark times in our lives, but the journey to better times is often what makes us happier, stronger people. When we stop expecting instant relief, we may come to believe that where we are today is exactly where our Higher Power would have us be.
Al-Anon is a "One Day at a Time" program. No matter what is going on around me, today I know that I am moving forward. I will trust the process of recovery. I'll let time take time.
"If I am under pressure and setting myself deadlines, I will stop for a few minutes and think of just this one day and what I can do with it."
One Day at a Time in Al-Anon
Hope For Today
In the past I developed many uncomfortable emotional connection with the word "home." I never knew what to expect at home and I was too ashamed to let friends visit. I wanted to escape from instead of to home. While I agreed on the outside with the adage "There's no place like home," there was a smirk on my face and pain in my heart whenever it was spoken.
With the help of Al-Anon, I have begun to create a new life with new attitudes and new definitions. The word "family" takes on new meaning of "Al-Anon Family Groups," where I have a new family of choice that helps me in a way my family of origin could not. My new family suggested I find a "home" group. This is where I feel I truly belong. Barring severe illness, I always attend my home group meetings and participate in business meetings, group conscience decisions and service. No one forces me to do these things. I do them because I have chosen to commit myself to that group, that family.
In turn I received from my home group elements not abundant during my childhood: consistency, intimacy, emotional depth, and acceptance. Because I share with my home group members week after week, they know my innermost secrets and flaws. They see themselves in me, I see myself in them, and we learn to love and accept each other and ourselves. Without reservation in my mind or heart, I can truly say there is no place like my home-sweet-home group.
Thought for the Day
The world is much larger than my family of origin.
"When a loved one's alcoholism brought me to Al-Anon, I found a new, second family, a family that helped me discover the me that had been hidden for so long, a family that will always be there for me."
Courage to Change, p. 11
Mark it down, things do not "just happen." Ours is not a random, whistle-in-the-dark universe. There is a God-arranged plan for this world of ours, which includes a specific plan for you. And through every ordinary day and every extraordinary moment, there is a God who constantly seeks you.
A God who loves us and redeemed us . . . is there, and He is not silent.
Oh the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
Linda Gorham Yankton South Dakota
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