Thursday, January 3, 2008

Courage to Change, January 3

I am writing my life sotry with every single today. Am I moving in a positive direction? If not, perhaps I need to make some changes. I can do nothing to change the past except stop repeating it in the present. Going to Al-Anon meetings and practicing the principles of the program are some of the ways in which I am already breaking out of unhealthy and unsatisfying patterns of the past.

I believe that my life is built upon layers of little, everyday accomplishments. When I think this way, setting goals and taking small risks becomes nothing more than a daily striving to make my life better. Taking some tiny action each day can be much more effective than weeks and months of inactivity followed by a frenzied attempt to make radical changes overnight. It certainly leaves me more serene. When I face a new challenge, I try to take my beginning wherever it may be and start from there.

Today's Reminder

No one can make me change. No one can stop me from changing. No one really knows how I must change, not even I. Not until I start. I will remember that it only takes a slight shift in direction to begin to change my life.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

One Day at a Time, January 3

Why do I waste my precious time and energy trying to figure out what makes an alcoholic drink--why he doesn't consider his family, his obligations, his reputation? All I need to know is that he suffers from a disease--alcoholism, the compulsion to drink. Why shouldn't I have compassion for him and his illness when I am so ready to feel sorry for people who have other diseases? Do I blame them? Why do I blame him? Can I cure him by reproaching him? Can I look into his heart and realize the true nature of his sufferings?

Today's Reminder

The fact that I am the spouse, child, parent, or friend of an alcoholic does not give me the right to control him. I can only make the situation worse by treating him like an irresponsible naughty child.

On this day I promise God and myself that I will let go of the problem which is destroying my peace of mind. I pray for detachment from the situtation, but not from the suffering drinker who may be helped to find the way to sobriety through the change in my attitude and the love and compassion I am able to express.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

One Day at a Time, January 2

If I were to sit down in a quiet corner and look back over the happenings of my troubled life as though I were examining the life of someone else, or reading about it in a book, how would it appear to me? I know I can do this only by guarding against all self-justification; looking at the facts honestly. Have I said or done things in haste, anger, or desperation that made my situation worse? Are there things I recall with regret? We learn only from experience, and only by making up our minds not to repeat mistakes.

Today's Reminder

I will not fall in with the alcholic's craving for punishment to relieve his guilt. I will not scold and weep, for it will not help me overcome the difficulties we are trapped in. I will try very hard to deal with my day by day difficulties with quiet poise, remembering always that I am doing this for my own benefit.

When I am tempted or pressured into irrational behavior, I Pra that I may stop and think before I do or say anything whatever. I ask God to remove these impulses and help me to grow into the person I want to be.

Courage to Change, January 2

Turning to an alcoholic for affection and support can be like going to a hardware store for bread. Perhaps we expect a "good" parent to nurture and support our feelings, or a "loving" spouse to comfort and hold us when we are afraid, or a "caring" child to want to pitch in when we are ill or overwhelmed. While these loved ones may not meet our expectations, it is our expectations, not our loved ones, that have let us down.

Love is expressed in many ways, and those affected by alcoholism may not be able to express it in the way we would like. But we can try to recognize love whenever and however it is offered. When it is not, we don't have to feel deprived; most of us find an unfailing source of love in Al-Anon. With the encouragement and support of others, we learn to treat our needs as important and appropriate, and to treat ourselves as deserving.

Today's Reminder

Today the alcoholic may or may not be able to give us what we desire. And no one perso will ever offer all that we require. If we stop insisting that our needs be met acording to our will, we may discover that all the love and support we need is already at our fingertips.

In Al-Anon I discover in myself the power to throw new light on a seemingly hopeless situation. I learn I must use this power, not to change the alcoholic, over whom I am powerless, but to overcome my own distorted ideas and attitudes.

-- One Day at a Time in Al-Anon

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

One Day at a Time, January 1

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 turned to Al-Anon as 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 wha 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.

Today's Reminder

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, January 1

We live in a society of instant gratification: instant coffee, instant breakfast, instant money fro our local ready bank machine--it's everywhere we look! No wonder so many of us arrive at Al-Anon's 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 u 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.

Todays Reminder

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