From April, 2012

Z is for Zeal

Well, folks, it’s all over except for the shouting! This is it. I don’t know if I would have made it without the strong encouragement of my friends, especially my online friends. I do have passion, I have that in spades. It’s just been a really difficult last couple of weeks. I’ve been going through a depression, and it’s been affecting my work, my friendships, everything I’m about. It’s forced me to dig deep on some reserve I never knew I had in order to finish this commitment. It’s not just about the shiny, shiny blog badge, either (although I’m always up…

Y is for Yes

While it’s important to understand that “No” is a full sentence, and we need to be able to use that in our lives when we need to, it’s just as important to shout “Yes!” to life’s many opportunities.  We only get one chance at this great thing, we might as well give it our all, eh? I don’t figure that when I’m taking my last breath I will be thinking of all the rotten things I did, or even all the good things I did. I reckon I’ll be thinking of the chances I missed because I was too scared or too…

X is for Xylitol

Xylitol is a naturally occurring carbohydrate. It is widely found in nature, as well as a variety of fruits and vegetables. Xylitol is also extracted from birch bark.  It is important to remember, however, that Xylitol is a specific molecule. The Xylitol extracted from one source is exactly the same as Xylitol from any  other source – just as the sugar (sucrose) extracted from beets is exactly  the same as the sugar we get from sugar cane. I never knew, or cared, about any of these things until I understood that I was also a sugar addict and needed to attend…

W is for Wisdom

  The wisdom of knowing the difference between accepting the things we cannot change and the courage to change the things we can is a delicate balance. For me it’s like walking a tightrope sometimes. And it probably doesn’t help that I’m a slow learner. 😉 Even when I read something, it takes me a while to absorb it, and even longer to put it into practice. So when I ran into difficulty these past couple of weeks with depression, it never occurred to me to ask for help. Even though I write about it here on these pages, even…

V is for Value

When I was a child my value was tied up in what my parents thought of me, whether my family thought well of me. My father was sick, an alcoholic, so his thinking was affected. He did the best he could at the time. I’m not terminally unique. Most of us come with some sort of baggage from our childhood. Maybe it’s an alcoholic home, maybe it’s something else, or maybe we grew up in a Leave it to Beaver home and our problem is trying to be too perfect. The point is we all start with our beginning value…

U is for Understanding

NOTE: I’m so sorry that I’m behind. Please forgive me. I really want to finish the contest. I’ll catch up later tonight and tomorrow morning. I’m not used to writing every day and it has SO stretched and made me grow! ~~ The last line of the Al-Anon suggested closing goes like this: “…let the understanding, love, and peace of the program grow in you one day at a time.”  Then we usually stand as a group and recite the Our Father, or some choose to say the Serenity prayer. Yesterday, at the noon meeting, we had two newcomers. When that happens,…

T is for Think

The slogan “think” used to puzzle me. I mean, isn’t it my “stinking thinking” that gets me into trouble more times than not? So how could “think” be a good thing? Then I broke it down. Is it: T – true? H – helpful? I – inspirational? N – necessary? K – kind? Whatever I’m about to say, or do, I need to stop and ask myself if it is ALL of those things. Am I always successful? 😦 Not hardly. But with that as my guide, I’m getting there. And I’m more successful today than I was in the…

S is for Secrets

In both AA and Al-Anon, we are only as sick as our secrets. And yet, as a kid growing up in a family of alcoholism, I was taught to KEEP secrets. I learned to be sick. Alcoholism is like a tornado. It’s like a tidal wave. You can feel it coming, but there’s not much you can do to prepare for it, and it brings lots of things in its wake. It can bring verbal, physical, sexual abuse, actual physical illness, financial debt, jail, infidelity, and even death. Some of these problems can be so embarrassing, so intimidating, that we…

R is for Relapse Prevention

Relapse during recovery doesn’t happen overnight. It happens over a period of time and can be as sneaky and insidious as the disease of codependency itself. It requires an awareness and a dedication to WANTING to stay well. It ain’t easy. I came close the past week myself. Tools to help aid in relapse prevention include all but are not limited to the following: Meetings: This I can’t stress strongly enough. One of the first signs of relapse, for me, is wanting to isolate. I missed several of my regular meetings this past week, and I’m feeling it. I feel…

Q is for Quintessential

And now for something totally different! Please forgive me for straying from me theme of the month today, but I couldn’t resist a chance to speak about this. 😛 The quintessential MAN is a television CHARACTER, Robert Goren, from a Law and Order spin off, Criminal Intent. This picture is taken from the scene where his partner, Alex Eames, is forced to fire Goren (because he is a “liability”) just before she might be promoted to Chief of Detectives. The last scene of the episode shows her placing her badge and firearm on the desk and placing a call, saying…

Q Post

Today’s Q post will be late due to a very busy day and oversleeping! 😛 Please tune in tomorrow for Q and R. 🙂 Peace out.

P is for Prayer

Prayer is important to me, but I don’t do it as much as I should. I pray for people who need prayer, and I pray prayers of thanksgiving when prayers are answered, but I don’t just meditate on God’s goodness, or spend time with Him. That’s uncomfortable for me. It’s something I need to work on. The two most crucial “formal” prayers for me, are the Serenity prayer and the Our Father. Yesterday I mentioned the importance of the Serenity prayer in my life, and how often I pray it. I use it for simple things, like trying to accept…

O is for Obedience to a Higher Power

In Al-Anon, which is based very closely on AA, we learn to trust in a higher power fairly quickly, or we are lost. In fact, Step Two says Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. Step Three says Turned our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him. Twelve-step programs are spiritual, rather than religious. In fact, the traditions and concepts specifically point that out, that we do not promote nor discriminate against any religion, denomination, etc. It is not only my opinion that many people in Al-Anon would be…

N is for Nervousness

It never fails. Nervousness crushes me, threatens to overtake me, even in my own home, in the privacy of my OWN BLOG. I try to talk myself out of the nerves, like – what’s the worst that could happen? If I say something stupid, write something utterly ridiculous, so what? I sound stupid, I look ridiculous . . . would I be the first person to ever sound or look that way? I doubt it. We’re only human. But we forget that when stuck in the grip of some overpowering emotion, don’t we? What makes you nervous or anxious, or…

M is for Measure

A measure is a gauge or a standard which we can use to take stock, sometimes, of our lives. I found this AL-ANON SELF TEST at Sober Recovery. It hits all the high marks, and is very good. I hope you’ll find it helpful: Millions of people are affected by the excessive drinking of someone close. The following twenty questions are designed to help you decide whether or not you need Al-Anon:1.Do you worry about how much someone else drinks? 2.Do you have money problems because of someone else’s drinking? 3.Do you tell lies to cover up for someone else’s drinking?…

L is for Laughter

When I attend an Al-Anon meeting, I will usually hear laughter at least once or twice while everyone settles in, and then during the sharing itself – even through tears sometimes! It still surprises me, and I’ve discussed this with my sponsor. How can people in so much distress on one hand be LAUGHING and joyous? It didn’t make sense to me! I couldn’t find anything to laugh about. There was nothing funny about my situation, thankyouverymuch. And I was, of course, supremely unique. 😉 When I listen to AA open talks there is much laughter, and at those points…

K is for Kindred Spirits

Kindred is both a noun and an adjective. As a noun it means “a group of persons related to another; a family.” As an adjective . . . well, let me tell you what it means to me, in terms of some very specific relationships. I don’t talk to a lot of people. What I mean is, I don’t have a lot of online messenger friends. There is one person I chat with on an almost daily basis, and feel my life would be missing a little beat if I didn’t. She seems to get me, and I hope I…

J is for Java!

  While I still drink my daily java without fail, I used to be a coffee connoisseur. I belonged to two different clubs, Gevalia and Boca Java, and still managed to squeeze in daily trips to my favorite joints, Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts. Coffee has had an interesting history in the world, as well as in my own life. I started drinking it in high school as a way to get closer to my dad. I don’t remember what kind of coffee we drank then, I just know I drank it with lots of cream and sugar. 😉 That’s also when I started…

I is for Isolation

One of my favorite movies of all-time is Cool Hand Luke, as well as the novel by the same title. I used to quote lines from the movie during an argument, especially Strother Martin’s famous “What we have here is a failure to communicate.” But one of the haunting memories I can’t shake is the count at the end of the day. The second boss, or whatever he’s called, calls out the count, and at the conclusion, he says, ” . . .and one in ‘the box.’” The box was short for icebox, or a form of isolation, a punishment. It…

H is for Honesty

As you may have noticed when you happened onto my page this lovely morning, things have changed around here. When I first began blogging, I thought my blog was going to be about knitting and writing, with some posts thrown in here and there to reflect my Al-Anon journey. Since I’m going through the Blueprint for Progress with a small group of women, which involves the 4th step adapted from Alcoholics Anonymous: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves, I have to get real about this blog. It’s an Al-Anon blog, with some posts here and there about knitting and…