From gratitude

How I Survived A Life-Threatening Illness

“Change is inevitable We can depend on that. By letting go of our efforts to influence the future, we become freer to experience the present, to feel all of our feelings while they are happening, and to more fully enjoy those precious moments of joy.” –Courage to Change, One Day at a Time in Al-Anon So, you might think, as you read this, that bringing humor to the situation is insanity. But you know me and my sarcastic wit. Would you recognize me any other way? 😉 Besides, the alternative is too stupid to consider, and useless. Plus really, who…

A Rose by Any Other Name

I’m so incredibly nervous writing this, and at the same time . . . feels like home. I have been completely overwhelmed by the positive responses to my last blog post. Just–flabbergasted, truly. Those lovely comments came on the heels of a little over seven months of severe depression and severe anxiety, which brings me to why it’s been so long since I’ve posted. So many times, when one grows up in an alcoholic family, or any sort of dysfunctional family, it becomes all about the alcoholic for so long, or about the person or sickness that draws the most attention from…

Turning It Over

This morning I’m going to attend the Amazing Grace Al-Anon meeting, and, because my sponsor is away on vacation, I’m taking over her duty of handing out yearly tokens for March birthdays. I hope you don’t take offense at my sense of humor with the image I’ve posted here. I don’t have a cat, but my dog would gladly take the job. 😉 She thinks she’s the boss of me. It’s all tongue-in-cheek of course. I DO have a higher power, and it’s not me, or my dog. It’s God. I’m thrilled to hand out tokens this morning, because I…

Five Merry Christmas Makers!

“In the old days, it was not called the Holiday Season; the Christians called it ‘Christmas’ and went to church; the Jews called it ‘Hanukkah’ and went to synagogue; the atheists went to parties and drank. People passing each other on the street would say ‘Merry Christmas!’ or ‘Happy Hanukkah!’ or (to the atheists) ‘Look out for the wall!” —Dave Barry This Christmas, don’t forget to: 1. laugh: humor can help any situation, and it seems at holidays it is absolutely essential. So when you notice your uncle is once again drinking too much as he always does, try laughing about it…

The Wisdom To Know The Difference

I went to a meeting this morning. I was so grateful there was an Al-Anon meeting on Christmas Eve morning that I could attend. The topic around the meeting was taking care of ourselves, but I heard a smattering of frustration and fear on the topic of holidays in general, my own included. I talked about how I was trying to remember the Three C’s: I didn’t cause it, can’t control it, and can’t cure it . . . and the Three M’s to avoid for myself: manipulation, martyrdom, and mothering. It all comes down to the wisdom of knowing the difference…

Grateful Thoughts

“A moment of gratitude makes a difference in your attitude.” –Bruce Wilkinson Sometimes it’s difficult to be grateful. When I first joined Al-Anon, I had to search for things to be grateful over. I mean, I had to search. At first, it was little, tiny things like “putting my feet on the floor” in the morning as I got out of bed, being grateful that I “had feet” to put on the floor . . . I’m not sure why that was. Maybe I was so focused on fixing the alcoholic in my life, so angry that I was even there in the first…

Change Through Spontaneity!

I’ll be the first to admit it. I’m a planner. I don’t like surprises. And it was a huge step for me when I invited my ubersponsor over yesterday morning for tea (or coffee, whatever she wanted). Everything was set. I had just finished straightening out the family room, the kitchen was clean, the downstairs bathroom (the one I mostly use), my bedroom . . . I was as ready as I was going to get. And I was excited. My UBERSPONSOR was coming to my HOUSE!! You have to know that I never let anyone come over. Not my friends, anyway. Mom’s friends come over…

Gratitude – Because There’s Always Something

I am grateful for so many things today. –we got three days in a row of much needed rain, including a flash flood —it’s sunny and beautiful today –I got to enjoy some out of town family for about a week, which was awesome –I see my therapist today, and I’m truly grateful for her in my life –I emailed the Samaritans in the wee hours, and they actually replied back this morning. Who would have thunk? –my doc is going to see me once a week when my T is on vacation at the end of August –there are,…

Calm In The Middle Of The Storm

“Serenity isn’t freedom from the storms of  life. It’s the calm in the middle of the storm that gets me through. It’s up to me to try to keep this calm, even when the storm gets worse.” -Alateen–a day at a time, p. 30 This picture, and this quote, are so perfect for the topic of the day, which is of course, serenity. Serenity manifests itself in several ways for me. When I need that calm in the middle of the storm, these are the places I go/things I do/people I seek: 1. Pray. I often think it’s not always the first thing…

Making Change

Making change is hard. It takes determination, focus, and trust in a Higher Power. This morning, as I was sitting outside talking to my Super Sponsor on the phone, we made a date for tomorrow to have lunch, I hung and started to dial my sister to tell her about it. It took me almost a full minute to remember she’s in jail and I can’t call her. MAKING CHANGE IS HARD. IT TAKES DETERMINATION, FOCUS, AND TRUST IN A HIGHER POWER.  As I was sitting there, waiting for my heart to stop aching, an illustration came to me about…

Unconditional Love

When life is lived with doubts, or suspicions, even jealousies, it can be hard to believe one is loved. When a 12-year-old, a 13-year-old, so desperately wants a baby what she’s looking for is the kind of unconditional love a child gives a mother and a mother gives a child. Ellen Barkin The ultimate lesson all of us have to learn is unconditional love, which includes not only others but ourselves as well. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross I never knew what unconditional love felt like or looked like until I met my super sponsor in Al-Anon. She told me she would always love me…

Thank You

“Hands Together” Oil on Canvas – June Pauline Zent I am humbled and grateful for your support in the wake of yesterday, and just wanted to take a pause today to say that.

Whole Vs. Hole

Right, I was going to post more pics of Tweetybird. Well, I got sidetracked by preparing to write my novel, Where is Faith?, for Camp NaNoWriMo, starting tomorrow. I promise I’ll post pics tomorrow. Pinky promise. 😉 Today I want to talk about a book I’m currently reading and about how a certain passage resonated within me. It’s a YA novel called Clean by Amy Reed, about a group of teens in a rehab together. They are asked to write essays about themselves, what got them in their situations and so forth. One of the teens, Eva, writes so beautifully, she breaks my heart. Here is…

Gratitude List, Because I Need It

I need a gratitude list this morning. I just need it. Really, truly, seriously in a big way. So bear with me, and I hope it helps you in some way as well. God loves me, and He loves my sister my health nature sunny days music books the love of writing Lucy (the dog) Al-Anon Dori (my sponsor) my family (in no particular order, so that none should be jealous should they ever read this 😉 ) bubble baths hot showers sleep good dreams that moment in writing when you pass into like a state of mind where you…

Met with my boss at the Book Nook. We went over some procedures, that I hadn’t known and apparently a few others hadn’t known either. She gave me a bag of yarn. I was so touched. It reminded me of my love for knitting, and made me want to go ahead and begin my Einstein Coat project. People can be so wonderful. I’m amazingly touched.

The Importance of Sponsorship

Sponsorship is one of the tools of recovery in Twelve Step programs. I, however, would call it more than a tool. I would call it absolutely necessary for honest recovery.  Whereas I can fool myself pretty much all of the time, I can never fool my sponsor for very long. Nor would I want to. This morning, I went to an OA meeting. I admitted that I’m still in deep denial about the whole process. I didn’t even admit that I’m a compulsive overeater. I merely said “Hi, I’m Chris” and began my sharing. The miracle though, the one I’m…

Thanksgiving Day Redux

A couple months ago I wrote a post about gratitude, and today seemed a fitting day to revisit the subject. So here we are. At the meeting this morning we chose three readings, and they all seemed related to changing our attitudes, whether it had to do with a state of needless worry, or communication with the alcoholic in our lives, or whatever. It made me realize how much there is in my life – right now, this minute – to be grateful for. My mother will by 85 years old this year and is in very good health, still…

Second Chances

The world is an amazing place, I’m convinced of this more and more each day. Not only in the nature of its glory around me, but in the people I come in contact with every moment. Yesterday morning, I went to my (previously) usual Blueprint For Progress 4th Step meeting, which started out much larger than it now consists of, which is myself and three other women. I brought the key to the church building I’d been given in case the group leader couldn’t be there, and nothing else. My intention was to explain to them why I had missed four weeks…

A Whole Lot of Love

At Saturday’s meeting there was another double winner, like me, a friend of mine (at least, she signed my sheet, so I count her among  my friends now 😉 ) who is in both AA and Al-Anon. She mentioned when it was her time to share that she was celebrating that very day 27 YEARS of sobriety. Whoo hoo!!! All meetings have a different sort of “flavor,” and this meeting is much looser, and allows crosstalk. We allow questions and direct statements back and forth to each other because we are a very small and close-knit group. It’s just how…

Fear and its Antidote: Faith

Often, around the tables, we will hear the acronym F*E*A*R defined as “F*ck Everything And Run.” 😉 I’m sorry if that offended anyone, but lately it is more my intention to be honest and as upfront as I can . . . I try also to be kind, but sometimes they do not go hand-in-hand, when the truth is so very important. Yesterday, just before I left for my meeting, I received heartbreaking, devastating family news. My heart literally broke into pieces at the same time I could feel my pulse begin to race and mouth dried up like the…