From slogans

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…

This Too Shall Pass

When things go wrong, as they sometimes do, I’m reminded by this slogan to hold on loosely; when things are going well, as they sometimes do too, I remember to hold on loosely but treasure each moment. Nothing lasts forever, and this too shall pass.  I made a choice yesterday in reaction to confusion, anger, and fear—none of which are, of course, good foundations for decision-making. I decided to stay off Facebook until December 26th. There had been too much sadness, arguing, and general ugliness which I witnessed, and there were some other personal issues involved. Holidays can be so difficult, especially if…

Let Go of Expectations and Outcomes

I’m learning there’s a reason “Let go” comes before “Let God” in that particular recovery slogan. Have you ever watched a baby just before she falls asleep, if you happen to be blessed enough to hold her in your arms? The eyelids fight to stay open. They flutter closed, the tiny hands begin to relax . . . and then boom! The legs kick out again, the hands clench into little fists and the eyelids struggle sooo hard to stay open. Just one more minute. Not ready for sleep quite yet. Might miss something. Yawn.  Finally, the battle ends and the eyes close…

Tomorrow Can Wait

The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, or not to anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly. ~Buddha Why not just live in the moment, especially if it has a good beat? ~Goldie Hawn Forever is composed of nows. ~Emily Dickinson Okay, I’ve posted a lot about One Day At A Time, but . . . well I guess it’s because I think for me it’s one of the core parts of the Al-Anon program. And today I really need…

In The Moment

I think the single most difficult thing for me to learn in Al-Anon – and some days it’s something I only strive for – is to live life in the moment. It’s so much easier to fall into the pitfalls of yesterday or tomorrow. Think about it. We can get to yesterday and tomorrow with only a daydream or two. We can get to yesterday’s mistakes and tomorrow’s worries in the time it takes to drive from work to home, something we do on autopilot. Those kind of drives leave a lot of room for daydreams about yesterdays and tomorrows.…

Being Bold, Bad, And Beautiful!

So sorry I haven’t been posting a while. Haven’t been well, almost had to go into the hospital, my doctor had to change a bunch of my meds, and on top of that I’m in a senior choral production of Broadway show tunes. So I have been very busy, very sad but with that fine-fine face that I know some of you will know what I’m talking about. However, that’s not what I wanted to talk about today. Some kind of transformation has taken place in me through all this, you know, “stuff.” It’s made me stronger, braver, and not…

Accepting Change

Wednesday was a difficult day for me, and I thought I had lost all the ground I had previously gained in Al-Anon and then some. That was the day we picked up my sister from jail, and subsequently spent 11 hours in the car driving her around, back and forth from her probation officer to different places, only to have doors slammed in our faces and told to go back here or there . . . I admit, I lost my cool a time or two. I don’t do freeway driving well, and I had to listen to Stella (my…

Happy – One Day At A Time

Through working the steps of Al-Anon, I’m learning that I am lovable, regardless of what anyone else thinks, and that happiness is a daily choice. Happiness is risky. But as I begin to recover from the effects of alcoholism in my life, it’s worth it. It’s not enough just to avoid being let down. I want a life filled with joy and happiness as well as the inevitable sadness. I crave excitement; I’m an excitement junkie. But this time on MY terms, not on the roller coaster hump of the alcoholic. You know? I won’t let my fear of being…

How do you react?

Sat at an “envelope” meeting this morning, which is where people pass around an envelope at the table and each person picks out a little piece of paper, and whatever is on the paper is what you talk about. It may be a step, a slogan, or what have you. It was absolutely one of the best tables I’ve sat at in a long time. Not necessarily because of what my piece of paper read, or because of what I talked about, but because of what the woman, Marty, said next to me. “Our first reaction is our disease, and…

More Will Be Revealed

I’ve heard “more will be revealed” at meetings, and have read it in the Big Book, but it has never been as meaningful until right now. My need to control can show itself as a need to know exactly what’s going on, all the time. We cannot always know. Sometimes, I need to let things be and trust that clarity will come later, in looking back. Just like in this painting, I see exactly what I need to see . . . for now. It’s okay. It’s already okay. If it doesn’t make perfect sense now, it’s not supposed to.…

Who Do You Think You Are?

When we spend our lives, or the majority of them, obsessing about another person – namely a relative or friend who is alcoholic – we lose pieces of ourselves until we no longer no who we are. We become so enmeshed with the other person we forget where they end and we begin. This is also called codependency, and it affects millions of people around the globe. We become numb to our feelings, oblivious to our own needs, unable to name our emotions. When I watched my sister sentenced, handcuffed, and taken away to jail on Tuesday, I didn’t cry. Nor…

Willingness To Surrender – And A Note

There is strength in willingness to surrender. I’m not speaking here of the surrender we might see when someone raises his hands at gunpoint, or even waves a white flag, although I’ve waved a white flag a time or two at God to let Him know I’m done fighting the point. 😉 I’m speaking here of surrender of thoughts and feelings. This can sometimes be more difficult than, say, surrendering a gun, or another action. My thoughts and feelings are my will, and that’s what I’m surrendering, willingly, or without objection, to God (my higher power). No, it’s not easy. At first it was messy, and I didn’t…

What I Learned About “Listen And Learn”

Let’s be real. There’s so much information we are confronted with on a daily basis, it’s a wonder we can absorb even the  infinitesimal amounts we do, without losing our minds. It’s even worse if you are a student. But think about it. From the time that we wake up, we are bombarded with thoughts, facts, questions, demands, statements, exclamations, commercials, hypotheses, fantasies . . . and all of that gets sorted through the amazing filter of our brains. Al-Alon’s slogan, “Listen and Learn,” reminds us that if we have the self-discipline to be quiet and pay attention to others’…

Easy Always Does It Better

So. Stuff happens. Into each life a little stress will come, some more than others. I just got off the phone with an old friend of mine, who has bipolar like I do, and she has been hospitalized twice since April because of rapid cycling. New meds aren’t really helping, so she’s dealing as best she can. Stuff happens. It’s what we do with the stuff that either helps us or hurts us more.  One of my (for I have a few) favorite slogans in the program is Easy Does It. When something stressful happens in my life, when something goes way wrong, I…