Hold Out A Helping Hand

helping-hand Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does. ~William James

Do you realize that things you do, even little things that you might think nothing about, resonate with people for a long time? It’s true. We might not see the consequences of our actions immediately.

I wrote a guest post for a friend’s blog sometime this past year. It was about my experience, strength and hope as a woman who loves an alcoholic. I wrote from my heart, but I had no idea it would make a difference. Several months after I wrote it, I got a Facebook message from my friend saying that she still gets people who read that post and sometimes comment on it.

It amazed me, that statement, but what I realized about giving, whether it’s your testimony at a meeting (or on a blog), your time, your money, whatever we give . . . comes back to us ten-fold, in that – well, it makes us feel good. I don’t know the science behind it, and I’m not going to pretend I do, but I know I read somewhere that helping someone else boosts our own moods.

Feeling down this holiday season? Volunteer somewhere. The Salvation Army still needs bell ringers in my area (I did it a couple of times, so I know) and they must need them where you are too. Check HERE to find help on how to be a bell ringer.

Just be kinder, gentler . . . if we look around us, we can find all sorts of ways to help others this season. Know a neighbor who spends the day alone? Invite her to your home for Christmas, or take her a plate to eat. Open doors, smile more, be patient with store clerks and other patrons, and try not to swear in traffic. 😉

Hoping your day is lovely.

Peace out.

 

Feelings Aren’t Facts: Make it a Mantra!

reality checkMaybe in your past you grew up in a chaotic or even abusive alcoholic family. Or maybe your family was dysfunctional in another way. No matter what, you learned to rely on your feelings as a barometer for what to do. If you felt scared, you ran and hid. If confronted by unwarranted anger, you might have also run and hid, or you might have fought back. We are all different. Some of us were little scrappers, which got us into further trouble. 😉 Some of us cried when we were sad, some simply withdrew. Some of us were shy, some larger than life.

Everything was black or white. There was no room for negotiation. It was either a big scary monster or it wasn’t. Simple as that. If we made choices based on our feelings, as if they were facts, then the only choice was to flee.

Now, as adults, though it is by no means easy, we can see that we have varied choices. In Al-Anon meetings, I am learning that I (yes me) am a compelling, multi-faceted individual. I can have two feelings at once, for instance, and this is perfectly valid. And guess what? I can and do survive them. Singing in a Christmas concert recently, I felt beyond nervous and excited at the same time. My feelings told me I couldn’t possibly do it! Sing in a Christmas concert! No way! But I now know that feelings aren’t facts, so I did it anyway. And the concert was a smashing success. 😉 We can love someone and be angry at them. We can even love and hate someone at the same time. Yes! It’s possible. But that doesn’t mean it’s a fact that we hate them. It’s a feeling. And we move through it.

Lots of feelings will come up this holiday season. You’ll meet old friends and maybe make new ones. You’ll see family you perhaps haven’t seen in a year. But chin up. It’s just a feeling. It’ll pass.

Peace out.

Thriving Through The Holidays – Theme for December!

candle This December, I will be participating in Holidailies, a challenge blogs around the world are participating in, to blog something each day of the month. I’m excited about this challenge, and I hope you will be too! I need something to get me back into daily posting.

It doesn’t have to be themed, in fact it can be about anything at all. But I have chosen to make this December all about THRIVING during the holidays, especially as a friend or family  member of an alcoholic.

Here you will find posts about getting into the spirit, finding quick exits, prayer, attending meetings, getting support, asking for help, and a score of other things that will hopefully help you (and I) do much more than survive Christmas and New Year’s this year.

Happy December 1st!

Peace out.