An Awesome List

“Just for today I will be agreeable. I will look as well as I can, dress becomingly, keep my voice low, be courteous, criticize not one bit. I won’t find fault with anything, nor try to improve or regulate anybody but myself.” – Just For Today

If you haven’t seen it, this little AlAnon pamphlet is an awesome list of suggestions to follow each day. Aside from above, they include living in this day only, staying out of fear, celebrating the beauty all around us, doing good deeds anonymously, not being so sensitive, adjusting ourselves to what is rather than trying to change it all to fit our desires, being happy no matter what, and taking a quiet half hour to ourselves to relax. I’ve never yet had a day where I was able to do them all perfectly, but the more I try and live my life according to their principles, the more ILML! 

– JamieQ

Program-Principled Solutions

“I simply did not want to hurt like that again. My desire to avoid hitting bottom again was…. powerful…” – Daily Reflections

When I came into AA it was because I had hit a bottom of pitiful and incomprehensible despair. I couldn’t figure things out on my own, and I was willing to try just about anything, even walking into a room with strangers. Years later I hit another bottom and walked into the rooms of AlAnon, and kept coming back. Both programs have opened my awareness to the fact that I hit emotional bottoms all the time. Today I have a very well equipped toolkit filled with program-principled solutions to help me recovery my serenity quickly. I’ve found that whenever I use the tools of both programs to solve my problems, ILML!  

– JamieQ

Find Freedom from Hurt

“… defective relations with other human beings have nearly always been the immediate cause of our woes…” – 12&12 p.80

There have been times in my life when my woes were caused by being sick, struggling financially, or my car breaking down. Problems such as these tend to resolve themselves in a relatively short period of time, and aftwards I forget the problem ever happened. This is not so with personal relationships. The hurt others cause me, along with the hurt I have caused them, tends to live in my memory for days, weeks, months or even years, causing resentment, anger, guilt, and self-pity. The good news is that I’ve discovered a set of actions whereby those hurtful memories subside, returning me to peace, even when I think of those people. By doing the daily deal, I’m no longer their prisoner. I let go of them, the memory of the hurt and ILML! 

– JamieQ

Like a Broke Bike

The insidious insanity of the disease of alcoholism is troubling and fear creating. 

At times it strikes so hard and fast and lasts for an incredibly long time. There is a knot in my stomach and my brain is whirring a thousand miles an hour but is not connected to any gears – like the pedals of a bicycle with a broken chain. 

What can I do about this feeling?
The choices are numerous. The quickest and easiest route to finding serenity again for me is prayer. A moment of meditation followed by a quick simple acknowledgment of the feeling also settle me and slow my disconnected brain down. 

I can also talk to another alcoholic, my sponsor or write about it. Often I can find solace in the literature and slogans. 
Am I hungry, angry, lonely or tired?
These are all “suggestions” that the program offers up for an alcoholic like me to take. 

One thing that I do know is that the sooner I identify the problem, find a solution and apply the action, the sooner I can find the serenity I gave back to my disease and the sooner I can LOVE MY LIFE!!!

– AdamW

Steered by a Higher Power

“…we will know peace.” – 12&12 p.84

Before I came into the program I was 7 years sober and definitively not in a place of peace. I was running the show by myself and it was never to my exact liking. I was constantly struggling, frustrated, disappointed and feeling like a victim. These days, I have placed the rudder into the hands of a power that wants only love and peace for me. Steered by the kind, compassionate and understanding hands of my higher power, I have been guided to a place that is more magical, more wonderful and more amazing than any I could have ever imagined. It is only when I take back the rudder that I once again cause myself to suffer. And so it is. When I surrender expectations and trying to control my life, I am at peace and ILML! 

– JamieQ

Detatching from Toxicity

“If I’m still suffering in reaction to a specific behavior that has occurred … I need to stop hoping the behavior will cease and instead detach and start changing my attitudes, expectations, and responses… There is no need for me to suffer because of the behavior of others.” – Hope for Today
Learning to detach from the behavior of others has been one of the most difficult lessons in recovery for me. On occasion, I still struggle when, how and with whom to do it. If my side of the street is clean, if I’ve made my amends, and if their behavior still feels toxic to my heart, it’s not time to decide the future of the relationship. Instead, it’s time to grace the space, detach, and give that person, along with their behavior, to God, who’s much better at handling things and people that I’m powerless over. When I detach from toxic people and situations, and turn instead to my higher power, ILML! 

– JamieQ

A Guy Named Jesus

“Forgive us our trespasses AS we forgive those who tresspass against us.” – 12 Step Prayerbook 

According to the New Testament (a religious book, for those who know I’m not religious), there was a guy named Jesus, who taught this idea to a bunch of people gathered around in a circle who listened to his experience, strength and hope (sound familiar?). Supposedly this guy, Jesus, was super spiritually connected to the source of love (like many in our program). And his message here was pretty clear: Because we would really like to be forgiven when we make mistakes and hurt others, we ought to try and forgive others who make mistakes and hurt us or those we love. The truth is, none of us is perfect, we all mess up. We all say and do things at times which aren’t cool and often times hurt others. So how about it? Let’s practice some forgiveness, the same way we would like others to practice it when we mess up. When I stop being upset and instead forgive others, I am released from the bondage of judgement, hurt and resentment, and ILML! 

– JamieQ