Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Recovery from alcoholism- Bless them, change me!

The other day I was talking with someone about an issue they were having with a relative. The essence of their story was that they needed to take a stand and let the person know their behavior was not acceptable and that they weren’t going to be a “doormat” for them any longer. I have heard people talk about similar issues many times.  In talking to my sponsor about it  he suggested that this issue is tied into self-esteem. The ability to stand up for ourselves thereby building our self-confidence and sense of well-being-  reducing resentments toward ourselves and others when we refuse to do things that aren’t good for us- as a result of  people pleasing, and other enabling type defects.  

The person went on to say once she had taken this stance with her relative, she then needed to let the situation go and resume life including an ongoing relationship with the person she had confronted. That’s when she came up with a new tool for me to use:  It was a prayer that went “Bless them, change me”.

That’s a good one to remember!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Recovery from alcoholism- Hawaii and my spiritual condition


The last few days have been rough ones for me. Over the weekend I went away and as my friend Bob says “got out of my routines and practices”. Got out of sync.  I got a call from a friend Dan this morning and we talked about being spiritually fit and how that is the most important thing for our peace and serenity.  I admitted that when I feel “bad” the first thing I want to do; is do something to escape, anything (thank God drinking does not come to mind) - preferably those things that are “fun” things to do for me. Golf, fish, buy something, etc. These are not bad things in themselves but they are not the priority,  if my objective is to get some peace of mind and get connected with God. Once I get connected spiritually then my world opens up to many exciting, pleasant possibilities.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Reflections on the Road to Recovery from Alcoholism- "All the help we can get"

With the tragic passing of Robin Williams, there is much talk in the meetings I attend regarding the topics of addiction, depression,  anxiety and other mental disorders.  

Here is the bottom line for me:  in the context of the recovery world, I'm not ashamed to admit... I suffer from alcoholism, an addicitve personality, anxiety and depression. None of these mental disorders hinders me from living a full and meaningul life. I'm sure many in the outside world who don't know about my illnesses...  would probably even think I have my act together pretty well.

But that doesn't matter. What really matters is that I understand and accept that I need to address all of my illnesses. That means I need to see medical doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists... and I have and will continue to do so.

I also need to work out regularly, pray and meditate, do new things like yoga,  drink minimal amounts of caffeine (not doing so well there at the moment),  eat regularly, and get the best sleep possible.

The reality that I have to do things I don't want to do and not do things I want to do really frustrates me at times...

But here is the question.: do I want to be as well as I can be? Am I willing to do the things that I need to do for the good of myself and those around me?

Am I willing to work for my sobriety (as defined in the dictionary as "soundness of mind")?

There is, at time,s a subtle reference in AA meetings "that AA is all we need."  Typically there is not much more added to the statement of  "need."  People can say and believe whatever they want.

The full program of AA, with the help of my God, has saved me from a "hopeless state of mind and body." No question about that. And I will be forever grateful that I found the program.

However, it is clear to me that I, along with many others in AA,  need more help than what's entailed in the full program of AA. Some get this and take action, others don't. Some of those who don't get outside help suffer unnecessarily, end up in mental institutions or and even die... without drinking. 

The following is what the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous says on the matter.

Page 133 of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous  (First Edition):

"Now about health: A body badly burned by alcohol does not often recover overnight nor do twisted thinking and depression vanish in a twinkling. We are convinced that a spiritual mode of living is a most powerful health restorative. We, who have recovered from serious drinking, are miracles of mental health. But we have seen remarkable transformations in our bodies. Hardly one of our crowd now shows any dissipation.

But this does not mean that we disregard human health measures. God has abundantly supplied this world with fine doctors, psychologists, and practitioners of various kinds. Do not hesitate to take your health problems to such persons. Most of them give freely of themselves, that their fellows may enjoy sound minds and bodies. Try to remember that though God has wrought miracles among us, we should never belittle a good doctor or psychiatrist. Their services are often indispensable in treating a newcomer and in following his case afterward."

Football and a Game Plan for Recovery (from alcoholism)

The Chicago AA office issues a newsletter named "Here's How".  They recently published an article I wrote celebrating the start of the NFL season- and relating a particular game to the priority of staying sober.

Wanted to share the story with you.

Football and a Game Plan for Recovery

Well its football season again. A few days ago, I was watching the Chicago Bears pre-season game. I am a huge NFL fan and a die-hard Chicago Bear fan. I’m predicting (like always) this will be a good year for the Bears.

Watching this game got me thinking about a Bears game several years ago where an event happened that caused me to reflect on the stages of recovery. This analogy that I will describe is like many I get regarding real life situations and how they relate to alcoholism. I don’t know why I get these thoughts or inspirations, but I do know they mean a lot to me, are spiritual in nature and I am grateful to God for giving them to me.......

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Reflections on the Road to Recovery from Alcoholism- "Attitude Adjustment"

....on the Road to Recovery
"Attitude Adjustment"

A few days ago, I was driving around and had a bunch of negative thinking going on. So many blessings in my life... so much to be grateful for... and my mind is full of negativity.

A thought came to me: I didn't need to change anything, go anywhere, buy anything, watch anything, play anything... do anything at all to change my frame of mind... I just needed an attitude adjustment.

Needed to view things from a different perspective. Turn my attention elsewhere.  A thought adjustment such as life is,  and never will be,  perfect. We are always going to have some type of struggle and challenge going on... no matter how much we try to control things. It's the way we look at these things and how we address them that determines our state of mind.

Is it a major problem or a minor obstacle?

Is there action we can take to address the situation or do we need to  accept part or all of it as "life"?

Is there any positive side to it... short or long term?

Can we use the situation to encourage or help someone else who has a similar situation?

Is it something that will help us build a stronger recovery program?

Get us closer to God?

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Reflections on the Road to Recovery from Alcoholism- "Other Focused"

....on the Road to Recovery

                                                     "Other Focused"


How can I get what I want now? What's in it for me?

What can I do to make me happy? How will that affect me?

I have too many things to do to help them.

I can say whatever I want to whomever I want to say it.

Why should I volunteer?  There are many others who are available.


What can I do for you today? How is your day going?

Can I help? Who can I call today that is hurting?

What can I give away today to help someone else: time, possessions, a listening ear, a call to say hello, a ride, some service work?


my Higher Power, God, is caring for me,  at least partly,  so I can be of service to others.

not everything that happens to me is about me.

selfishly doing whatever I want is not the answer to making me feel good.

the feeling that I get when I am unselfish is the touch of God.

working on building good relationships is one of the top priorities in life