Friday, August 29, 2008

Today I Celebrated ONE YEAR!

Celebrating my birthday in Al-Anon - one year.

Today, I celebrated one year in Al-Anon. I feel like it's been 5 years, probably because I have averaged around 5 or 6 meetings a week - if not more. I sometimes go to two meetings a day.

You might ask why. I find that I had to escape my house filled with alcoholism and that by escaping, getting out of the house, I could regain peace . . . or semblance of it. I realized that I had to get out permanently, because of my daughter's welfare.

I am now out. I am realizing how screwed up the alcoholism had made me. The lies, deceit, and its craftiness to make me feel like there wasn't anything wrong, or that I was "controlling" and "crazy." These feelings are often discussed in the literature and by newcomers - and old-timers of Al-Anon who can recall the sickness of this family disease.

The main point of this disease is - I almost DID NOT celebrate my one year - what we call "Birthday" in Al-Anon. I almost did not sign up - or I should say - I did not sign up. For my true birthday was in June. I felt "unworthy" and didn't want to be a "bother" or "burden" anyone. It wasn't a martyr thing either - I can assure you. And I don't "slip obsequiously into the night" about things - especially about work or related matters. The people I see on a regular basis are super nice and loving and most of all - accepting.

I decided to "sign-up" to celebrate when I realized that this is another part of my disease speaking out. I decided I must do what feels bothersome and therefore celebrate it.

Well, it was too late for a coin. But my sponsor and a very super smart woman gave me there coins. I am indebted and I am grateful.

I have never thought I would experience the "magic" of something - this is far more than a 12-Step Program, for it helped me regain my lost self and find God - whom has guided me gently through this obstacle course. I have found when something went wrong, something good came of it. When something bad happened, it was really a blessing in disguise.

I am grateful to all of you dear readers - I know you are reading and having times of difficulty - or you are embracing your program and have found peace or are working the Steps and the program and finding a new way of life.

It does work. It is the most amazing thing.

My God Box

Just a quick note to God:

Thank you for providing not just one answer to my request, but two.

I am grateful. Very grateful.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I Could've Done This!!!!

I hope your Friday goes really well and your weekend is even better.

If this doesn't make you laugh . . . well we need to check your pulse!

It's called the Evolution of Dance

Meeting with Someone

Wednesday morning I was mugged. Yep . . . mugged. Not literally, but figuratively. I met a person, a consultant, who was from another city for breakfast. He started to interviewing me, basically sizing me up. This happens often in business - but usually done with some class - very indirectly and the person who asks - actually listens.

This guy . . . well he had his answers shaped in his head as to what he wanted. And he wanted the answer right away. He asked, "What is a 'professional'?"

"Er, what?!" I wanted to ask.

My old days I would have danced. I would have asked him a question or two, to see what he was thinking and where he was going. Now-a-days, I don't give a flip (substitute your word here - "flip" is the word I choose to stay G Rated this morning.)

I did sit there in the midst a staccato burst of questions, wondering "How in the world did I get involved with this guy? And thank God that the other people in the company he is representing is not like him - or so I hope - at least not over the phone they aren't.

He was sizing me up and then gave me advice at the end. Part of me - the old me - wanted to take my debating skills, sharpen up the tongue, and slice his points one by one, to demonstrate his not only pedantic questions were not in touch with reality of the business he was presenting, but that his knowledge and acumen and style of the business work works only if he is part of the Mafia.

Anyway, while I did feel anger come up, I managed it. Although I will tell you, there was a place where my disease wanted to tell him to cram it up his you know where. I would have felt great delight in saying that. But, why? It would have felt great for . . . 10 minutes? 5?

Then the regret. The guilt. I would have felt bad afterwards.

I wanted revenge, that's true. I don't liked being judged. I don't like when someone is trying to demonstrate they are smarter than I am, especially, oh, and this is the good one, especially because they don't know what I've been through to get to where I am.

Now, isn't that last sentence revealing? Is that the "victim" thing I hear about in Al-Anon popping up?

Yes. Been through a lot. So has everyone else.

My job: Not to allow anyone to destroy, tip over, upset - MY SERENITY.

My sponsor says: If you have a chose, choose the path or the option that leads you to serenity.

Not his exact quote - but it is basically what he says. He doesn't use the word "path," that's mine. I wanted to sound "poetic" - another defect - not that poetry is bad - but that I am wanting to show that I am - well smart or worse - smarter than I am!

Ha! Today is going to be an excellent day.

PS - I am traveling. Staying at the Swissotel. Nice place. Bought chocolate baseballs for my daughter last night. They are the little round chocolates wrapped in baseball looking foil. Well, on the way to the restaurant I found the store that sold them. So, while in the restaurant, at the bar waiting for a table, I set the bag on this counter, on the wall. And you can guess where this may be going . . . the bag fell. And the baseballs fell out and rolled all around the bar. People laughed. I was - embarrassed - BUT - at the price of those chocolates, guess who was on the floor picking up baseballs?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Self Acceptance

Al-Anon; Self-Acceptance; Judging

In Al-Anon meetings, I rarely hear of anyone speaking on Self-Acceptance. I thought I would write this post about it and see if it makes sense and will help you. When I first read about self-acceptance and these words, I thought, "Wow. Very interesting . . . . Now I can put it to the test.

I believe judging yourself does not do you or anyone else any good. It only hurts and worse, it can wind up destroying yourself from the inside out.

One way to test - to see if you are judging yourself - is this;

Notice how you feel when you're in a group of people. Do you feel fragmented or do you feel complete?

By complete, I mean, do you feel whole? Of complete value? Or do you feel a little "less than?"

I am not saying that you should not act differently when you are at work, versus when you are with family or friends. We all have "roles" we have to play. I believe this is normal and frankly it would be hard to be the same way you are work as you are at home or with friends.

These are just roles. And we are not our roles.

Be aware of your behavior and how you feel in different situations.

Our Higher Power works through us and can make us feel complete and whole - because - I believe we are. And I believe we can be at peace and have serenity anytime and anyplace.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

A Downer Al-Anon Meeting? YOU Must Read This!!

I went to an Al-Anon meeting last night. It was led by a very articulate person, a person who asked me to lunch several times and we talked about our "situations." He too, has/had the same situation I have. One child, and a wife drinks/drank - the divorce.

Anyway . . .

He read from "How Al-Anon Works" a section in the back about a man whose sons were drinking - teenagers - and how the man, the father, became better and "took back over" as head of the family and gave the two boys the ultimatum; "Stop drinking/smoking pot, or get out."

It reminded me that this month is the month that I started this blog. And where I was in my recovery a year ago.

A lot of people shared. It was rather emotional for some. There was crying because of certain family situations. And the reading prompted the words "detachment, letting go, and choices."

At the end of the meeting, the discussion leader, who is very strong and what I would consider serene and well into recovery, came up to me and another person at the end of the meeting, and apologized, saying he didn't mean for it to be a "downer of a meeting." I replied, "I thought it was a good meeting. There was a lot of sharing."

I was over talking to someone else, and again, this person who is strong in recovery, came over and said, "I am sorry about the meeting topic being a downer." I replied, again, "It was a good meeting. I didn't see it as a downer."

When I got home last night - I was thinking; "Why did he think it was a bad meeting? Was it because people were crying and expressing their hurts and pain and fear?"

Many times now, as I look back, I see this pattern of men, expressing how the meeting turned into a "bitch session" or how the person expressing pain was "whining." I am not sure if the women do this, but I have not heard them say anything like this.


Interesting how some feel that expressing pain or sorrow or hurt or fear or anger or some negative emotion may be bad.

My initial analysis is: I do the same thing as my friend does or did. I want to the meeting to be happy, joyous, serene.

And, I want people to think "Man, he is ze most brillllliannnt of all the people in zee vorld." (use the accent of some mad German scientist).

Yep. That's my disease kicking in.

I suspect, that his disease is similar.

My analysis (and this is my disease too - the analysis thing) is this; he was attached to the outcome. He was emotionally attached to a result. And not achieving the desired result he was hoping for, his ego got hold of him and perhaps, made him feel, well, "less than" what he desired.

You can almost hear the ego's voice saying, "See. You are not that brilliant. You were not uplifting. You are but still 'less than' others. You'll never make it." And on and on the ego goes, pulling you/him, forever downward.

As the ego grabs hold of this person's brain and spirals downward, I liken it to an alligator grabbing it's victim in a death roll, until the victim drowns.

What makes the meeting bad?

Answer: Our labeling of it as so. There ain't the Al-Anon Meeting Olympic Committee. No Olympic Judges reviewing us. Their ain't no judges from Russia screwing with the point system. It is only our labeling it as "bad" that makes it bad. Does this make sense?

Ponder this for a second. "It is only our labeling of something of 'bad' that makes it bad."

Oh - I can hear the arguments going off in the heads of the readers of this right now.

The argument is you ego trying to take control of you. It is trying to make you "right." Don't let it. Observe it though.

But back to the point about labeling it as bad. Next thing we do; we gather the facts or our interpretation of the facts to support our labeling of it as bad. We look for all the reasons to protect our label and make the label the correct label. In other words, we look for the reasons or facts that make it "bad" and support the label. Why? Because we want to be right. And the ego wants you to feel like shit.

However, what if . . .

What if crying at the meeting was a sign that it was a good meeting? What it bitching actually helped someone release pent up energy and negativity he or she could not otherwise express? Especially express somewhere else? Expression of bad shit happening in one's life is why Al-Anon is such as GREAT place - because - it's here that it is safe to do so.

And my friend . . .

Well, he gave everyone the key to unlock the door that behind the door was a bunch of crap to be let go and explored as it was thrown out into the middle of the circle to view for the first time out loud.

This is power. This is the power of these rooms. A safe place to feel. A safe place to express. A safe place to screw-up (if you label it as such). And "screwing up" is just a label. Who actually judges whether it is a screw-up or not? And if we all judge it as a screw-up - it does not make us "right."


To my friend I would say; You may want to explore your feeling about it being a "downer" of a meeting last night. Why do you think it was? And why does it make any difference if it really was?

And, me - I should explore why I feel compelled to point this out to him? I know the answer. I will admit I would like to print this post off and hand him this post for him to read.

My answer as to why:
1. I want to help him see his illness. In other words, I want to fix him. (Control)
2. I want him to see my brilllll-ant writing and have him recognize that; I am ze best in ze vorld. Supersmart.

My answer is my disease.

I have control over my disease. I will not print this off and show him.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Signs of Strange Behavior

This post is about strange behavior of the alcoholic. Some things I should have seen as not "normal." I was lulled into a sense that this is a normal behavior pattern for a person. Below are some of the signs I maybe could have seen and recognized as alcoholism.

As you know, my story is one where I lived with alcoholism for years. I was married to an alcoholic.

Here's the strangest thing. I never knew that my wife - my "qualifier" was drinking. I just grew accustomed to how she was behaving and "just thought" that this - her strange and erratic behavior was normal.

Here are some signs of the strange behavior;

1. Failure at being on time - to anything. I am not compulsive about being "on time" especially outside of the business world. But being late all the time - for anything and everything should have been a "sign" that something was wrong.

By the way, her parents had the same problem with her. She would always be late to everything. And they thought it was "just her."

2. Forgetfulness. Yes, forgetting - a lot. Even forgot to pick her daughter up from school - or was late. Forgot to go grocery shopping - so there was little or no food in the house.

3. Shopping all the time. Another addiction. Forever leaving the house and shopping at the grocery store. It was "just one more thing" at this store or that.

4. Being unorganized - all the time.

5. Moodiness . . . especially at certain times. At 5PM every day she would become the devil. Her face would actually contort - twist - and she would be pissed off at me.

6. Being called a "Control Freak" - is a sign that you maybe controlling. But you are controlling something you don't understand and don't know why. For example, when you start asking questions about why your spouse is going out and you get "none-sensical answers" and you are then called a "control freak" - you may not be the problem, but your intuition is trying to tell you something is wrong and you are NOT listening or you are rationalizing it away. Being called a control freak may be a sign that you are controlling - you are not bad - you are just trying to figure out something that is not making sense. The problem is not recognizing that something is actually wrong.

7. Being controlling. Once you step into trying to control this disease - you lose. You lose your identity and the disease in the other person becomes more powerful in that the disease tells the alcoholic - "See, she/he is a bad person. Let's drink some more."

8. Missing work. Missing planes. Missing assignments. This occurred with Girl Scouts.

9. House a wreck. Car a wreck. I mean a mess. When stuff is scattered all over the floor -clothes or whatever or crud in the car - this is a sign. She was medicating herself away from the reality of life.

10. In my case - our daughter was always being "medicated." It was Motrin this and Motrin that for any pain. I have 4 full bottles of Motrin over my house (I no longer live with my wife and have filed for the big D in hopes that I could/can show some normalcy for our daughter). Our daughter would bring these bottles over in her suit case. I take them out and place them in the cupboard now. She was "in pain." But for some reason, once she was here, the pain was forgotten. I think this may be some sort of transference - my wife medicates herself and she wants to medicate our daughter. As I write this - I am a little pissed about this and would like to figure out what the heck to do about it.

11. Neighborhood women - they were sorta talking about my wife and how "funny" she was. I never "drilled down" into asking what they meant or what they were referring to.

12. Eating habits. My wife would eat a lot. Would these be munchies?

13. She was overly caring about what the neighbors thought of her. She wanted to show she was "perfect" on the outside, but in our home, it was a disaster. No dinners for us. But she would cook food for others who were coming home from the hospital after a baby was born or some event. Their dinner was perfect. Ours, well it sucked or did not exist. A big sign. The alcoholic and the alcoholism does not want to be found out, and wanted to put on a "perfect front." This is very normal in an alcoholic home. Sometimes the spouse of the alcoholic wants to put on the air of everything normal over here. But in reality - the house is screwed. And it - the pretending and denial affects the children - here's how: their gut/intuition is telling them something is wrong - but they are being told "don't worry about it" or "everything is normal" and "don't tell anyone." Puts a big pressure on a little person and makes them grow up confused as all hell.

14. Too many glasses of wine. Kendall Jackson was the affair with whom my wife had. I wonder how may people are drinking to be healthy and in reality - are now alcoholics . . . I really wonder. Who would think an alcoholic could be a white wine drinker?

15. Wife would go MIA for 10 minutes or 30 minutes. Our house was fairly large. So she could hide and drink. Another sign. Duh.

Anyway, these were some of my signs I "coulda," - "shoulda" seen

Please share your experience, strength and hope for others.

I know the focus needs to be on us - but there are some people out there who may be experiencing alcoholism and they are like us - they never knew it or don't know it - and need help to see it.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Fear and Honesty

Just got back in from Denver. Left early this morning to catch the noon day meeting. The topic was Fear and Honesty. Great topic.

Fear. Are we afraid to be honest? And if we were honest, what have we to fear? Others reactions? Maybe. Others not accepting us?

I am not talking about what someone referred to as brutal honesty. I am referring to just being honest in speaking what we mean. Not saying it meanly.

I was never a person who had fear. Now that I am coming "clean" - I can see where I may have covered up my fear with something else: false bravado; anger; jealousy . . .

My fear of losing what I had or was not getting. Perhaps. My fear of showing the world I too am just "human" and that I have foibles just like - well - everyone else.

What if we had no fear? And we were just honest? What would that feel like? No fear and honest to ourselves, to everyone. That would be a relief - a burden lifted. A feeling - I would like to experience. I am getting glimpses of these feelings.

Hope you are well

Sunday, August 17, 2008

More On My God Box

To God: Just to let you know God, I have two requests in there right now. Anything you can do to fulfill them would be great.

To All of Us: Almost immediately after I placed my first request in the box, I felt a strange feeling. It was a feeling, like something was "let go" and "released" and then a feeling like something was working. I cannot describe it the "working" feeling.

Maybe the feeling I got of just "releasing" it and turning it over, was enough. I felt lighter. This may be a way of expressing the Step 3 in a physical manner.

Just thought I'd share.

Friday, August 15, 2008

My "God Box"

Last night, I heard on an audio program the idea of creating a "God box." The speaker did not call it a "God box" but in several Al-Anon meetings I heard others speak of this concept of a "God box."

Interesting. You may think I am weird. And if you do, you are probably right. I am outside the norm of thinking sometimes, that I have lost the map and all I have is this compass thing - an inner voice, saying, "Hey, how do you know if you don't try it and have faith?"

Okay. So I am working hard on faith. I slip every now and then, and I try to take control of the steering wheel of life, taking it from my Higher Power's hands.

But this God box thing. This is - or will be - back to "is" (faith) powerful.

You get a box. A personal box - that no one can access - since I live alone - this is not a problem - and you write out what you need or desire. This morning I got my box. I said my prayer, telling my Higher Power I will place my need in this box. I wrote out my full description of what I am asking for and said another prayer about this need I have.

I placed the paper in the box and set it in a place where I could see it. And I told God, my Higher Power, I had this urgent need.

Later - three hours later to be exact - I feel, well, lighter. Interesting.

I have been blessed with many miracles in my life. I was reflecting the other day at the significance of this feeling of the miracles I have had occur all through out my life. I had this feeling several other times in my life, but that was a long time ago since I had them.

When my ego - which needs fear, worry and doubt to feed off of - creeps in, I forget the little miracles that have occurred that I am so grateful for.

So, here I tell you about a "God box." Another thing, a little thing, that I am already grateful for. I will go through the audio program again today and make sure I did this properly. I will write out the directions in a later post.

But, already, some how I feel like this thing that I have requested is already be worked on. Like I said, I feel lighter already. And that is a good feeling to have. Maybe it's just about letting go. Obviously, I have no idea what it is right now. But it feels good. So, . . . I am going with the flow, so to speak.

By the way, the steering wheel. I know it's a Ferrari steering wheel. I like to feel God would be driving something fast. I know. It's not humble.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Not About Al-Anon

I like to read business books. Or I should say, I used to. Lately my reading has been scattered to Al-Anon and "self-help" stuff - to stay focused as I go through this transformative period in my life. I will say, for the most of the waking hours in a day, I am "up." Although I hit a "down" period Tueday. Lost my serenity, but through no one else's fault but my own. I allowed some voices of doubt creep in.

The book to the right captured my attention a few years ago. It is an easy read. It's one of those books that get you thinking about how to be different. Paul Arden, the author wrote a follow-on book called "Whatever You Think - Think The Opposite."

I keep these two books handy - when I feel like I am stuck. Arden was a former creative director with Saatchi & Saatchi, one of the world's premier advertising firm. Arden apparently is "different." He admits to being fired a number of times. I sense he can be a little difficult to get along with. He probably just doesn't tell you that you are wrong, he probably does a second opinion too, like the comedian, Rodney Dangerfield says, ". . . And the doctor gave me a second opinion, he said, 'You're ugly too'."

I sense Arden was like Rodney Dangerfield, except without the humor. My sense is he can tell you are wrong and stupid as well.

Anyway, two interesting books to help you get "unstuck" and get the creative juices following. Also, the first book, It's Not How Good You Are . . . " is a book to motivate yourself to become better in your craft by seeing what others have done.

Not sure what the heck this has to do with a recovery blog - except getting unstuck - and maybe uplifted. And maybe that is exactly what we need in recovery sometimes.

Hope you are well.

Sorry Folks

There is a wild and crazy - funny guy - who has - well too much time on his hands. I wish him well. He is posting comments on a lot of recovery sites.

So, I had to turn on comment moderation. It's an extra step in the process.

In the meantime, so you don't have this guy attack your blog, I recommend that you do not post with your Google ID, and just sign your name.

See, I am still co-dependent - giving advice! But trust me, it is worth it!! Deleting Patrick's comments takes about 5 minutes, 5 minutes I don't have!

See the comments in the post below to see what I am talking about. Poor guy. Let's pray for Patty today.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A Cool Place

There is this cool place. It's near one of the Al-Anon meeting places I regulary attend.

There's this park, a park I blogged about around the 4th of July.

I try to go to this park anytime I can. It reminds me. I go there to read, walk around and look at people and just - well - Be.

Here is a picture of a cool tree in the park. The tree is the oldest tree in the park. The tree is fairly large. A great place to hang out. There is one branch, that juts out, like an arm, willing you to sit on it. Allowing you to be boosted up, on to the limb, and be comfortable, just sitting.

When I go now, I sit in view of the this tree reading one of my "Zen-like" psychology books that provide me peace, hope, direction and guidance. These books are not Al-Anon approved, although they have the same or similar principles of focus on yourself, one day at time, first things first, a higher self/universe/higher power/God, connectedness, detach, etc.

I was there this past Sunday after attending an Adult-child meeting. I sat seeking. After reading and walking for two hours, I left for a Sunday night Step meeting. I was at peace.

I will probably be there this Saturday after my Men's Meeting. Cannot go Sunday. I have to fly to Denver (well, now you know, I am not from Denver!).

This tree is my "what can be" tree. The limb the juts out, makes this tree a cool tree, because it is different from other trees in the park.

My mission there: I am seeking, as I sit there. I know it will come. I must be patient.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Making Choices

You have the ability to change your life. Your life is a series of choices.

With recovery we find we can begin trusting our voices again. We can find that no matter what someone says and what messages from the outside world we receive, the only message we need in the one from our hearts.

We just need to tell our subconscious what we want. The subconscious in the creative part of the human mind. This is where we have stored all the past events - imagined and real - in our heads. This part of the mind cannot think for itself, it cannot tell itself what you want, but it can provide the insight and direction and the correct steps for you to take to bring desire into reality.

But you have to decide what it is you want. Another but. But you have to get clear thinking into your life first. I can speak to this directly. I did not have clear thinking when I was living with my qualifier. I could not break the spell of alcoholism - at least - not at first. I had to go to meetings - a lot of meetings - and get a sponsor -to get some clarity as to what I needed to do.

Back to the point of this post - you have to leverage, use and know that the subconscious in a storehouse and powerhouse for information to connect you to what it is you want. It can provide the answers and the guidance and the actions you need to take to get there.

But you have to decide. What is it you want? The power of choice is the critical step. You cannot sit around hoping. You have to decide what it is you desire. And you have to feed the subconscious with the picture of you in the image of reality getting whatever it is you desire.

Of course the blocking force is self-doubt. Self-doubt is your biggest enemy. It strives to keep you where you are and keeps you "little." The ego part of our minds does not want you to change. It wants to be fed. And it feeds on past inadequacies, mistakes, criticisms, and problems. These negative "events" replay themselves in the subconscious. And manifests in you as self-doubt.

Of course your desire has to "realistic," whatever that means. Here is the point to realistic, that self-doubt will be able to feed upon. If the desire is marry Brad Pitt, well, that is pretty much impossible. I am not Brad's type - as far as I know. And if your desire is to inherit a million dollars, well that might be pretty much impossible too, especially if your Aunts and Uncles don't have a million.

Do you see what I am saying? Does this make sense?

Having a goal of making $100,000 this year if you are making $80,000, may not be unrealistic. Having a goal of getting a new home in three years may be within the realm of possible. I think that's the right term - "the realm of possible."

Once you decide - and decide you must - the subconscious, once it is fed this goal or desire over and over and over - will begin to provide you with people, news, information, things, events and situations. It can provide you flashes of insight of things you can do, people you can call, places to go and so on. But it must have the knowledge that this is what you want.

If you do not choose - and this is equally as important - you will be subject to the whims and opinions of others. You will be essentially - stuck. Stuck where you are with what you have.

One more thing. And this is more important than knowing what you want, is knowing that what you don't want can and will manifest itself in your life too. If you dwell on fear and lack and limitation, of being poor, unhappy, being with crappy friends, and a crappy job, you will get exactly more of that in your life.

How? Simply this: you will look for - subconsciously - the crappy people to make you unhappy and miserable. They - the people and the events - will be attracted to you like a magnet, because of what has been fed into your subconscious.

How do I know this? I can see it in my own life when I play the tapes (or DVD in today's parlance) back. When I press rewind (fast reverse) I can see the events occurring and I can remember how I was feeling and behaving before the event. I have attracted good things - great things - into my life too.

It works like the sun coming up in the east and setting in the west. You can bank on it every single time.

So what is it you want? And if you want it so badly, what will it look like? If you feed your mind with what you what and provide a detailed picture of it, you will be drawn to this so powerfully, you won't be able to imagine.

Decide. Then trust. Listen to your inner voice. And in your heart you already know what you want. Just decide. It may mean giving something up. Isn't this true?

Friday, August 8, 2008

Pleasing Others

In Al-Anon I heard the term, "People Pleasers." I thought that was an interesting term. But after awhile I did not like it. It was - well - sort of degrading.

People pleasers? Does that mean I lost my identity and what I want and sacrifice this for others want? I thought it was just being nice and courteous. I think I did do this - not always - but enough.

Here are some words I would like to share derived from Dr. Robert Anthony;

Pleasing Others - A Psychological Dead end
When you go to heaven, or meet your maker, it is where God will not ask, "did you please others?" But instead will ask, "Have you been yourself?" I think this is great because when we think about it - it is here that God placed us to be ourselves. Not be someone else. Or why would he created us? (specifically, you. not the people in the world "us")

People are struggling to be themselves. Why? Because of the need to please others. We feel this deep down need to get approval from others. Follow the main stream. Get the latest fashion. Look good so others will approve. It's in our cultural norms. I am not saying that we should not do this - but perhaps we carry this too far. Perhaps indeed.

Assume your own destiny. What others think does not matter. A 100 years from now, no one will remember if you stubbed your toe, or your boss was angry at you or you lost your job or you - you fill in the blank. I am not saying you should be depressed. But try to put the things we think are so important into perspective. YOU only have one chance at life on this little "Hair ball planet." As far as we know. Go for it today without thought of whether they approve or not.

At first this will be a lonely process. And it may seem others are against you. The decision to live your life is up to you. The decision to live your life is your responsibility.

Your action or inaction is your responsibility.

Some peoples' conditioning will be in conflict with your and when they see someone living in opposition to their values and beliefs, it can be very frightening to them. For you are threatening their beliefs.

But realize, what they think, does not matter. This IS, YOUR life. And you only get one chance. And in the end, it doesn't matter what they think anyway. God will only ask, "Have you been yourself?" Or said another way, "Did you live your life in an extraordinary way - a way that only you could have approved of and have no regrets?"

This is what I believe. But I need reminding of this every single day. Thanks!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Ok. So the last post I talked about this dinner I had with this Russian girl and another friend of mine (a guy). This was a strange night. It wasn't the dinner, but it was that my friend, not the Russian girl, is going through a similar experience as I went through with his wife.

I just met him too. And he, well happens to be helping me with my divorce. In any event, I thought this is bizarre. How is it this guy is going through the same crap I went through?

So, the prelude to all this is this. My mother said to me (as well as others who are not in Al-Anon), "How could you have married someone who was an alcoholic? Didn't you know the signs since you had it with your father?"

I have been asked this over and over. It doesn't bother me. I do know the answer now. We attract these people who drink. It is really, really weird. There are a few people in my AL-Anon meetings that have given up and they have decided that they are going to date alcoholics or recovered alcoholics. They have given up trying to find someone outside of alcoholism that might be interested in them. This sounds strange, but it true. Think about it. Think about it hard.

Anyway.Back to the Russian girl. She is telling me about a bar she went to. A big bar. Maybe 300 to 500 people in it. By the way - she looks not like a Russian at all. She almost looks a little Spanish. So she is standing next to the bar. And of all the 500 people who are there, up walk two guys who start talking to her.

Guess where they are from?

Just guess . . . Go ahead.

Yes. They are from Russia.

Are you kidding me.

Interesting I say to her at dinner. What attracted them to come over to you and start talking I asked? She had no clue. The clothes she wears are all American. Except when she talks she has an accent. I thought she was Mexican at first.

Interesting - two Russian guys walk across the bar and start hitting on her.

So, how do we attract people with this affliction? Because it is in our DNA? Yes?

Well, I am in repair mode now. No offense to anyone in recovery. I have grown up with it. I was married to it. And I too am attracting this into my life with my friend - not the Russian - the guy.

What a circus. I mentioned this at an Al-Anon meeting Sunday. A woman came up to me and told me to watch "What the Bleep."

I will.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Pushing My Button & A Power Greater Than I

Today my wife - soon to be exaroo - and I met and actually exchanged words. It became a defensive conversation as I explained that I thought we should try to keep any conversations about the divorce, finances, etc away from our daughter.

She went on to say that if our daughter heard anything it was probably through her friends, that have mothers that are friends with my soon to be exaroo-wife.

I said, "Huh?" And then I lit up inside. It was the shallowest of lies and BS. And I said, "That's pretty vague. That's enough." And then left.

I called my sponsor - he is the greatest man in the universe. He sits and listens. Then he tells me to say, "Three Our Fathers", "Two Hail Mary's," and sing the song "Kumbaya."

Actually the last part was a joke. The singing and saying prayers part.

My sponsor listens and says, "What are you powerless over?"

My response, "Anything my wife does or says."

Him, "What can you do about it?"

Me, "Come to believe a power greater than myself can restore me to sanity."

I am working the Steps 2 and 3 at the same time. I learned "Power" can be not just God, but any power greater than I am at that given moment. It might be a Al-Anon friend, a sponsor, a reading, a meeting, etc.

Thank God for this program. I have never opened up so much to someone about my fears and foibles. And to have someone there - right there - so I can unload - but at the same time not talk about the qualifier and not take sides. We are not looking to right and righteous. This will not bring serenity, in fact will only block it.

In my old days, I would have argued with my soon to be ex. I would try and convince her that my way was right. Even though I am right - I was wrong. OK, that last sentence was to be a little humor too. The good news is, I can control my wanting to control. And let go of the uncontrollable. In the old days, I would have gotten really worked up. But after calling my sponsor, I was - well - done with it.

My sponsor said, "Get out your notebook. Write every feeling you have from that experience. Don't have to show it with anyone, you can burn the pages, but write every nasty thing you can think about the situation.

Well, the first thing I wrote was about her hair. She is using a flat iron thing. Her hair looks like Cleopatra's hair. OK? So I did write that. And I am not proud, but that was the nastiest I got. Except for her dress. Why do women wear pup tents for dresses? OK. That was the second nastiest thing I wrote. The third thing I wrote was about her talking incessantly and jumping from topic to topic. That last part was probably due to the alcoholism (she wasn't drunk or drinking as I could tell. But she has a form of attention deficit disorder.).

I wrote more. But I wrote about me. And the above nasty things were and are - none of my business. And frankly, a form of judgment - well not a form - it is judgment. I wrote about why I got angry and why I hate lies and deceitfulness. I hate lies and deceiving - I am not sure why I want people to stop spinning. But again, that's not my business, as long as I know they are lies, and they don't harm me.

Focus on yourself. That's the key.

Later - let me tell you about a dinner date I had with two friends. One lady was from Russia. Pretty interesting.

See you tomorrow. Hope you are well. Or this one

The weather is here, wish you were well.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

What They Think About Me

Al-Anon quote - almost a slogan -

This is a good one. I've heard this many times since going to Al-Anon. I have applied it to almost all of my affairs - business, personal, in Al-Anon meetings, at the store, etc. etc.

Let me state what this almost Al-Anon slogan is - and it is a great one. Here it is;

"What they think about me, is none of my business.

(I think for bettter effect, leave off the comma.)

I try to tell myself this whenever I drift off into thinking about what the other person is thinking. What a crazy thing, this thinking about what the other person is thinking. Hello. Is anyone home? Are you crazy or what? You are thinking what they are thinking - about you? Seems really silly, when you stop and really think about it?

How often do we do this? And worse, we can send ourselves down the tubes, in terms of moods, when we do this, because naturally we think they are thinking something bad about us. It is never good is it? And our moods - well - we can ruin a perfectly good day

This happened to me yesterday. I was - well - er' - serene. Until a conference call. And I rambled. And I spoke almost non-stop. Why? Because I was passionate about the topic. Why? Because I did not prepare as well as I should have. Why? Because I was tired.

Well, now I am in the other party's head. I am thinking; "What are they thinking?" and "What should I do now?

Yesterday I obsessed a lot about this. So I found a meeting (an Al-Anon meeting) to get back to a centeredness.

What can I do now? Nothing. Pray. Turn it over to God. Do a Step 1 and 3 here.

Stop obsessing - and playing that "what if" and "how could I" questions in my head. If I get an email that I sucked, I will not die. But I will come back and address it and make amends and ask for a "do over."

I am still in recovery. I cannot believe I am where I am and how affected I have become in this disease. Thank God for a program.

So, back to my claim above about I how I applied it in almost all my affairs. I need to be clear on this and truthful. I remind myself often, but I still drift into other people's heads, wondering what they think about me and it can turn negative and just destroy a very perfectly fine day.

I hope you can use this tool today.