Monday, January 26, 2009

Here is a poem I read and think about. I heard it from a Canadian - now a US citizen - named Brian Tracy.
The third - is it "stanza?" - or "verse?" - is less known.
I have this somewhat memorized - especially the second verse, beginning with - "Life is queer with it's twists and turns . . ." This rings true for me. It reminds me that things that seem bad now - are not really bad in the long run. In fact, they turn out to be good.
The poem has gotten me through some tough parts of life. I opened up on of my repeatable journals - books where I copy text and make notes of certain books I like and reread them - and saw this poem this morning.
It made me feel good. Read this, print it out and post it on your refrigerator or in your journal. I think you may be able to use this.
Don't Quit

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don't you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As everyone of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don't give up, though the pace seems slow -
You might succeed with another blow.
Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor's cup.
And he learned too late, when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out
- The silver tint of the clouds of doubt -
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit -
It's when things seem worst that you mustn't quit.
- Author Unknown -

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Accepting where you are right now.

Accepting to me used to mean - giving up, giving in, or saying, "What's the use?"

Accepting means to me today, I am happy and satisfied with what I am, what I have and living now in the present. What a change. A word that had such a negative connotation to being a word that is positive and fulfilling.

If I can accept - and not crave or desire for what ought to be, I am a much happier person. I don't compare, judge, evaluate, or wish for something different.

Just for Today: Try to accept where you are, what you have and not wish for something to be different. Even better, try not wishing for someone else to be different.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

I'm bAAck

Good morning-

I have had a lot of pressure to deal with. Child custody mediation. What a nightmare. Because there are no DUIs/DWIs - there is no evidence of a problem drinker. I am made to look like the nut case.

Isn't that one of the real issues with this disease? We are made to look like we are overreacting, which we probably do at times, a little crazy and obsessed - which we are at times too.

We are made to feel - inferior. We are made to feel like we are less than.

No one outside the alcoholic home knows what we go through. I am 6' 4" - and this little woman - 5' 5" looks innocent compared to me and my deep voice. I am made out to be the bad guy. Especially since I can get pissed off, I all of a sudden have "anger problems." A nice 2009 cultural label that one cannot fend off very well. Something that is more "apparent" than an alcoholic driving and drinking with children in the car.

Okay. So that sounded like victim language.

But I am not. I was given less custody by the guardian ad litem (GAL) - the court appointed attorney we requested. I was really pissed.

But I prayed. And I really did. In the mediation, the GAL changed his mind a week after he told the parties of his findings - in the meeting after my deposition.

Prayer does work. I must remember faith and compassion for the universe and God of my understanding.

Compassion for all and especially ME!

It's almost over. Next is the money division. My wife is very rich and will become even richer because of inheritance. I fear I will lose a lot of my assets and she will have 2X money and soon 5X.

I worry and pray again. I came from a poor family. I am fortunate and grateful to have worked my head and butt off. I have brothers who are a doctor, an entrepreneur, an exec and a sister who is in sales. We all made it out of poverty so to speak - and now we don't have to worry where the next meal is coming from.

I worry about being poor again - even though I know I won't. But I have this vision or fear of living in a dilapidated apartment that is dark and dingy. I saw one of these apartments last week on my way to the mediation. My stomach went empty and my heart jumped. I could visualize myself in the apartment - dark, watching TV .... it scared me.

I worry and I pray for peace and this coming to an end.

Prayer - which I never did really - until about 1.5 years ago - has been a great soother for me.

I have been out of town working - a management kick-off meeting - in San Antonio TX. We worked from Sunday to Thursday - 15 hours a day. The Riverwalk was very nice and great architecture - saw this for about an hour one day - the only hour for down time.

Peace this Saturday and weekend to you all.

Monday, January 12, 2009

A Note I Made To Myself

I reread this from a course I took that the county mandated all people going through a divorce take. The note I made in my notebook was startling when I heard it and so I captured it on paper.

I reread it this weekend - about 6 months after I wrote it down. It says a lot. I am afraid it says a lot about me. It does not reference alcoholism, but it is, I believe, germane.

Here is the sentence I captured;

"The pathologically tolerant person looks for a controller who has an addiction."

Interesting and revealing. I am hoping that I am not looking for a controller anymore. I notice I am tolerant, but I am not sure where the tolerance boundary lies. Does it lie in accepting to go out to eat anywhere - because I really don't care what I eat? Does it mean I put up with people being late? Or people not expressing their love for me? How far does tolerance go?

There is one more sentence - a bullet point I captured right below this sentence. I didn't see it this weekend. Here it is;

"The controller has no clue how he affects others. He is narcissistic."

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Not Everything Goes According To Plan

OK. Yesterday - was okay - in some ways it sucked. I was provoked by the alcoholic and by her attorney. And I provoked. And I argued back.

Arguing with an alcoholic's attorney. Now that is a new concept for Al-Anon. I think my wife's attorney was surprised. My attorney was surprised - for sure. My disease is I was so used to arguing with the alcoholic - arguing with a semi-sane person was/is actually fun.

Yes. I know. I shouldn't have. I am sort of beating myself up this morning and at the same time, realizing everything is as it is for a reason.

Everything is as it was meant to be.

There is comfort in that.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Holding Your Thoughts

Today I am working on holding my positive thoughts and overriding my worries.

I am a little anxious. Friday I go to mediation with my wife and the lawyers. The lawyers want money - our money. I pray for God's will and that I see it and my wife sees it. I am strategizing how the mediation will go as my wife is very well-to-do and has family money. But as I have learned, I have to let go of the outcome and allow God - my Higher Power - to step in.

I am not in control of the outcome - but I can do the necessary steps to prepare.

I am much happier than I was a year ago. I know everything that has happened has a reason.

I am very blessed and fortunate. When I allow my feelings to turn to gratitude and feeling blessed, I feel less anxious.

I have not been to a meeting since Friday. My schedule is off. I will go today at noon.

Hope you all are well.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year - A Chance To Begin Again (A Do Over)

It's a New Year. A chance to begin again. A "do-over" in life. I used to think I would have to wait until the New Year to begin something for real - like a diet - because the New Year made it feel more "official."

Actually, every moment is a chance to begin. A chance to change course. A chance to - start all over again - without the guilt and burdens of the imperfect things you have done or may have said.

Removing the Burdens of the Past
You are in my way of thinking - perfect. There should be (I know "should be") no burdens of the past. With no burdens of the past - aren't we perfect?

There is a lot of talk in Al-Anon that we are not perfect. Here is where I disagree.

I believe we are perfect. What we do or what we say is not perfect. I am connected to my Higher Power and created so that goodness flows through me. I am a human being, living in a world of other human beings and my reactions to them and to the circumstances of "life" are not always in harmony or balance.

The teachings of Al-Anon help me center and react to the stresses of life more perfectly. The works of Al-Anon help teach me what is right or more right than how I used to respond.

If I can shed my disease of thinking too much - I can be a much better person - not to others and for the "sake of humanity," but - for me. This in and of itself is a break through. The words, "for me" are strangers to my lips and my mind. I have always reacted for others. I have been a caretaker, caregiver, advice giver, counsellor, fixer.

Changing and A Do-Over
I am changing. I now know I can claim a do-over. Now. Officially. For this is a New Year.

Yes - I am changing my thought patterns - with new thought patterns. One of the areas I am changing is I have become more open. Or so I believe. Let me give you what I think is a big example of my changing;

I have a friend who believes in Numerology. I would have thought this person was nuts. But I listened, read this person book on it and it was - well - interesting. I was a "number 1." Not surprisingly. But my "number 1" put me at odds with others - especially other "number 1's." I won't go into the details - because this is not the point of whether this is believable or not - but what is, is the fact that I would have thought this was crazy.

So, back to a do-over. As a kid, I grew up in the northeast. We would play baseball, football, kickball, and board games and whatever - all day. A do-over is when you swung and missed and claimed a "do-over" for some unexplained reason. Or you moved a piece on the board and it was a huge error and for some reason - like you had not been paying attention - claimed this "Do-over thing."

So, today - I am claiming a "Do Over" - officially. This do over thing gives me permission to change, steer the ship on a smoother course. The Time Machine (above picture) is of course not real and we cannot go back in time to undo stuff that we feel we may have done that has harmed us or others. But the Time Machine is symbolic in that we can "do over" now whatever we want by beginning to Let Go (there's that slogan again - See yesterday's post below) of the past. If I can let go of the past, the past cannot rock my ship like waves banging against the hull. The path I take or course, if I can follow this damn metaphor properly, is smoother without the past banging against the side of my ship, (my brain), trying sink me.

The past is a burden we carry around that keeps us from enjoying this second, this moment. It causes us (me!!!) to think we are (I am) not perfect and therefore should be punished (my guilt) or not forgiven because we are unworthy of being forgiven.

What "Perfect" Does For Me
I have come to believe we all are perfect. And the moment we live in - I live in - is perfect - because this is where I am supposed to be and I cannot undo God's Will. That everything I have done or what has happened is and was out of my control more often than not and to hold that thought helps me ease off on the brakes of my life and helps me accept myself and others. It releases.

The gift of the program about not being perfect - and this what I believe Al-Anon is really trying to teach me is that it is helping me understand that we are all imperfect and if so, we are all okay - especially me! And this MEANS YOU!!! And you know who you are as you read this! You are okay and will be okay.

It is a hard concept to understand and my brain, ego, previous programming, does not want me to look at myself in this way. My disease wants to call attention to the stupid stuff I did or hurtful things I have said or what I believe other have done to me. That is my burden. That is what I am shedding and calling a do-over on.

Last - this thought entered my mind - if I can just shut up most of the time - I can be of no harm to myself. What do I mean? I have this tendency to verbalize my thoughts. I "think out loud." When I hear myself think - I go - okay, I get it. Later, however, I sound stupid or say something stupid and I am perceived as a little weird. I am learning - even at my age - this is not a great thing to do at work. Especially with all the left brainers I work with.

Shut Up and HALT (so I don't call a do-over)
But more importantly - to shut up when I am hungry, angry, lonely or tired. The tired thing trips me up a lot lately. It used to be angry, but I understand my anger now. Now I am just not sleeping fully or resting fully. So when that happens, my propensity to "think out loud" occurs more often and my guard is down, and then I say something that is not the most intelligent. And, when I am tired, I am quick to anger. My anger spews forth in words I am soon to regret and in reality have no real baring on what or how I feel toward another person. This is another place where I wish I could do immediate "do overs."

Thank God for Al-Anon. I am seeing the speed bumps on my path of life more clearly. And the speed bumps are usually what I have placed in the road - not someone else's.


So, officially, I am Letting Go and claiming a "do over."