Monday, February 23, 2009

Concentrate on the Effort - My Affirmations

So, my affirmations are starting again. I used to focus on the goal - ALL the time. That made me future oriented. I never lived in the present. I spent my time thinking and planning for the future. I would even be on the beach thinking about when I got back from vacation - about work - or thinking about what we would do later that night.


Concentrate on the Effort

  1. I concentrate on the effort in order to change my present circumstances.
  2. I focus on efforts rather than results (don't cringe here corporate America).
  3. I know our culture focuses on the results.
  4. I know only true freedom comes from me calling the shots.
  5. I know success is fleeting and success is never guaranteed.
  6. I can count on my ability - however - to withstand things, no matter what the outcome.
  7. I have developed the ability to roll with the punches, to laugh at myself, to approach winning and losing philosophically rather than as life and death.

Take care and see you soon


Okay this might be weird sounding. But in the midst of my divorce and battling my wife's alcoholism, I shut down my brain at night so I could go to sleep.

Shut down? Well maybe not exactly shut down. But what happened was I very - and I mean very rarely dreamed for the past several - 9 or 10 - months. I know - I dream - you say, I just don't remember the dreams.


The past several weeks has brought me to a clearer frame of mind. I am seeing things more clearly - more defined - sharper. I recognized this the other night. I was not in a funk - I was present.

Last night I dreamed - now get this - of my lawyer. Yep. Lawyer.

I woke up on the edge of the dream - reviewing something my wife had or something - and he was very interested in it. It was - I think - her not working or not wanting to work.

Damn. I wonder if the bastard is going to bill me.

PS - for those of you who have not had a messy divorce, you have no idea how long it takes to divorce and what a crappy, unfair (for both sides) process this is. The lawyers DO milk it. It is like a funeral home. Everyone is emotional, and you can sell just about anything.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Comparision - My Affirmations

In Al-Anon I get to sit and hear and think for an hour about the things I have read over and over again for years . . .

Prior to Al-Anon, I learned from Dr Robert Anthony that comparison is not a good thing. Competing with others, while it is the "American way," can be harmful if you (I) are continually looking at what others have or do compared to what you have or do.

"You will never be as good or bad on any given day or at any given moment as another person." That's my quote. It just came from me. From somewhere just now. But it makes sense. At least to me. Some days, I will suck. Other days, another person will suck. That's pretty basic.

Oh yeah. I read this somewhere. "Some days the dragon wins." Okay, I got it. Here's my affirmations regarding comparison.


  1. I know it's easy to think that one can be happy only if you are right and someone else is wrong.
  2. I know for me to find my way, I must set myself beyond comparing myself to others.
  3. I know comparing myself to others and what they have, or do, makes me miserable.
  4. I know like the quote says; "The medals are always shinier on someone else's chest."
  5. I strive and achieve for situations where I can use my own assets to the fullest measure possible.
  6. I strive and achieve for situations in which my view of myself is not contingent on anybody else's view of me.
  7. I know I don't have to prove myself to anybody and this makes me feel great.
  8. I know comparison is a trap. Comparison feeds my ego as I am either better than or less than someone else.
  9. If I compare, I compare myself today and where I was yesterday. I look to see how much progress I have made over the past several days, weeks, and months.
  10. I replace comparing with gratitude - gratitude for what I have, what I have become, and what I can do from here. I am very fortunate. I am lucky and I am grateful.
  11. Today brings me another chance to call a "do over."
  12. No one holds me back. I replace a negative thought with a positive thought, knowing my mind can only carry one thought at a time. I dwell on that positive thought until the negative thought is diminished or has evaporated.

Hoping you are well.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Taking Action - My Affirmations

Al-Anon says; "Figuring it out, is not an Al-Anon slogan." However, doing nothing is not an Al-Anon slogan either. In Al-Anon we can confuse "turning it over to our HP" or "letting go" or "Live and Let Live" with "just sit there."

But this is not the case. You and I have to do the leg work. In our disease - and battling alcoholism - we become caught up in the fight which gives the alcoholism more power. To me it was like fighting the devil. It sounds weird, but in the middle of this craziness I became - well - friggin' crazy.

I thought about the disease and the craziness in my house and I cannot ever explain to anyone just how insane it was. I remembered this morning the insanity of worry, dread, hurt, aloneness, and suppressed anger.

When I started going to meetings and seeking help, I tried detaching. I in effect, tried to do nothing.

I have this thing now, where I am not working but perhaps 50% of what I used to work, because I have tried to "do nothing" more often. In fact, in many cases I do nothing more than I take action. It's almost like I am paralyzed. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Because I was usually doing something in the NOW - for something in the future. I therefore was not enjoying the NOW.

Now, I need to do more for the future. In fact I just built this PowerPoint presentation for a meeting next week. I had a few good ideas and I needed to capture them. I started to feel this rush that I need to obsess with doing more for the future. It is an old behavior that I am not sure I am ready to engage with again.

However, I know I need to take action on many things. I was never a procrastinator, but now I feel in some way I am procrastinating more. I feel lethargic more often than I used to. I feel too detached in some ways.

So here is a list of affirmations to help me focus on what to take action on, and what I should just leave alone. I hope this helps you.

Taking Action

  1. I act rather than not act on the things I know I have to do
  2. I write down what I need to do and then I review the list and I prioritize the list based upon: What is important to do right now. What is urgent but not important; What can be delegated or can wait until tomorrow. (Actually I have a much more defined system but this is enough for you right now)
  3. I work on only the important items right away.
  4. I review my list mid-day and at the end of the day to see progress and feel good about what was done.
  5. I focus all my energies on the task before me and waste no time thinking about the outcome. (this one was very new and foreign to me! I always thought about the outcome)
  6. When I focus on the task, I am achieve gratifying results.
  7. I know often spectacular results come only after I have pushed myself beyond where I thought I could go.
  8. I know like the marathon runner gets a "Second wind," I may find success is simply a matter of a little extra try.
  9. I know fear of failure is usually out of defensiveness, since we don't want people to laugh at us.
  10. I know I may avoid embarrassment by refusing to put myself into situations where failure might be a possible outcome.
  11. By depriving myself of a chance to fail, I deprive myself of a chance to succeed. I end up risking and doing nothing rather than risk anything at all.
  12. I know this puts me in perpetual limbo.
  13. I can gain valuable perspective on myself if I control my defensiveness.
  14. I know this means I make a habit of getting into uncomfortable situations and feelings and refuse to blame others for these.
  15. I know I am not the project, I am not a failure if the project fails.
  16. I always strive to do, and enjoy the doing, by staying focused on the action, like a mountain climber stays focused on each step he takes.

The next post will be about my favorite; "comparison."

Take care.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Controlling My Thoughts - My Affirmations

More affirmations gained through my reading and Al-Anon. Here is a section on "Thinking." Thinking can be my best friend or my worst enemy. Gaining control over my thoughts is probably the most important thing I can do. All these affirmations are designed for me to focus on the positive and put the negative into perspective. Notice I said "put the negative into perspective." It's not about eliminating the negative, which I would have placed a bet on two years ago. I have learned that the more I try to eliminate negative thoughts the more power I give my negative thoughts.

Controlling My Thoughts;

  1. I decide what my brain is going to think about just as I decide how my arm is under my control.
  2. I decide what I am going to think about.
  3. I learn to choose what to think about so I can control my responses and this gives me real self-confidence.
  4. I know the only person I can change is me.
  5. I control the smallest and insignificant actions of my daily life.
  6. I use self-observation: Do I feel tense?; Do I feel scared?
  7. I then go into self-control. I calm myself in the midst of misfortune and nervousness. I am able to gain calm.
  8. I know the calm person has far better chances of success in all areas of life than someone who is prey to a thousand tricks and turns of emotion.
  9. I know this is exemplified when faced with a threatening situation; I should strive for balance and poise;
  10. - I hold off a moment before talking or responding to someone who offends.
  11. - I think before responding in anger or retreating in sullenness.
  12. - I should have enough confidence to temper my anxieties with reason.
  13. - I know only this brings clarity and patience into my view of the situation.
  14. I know the tragedy and the beauty of human consciousness is; "We live in the mind."
  15. I influence the kinds of experiences I have in the world by learning to program and select my thoughts.
  16. I know approaching things from a negative viewpoint is giving me two strikes before I even step up to the plate.
  17. I know the person who habitually predicts success has a far greater chance of achieving it.

That's it for today.

Thanks for the kind words everyone has given me. It has meant a lot to me as I go through - what is for me - uncharted territories - and an emotional drain.

My brain manufactures a lot of my hostility and negativity however. And I need to get my thinking under my control.

And the words expressed here have helped me believe I have a lot of friends I have yet to meet.

Thank you all and best wishes.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Life Is A Journey To Be Lived Forward - My Affirmations

This is the 3rd part of a lot of parts of "My Affirmations." I wrote these down in one of my many zillion notebooks. But unlike my other notebooks, these are written in the "Anything" notebook - the 4 by 6 inch version - something I can carry around and reread.

I reread these - all the parts which are not yet posted - out loud this morning. I can tell you it DID make me feel more in control. More in control of my mind and my emotions - or - attitude is probably the better word.

Here is part 3;

Life Is A Journey To Be Lived Forward

  1. I live life in the present moment.
  2. I remember that life is a marathon, not a sprint.
  3. I know the journey of life is in front of me, not behind me.
  4. I know yesterday's results are history.
  5. I am not in control of yesterday and therefore cannot change yesterday.
  6. I do not rest on my laurels. I move forward. I do something everyday - even if it is just one little thing - that is positive and aimed at achieving a goal I have set for myself.
  7. I know over time, one thing a day, adds up to a lot of actions over the course of a year, and much more over the course of 5 years and 10 years.
  8. I know people who rest on their laurels or past successes are in far worse shape than those who have tried something and failed, for they are no longer growing and learning.
  9. I know the real key to success is resilience, the ability to bounce back from defeat, from failure, from adversity and trials.
  10. I know successful Olympic athletes - champions - common mark of success was their lack of a fear of failure.
  11. I know - in fact - that champions are stimulated by their failures.
  12. I know these champions go on with the race.
  13. I also know that true champions are not distracted by their successes.
  14. I am stimulated by my failures, mistakes and adversities.
  15. I learn to laugh at these and look forward to today and tomorrow, and dwell on yesterday.
  16. I see every failure and mistake as a test.
  17. I detach myself from the event - for I am not the event - the event is the event and I am me.
  18. I bounce back fast, using it as immediate feedback without dwelling on it as an embarrassment.
  19. I am prepared for discouragements.
  20. I visualize my life as a long distance run.
  21. I visualize the run whereby I am continually revising my strategy based on feedback.
  22. I do not keep score. I do not tally up victories or defeats.
  23. I write m own script for my future and what I want to be.
  24. The day I pick a goal and start working toward achieving it, I begin to control my own life.
  25. I know the goal is not important, but marshaling my energies to choose one is important is, well as the effort and energies expended to achieve it.
  26. When I begin, I keep moving. I don't second guess. I don't look back. I do it. I advance - I go forward.
  27. I try to cover as much territory toward my goal as possible.

I know, that's a lot of affirmations today. Plus you have the 2 from the past 2 days. Yes, use them all. Print them out and read them. Out loud. In Starbucks if you have to. Hell, they will give you a free coffee if you are "crazy" enough to attempt it probably.

By the way, I bought one of these Starbucks cards - where you keep "recharging" the card with dollars. Anyway, the tightwad in me thinks I make/save money because I get free refills on my coffee when I go there (which is not often unless traveling). Yes, I save 50 cents on the 1 refill they give you. With the card, I get as many refills as I want - for free. I am single-handedly driving Starbucks' stock price into the ground. And, I am wired for sound when I leave there.

Peace to you today. And tomorrow. Yesterday is gone. Only today, this moment is what life is about.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Turning Point - My Affirmations

Here is a second set of affirmations. Combine this with yesterday's . . .

Turning Point

  1. I know I can begin to change things by looking at my present situation as a turning point in my life.
  2. I know this is the moment when I take the first steps toward leading a life in accord with my own unique desires.
  3. I learn to solve my problems in accord with how I want to live my life.
  4. I solve my problems based on what I want and not what others want.
  5. I learn to trust what I want.
  6. What I want is important.
  7. I don't need anyone else's permission to seek what I want.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Using Difficult Times - My Affirmations

Over the next few days and perhaps weeks, I am going to record some of my affirmations. They are a mixture of what I have read or heard in Al-Anon, Al-Anon related books and books I consider as great and have a lot of similarities to Al-Anon related material.

I read the affirmations below and was so inspired I raced back to the hotel to type them up. They are broken into sections. Here is section 1.

Using Difficult Times

  1. I know efforts to eliminate tension can actually create more of it
  2. I have learned to flow with anxiety rather than try to eliminate it.
  3. I know my distress will not last forever.
  4. Since my distress will not last forever I am better able to cope with pressure.
  5. I remind myself that negative thoughts come from bottled up feelings which I may be reluctant to express, except toward myself (a great reason to go to Al-Anon meetings)
  6. I set single minded goals, realizing there is no guarantee for success.
  7. I know if I keep at it - and continue working on my goals, I will achieve a goal.
  8. I use my present situation or suffering as preparation to achieve my goals.
  9. I use suffering or a negative situation as a way to stimulate me toward positive action aimed at achieving my goals.
  10. I know Lord Byron said; "Sorrows are our best educators. A man can see further through a tear than a telescope."
  11. I know suffering can have its own virtue which usually leads to growth.
  12. I know E.H. Chapin said; "Out of suffering emerge the strongest of souls."
  13. I realize that by going through these difficult times now, I will gain greater self-awareness and develop a firmer sense of my own identity.

I hope these inspire you today and tomorrow. I am saving these affirmations under a new label called; My Affirmations. You can click on the right hand side labels to get all "My Affirmations" for you to read.

It is best to read these first thing in the morning and last thing before bed.

Read them alone. If you can, read them out loud. If you are in Starbucks, and you read them out loud, be prepared for strange looks. So, how do you avoid strange looks? Don't look.

Friday, February 6, 2009

So Real Quick, Here's Where I Am

OKAY. I have so been so busy with work, I have not been able to go to any Al-Anon meetings, until this week and last weekend.

I am - well - I am not sure. My wife has been stirred up by her lawyer to go to court and not mediate. I want this to end.

We are fighting about house price, splitting of money, and wait 'til you hear this; who has to pay for the dog's baths and haircuts! Yep. Apparently the $80 a month haircuts I was screaming about when I was living in the house are now an issue for my soon-to-be ex-spouse. I used to say that our dog doesn't need an $80 haircut every month. But my wife, in her disease liked to spend the money.

My haircut, for the record is $16. Somehow I feel gypped (robbed, second class). And I would stretch that haircut to 5 weeks if I could brush the hair back around my ears.

I have in the past 5 months decided a haircut every 3 weeks is what I need.

Haircuts. What?!
Yep. Haircuts. Listen to what I was doing. I certainly had/have enough money for them. But I would not treat myself well. Interesting. Even as I write this, a haircut every 3 weeks sounds like pampering.

Speaking of pampering . . .
I met someone who asked me if I ever had a facial. "A what?!" was my reply. I found out through my scientific investigation that a lot of men get facials. And, get this, massages.

Yep. Never have. Maybe I should consider this. It's hard to allow other people to touch me. It feels. sounds, well, awkward.

Back to the meetings this week . . .
I am resentful. I want - well - peace. I saw this in my mind sitting there in the meetings yesterday and day before. My thinking is, without the meetings; "My wife is selfish and that is the disease. I cannot get untangled from this crazy person. She is pissed at times accusing me of abandoning her. Maybe I have. Maybe I freed myself from her so I could get well. I started off with the intention of protecting my/our child."

In the meetings, I see that I wound up seeing more clearly how I am the person I wound up protecting or saving. I am clearly better than I was living in the crazy zone.

I am - this is going to sound weird - more in touch with my feelings. This too comes from the meetings and sitting there, feeling myself and allowing the feelings come through and not cover them up. I know I am afraid of shit now. And that my anger or sharpness is based on fear. Fear seems to be at the root of my bad reactions and negative thoughts.

Don't get me wrong. I am a pretty happy person. I am positive - most of the time. But until this stuff is settled, I feel like I have an iron ball and chain around my leg.

Hmmmmm . . . .
"What if, this is meant to teach me something?" I now think this about question more often when something happens. "What if God, my Higher Power, has a plan for me. One I cannot see yet?" is the other question I get in my brain because of meetings.

That is what Al-Anon reminded me of this week. That I cannot see the plan - yet. Be patient. It all works out. Remember?

Last Night - at 3AM
Last night, no that's not true, this morning, I awoke. Yep, 3AM again. I asked God for help again. Guide me through this I asked. Help my wife and heal her anger. Heal her disease. Make her a happy person.

This thought stayed with me longer than I care to admit.

I am back to praying she is well. And, she finds a boy-friend. Yep. Maybe that would help her take her attention away from shoot arrows at me. The boy-friend thing is better than thinking of her being dead. You have to at least give me that.

Well, this morning I am praying for her to get well.

There was a reading yesterday in Al-Anon, about thinking. Someone shared "My best thinking got me into this mess. Now I don't go into that bad neighborhood alone anymore. I call my sponsor." I heard the " best thinking" thing before as well as the "neighborhood" thing. At least we are consistent at Al-Anon. Maybe not fresh in the new-idea department, but consistent.

Peace this day to you.

And this is where I am today.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

What You May Learn

OK. So this disease got me. I found a person who was an alcoholic. Just when I ran from home and went to college never to return except for Christmas, I am now running again. Far away from the disease. Except the disease is in me too. I may not be allergic to alcohol, but I have been infected - and inflicted and affected.

I expressed my love in my marriage by "allowing" my wife to write checks out of what we both thought was my personal checking (it turns out that it is ours under marital statutes). And the checks I "allowed" her to write were paying off the bills.

I now have found a bunch of checks from 1995 to the near present where she was writing checks to herself! Yikers! Normally I would be pissed. Or should I be pissed. These are not small checks either. They are for $1,000, $1,600, $3,000, $2,600, $1,500. A lot of these size checks. Not $100 here or $150 there. And I don't have all the checks - I may have about 5% of them.

I never paid attention. The joint account grew, it just seemed not to grow as fast as I thought it should and would and could.

Now I know why. She was writing checks to herself. And it didn't stop there.

She had her own personal AMEX Card. I see now she was paying from our joint account at $1,600, $1880, $450, etc. too. A lot of these too. I mean almost every month. What the hell was she buying????

My "trust" was to allow her to take care of the bills while I worked.

But you may think, as my lawyers do/did, "you are an idiot."

But, in my defense, I did not know she was an alcoholic!!! I just thought she had - I am sorry - PMS 25 out of the 30/31 days a month. In my defense, she comes from a very good family. A family worth - several million dollars. Who would have thought an alcoholic could come from such a nice home??

And she has several hundred thousand of her own money. Her money really grew over the years AND now I know why!!

Now you would think that this would be easy to figure out in court and mediation. Wouldn't you? Nope. No one wants to look at the details. No one gives a shit about details.

And just for the record - all lawyers aren't that frickin' smart either. Some are - some aren't.

Man - divorce sucks. It is an emotional drainer. I am dealing with an alcoholic on the other side of the table who is "pissed that I left her." But what about me??? She left me!! She was drinking all these years - a closet drinker - whom I thought had an "equilibrium problem" and/or a PMS problem. ALL THESE YEARS?!

Now as we separate the finances, she wants more of my money. She wants me to suffer. So my disease wants me to think. I almost feel like giving in. Then at Al-Anon I shared and a guy came up to me later and told me about his partner. And the advice from his sponsor "Don't give way because you feel guilty or you mistake compassion for 'allowance' - you have to stand up and fight for yourself."

OK. Good advice. I needed to hear that. My therapist told me the same about 6 months ago. Don't you quit!!

It will either work out or it will work out.