Here are the second "set" of questions. I did enjoy this. Thanks again for asking and making my neurons fire.
Here are the next questions with a link to who asked what::
10. Gabi: Why did you stop reading and commenting on my blog?
This is a mea culpa because I had not meant to stop reading and commenting. I use Google Reader and for some reason I thought that by following your blog, it would show up on my Reader. I have it checked to look at only the updates so when yours didn't show up, I thought erroneously that you weren't updating. Gabi, I have since corrected that so that I am again reading and commenting on your blog. I wish that I had more time to get around to all the blogs that I follow each day, but I just don't so I try to make it through them each week. If I have overlooked someone's recovery blog by not reading or commenting, please let me know. When I retire, I hope to have more time to read and absorb.
11. Susan: Ok, as a writer do you have a routine? No, I just write when I have time or feel motivated.
And as someone in AA= do you drink you coffee black or white ( with milk or half and half).
Well, I'm not in AA. I'm "pure" Al-Anon. I do drink decaf coffee with half and half.
12, Judy: I have always wanted to visit Charleston and Savannah because I am a an art historian/history buff and like historic houses. Can you do this is one 2 week trip or is there too much to do in Charleston and environs to combine both. Would you advise doing Savannah and Beaufort as one trip and Charleston as another?
I think that you could cover Charleston and Savannah in two weeks. Both are fascinating towns. In Charleston, I would devote a day to the museums and a day for the plantations and a couple of days for the historic homes. It would probably take another day to tour the churches and graveyards. And then if you visit a beach go to Sullivan's Island where you can tour Fort Moultrie. Also a tour of Ft. Sumter would be recommended. All of that is about a week unless you have more stamina than I do and could do it in less time.
13. Marcia: Do you think it's possible to live with an active alcoholic and live happily? Al-Anon says that I can live happily whether the alcoholic is still drinking or not. However, my recovery is not at the point where I believe that I could live with a real alcoholic who is actively drinking. It is a very tough road. I could probably live with active drinking, but I know that I would not be happy and ultimately I would want to be away from the person. I do believe that there is a mild form of PTSD that can occur after years of living with untreated alcoholism. I have been told that I have PTSD related to alcoholism.
14. Kim A.: I was going to also ask what plans do you have for the next 50 years! Travel? Your own consulting business? Sail the world? All the above?
In 50 years, dear Kim, I think that I will be a little heap of ashes stuck in the ground of the family plot in Virginia. I do have some dreams for the future which I wrote about in no. 4 on the previous post.
15. Prayer Girl: Are you a speed reader? Yes, it's something that I learned from so much reading in my work and in school.
16. Dave: On your retirement, how will "practicing these principles in all your affairs" take on a new meaning?
It will mean that I have more time to devote to service work. With working at my job, meetings and sponsees, there is little time for much else during the week. I think that I will be better able to balance things out a bit and perhaps be of greater service when I retire. What will be important though is for me to have balance in my life so that I don't take on too much when I retire. If I do that, then I am not of much use to myself or others.
17. Erica: I want and need to go to an Al-Anon meeting (my boyfriend of over a year is a recovering alcoholic/addict) but I am having the hardest time making myself go to a meeting. What is your advice on overcoming my angst and going to my first one?
I like the old Nike ad of "just do it". I was so sick and tired of feeling miserable that I trusted what a friend told me when he said that I needed to go to Al-Anon so that I would learn to feel peace and joy. I believed him. So I walked into the room and was met with greetings and made to feel special. As a newcomer, you too will be made to feel special. I can assure you that there will be others who will greet you and help guide you. If there is a beginner's meeting on the schedule, go to that. They help explain the meeting format and give you a chance to share why you are there. I heard my story many times when I first started in Al-Anon. No one is unique when it comes to the effects of alcoholism.
18. Shadow: I have often wondered why, even as a child, i would naturally keep quiet, hide what's wrong, not ask questions. and I still don't have an answer for that. do you? I believe that it was my early co-dependency which probably developed when I was very young. There were "inferred" rules that I learned and these were my means of survival in a dysfunctional family situation. I learned that it wasn't okay to talk about problems; to keep my feelings to myself; to be strong; to try to achieve perfection with my grades; to not think of myself; to do what I was told. These things constrained the child in me and made me into a little adult. But they also wreaked havoc on my self esteem.
19. Pam : Are you and your wife coming to the International Convention and if so, are you going to find me and hug my neck? We aren't planning on coming. I guess we'll have to do that hug another time.
20. Kristen H.: As a child growing up in an alcoholic home, did you use to daydream/imagine what your adult life would be like? And now that you are an adult, does your life reflect those dreams at this point in time?
I would day dream some but mostly I just did my dreaming through reading books. They would take me where I wanted to go. I would have lots of adventures through books. They were a refuge for me. I knew as a child that I wanted to read and study. I also said that I would never get married or have children. I thought that marriage was boring and that having children would tie me down. At this point, I would say that I have found refuge in books all of my life. I have excelled at things beyond what I imagined when it came to my career. I have had hobbies at which I have excelled. I have had many adventures and done things that most people never get to do. I still have dreams so I'm not done with dreaming by a long shot. There is still much to be done.
21. Scott W.: In an episode of Seinfeld George Costanza told a lady friend he was a marine biologist. Kramer had hit golf balls into the ocean earlier in the episode. As they were walking along the beach they came upon a crowd. Someone yelled "Is there a marine biologist in the crowd? The question is, 'Was George Costanza acting as a Al Anon when he removed the golf ball from the whale's blow hole?'
No, he was acting as a horny male trying to score with the lady he was trying to impress. He wasn't acting out of compassion but was ruled by self will, selfishness and ego. Besides any self-respecting Al-Anon marine mammologist would know that blowholes are covered by muscular flaps that provide a water tight seal that prevents water (and golf balls) from entering the blow holes when the whale surfaces to breathe. When whales come to the surface to breathe, air is expelled from the blowhole as condensation and appears like a cloud of mist. Whales' blowholes differ according to the species. The larger the species, the larger the blowholes. Humpbacks have blowholes that are about 8-10 inches in diameter (they have two blowholes).
22. Jenn: Do you think you are the person you came here to be? I think that I have always been the person that I came here to be. It is all in my genes, encoded in my brain. I simply had to learn how human I am and accept that. And I had to learn a new awareness, the spiritual awareness, that has helped to awaken what was already within. I had kept so much of myself hidden. And yet it was there all along.
23.Susan: If you could talk to your father today, what would you tell him or ask him? I would tell him that I love him and that I am grateful for all the things that he taught me. I would tell him that I am sorry for the times that I was filled with resentment and anger. And I would ask if he would like to go out on the sailboat for the weekend--just the two of us.
24. Cheryl: How did you learn to recognize when your character defects are affecting your choices? I have learned to be aware of the feeling within that tells me to be aware and wary. I never used to listen to it. Instead I would barge ahead and ignore what the "gestalt" was telling me. I know now the intuitive feeling is right most all the time. I have so much more awareness now. And when I feel that, I have learned to pause and assess. It is like the Big Book says, "...we pause when agitated...".
25. Madison: If you have the boundary in your life of not living with an active alcoholic, what would you do the day you came home to find your wife drinking? I could feel some anxiety on this question. I would first call her sponsor and ask that she and another AA member come to the house and talk to my wife. I would ask them to get her to a meeting or if she was bad off to detox or rehab. I would request that she not return home until she picked up a white chip and resumed meetings.
26. Mary LA: As a recovery blogger could you name some of your guidelines for setting ethical and personal boundaries?
My guidelines include honesty, fairness, respect and integrity. I like to treat people as I would want them to treat me. I also strongly believe in my intuitive instincts and am aware of those intuitive "voices" within. Some of the best guidelines that have helped me in my setting of ethical and personal boundaries come from the Al-Anon Traditions--mutual respect, humility, focusing on myself, accountability, compassion, equality, self-sufficiency, clarity, acceptance, selflessness.
27. Sarah: What is the single most important thing in al-anon that got you to serenity? Understanding that I am truly powerless over other people and believing it.
28. Tall Kay: If you could change one significant thing in your life right now, what would it be? And why? I would go back in time and have started going to Al-Anon meetings at a much younger age. I believe that I would have understood myself much better, not been so hard on myself or on others had I gotten into recovery sooner.
29. Shuggr: Paper or plastic? Paper
White or wheat? Wheat
Mac or PC? Mac
Right or Left handed? Right
What kind/color is your car? BMW 330 ci in Monaco Blue metallic; Ford F150 pick up in red
Whew! You really had some great questions. I enjoyed this a lot. You made me think hard. But I have to say that the question which made me scratch my head and then laugh out loud was Scott W's. You win, Scott.