Thursday, July 1, 2010

Immediate solutions

Today I awoke to peaceful rain coming down.  It was pouring when I left to go to the noon meeting.  There weren't many people there today but it was still good.  There really aren't too many bad meetings that I've attended.

After the meeting,  I left to meet up with a couple of sponsees.    One of the fellows is working on Step Nine.  He is doing well and has put a lot of energy into working on recovery.   He is going through a  rough time right now with his marriage and is holding on for dear life to this raft of recovery.  Amazing how we can float to quiet waters by using the tools of the program. 

The other sponsee has had a lot of excuses lately.  For some it takes some time to get honest and to really want to do the work once the pain of living with active alcoholism has been removed.  All anyone wants initially is to feel better.  Sometimes feeling better can be like removing a splinter from under our skin--I think that the immediate solution is great because the pain is gone, but there still may be some infection that I need to take care of. 

When we first come to Al-Anon, the alcoholic is seen as the immediate source of pain. I, like many others, focused anger and frustration on her.  But I came to see that I needed to look at myself and my attitudes.  What were my motives for staying in a bad situation?  Who was making me accept unacceptable behavior? I had to work to change my attitude.  And in doing so I learned about my own self-worth and grew spiritually.  The emphasis eventually was lifted from the alcoholic and placed where it needed to be--on me. 

Al-Anon has been like a salve that I put on my wounded spirit.  I am glad that I got the full treatment. As it's read in a meeting: "Living with an alcoholic is too much for most of us. Our thinking becomes distorted by trying to force solutions and we become irritable and unreasonable without knowing it".  I may not be cured but at least for now I am on the road to recovery.  


  1. keep it between the lines syd...the road stretches ahead...but ever little ting...gonna be alright...

  2. As in my program, when things started getting better lots of people in recovery stopped meetings and stopped working the steps saying they didn't need to do that anymore. For me since I can only speak for me, I thank God for things getting better and I keep working on my recovery for it is MY recovery, an ongoing process and not something that just got "all better".

  3. We're definitely all about the "instant gratification" thing aren't we? It does feel good to get immediate relief, good old Step 3 can provide this, still today. But, for lasting recovery we MUST work at it daily and consistently. I'm grateful that my sponsor taught me this little truth.

  4. We had a shot-gun last night and the chair began with " I am ratting on my disease "
    It sounded like a good plan to me!
    so I got up and started ratting.
    today I did a 55, that was a bit stronger than my sad excuse for sharing.

  5. This was the topic at last night's meeting. When I decided to go to AA I knew nothing about it. I thought you simply went there to stop drinking. I had no idea of the twelve steps, the twelve traditions, Al Anon, the promises etc. I was amazed at the program that lied ahead. I always think of the lines in "To Kill a Mockingbird' when Jem and Scout are leaving for the pageant at the end and Scout says, "thus began our longest journey together". It is, you sort of stop in the middle of your life and choose a different path. Once the pink cloud of feeling better leaves you have to work to make those promises come true. When I see people relapse I often wonder if its because we want the end result without doing the work. This is a painful process but well worth the rewards. Have a great 4th of July weekend! Be safe!

  6. We all trudging the road of happy destiny...and Syd, you just HAVE to go to the next International (Atlanta 2015). One of these monstrous hotels looks as if it is dedicated to Alanon meetings...

    PG has been to Alanon meetings. Maybe she will mention that in her blog.

  7. I need sponsees. Its hard to keep them long term in al-anon. The desperation seems to be forgotten easily.

    Im working on 8 years, and though I dont feel desperate, I REMEMBER desperate. yay for me. And yay for you for the same and for sevice.

  8. Syd,

    This is as very insightful post. you sound like such a wonderful sponsor!

  9. Like the splinter reference. The salve is Alanon for me.

  10. I find the same things with my sponsees. Some "get it" and do well right away. Some take longer. I can only make suggestions and leave the rest to God. As you wrote on my blog recently, I can't do the deal for them.

    I'm glad I got the full treatment, too. It was hard, at first, to realize that "when I have a problem with someone else, my problem is me," as my sponsor is fond of saying. Thanks for sharing.


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