Saturday, October 17, 2015

Courage to Change

I just returned home from the Al-Anon fall conference.  It was an inspiring event with excellent speakers for both Al-Anon and AA.  When I go to these conferences, I come away with rose-colored glasses firmly in place.  I feel peaceful and thankful for having a program of recovery.

In one of the workshops I attended, I heard how fortunate we are to be around others who are working on their recovery.  This re-affirmed that I do belong in the rooms of Al-Anon.  I also know that most of us who are there still have character defects that can arise again and again.  In the workshop about Courage to Change, we were asked to list those things that we could like to change about ourselves.  I wrote:

  • I would like to change my lack of trust in others
  • I would like to be less critical of myself
  • I would like to lose my fear of rejection
These old feelings have been around for a while--probably most of my life.  My lack of trust in others is something that evolved over years of deception and emotional abuse.  While I have a much healthier outlook today, I am still wary around those who I sense can hurt me through their gossip, jealousy or dissatisfaction with life.  I still believe in my intuition about whom I trust. 

Being less critical of myself has been a lifelong pursuit.  I have had a lot of success in several pursuits in my life, and yet, I still doubt that I am worthy at times.  I make myself step out of my comfort zone, teach myself new skills, pursue new hobbies, and tell myself that is growth.  But it also can set me up for a feeling of failure.  I am getting to that age where I don't really have to prove anything, yet I keep pushing myself to do new things---maybe because of the third item on my list of things to change.....

My fear of rejection.  This is a theme through all of my life.  I have days when I don't feel it acutely.  I am good at covering it up.  And then there are days when it wants to sabotage everything that is good, pushing me to isolate and fulfill my fear.  These thoughts are deep seated.  I know that if I am accepting of myself and am spiritually fit, the fear goes away.  So I keep working on the Face Everything And Recover definition of FEAR, instead of the F#*k Everything and Run part. 

This is not meant to be a bummer of a post.  I am sharing where my head is today.  I am grateful, working on my attitude of gratitude, and glad to have many options for my recovery.  And it is a beautiful afternoon to get outside and enjoy the sunshine.  


  1. Wonderful reflections and a good reminder that there are still plenty of things I need to work on myself. I've been increasingly frustrated with a woman I'm coaching, and I keep telling myself that while it is true that she is often ignoring her training plan and my coaching advice, my discomfort with her choices is MY failing.

  2. Oh my god! I am definitely a F#*K Everything And Run person. Always have been. Never thought of it that way. Thank you, once again for a new perception. And the interesting thing is- I bet that if I talked to the people who know you in your "real" life they would all say that you are one of the mot capable men they've ever known.

  3. You are an inspiration to me, because you keep working on yourself - as we all should be doing, but many do not.

  4. I feel rejected because my blog is not on your sidebar. No seriously just kidding Syd.

    I grew up in an abusive environment, one that my four siblings have absolutely no memory of because i was not treated as they were, odd man out. I grew up rejected Syd--I fought to find a way to fit, to be cool, and then at the pinnacle of that I walked away. Why? To become free to associate or not as I chose. It has been 4 years now or thereabouts since I have done a public reading, featured an open mic or hosted and event. In that I am isolated and free.

    There is only one way Syd, to become less critical of yourself, kill your inner child, the one that your father or whomever continually said would never rise to meet the tide. You accept yourself wherever you're at today and let yesterday die a most deserved death. You KNOW what you have done with your life Doctor, if that did not exceed any expectation someone else had of you then you know my answer to that. 'fuck 'em" and yes that was my reply to my own father ideas of who or what I should be.

    Trust others? Dude that is one sure way to get a knife in your heart and a foot up you kiester. NOPE trust, especially great trust, life holding trust is earned and tested and proven. Anything short of that is walking the tight rope of do I or don't I and that, buddy ain't trust, it is wariness from being weary of thinking there are too few to rely on.

    My experience is that there are too few to rely on and it's cool; at least I know who I can turn to if I ever do need something I can not provide for myself.

    Update your photo Syd, you ain't that kid anymore.

  5. I totally relate with the fear of rejection and being very critical of myself. Ive known these things about me for a long time now but I cant seem to change. I get so bent out of shape when I feel like someone critizing me. I hope I can one day repair the damage done in my childhood. I write a blog about my life and addiction and would love to hear your thoughts Ill definitely add this blog to my favorites. Take care.


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