- Being willing

Being willing




Expect the unexpected... or discovered the unsuspected?

Being willing

Postby Molly M. » Fri Mar 23, 2007 1:28 am

Hi There;

I've had a really tough 2 weeks. I've been extremely sick. I was "assaulted" by a student. One of my students is pregnant by her boyfriend who is 18 and her mother is pressing charges of stat. rape and somehow she thinks I can help. I broke up a fight between two of my students and dragged four more down to the office to try and avoid another fight. And of course there's the regular cajolling, begging, threatening, and pleading to get the kids to do any work.

The point of all this is that near the end of last week, I started getting really depressed. I found that I didn't feel like praying and that I was having some real problems having any faith. I was doubting everything. 91/2 years of miraculous sobriety and miraculous gifts, but I couldn't see it. I was just seriously having trouble believing in any higher power.

So, thankfully, some small hard won piece of sanity kept me walking through my daily routines regardless of how I was feeling. I went to a meeting. I kept reading the BB; the chapter to the agnostic felt appropriate, and I kept praying and taking my daily inventory. The BB told me that if I couldn't believe then at least pray to be willing to believe—so that’s what I did and it worked.

When I got sober accepting a higher power wasn’t a problem for me, so I don’t know why it became one now, but I was really feeling desperate. And then today, somehow, in the middle of the latest mess and stress I was okay again. Somehow, my faith switch was back on and my depression lifted.

This was the first time I’ve ever faced this problem and it was scary. Life without a higher power and my spiritual foundation is a pretty hopeless place. I’m really grateful for this program that kept me walking through my basic routines until I could get my faith back; without the program I don’t know what would have happened.
Molly M.
 
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Postby Zanthos » Fri Mar 23, 2007 5:21 am

Hi Molly. Thanks for sharing.

Often, the hardest thing for me is to get to feelings of sadness. So much in life is sad, but I often at any given time don't have the strength to feel that sadness. Instead, I react with feelings of anger, frustration, stress and trying "figure it all out" and get things under control on my own. And that's when I feel especially cut off from my Higher Power.

Even though I'm a grown man, it's with a sense of relief when I get to the point where I can cry. It's then that I feel I'm acknowledging and expressing the sadness that underlies me being trapped in my head and the efforts of my ego to change things that really bother me when much of it is beyond my control.
Zanthos
 
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Postby Dallas » Fri Mar 23, 2007 7:03 am

Hey Molly & Zanthos!!! Thanks for sharing that!

Molly, sorry to hear of your tough week! Geezzzz.......... that's a lot of stuff to deal with! I hope you're okay and TGIF!!! Hopefully, next week will be much better for you!

Yep. We are very fortunate to have our tools... and a Higher Power that cares about us... and to have each other.... and the Fellowship of AA!!!

Can you imagine those people that have to face these kinds of difficult things all alone... with no tools... no Fellowship... and no Higher Power?

Keep us posted Molly! I've missed you the last couple of days and was hoping that all was good and okay and that maybe you were just off on vacation or something!

Dallas
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Postby Molly M. » Fri Mar 23, 2007 11:10 am

Hi Guys;

Zanthos--you know it was interesting when I read your post--I definitely haven't been feeling sad and there was a fair amount this last week to feel sad about. Thanks for sharing, I'll have to an emotional checkin with myself.


Dallas--Thanks for your support. It's nice to be missed :oops: :D I really can't imagine navigating my job without AA. It at least gives me a framework to address the daily issues and the strength to deal with them.

The kid who had the physical altercation with me came in after school to apologize. In trying to keep me away from a safety issue that was occurring in the classroom, he had pushed me then physically restrained me. When all the excitement began to calm down and he realized that his actions were considered assault by the school, he was pretty horrified. He's a big kid and I'm a shorty and his manhandling me with the size difference was I think more extreme than he realized. Anyway, he kept saying "I don't understand how it happened--that's not something I would do". After so many years of blackout drinking, I was able to truthfully respond that it's very hard when we find that we've committed acts that have nothing to do with who we believe we are as people, but we are still accountable for those acts. So he needed to figure out why they occurred and address the problem. Because of my drinking, I know that he's not a bad kid, he's a kid with severe impulse control problems, but I can still think the world of him as my student. I don't know if I'd be able to do that if I didn't have my own history and recovery. There are gifts everywhere :D
Molly M.
 
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Postby Dallas » Fri Mar 23, 2007 3:17 pm

Molly M. wrote:I know that he's not a bad kid, he's a kid with severe impulse control problems


When I read that... I thought of the dog that attacked my dog and almost killed her. Seems that the dog was not a bad dog... she was a dog with severe impulse control problems.

I guess another reason I thought of my dog incident, while relating to your experience, was -- I had previous knowledge, from previous experience -- that the dog had severe impulse control problems.... and, I had failed to take appropriate actions, based upon my previous experience.

Lately, in my own life -- I've been taking a second look at some of my previous experiences with people or animals -- that seem to have a severe impulse control problem. What I'm looking for is to see if perhaps those previous experiences were a red flag of caution for me -- and I zipped by the red flag without taking much notice (kind of like... deny them?).

I know that I can magnify a problem in my mind... and I can also minimalize a problem - depending on the desired perspective that I want to achieve. Sometimes ... the perspective that I'm attempting to achieve is not proportional to the experience - and, I'm possibly doing it -- as an easier, softer, more comfortable way - to deal with one of my problems. And, what I end up doing is making up an excuse -- in regards to the other person or animal -- for an easier way to deal with the problem.

Molly, I don't know if my experience in my situations will have any value to you in your situation or not.... I know that we don't need to live our lives in fear... but, that doesn't seem to stop us from reading warning labels and watching the news for storm forecasts - so that we can better deal with situations -- when the future becomes the present! :wink:

Dallas
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Postby Molly M. » Fri Mar 23, 2007 4:54 pm

Hey Dallas;

I appreciate your sharing. I think the comparison between the dog that attacked yours and my student may actually be a good one. I also would say that in choosing to try and separate out the kids desire to be a good person and the unfortunate acts that occur when he looses control, I may be taking a softer way. The incident was serious enough that the school administration asked if I wanted him removed from my classes on a permanent basis. I said no. This is clearly ignoring about the biggest red flag I could get, but I also know that the to remove the kid from my classes would break his heart. The thing is that teaching here is overwhelmingly gray. One of my fellow teachers was threatened with a pair of scissors today. She's not happy. In a black and white world these incidents would not be as frequent or as complicated. The bad kids would be bad and the good kids would be good. But none of the kids are saints, they're just doing the best they can to grow--and hopefully some of that growth is along spiritual lines. So what I try to do, with the steps to help me, is to find a way to address and hold the kids accountable for unacceptable behaviors by imposing severe consequences, but at the same time find a way to not judge them as a person. And if I'm actually going to be able to teach them, I have to be able to find something that I like about them.

I guess as a recovering alcoholic, I have an absolute belief in the possibility of redemption. Even the worst of the kids might at some time find a better path. I think it's that possibility that I try to hold on to even when I see the red flags.

I don't know if any of this makes any sense. It's the first time I've actually tried to verbalize the way I approach what I do. And I'm sure that there are areas that in my approach that are questionable. :roll: But just for today, life is good. :D
Molly M.
 
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Postby anniemac » Fri Mar 23, 2007 4:55 pm

Hi Molly ~ you've certainly had some challenges in your path as of late. This is kind of a "drive-by" posting, don't have the concetration to truly respond, but I'm thinking of you and hope that life has settled down for you. And thank you so much for sharing about how you kept putting one foot in front of the other, reading the BB, praying, going to meetings, even when you felt without faith. I admire that and it sets a great example for me. Thanks.
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Postby Molly M. » Fri Mar 23, 2007 11:58 pm

Thanks Anniemac;

This forum is a really special place :D It's amazing to me how much support the fellowship of AA can offer even through typed words on a computer screen being sent to and from people who've never met. It's even more amazing to me that the sense of sharing in recovery can still transcend this distance.

Everytime you guys post I draw strength from it and learn more about myself. Thanks for being here :wink:
Molly M.
 
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Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 2:20 pm

I can relate

Postby Vickie V » Sat Mar 24, 2007 5:03 am

I can really relate to Zanthro's about the acknowledgement of sadness.

I have been in the same spot that was described. I work in Indian Child Welfare and there are days when I see so much disparity and inequality that I get overwhelmed and flooded with emotion.

Anger was always the first feeling, causing fear and over reaction because I couldn’t identify what I was feeling as I was taught in my 4th step.

Just pure relief came and still comes when I feel sadness and lack of control.It is becoming more and more habitual in my life to release the feelings.

It also is becoming more habitual to see the bigger picture and stay away from self pity and thank God that I am sober and have some usefulness to others. Wow what a program. I love it! Thanks for the posts. Great reminder I am not alone.
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Postby Dallas » Sat Mar 24, 2007 7:02 am

Hello Vicki!!! Welcome back! I've missed your messages.

Interesting. I get relief when I feel cheerful, laughter, humor, peaceful and serene and when I try not to take myself or others too seriously. :lol: And, with anger... if I'm going to have it, or if I can't seem to get rid of it ... to use it as energy and motivation for change.

It's kind of cool that most of us seem to have different tastes and preferences. I like grape jelly. If everyone liked grape jelly... it would become rare and expensive or possibly unavailable.

Perhaps it's differences that provides strength and helps to keep our worlds balanced. Kind of like a fabric... with the threads going in different directions... it holds the fabric together and can make it strong.

Thanks for sharing!!!

Dallas
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