Relationships in the family

A discussion of topics about relationships in Recovery
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Postby Dallas » Sun Dec 30, 2007 2:54 am

Hello Anne,

Nice to hear from you.

Is it possible... that this is what happened for you? Often, it's what happens for me........

1. Something happened.
2. Later, you started to think about it.
3. And, that's what caused all of your problems.

If that's true -- we have now identified the problem, reduced it to a formula, and the solution becomes obvious.

1. It doesn't really matter what happened. Like you said, something was touched in your sub-conscious and got you stirring. Something means it could have been anything -- so, in regards to the problem -- it didn't matter who the lady was or what she did. Something was going to get you stirring.

2. It's our thinking about the somethings that always causes our problems. We often think that it's about someone else or what they did -- and when we're not doing that, we think it's about us, or it is us, and/or what we did.

3. Most all of our problems can simply vanish and disappear -- the moment we change our thinking about the problem.

This is part of what I believe that Bill W., was referring to when he wrote "the problem centers in the mind."

I can tell you how it works for me: I go through the day having a pretty good day. Then, late at night... I wake up and decide I'm having a hard time going back to sleep. So, I go nuke me a cup of coffee. And, I start thinking. Then, I realize that I'm upset with something someone did or said. It was either them or me -- but, someone did something, and now I'm thinking about it..... and now it's a problem, and the problem is getting bigger.

Here's what I've discovered about those times.

1. I was probably feeling guilty about something.

Now, if you're like me at all -- you don't need a legitimate reason to feel guilt.... it just falls on you like bricks falling off a wall and onto the top of your head! It just comes. It's kind of like depression and misery and morbid reflection... is just seems to come out of nowhere.

Then, our keen alcoholic mind says "I'm gonna figure this out!" :shock:

And, we spend a bunch of good time that ends up to be wasted time doing a bunch of self-analysis over something that doesn't matter anyway.

Why doesn't it matter? Because we couldn't change it anyway, if it came from them. And, it doesn't appear that we can change it either, if it comes from us! :lol:

In a nutshell -- it comes down to Rule #62: We're taking ourselves and others and all the stuff that happens -- way too serious.

We're letting other people and what they do rent space in our head. And, while they're in our head, they ain't paying the rent, which means when their gone, they're not going to pay the rent -- so, who ends up paying it? We do.

So, the real question is: "How do we change this?"

And, the solution is so simple we almost always miss it.

We change what we're thinking about. Period.

We begin to take actions to keep our mind on what we want -- and off of what we don't want.

The bottomline is: We will attract what we think about.

If we're feeling guilty -- we've been thinking guilty -- sometimes on a sub-conscious level. We didn't actually do anything to feel the guilt ... we were just thinking and not being aware of what we were thinking.

It's sort of like that "sense of impending doom" that some of us periodically get.

The entire constructive aspects of Steps 4 through 9, is for one purpose: to give us a conscious reason -- to go ahead and change our mind about something, and change how we're thinking about it.... so that we can finally let it go and move on with our lives.

There are times, when we'll sit around anal-eyezing something, and trying to work the Steps on it, and making some mouse turd into a mountain... and we get stuck under the mouse-mountain.

This is where we need to stop creating our own misery.

Just stop doing it. How? By doing something else... something different.

How? Make a list of what you want -- and think about it. And, what if more of what you don't want keeps coming to your head? Keep adding to the list of what you want... then go out and start taking some actions towards achieving something on your "what you want list"... Your mind cannot stay focused on two different thoughts at the same time.

So, when your mind is running in a direction that you don't want it to run, you have to step up to the plate, like a mature-adult would do ... and change the direction of your mind.

And, how do you do that? By taking the actions. You start by picking up the pen and paper. Then, you go get some pictures... maybe from a magazine or something... and cut them out and put them up where you can look at them... letting them symbolize to you, what you want. And, then you take the next action towards achieving it.

Your mind can waste your time -- if you let it.

Life is short. Don't waste your time on things that you aren't going to be able to change, regardless of what you do. Get busy working on achieving the things that you want in life.


P.S. Anne, please know that I'm not meaning to minimize your problem with the lady -- I'm just hopefully suggesting a minimized solution that I hope may work for you as it does for me. :wink:

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Postby garden variety » Sun Dec 30, 2007 3:11 pm

Hi Anne,

Again I will say "Keep it simple".

How simple?

Step 2 and Step 3 simple.

I read a passage today in this old spiritual book I sometimes go to for simple answers. A fellow who I knew long ago brought this to my attention just yesterday, when my mind, just like Dallas said, was starting to waste my time (I really love the way Dallas said that!). Look at this not as religion, but as a couple sentences that make the spiritual principles of step 2 and step 3 real simple.

"Trust in God (as you understand Him) with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Acknowledge him in all your ways, and he will direct your paths."

Now if you take those simple sentences and apply them to your situation, I bet you it all works out right before your eyes and you will be amazed.

Take care girl!

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Postby Dallas » Sun Dec 30, 2007 7:12 pm

I really shouldn't do this -- but, unless I change my mind before I click the submit button -- I'll do it anyway.

Oops... :oops: I changed my mind.

It really should go under a different topic, so I cut it out, re-write it and I'll post it somewhere else when I post it. :wink:


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My name is Anne, I'm an alcoholic

Postby musicmode » Sun Dec 30, 2007 11:15 pm

Perfectly said, gentlemen, and right on the money, too...that is exactly right~~hit the bulls eye dead on, what 'cha said feels absolutely right.

If it wasn't about the person or the situation...then... :idea: :roll: ...had to be nothin' other that stinkin' thinkin'. A simple, and, what's that word? Oh ya, right... logical :wink: . Some folks might take that situation and "think" dare that person take that tone with me :evil: ; and some, like me :oops: , takes it like a back-hand, then I wear it, get a sickly and 'bad person' feeling ####### like I'd done something wrong, whether I did or is my nature, or character defect? To convince myself (there's self-seeking? In a form) that I'm a bad person because..., then that thinking compounds itself 'til a raging turmoil spins about within me. All manifested because of my own thinking. my head a shake here...and...gonna go and snoop about to see what Dallas meant by that last share/where he went with it :? :P . Definitely got my mind thinking about somethin' else :P .

Thanks for your patience, guys, in walking me through that. Appreciate it.

In the Spirit of the fellowship,

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Postby dahlgren » Mon Dec 31, 2007 10:16 am

Hi Anne,

I'm very new here and am grateful to have found this site. It's an exciting prospect for me to expand my circle of friends outside of my home city, hence expanding "my family".

I've been following this thread and it's funny how this program works, just like I find many times in meetings I attend, something is always said that I need to hear. Last Friday, the day you posted your response here about the incident that happened with you over Christmas, I chaired a meeting that very night with the topic being "Surrender".

That word Surrender is a very powerful word to me and looking back on what was shared at my meeting I draw many parallels to your share and what you experienced. I remember early on in my sobriety an older gentleman whom I became very fond of sitting in meetings with used to say constantly, "you must capitulate". Well let me tell you that early on that really pissed me off for a number of reasons, first and foremost,why the hell don't you just say surrender or better yet, give up? Why do you have to use that stupid word? Do you think you're superior to me or what?

As time went on and I continued with my program of marijuana maintenance which led me to give the bottle another try after 8 months, I found myself in a place of capitulation. Today I recognize that place as my spiritual awakening and let me tell you it was the deepest, darkest place of dispair I've ever been. I've been surrendering myself every day since then and although in the beginning I had little understanding of what I was surrendering I came to realize that I was surrendering to God's will.

My will did nothing for me, EVER! Well at least nothing useful, constructive or anything other than MY own best interests in mind. It's so easy for me to fall into the trap that my will is what's best for someone or something else, being the alcoholic I am it's easy for me to justify my motives or proclaim how pure my motives are. When that happens it's important for me to remember that all of those pure motives of mine are just a bunch of hooey. It's all what Mike wants or how Mike wants someone to behave or how Mike wants a certain event or situation to turn out.

Again what a bunch of hooey, Mike has plenty to take care of with Mike, I don't need to get my fingers into anyone else's stuff thank you, I got plenty of my own stuff to work with. Today I surrender my will and life over to the care of God, as I understand him, if I continue to do that and do it sincerely then all will be taken care of in His time. And if He deems it necessary to reveal His will to me, then so be it, if not then so be that too. That's ok with me today because I don't want to run the show anymore, it's too tiring and takes far too much of my energy trying. I would rather spend my energy doing or at least trying to, "do the next right thing".

Today "capitulation" is not a bad thing, it's a necessary step in my journey.

In love and recovery,

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My name is Anne, I'm an alcoholic

Postby musicmode » Mon Dec 31, 2007 2:06 pm

Thank you Mike...appreciate the input, fo' sho' :wink: .

The self-centeredness ### ####, I realize now, came from the perspective of: I :wink: would not have done that. I was unable to see that. Let people be and let them do what they do is my 'take', and when someone isn't 'at ease' that way~~in otherwords, they don't think the way I :wink: rubs me the wrong way, and I get bent outta shape.

It took the "incident" itself to make me see it...see just how I can be self-seeking, even when I don't think so. Myself, I would not phone you up and get goin' on how nobody phoned me, not even you...I don't do that to people, so I get defensive when someone does that to me~~seemingly singling me out. I get defensive, then...I get thinking :twisted: , then ending up turning air inside out. :twisted: :twisted: . If I'm so "let people be", then...even when I hear words, of which I perceive as condemning...I would then, continue to "let people be". I can do that right away, but then later, it starts eating at my gut, and turns into a "how dare that person do that to me" tone>I didn't ask for that>I didn't do anything to deserve that...then, true to my nature, I distance myself from that person, which = resentment. I have determined that, this is a button that was used and worked for someone who was adult when I was a child~~it's a button that now, when it's pushed, it's a trigger. And, I have learned in this program, it is those triggers that I need to...learn what they are so that they don't trip me up.

As was said, we are sick people, we have a disease, it's called alcoholism...and, when I think of that lady's voice, she was only speaking with desperation in her voice...fear of lonliness? Rejection? Whatever...that's her 'stuff', and, there are those of us who, when we feel that way, we aren't going to be the only ones feeling that way, someone else is going to feel that way right along with us, ###'m feeling sorry for myself, so darn it, you're gonna feel sorry for me to.####. We don't consciously do it, it's an alcoholic reaction to a situation or a feeling...a reaction that sends us into a tail-spin rage, of which we feel powerless, and--unmanageable. We all wish to feel wanted, and I get that. I get, too, that, where ever that place she was in her head, she didn't even realize that after she'd lashed out~~out of the feeling of desperation~~, that she was unable to she then began to tell me of others who had called, and telling me about those conversations. This disease...unable to differentiate between right and wrong.

I have to, and am willing to accept, too, that what I did or didn't do, in otherwords, measure up to someone else's expectations of me...I can not wear the guilt that someone else wants me to wear ### I be ashamed for not measuring up to someone else's expectations? No.####.

I was told when I first came in, that I would be helped, but my hand wasn't gonna get held/I wasn't gonna get babysat, and to be careful not to get roped in by someone else who expects that of me~~for that can hinder my sobriety. I was taught, that if I don't measure up to someone else's expectations, that wasn't my 'stuff', but the other person's. A "dry drunk" can pull us into a 'dry drunk' if we don't have a good solid foundation in our program, that's why we keep working these steps, and~~getting into action, without getting pulled in to someone else's fury...that takes a solid foundation in the program, and a solid faith in God as we understand Him.

I don't yet know how my evening is going to go yet, but, if nothing else is up, I'll be dropping by the site again...perhaps I'll bump into someone (or, perhaps not :wink: )...Happy New Year. This is the last day of the year "double 'O' seven", gang. Thanks for helping me thru another year, and helping me stay sober.

In the Spirit of the fellowship,

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