Can I believe that my situation is not really hopeless and that I am capable of improving it?
ONE DAY AT A TIME
“I pray to God to help me understand that the alcoholic’s fate is not in my hands. I will leave to Him whatever action is to be taken.”
It isn’t so hard to believe in miracles in Al-Anon. We see such miraculous changes in people who came as newcomers, but what they learn in Al-Anon makes a tremendous difference in their own outlook.
Al-Anon principles set a pattern before me: to work on myself and to stop interfering with others. The words for the procedure are “hands off.”
The Higher Power we read about in the Twelve Steps is a spiritual idea.
The Law of Exposure says that your boundaries need to be made visible to others and communicated to them in relationships.
It is vital to the process of lasting recovery that each member of the family actively sets healthy limits.
The problem with envy is that it focuses outside our boundaries, onto others.
Proactive people do not demand rights, they live them.
As iron sharpens iron, we need confrontation and truth from others to grow.
The Law of Motivation says this: freedom first, service second.
We must learn to respect the boundaries of others and be aware that they are making choices based on their own freedom.
One key to serenity in your life is dependent upon the ability to determine what you can and cannot change: your power in a given situation.
When we accept responsibility in our family system for the behavior of the addicted loved one, the love in our relationship is damaged.
SOWING AND REAPING
When substance use disorder is present in the family system, we find that the law of reaping what we sow is disrupted.
A comfort zone is a beautiful place. But nothing grows there.
In the program of recovery we learn various tools for developing our spirits and they all take much practice and dedication.
Practicing mindfulness on a daily basis plays a vital role in the recreation of our lives, especially when we care for those recovering from addiction.
ACCEPTANCE & SPIRITUAL TRUTH
Acceptance is a vital part of recovery. This spiritual truth exists to remind us that at any point, we can make a decision.
PRACTICING SELF CARE
Self care is often something that has been neglected within the recovering family system. How are you nourishing yourself today?
ALWAYS DO YOUR BEST
Under any circumstances, simply always do your best and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.
DON’T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS
Don’t make assumptions. Instead, find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want.
DON’T TAKE THINGS PERSONALLY
Don’t take anything personally. This choice sets the stage for us to ask for what we need, respond rather than react and hold boundaries without guilt.
BE IMPECCABLE WITH YOUR WORD
The first entry in our series on The Four Agreements. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
We are used to fixing, concealing, arranging and managing. It takes tremendous strength to learn to love with boundaries.
The easiest venue to begin to learn how to be of service is in the rooms of Al-Anon and other family support groups.
Humility… Perpetual quietness of heart. It is to have no trouble. It is to be at rest when nobody praises me, and when I am blamed or despised.
Courage is key to recovery. In the realm of the spirit we learn that our lives unfold directly proportional to the amount of courage we practice.
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
Interestingly, when we begin to work a program of recovery, spiritual principles like unselfishness are often hardest to practice in our own homes.
Tolerance is not ability to tolerate a person or situation, it is the ability to place yourself in someone else’s shoes and understand with compassion..
We hold each other accountable and offer unending support. Love is the belonging we have to one another on this amazing journey called recovery.
Acceptance is the foundation of long lasting peace and happiness – finding it is quite another story. “Acceptance is the answer to all my problems today.”
Willingness, honesty and open mindedness are the essentials of recovery. Find the courage to be transparent in all your affairs.
Whether we feel grateful or not, it does our spirit well to bless those around us by practicing an attitude of gratitude!
The principle of brotherly love is ultimately driven to keep us in the circle of unity. Why is that important in family recovery?
Problems of the past need not concern me today. Our yesterdays have no importance except as experience in the making today more fruitful.
Now I know that the solutions rest with me. With the help of my Higher Power, I can adorn my life with comfort, serenity and enjoyment.
“God is present in all His creatures, but all are not equally aware of His presence.” I will accept His help in everything I do.
LIVING FOR TODAY
I will make this day a happy one, for I alone can determine what kind of day it will be.
Fellowship and community are two of the most important components of your personal recovery. By leaning on and learning from others, we become stronger.
It isn’t easy to grasp the Al-Anon idea of detachment. We are told to detach from the problem, not from the suffering alcoholic.
LIVE AND LET LIVE
When my thoughts are centered on learning to live, I will be less tempted to involve my mind with the thoughts of how others should live.
I could bring myself to a brighter view of life if I weren’t always feeling sorry for myself; despair is often a mask for self-pity.
COVER UPS & FATE
You may be tempted to engage in a series of “cover ups” for your addicted loved one, but consider this: does that enabling help them to get well?
It isn’t so hard to believe in miracles in Al-Anon. We see such miraculous changes in people who came as newcomers and are transformed by the process.
Al-Anon principles set a pattern before me: to work on myself and to stop interfering with others. The words for the procedure are ‘hands off’.
We may think of this Higher Power as God – Goodness, Power, Love, Spirit, Father, Friend. The very fact of our surrender, our humility, makes it spiritual.
The Law of Exposure says that your boundaries need to be made visible to others and communicated to them in relationship.
The Law of Activity: It is vital to the process of lasting recovery that each member of the family actively sets healthy limits with one another.
If we are focusing on what others have or have accomplished, we are neglecting our responsibilities and will ultimately have an empty heart.
Proactive people show you what they love, what they want, what they purpose and what they stand for.
It is important to evaluate the effects of setting boundaries, but that does not mean that we should avoid setting them.
“The Law of Motivation says this: Freedom first, service second.” If your giving is not leading to cheer, then you need to examine the Law of Motivation.
A lack of boundaries invites a lack of respect. Learn about the importance of respecting others’ boundaries – and establishing your own.
Using tools like the serenity prayer, we can begin to understand what we do have the power to change, and what we do not have the power to change.
“Problems arise when boundaries of responsibility are confused. We are to love one another, not be one another.”
“Boundaries define us. A boundary shows me where I end and someone else begins, leading me to a sense of ownership.”
“We are not human beings on a spiritual journey. We are spiritual beings on a human journey. Regardless of how I define that Higher Power, it is here for me.”
Your attitude is the one thing you can control in every situation. “I’m not a victim of everything that happens unless I choose to see myself that way.”
Today, if I am tempted to interfere with something that is none of my business, I can turn my attention instead to some way in which I can take care of myself.
PROGRESS NOT PERFECTION
Progress can be hard to recognize, especially if our expectations are unrealistically high. Don’t expect unhealthy behavior to change overnight – chip away.
Forgiveness is not forgetting, it’s letting go of the hurt. Can I identify areas I have been unwilling to let go of and that are hindering my own happiness?
GIVING UP CONTROL
I wanted to stop trying to control people and situations, and someone said that I couldn’t give up something that I didn’t have.
YOUR HIGHER POWER
Is there an area of my life that I treat as though it were too important to turn over to my Higher Power? My way has seldom worked in the past.
Today, maintaining my serenity is my first priority. Have I identified important priorities for my journey to recovery today? If not, get a list going!
TRUST THE PROCESS
“Always be a work in progress.” Consider praying for an attitude of progress, not perfection, in the process of your loved one’s recovery.
Ask yourself questions to maintain your authenticity. “Has maintaining an image become more important than my emotional freedom today?”
The word detachment is often misunderstood. For me, detachment is the freedom to own what is mine and to allow others to own what is theirs.
COURAGE TO CHANGE
There was a time in my life when I furiously insisted that alcoholism did not exist in my family. We were normal; everything was fine!
TWELVE STEP SERIES
Step Twelve: Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others, and to practice these principles in all our affairs…
TWELVE STEP SERIES
Step Eleven: Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out…
TAKING ACTION IN RECOVERY
Am I connected with a group of people practicing the principles of recovery? Do I find myself growing more when I surround myself by people taking action?
Looking back, we can see how the philosophies we had during active alcoholism, and maybe even at times throughout sobriety, couldn’t serve us long term.
DEFECTS OF CHARACTER
We have to find the assets to our defects of character and put them into action. Steps 6 and 7 are a practice we must bring into our lives every day.
FELLOWSHIP IN RECOVERY
The fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous is not only a testament to the Twelve Steps, but also a place where people who feel the same way can come together.
THE CYCLE OF ADDICTION
When we break down the cycle of addiction, we can see how the three parts of this disease lead into our sprees, consequences, and resolutions.
In a meditative state, we converse with our Higher Power and ask for direction. Through meditation that we experience growth alongside our Higher Power.
THE 10TH STEP
In the 10th Step we continue to take personal inventory, acknowledging when we are selfish, resentful, fearful, or dishonest.
NIGHTLY REVIEW & REFLECTION
The nightly review routine is an easy process to miss if we aren’t careful. Take a moment for yourself and prepare for tomorrow.
TAKING ACTION IN ADDICTION RECOVERY
Throughout our time doing the work outlined in the Big Book, we are called to action. Words such as “launched”, “immediately”, and “vigorously” are written repeatedly…
The process of getting sober is about more than what we have lost or the dark places we have gone to. Though those are important experiences…