[Most Recent Entries]
Below are the 13 most recent journal entries recorded in
alanon toronto's LiveJournal:
|Monday, March 28th, 2005|
courage to change
march 27th, page 87
i used to think that living meant surviving from crisis to crisis. i continued to function this way as an adult because it was the only way i knew.
since that time, the al-anon fellowship has become like family to me. our twelve traditions help me learn how a healthy family group functions. today, when a problem involving other people arises. i turn to the traditions for guidance.
they have made it possible for me to be part of a group that encourages my growth. they have led me to learn to detach, to respect other people's privacy, and to find some release from my need to dominate and control. because of the twelve traditions, i have discovered that i am an important member of any group in which i take part. i have a sense of my own value, as well as my limitations. as a result, i am developing "the wisdom to know the difference" between what i can change and what i must accept.
because the traditions are based on spiritual principles, they often apply to personal matters as well as group concerns. when i get tangled up in problem with other people, the traditions can offer guidance and perspective.
"the twelve steps and twelve traditions embody principles that lead to recovery and personal growth, helping each of us to discover and become the person we want to be."
alanon spoken here
couage to change
march 26th, page 86
"anything worth doing," goes a slightly cockeyed version of the old saying "is worth doing badly." perfectionism, procrastination, and paralysis are three of the worst effects of alcoholism upon my life.
i have a tendency to spend my life waiting for the past to change. i want to spend the first hundred years of my life getting all the kinks ironed out and the next hundred years actually living. such an inclination to aviod taking risks, to avoid doing anything badly, has prevented me from doing some of the things i enjoy the most, and it has kept me from the regular practice that produces progress.
if i'm unwilling to perform a task badly, i can't expect to make progress toward learning to do it well. the only task hat i can pretend to preform perfectly is the one that i have left entirely undone.
al-anon encourages me to take risks and to think of life not as a command performance but as a continuing series of experiments from which i learn more about living.
"all the beautiful sentiments in the world weigh less than a single lovely action."
james russell lowell
courage to change
march 25th, page 85
i came to al-anon confused about what was and was not my responsibility. today, after lots of step work, i believe i am responsible for the following: to be loyal to my values; to please myself first; to keep an open mind; to detach with love; to rid myself of anger and resentment; to express my ideas and feelings instead of stuffing them;to attend al-anon meetings and keep in touch with friends in the fellowship; to be realistic in my expectations; to make healthy choices and to be grateful for my blessings.
i also have certain responsibilities to others: to extend a welcome to newcomers; to be of service; to recognize that others have a right to live their own lives; to listen, not just with my ears, but also with my heart; and to share my joy as well as my sorrow.
i am not responsible for my alcoholic loved one's drinking, sobriety, job, cleanliness, diet, dental hygiene, or other choices. it is my responsibility to treat this person with courtesy, gentleness, and love. in this way we both can grow.
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.
"i have a primary responsibility to myself: to make myself into the best person i can possibly be. then, and only then, will i have something worthwhile to share."
living with sobriety
|Thursday, March 24th, 2005|
courage to change
march 24th, page 84
i had a difficult time believing that alcoholism was a disease. i was convinced that if they really wanted to, alcoholics could stop drinking. after all, i quit smoking. wasn't it the same thing?
then one day an al-anon member likened active alcoholism to alzheimer's disease. we see our loved ones slip away without their being aware of what's happening or being able to stop it. they look perfectly normal on the outside, but the sickness is progressing, and they become more and more irrational and difficult to be around. when they have lucid moments and once again seem to be themselves, we want to believe that they are well, but these moments pass, and we despair. before long we find ourselves resenting the very people we once loved.
i'll always be grateful to my friend because her explaination helped me to accept the reality of my situation. once i did, it was much easier for me to separate the disease from the person.
when i accept that alcoholism is a disease, i am forced to face the fact that i am powerless over it. only then can i gain the freedom to focus on my own spiritual growth.
"a family member has no more right to state 'if you loved me you would no drink' than the right to say, 'if you loved me you would no have tuberculosis'... illness is a condition, not an act." a guide for the family of the alcoholic.
|Wednesday, March 23rd, 2005|
corage to change
march 23, page 83
alcoholism has contributed to many dashed hopes, broken dreams and considerable pain in my life. i do not wish to dwell on these feelings, but neither do i wish to turn my back on them. al-anon is helping me to face even the most unpleasant aspects of my past. by taking hold of the hands of those in the fellowship, i am able to feel the pain and mourn the losses, and to move on.
these feelings are a deep part of me; when they come knocking at the door of my awareness, i wish to open it and let them in. i need to treat myself with the same care and respect that i would myself with the same care and respect that i would an al-anon member sharing pain, confusion, and turmoil at a meeting. only in this way can i become whole and at peace.
they say that pain in inevitable but suffering is optional. if i learn to accept that pain is part of life, i will be better able to endure the difficult times and then move on, leaving the pain behind me.
"...when we long for life without... difficulties, reming us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure." peter marshall
|Tuesday, March 22nd, 2005|
courage to change
march 22nd, page 82
in order to survive in the contradictory and explosive world of alcoholism, many of us learned to ignore our feelings. we lost touch with ourselves without even knowing it.
for example, although i pointed an accusing finger at the alcoholics in my life for deserting me in times of need, i wasn't a very good friend to myself. in my fear and confusion, i walked away from the little child in me who lived simply, who cried when the cat died and then let it go, who could appreciate a sunset and not want to own it, and who lived one day at a time.
recovery does not mean that i have to become a different person. it means i need to start being myself again. the lessons i'm learning in al-anon are lessons i already know. i just need to remember.
there is an innocence within me that already knows how to trust my higher power, to cherish life while holding it lightly, to live fully and simply in the present moment. i will allow that part of myself to come forward and nourish me as i continue on this journey.
"it takes one a long time to become young." pablo picasso
|Monday, March 21st, 2005|
courage to change
march 21st page 81
a jogger was nearing the end of a run. sand dunes on the left blocked his view of the beach beyond. crossing the dunes would require extra effort after a long, tiring workout. instead, he could opt to remain on the flat road that veered off to the right. although the secenery was less appealing, the easier route was enticing. past experience had taught him to avoid pushing himself too hard. yet he loved the sight of the ocean.
the jogger hesitated. an inner nudge urged him toward the dunes, and he chose to respond to it. as the beach appeared, a spectacular sunset hovered above the crashing waves. humility overwhelmed the runner when he realized that in his moment of hesitation, he had listened to a power greater than himself, one who could see around blind corners.
logic may dictate a certain course of action while my inner voice urges me in a different direction. i may have an easier time when i follow the dictates of logic, convenience, or past experience, but am i cheating myself out of something much better? today i will pause at a crossroad and listen for my higher power's voice.
"the intellect has little to do on the road to discovery. ther ecomes a leap in consciouness, call it intuition or what you will, and the solution comes to you and you don't know how or why"
i have been trying to find an alanon jounral or community that focus' on the program. so really i just wanted to find a meeting online. something that gives information to people just looking into alanon or those who have been with alanon for a long time.
i hope that this helps people find serenity, strength, and hope.
feel free to join, share and make friends!
if you have any questions feel free to ask, if i cant answer someone will!
meeting list downtown toronto
8:00 PM Mid City AFG
St. Michael's Parish Hall
66 Bond St.
Toronto Beginners Meeting 7:30 pm (E. of Yonge, N. of Queen), north entrance, basement
8:00 PM Donlands Serenity AFG
Holy Cross R.C. Church
Donlands & Cosburn Ave.
Toronto in rectory bsmt. east of Church enter off Cosburn
8:00 PM St. Clair AFG
Holy Rosary Parish Hall
354 St. Clair Ave.W.
Toronto Rm. 2, Beginners Meeting 8:00 pm Open meeting 1st Tues.
7:30 PM Main St. Fellowship AFG
Community Center 55
97 Main St.
Toronto (Main St. at Swanwick) 2nd Floor
7:30 PM Fresh Start AFG
St. Luke's United Church
353 Sherbourne St.
Toronto at Carlton
12:10 PM Downtown Noon AFG
Holy Trinity Church
10 Trinity Square
Toronto (next to Eaton Centre), basement of Old Rectory
9:30 AM Mothers & Others AFG
Eastminster United Church
310 Danforth Ave.
Toronto Free Babysitting available Board Room, Room A9 near Chester Subway Stn.
here are the 20 questions if you may have grown up with a problem drinker. if you answer 'yes' to three or more, you could qualify for this program.
Do you constantly seek approval and affirmation?
Do you fail to recognize your accomplishments?
Do you fear criticism?
Do you overextend yourself?
Have you had problems with your own compulsive behavior?
Do you have a need for perfection?
Are you uneasy when your life is going smoothly, continually anticipating problems?
Do you feel more alive in the midst of a crisis?
Do you still feel responsible for others, as you did for the problem drinker in your life?
Do you care for others easily, yet find it difficult to care for yourself?
Do you isolate yourself from other people?
Do you respond with fear to authority figures and angry people?
Do you feel that individuals and society in general are taking advantage of you?
Do you have trouble with intimate relationships?
Do you confuse pity with love, as you did with the problem drinker?
Do you attract and/or seek people who tend to be compulsive and abusive?
Do you cling to relationships because you are afraid of being alone?
Do you mistrust your own feelings and the feelings expressed by others?
Do you find it difficult to identify and express your emotions?
Do you think parental drinking may have affected you?
Who are the members of Al-Anon and Alateen?
Al-Anon and Alateen members are people just like you and me–people who have been affected by someone else's drinking. They are parents, children, spouses, partners, brothers, sisters, other family members, friends, employers, employees, and coworkers of alcoholics. No matter what our specific experience has been we share a common bond: we feel our lives have been affected by someone else's drinking.
How do alcoholics affect families and friends?
Alcoholism is a family disease. The disease affects all those who have a relationship with a problem drinker. Those of us closest to the alcoholic suffer the most, and those who care the most can easily get caught up in the behavior of another person. We react to the alcoholic's behavior. We focus on them, what they do, where they are, how much they drink. We try to control their drinking for them. We take on the blame, guilt, and shame that really belong to the drinker. We can become as addicted to the alcoholic, as the alcoholic is to alcohol. We, too, can become ill.
What is Al-Anon?
The Al-Anon Family Groups are a fellowship of relatives and friends of alcoholics who share their experience, strength, and hope in order to solve their common problems. We believe alcoholism is a family illness and that changed attitudes can aid recovery.
Al-Anon is not allied with any sect, denomination, political entity, organization, or institution; does not engage in any controversy; neither endorses nor opposes any cause. There are no dues for membership. Al-Anon is self-supporting through its own voluntary contributions.
Al-Anon has but one purpose: to help families of alcoholics. We do this by practicing the Twelve Steps, by welcoming and giving comfort to families of alcoholics, and by giving understanding and encouragement to the alcoholic.