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Keys of the Kingdom

 

keys-to-the-kingdom-alcoholics-anonymous-big-book (2)

The last fifteen years of my life have been rich and
meaningful. I have had my share of problems,
heartaches, and disappointments because that is life,
but also I have known a great deal of joy and a peace
that is the handmaiden of an inner freedom. I have a
wealth of friends and, with my A.A. friends, an unusual quality of fellowship. For, to these people, I am
truly related. First, through mutual pain and despair,
and later through mutual objectives and newfound
faith and hope. And, as the years go by, working together, sharing our experiences with one another, and
also sharing a mutual trust, understanding, and love—
without strings, without obligation—we acquire relationships that are unique and priceless.
There is no more aloneness, with that awful ache,
so deep in the heart of every alcoholic that nothing,
before, could ever reach it. That ache is gone and
never need return again.
Now there is a sense of belonging, of being wanted
and needed and loved. In return for a bottle and a
hangover, we have been given the Keys of the
Kingdom.
source: Keys of the Kingdom, p. 268, Big Book

I celebrated my 33 years sober on New Year’s Day, Jan. 1, 2020 in Bay City, Texas with my best friend and cousin, Rebecca Cooke Floyd. It was the only New Year’s resolution that I have ever kept. My priority MUST always be on my sobriety and serenity, unless I want to lose it and go back to the depressed, angry, and miserable person that I was in 1987, and maybe worse; jail, institutions, or death, because these are our only choices if we are an alcoholic.

I recite this on everyone of my birthdays since 1990. Vern B. read it on my 3rd. birthday, and I have never forgotten it. It makes me cry whenever I read it today, because I am happy. I make it a point to read it at others birthdays whenever possible.

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“Shedding My Martyr Mask” by Brad J.

Related image

When I was five years old, my mother gave my father an ultimatum–either quit drinking and smoking or she was gone. Whether she would have actually followed through, I’ll never know, but my father believed her, and on his own, quit drinking and smoking at the same time, but in reality, all that changed was the absence of alcohol; the family dynamic I grew up in was still present. Years later when I met my first wife, she told me that both of her parents were alcoholics and that they had several years of sobriety in A.A. 

I thought that if I could just do or say the right thing, earn more money, be a better husband or father, or better something, my wife would be happy.

She also told me that she used to go to A.A. While she didn’t attend anymore, and she had a copy of the A.A. “Big Book” that I might be interested in reading. I did read, and thought that it had some good stuff in it for those people –alcoholics.

I can see now that I fell for my wife because she felt like home to me. Instinctively, I knew the dance what my part was in it–the Long-Suffering Heroic Martyr and Rescuer. I was working as a psychiatric nursing technician. I finished my degree in psychology, and discovered that it qualified me for the same job that I already had but nothing else. Because I had a family to support, I enlisted in the military and became a Navy Hospital Corpsman.

Over the next several years, I had a front-row seat to observe the progressive nature of this ugly disease in my own home. I became progressively more unhappy, uncomfortable, and guilty because I could not fix whatever was wrong. I thought that if I could just do or say something, earn more money, be a better husband or father, or better something, my wife would be happy. Then I thought that I would deserve to be happy.

Then, one day we went to visit my parents-in-law, who by that time had well established recovery programs of their own. That meant that if we visited, we would go with them to their A.A. meetings. Fortunately, that night; it was an open meeting, so I went along. And at the end of the meeting, when they were handing out sobriety chips, and they asked if anyone wanted one. I totally astonished when my wife got up, announced that she was an alcoholic and wanted to get sober.

I had all the information, I had all the education and training. I had all the personal experience. The only possible way that could have been a surprise to me was that I did not want to know my wife was an alcoholic. I sometimes wish that when I tell my story, I could say that I recognized what was wrong, sought help, and that led my wife to her own sobriety. But the truth is that between the the two of us, I was the less sane one, and she was the one who correctly identified the problem at the heart of our family’s unhappiness and dysfunction.

However, once the truth was handed to me in an undeniable way, I went to Al-Anon to learn what I was going to need to do to keep my wife sober because I thought that it was my responsibility. The very next night there was an Al-Anon meeting at the same place, so I went. I quickly noticed that I was the only man there. Everyone was sitting around a table, so I couldn’t even sit in the back of the room and hide. The people there welcomed me, asked no questions, and went right on with their meeting. Then they started telling me their stories.

Even as in deep in denial as I was at that point, I began to see that I had no idea how bad things could get in a family dealing with alcoholism. Despite all of the challenges they were dealing with, the women there were smiling and laughing.

At that point in my life, I had a hard time mustering even a small smile. I think the mystery of how they were able to do that was why I kept coming back once we returned home. However my main problem was still my own ego, I had learned growing up that it was more important to look good than to be good, so if I was going to to do this Al-Anon thing, I thought that I would need to become “Mr. Al-Anon” as quickly as possible so they wouldn’t kick me out.

Recovery continues to work for me on a daily basis, making my life a lot simpler and more fun.

Very quickly I learned to “talk the talk”, to quote Al-Anon literature, and even cite page numbers. I had people come up to me after meetings and tell me that what I had said had been really helpful to them, and I’m glad that was true.

Unfortunately, the one person who wasn’t listening to what I said was me. It took another two years to recognize that one of the two people in our marriage had a real commitment to recovery and working the Steps and it wasn’t me. I could foresee that if that continued, my wife would likely feel the need to choose between sobriety and marriage, and I knew what that choice would be. So, I began to make a token search for my first Sponsor. There were still no men in my group that stayed for more than a few meetings, so although not usually recommended, I asked a woman to sponsor me. I figured that I would ask the busiest sponsor in the program. I reasoned that she would be so busy, she would say no, and I would be off the hook. But the answer was yes. And her first question to me was, “What Step are you on?” I admitted that I hadn’t started any steps, and her response was, “Welcome to Step One.” And that was the beginning of real recovery work for me.

My first wife died several years later–sober. But that’s her victory not mine. Mine is that recovery continues to work for me on a daily basis, making my life a lot simpler, and more fun, even after all of these years. I don’t think it’s likely that I’ll ever be able to float serenely through life with no challenges, I’m still 30 seconds from crazy at any given point. But recovery has given me those incredible 30 seconds in which I can decide how I want to respond to whatever is in front of me, and more and more, I make healthier choices. As long as that continues to work for me, I’ll “Keep Coming Back”written by Brad J.

 

Reprinted with permission of Al-Anon Family Groups, December 2019

 

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In a world where you can be anything…BE YOURSELF…BE REAL

BE YOURSELF

BE YOURSELF: BE REAL

Whatever you choose to be. As a child I tried to be what my mother wanted me to be, then in marriage I tried to be what he wanted me to be. I was not happy, and very depressed because I was living for everyone else.

At the age of 33, I got in a program for living, that taught me to be me. Even after all these years, I struggle with trying to not be a clone or a robot. I have had to learn to place my boundaries, and not allow others to define me, control me, use me, or abuse me.

I am God’s child, therefore human and not perfect. It is ok to not be perfect. I don’t have to give up me to be loved by you. I let you be you, and you let me be me. Neither of us is better than the other one, and I don’t have to do it your way to be ok.  As long as I am doing my best to do God’s will, then I am right on track. God is my only judge.

My priorities are: God, Country, and Family. I have been called ‘Radical’ due to my views and ideals. Their “guilt trips” and “blame games” do NOT work on me. People who disagree with me have called me ‘Racist’ to shut me up. My friends know that I am not, so does God, and that is all that matters to me.

I refuse to sit down, shut up, and allow my opinion to be silenced. Our nation is in a crisis right now, and we MUST fight the demons out to destroy our way of life and turn America into a third world hell hole like the socialist and communist nations of the world already are! I pray everyday for our nation and our president to be protected from the demons out to destroy them! Onward Christian Soldiers.

PAUSES

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When I Get To Where I Am Going, There Will Be No More Tears

Brad Paisley

Brad Paisley

Brad Paisley’s official music video for ‘When I Get Where I’m Going’.
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Lyrics
When I get where I’m going
On the far side of the sky
The first thing that I’m gonna do
Is spread my wings and fly
I’m gonna land beside a lion
And run my fingers through his mane
Or I might find out what it’s like
To ride a drop of rain
Yeah, when I get where I’m going
There’ll be only happy tears
I will shed the sins and struggles
I have carried all these years
And I’ll leave my heart wide open
I will love and have no fear
Yeah, when I get where I’m going
Don’t cry for me down here
I’m gonna walk with my grandaddy
And he’ll match me step for step
And I’ll tell him how I missed him
Every minute since he left
And then I’ll hug his neck
Yeah, when I get where I’m going
There’ll be only happy tears
I will shed the sins and struggles
I have carried all these years
And I’ll leave my heart wide open
I will love and have no fear
Yeah, when I get where I’m going
Don’t cry for me down here
So much pain and so much darkness
In this world we stumble through
All these questions I can’t answer
So much work to do
But when I get where I’m going
And I see my Maker’s face
I’ll stand forever in the light
Of His amazing grace
Yeah when I get where I’m going
Oh when I get where I’m going
There’ll be only happy tears
Hallelujah
I will love and have no fear
When I get where I’m going
Yeah, when I get where I’m going
I love this song it reminds me that I will get to see my deceased family again, if I follow God’s will. Especially during the holidays, I really miss my family that have gone on ahead of me to meet Jesus. I pray that we meet again.
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In spite of everything, I shall rise again – Vincent Van Gogh

In spite of everything, I shall rise again - Vincent Van Gogh

God has carried me through floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, divorces, psychotic ex’s that didn’t obey restraining orders, good husband dying, unemployment, and moving, moving, moving.

Thank God, for my family and friends, that have helped me to get through all of that. God is good. He gives us what we need, not always what we want. I stayed clean and sober through all of this, then after 52 years God put my first love back into my life. We were in love at the age of 12 and 13, so called puppy love. Who knew it was “real love”? We did. God did. We just had to wait on God’s timing. Never, never give up hope.

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Let it Begin With Me…

if-you-cant-be-kind-be-quiet

Such a great slogan. For me that slogan reminds me that when I am wanting things from others (kindness, love, attention, support) I need to let it begin with me.

Am I behaving the way I want to be treated towards my loved ones in my life? My ego and I struggle with that all the time. I want people to have more respect for me, I want an apology, I want people to notice my new haircut….whatever it is I WANT or my ego wants.

It’s so much harder for me to turn that around and ask myself if I am doing this for others. When I can bring myself to give it away unconditionally it comes back to me.

When I truly apologize for my part in an argument with no expectations often I get the same back.

When I show loving concern for others I eventually get it back. It really doesn’t hurt me at all to behave the way I want to behave yet I perceive it as a threat sometimes or weakness.

When I come from a place from this slogan I don’t tend to over do it yet I also don’t tend to withhold what I am content in giving away. It helps me behave with unconditional love which is what I truly desire from others. “Let it begin with me” 

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The Love of Family is the God’s Best Blessing

The Love of Family is the God's Best Blessing

Be a blessing in someone’s life. We have a choice whether we want to be a “blessing” or a “burden” to others. I do believe in Karma. If you want positive Karma, then you need to emit positive Karma. I thank God everyday that I had a family that never gave up on me, and loved me unconditionally.

People who “burn their bridges”, and hurt others intentionally end up alone and unhappy, and they don’t understand why people either shun them or refuse to help them anymore. I understand, people get tired of trying to help others, that continue to whine, complain, and blame others for all of their problems. They depend on others to much, and so they run from them.

A person cannot be forced to change. No one else can do it for them. We can point the way, and show them how we did it, but they must do the footwork. Recovery is an inside job. Only God and working the steps with a sponsor, reading the literature, going to the meetings, and carrying the message to others. Some of us are sicker than others so we need more help than the 12 step programs can give us. We do the footwork, and leave the results up to God.

SERENITY PRAYER

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Keeping My Peace

Image result for Keeping My Peace

My peace belongs to me, but it is so easy to give it away or let someone take it. One gem I have heard in Al‑Anon meetings is “Don’t take the bait.” I may be quite happy and in a good mood, but if a loved one makes a criticism and I choose to engage or defend myself, my good mood will slip away.

I simply don’t have to take the bait; I can acknowledge that I heard what was said and then change the subject or let them know I am going for a walk. It is my choice whether or not I get into an argument. I don’t have to attend every argument I am invited to; I have a choice. Do I want to be right or do I want to be happy?—as the saying goes.

I am so used to defending myself that I often fail to realize that I don’t have to. What other people think of me is none of my business. Certainly, I can take their words in, and I may even decide to make a few changes in the future or not. I can take what may be useful information and leave the rest. I am the keeper of my mood and attitude; I don’t have to be a victim. I am powerless over other people, but I can adjust my part in it. I can choose happiness and keep my peace. Today, I will choose to keep my peace.

By Steve R., Maryland

The Forum, May 2019, Reprinted with permission

 

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Mind Your Own Business! MYOB

Hank-Williams-Jr-Quote-If-you-mind-your-own-business-you-ll-stay

Mind Your Own Business by Hank Williams, Jr.

“One member, explaining how she finally ‘got the Al-Anon idea, said: “I just figured out that it all boils down to four words: Mind Your Own Business.”

Today’s Reminder:

“I will concentrate on the things that are my concern–and make sure which really are mine. I will keep my hands off the business of others. I will not interfere with the alcoholic’s activities, assume his responsibilities or shield him from the consequences of what he does.”

When you are offended at anyone’s fault, turn to yourself and study your own failings. By attending to them, you will forget your anger and learn to live wisely.”  (Marcus Aurelius)

ONE DAY AT A TIME IN AL-ANON, Al-Anon Family Groups, 2000, www.al-anon.alateen.org/members

Eric-Hoffer-Quote-A-man-is-likely-to-mind-his-own-business-when-it

As long as I concentrate on me and my own actions and thoughts, then can I keep my serenity and peace. I am powerless over other people, places, and things. I try daily to focus on the positive and not the negative. I allow you to be you, and for me to be me. We have ceased fighting anything or anyone. (Big Book – AA) Thank God, for all of the 12 Step programs, God has saved my life and sanity through these steps.

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Placing Principles Before Personalities=Tradition Twelve

stepping stones, traditions, december 2014

Stepping stones, Traditions, December 2014

Today, I finally after all of these years believe that I have something special to share, and God is pushing me to share about our traditions. I usually have an idea for a post for my blog and I am usually sharing about Sobriety.

We seldom have Traditions meetings, usually Step meetings. The important message that I have to share today is centered around Birthday meetings. At the end of the month we have a Birthday meeting with fellowship and food, to celebrate years and multiples of years for sobriety. Have you ever wondered why some people have many friends and receive many cards? I never did before, but over the years I have received many cards. I have done my best to try and get along with others. If I can’t be civil to someone, then I separate myself from them. Sometimes it is not easy. Some people have so much anger and pain inside them, that they lash out at others that do not deserve their anger.  I am a Problem Solver. Whenever I come across someone that irritates me or is hateful, I know to go to pray about it, go to the book and I will find the answer, I seek the Solution.

One of the no-no’s of our program is to not “gossip or criticize”, but that does not mean that it does not happen. I have learned through the years, that if I don’t pass it on then it does not travel, and it will stop there. There have been people that liked to gossip about other, in fact if probably happens everywhere. I don’t like it and I know that it is not good for a group. Group’s have fizzled and died through such things.

In order to be able to know how to “place principles before personalities”, I watched my wonderful sponsors. The Principles are all through the steps. In order to know what they are you have to get a sponsor, work the steps, and go find them. That is what my sponsor had me do.

Humility, Love, Forgiveness, Harmony, Truth, Faith, Hope, Compassion, Understanding, Self-forgetting, Willingness, Strength, Wisdom, Serenity, Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs.  AA Spiritual Principles – Friends of Bill W.

I picked her because she had years of sobriety and serenity. She was loved by all, nice to everyone, and lived by the 12 Steps and the 12 Traditions.

Birdie N, and her sponsee, Pam H, were living examples of what our program is supposed to look like. I miss Birdie so much. She passed with 25 years of sobriety. Her sobriety still lives within me.

Pam H. has thirty seven years of sobriety on April 19, 2019. I carry their messages everyday of my life. I have sobriety and serenity, but if I don’t give it away, I could lose it. It is my most prized possession. It has been since 1986.

Mother always told us that if we could not say anything nice don’t say anything.

if-you-cant-be-kind-be-quiet

 

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Acceptance Is The Answer To All My Problems…I Am A Double Winner

eisakouo.com

 🤗Absolutely, we used to change the way we felt. Our problem centers in our mind. For me, it is all or nothing. No, mind altering chemicals if you are an alcoholic/addict. No marijuana maintenance.

We feel our feelings today, and learn to grow up. We outgrow our sensitivity to hurts and learn to grow up through working the twelve steps. Just not drinking or using is not the answer. We must have a spiritual experience and find God. Nothing is impossible with God. My sponsor told me that we either find God or not. 

The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous has the solution to every problem, that I could ever have.  In the back of the book, one of my favorite stories was the “Doctor, Alcoholic, Addict”. The newer versions of our book do not use that title, but I think it is important for addicts to read. It has helped me so much to live my life with serenity and peace.

I have to accept things that I cannot change, but I do not have to put up with abuse and do not have to keep living with it.  Acceptance does not mean that we have to accept whatever crap that someone else does to us. It means we have a choice and we can decide how we want to act or react to others. I steer clear of those living in the “problem”, and I choose to live in the “solution”. 

“And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing, or situation–some fact of my life–unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly as it is supposed to be at this moment.

Nothing, absolutely nothing happens in God’s world by mistake. Until I could accept my alcoholism, I could not stay sober; unless I accept life completely on life’s terms, I cannot be happy.

I need to concentrate on not so much on what needs to be changed in the world, as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes.” Big Book, 3rd. Edition, 1976, pp. 449

acceptance

 

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Just For Today, I Will Appreciate myself. I will not look to others for approval.

JUST FOR TODAY - AL-ANON

Today’s Reminder, January 9, 2019

Just for today, I will appreciate myself. I will not look to others for approval. I will provide it for myself. I’ll allow myself to recognize that I am doing the best that I can. Today, my best is good enough. 

“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart.”  Carl Jung

How often I look outside myself for approval? The project at work is successful, but my good feelings depend on having that success acknowledged. The meal I fix at home is not as tasty when no one compliments the cook. I resent the favors that I do for my children when they neglect to thank me.

We all need an occasional pat on the back. But when the applause of others becomes the reason for my behavior and necessary for me to feel satisfied, then I have given them the power over me.

People may forget to notice the terrific things that I’ve done or may not be comfortable praising me. I don’t have to take it personally. Self-Pity and resentment are not my only options. If I can learn to evaluate my own actions and behavior and to value my own judgement, then the approval of others will be enjoyable, but no longer essential to my serenity. 

source: Courage to Change, One Day at a Time in Al-Anon II 

what has life taught you

Today, I turned 65 years of age. It is wonderful to finally feel like I have something important to say. I do have a lot of words of wisdom, or “experience, strength, and hope”, to share with others. I do not need to give up me to be loved by you. The 12 steps of AA and Al-Anon have given me the wisdom to love me and take care of me first, or else I have nothing to give anyone else. If I am in Recovery and the AA Book, then I am living in the Solution instead of the Problem. I have peace and serenity no matter what is happening in my life. I have survived Hurricane Harvey, living in a hotel for 3 months, and my husband passing away 6 months later. By the grace of God, I am home and I now have my Best Friend as my husband, and 2 baby dogs. God has kept me sober and serene for 32 years on Jan. 1, 1987 

what does your birthday say about you as a woman

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This Too Shall Pass…

Always-remember-the-proverb-This-too-shall-pass

All of us have “good days” and “bad days”. No one is exempt from problems. Remind yourself of days when things did not go your way, or they were hard to live through, and those days have passed. I have had loved ones die, hurricanes, unemployment, divorces, and having to move many times. I have lived through everything, and I was wondering why I was alive and what was my purpose in life. In fact, just last August 2017 with Hurricane Harvey, I felt that way.

Now, I am back in my home, and God has graced me with the return of my “first love” back into my life in 2018 after 52 years apart. We both had married and moved on in life. We were both widowed. God does answer our prayers, just not always in our own time table. We married in June 2018, and we are so happy now. God is good. 

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Help and Hope- Al-Anon- Step 12

Al-Anon and Ala-Teen Service Manual

Help and Hope
We who have turned to Al‑Anon have often done so in despair,
unable to believe in the possibility of change and unable to go
on as we have before. We feel cheated out of a loving companion,
over-burdened with responsibilities, unwanted, unloved, and alone.
There are times when some of us can act arrogant, smug, self righ‑
teous, and dominating. We come to Al‑Anon, however, because we
want and need help.
While we may have been driven to Al‑Anon by the effects of some‑
one else’s drinking, we soon come to know that our own thinking
has to change before we can make a new and successful approach
to living. It is in Al‑Anon that we learn to deal with our obsession, our
anxiety, our anger, our denial, and our feelings of guilt. It is through
the fellowship that we ease our emotional burdens by sharing our
experience, strength, and hope with others. Little by little, we come
to realize at our meetings that much of our discomfort comes from
our attitudes. We begin to change these attitudes and learn about
our responsibilities to ourselves. We discover feelings of self-worth
and love, and we grow spiritually. The emphasis begins to be lifted
from the alcoholic and placed where we do have some power—
over our own lives.  https://al-anon.org/pdf/P2427_online.pdf

Al-Anon's Do's and Dont's

The Twelve Steps

These Twelve Steps, adapted nearly word-for-word from the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, have been a tool for spiritual growth for millions of Al‑Anon/Alateen members. At meetings, Al‑Anon/Alateen members share with each other the personal lessons they have learned from practicing from these Steps.

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.

© Al-Anon’s Twelve Steps, copyright 1996 by Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc. Reprinted with permission of Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc.

3-C's of Al-Anon

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Mother And I Loved Old Trees With Character

Texas Tudors' Blog

Me And Mother Loved Old Trees With Character. She told me how her Mother would take all four of her girls for a walk in the woods, and she would point out different colored leaves, and trees with character. She told me that she didn’t want to walk. Her Mother would drop them off and make them walk back to the car. Her Mother pointed out an old dead tree, and how beautiful it was. Mother would whine that she didn’t see nothing beautiful just an old dead tree. My Grandmother was a fan of Ralph Waldo Emerson.  She tried to get her children interested in finding the good in things, and love of nature.

Mother did the same to us, and I was the one whining about I didn’t want to walk, and that I didn’t see anything beautiful about an old dead tree.

Near the end of Mother’s…

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My Al-Anon Recovery began on Friday, March 28, 1986

sally-and-garry-johnson

My Al-Anon recovery began on Friday, March 28, 1986. I will always be grateful for the alcoholic that led me to Al-Anon to where I found God. My first Heart to Heart was in 1987. I was so confused. I did not know what to call myself. We had a red ball meeting, and the ball hit me so I had to get up in front of about 300 women to speak. I was so nervous. I laughed and told them that I was Sally and I guess that I am an Alco-Non. I am an Al-Anon and an AA. We are all the same. None of us better than the other, and neither of us are to “blame” for each other’s disease or problems.

Before my Al-Anon meeting one night this year an alcoholic man made a smart ass remark to me about how could I be both. I told him that whether he liked it or not, he probably was too, because if he was married to one or the father, or brother, or friend of an alcoholic then he was an Al-Anon. I am excited about being able to go to Heart to Heart again finally after a few years that I missed Care taking my mother and husband. God is good. Now, fifty two years later, God gave me my “first love” back, and we could not be happier. 

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Wild Angels…

Wild Angels
Between the perfect world and the bottom line
Keeping love alive in these troubled times
It’s a miracle in itself
And we know too well what that’s about 
Still we made it through, only God knows how
We must’ve had a little help
(Must’ve been)
Wild Angels, Wild Angels
Watching over you and me
Wild Angels, Wild Angels
Baby what else could it be
Well it must’ve been hard, it must’ve been tough
Keeping up with crazy fools like us
‘Cause it’s so easy to fall apart
And we still break each other’s heart sometimes
Spent some nights on the jagged side
Somehow we wake up in each other’s arms
(Must’ve been)
Wild Angels,
I do believe in angels. I have collected angels. I decorate at Christmas with angels. I did elderly home health care, and our company was named, “Guardian Angel Services”. I am not superstitious, and I do not believe in ghosts. I am a child of God, and I know that God works through people, the same way that satan does. I know without a doubt that God’s angels have been with me all my life. Especially, this past year of living through the nightmare of Hurricane Harvey and losing my husband of 12 years. God carried me through 3 months in a hotel, and not knowing where or when we would have a home again. Six months later after praying and putting one foot in front of the other, God put my first love back into my life. Now, we are married and I can look back and see how God and my family have carried me through. God has blessed me with a wonderful man with a big heart, that loves me not just my physical body, but body, mind, and soul. God has finally answered my prayers after 52 years.
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My favorite pic of us: Sally and Garry Johnson, Texas, April 14, 2018
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To Those I Love…

To Those I Love Poem

To Those I Love – by Isla Richardson

If I should ever leave you whom I love
To go along the silent way,
Grieve not,
Nor speak of me with tears,
But laugh and talk of me as if I were beside you there.

(I’d come – I’d come, could I but find a way!
But would not tears and grief be barriers?)
And when you hear a song
Or see a bird I loved,
Please do not let the thought of me be sad 
For I am loving you just as I always have 
You were so good to me!

There are so many things I wanted still to do

So many things to say to you
Remember that I did not fear
It was just leaving you that was so hard to face
We cannot see beyond
But this I know;
I love you so
‘twas heaven here with you!

 

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But it is from our twisted relations with family, friends, and society at large that many of us have suffered the most

12 Characteristics of a Healthy Relationship

But it is from our twisted relations with family, friends, and society at large that many of us have suffered the most. We have been especially stupid and stubborn about them.

The primary fact that we fail to recognize is our total inability to form a true partnership with another human being.

Our egomania digs two disastrous pitfalls.

Either we insist upon dominating the people we know, or we depend upon them far too much.

If we lean too heavily on people, they will sooner or later fail us, for they are human, too, and CANNOT possibly meet our incessant demands. In this way our insecurity grows and festers.

When we habitually try to manipulate others to our own willful desires, they revolt, and resist us heavily.

Then we develop hurt feelings, a sense of persecution, and a desire to retaliate. As we redouble our efforts at control, and continue to fail, our suffering becomes acute and constant.

We have not once sought to be one in a family, to be a friend among friends, to be a worker among workers, to be a useful member of society.

Always we tried to struggle to the top of the heap, or to hide underneath it. This self-centered behavior blocked a partnership relation with any one of those about us. Of true brotherhood we had small comprehension.

source: Alcoholics Anonymous, 12 X 12, Step 4, page 53

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Thy Will (Not Mine) Be Done

Hillary Scott

I love this song! I just lost the “love of my life” on Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018, and I am consoled because of my faith, and because he is no longer suffering. I have learned through thirty years of recovery that God’s will is better for me than my own.
Hillary Scott’s lovely music has run through my head continually since then.
In our Big Book, it mentions “Thy Will (Not Mine) Be Done”.  I have been hearing in my head all month long “Thy Will Be Done”. 
I have chosen it as the theme of our 68th. anniversary this year.  My sponsor, Birdie Mae Neff, was the first woman in our group, that helped to start our group.
 “Every day is a day we must carry a vision of God’s will into all of our activities. How can I best serve Thee–Thy will (not mine) be done.”  source: Alcoholics Anonymous, Chapter 6, page 85 

 

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FROG = Fully Relying On God

FROG

I heard this in my Al-Anon meeting. I love it! We made it through Hurricane Harvey, and are finally home; our wish was for my husband to be home before Christmas, and God granted our wish. “Fully Relying On God”.

Belinda Ealy Reeves, You just gave me the idea for my blog. I got a frog for my Al-Anon birthday last year. Thanks Belinda Ealy Reeves for being there to keep the groups going in Mineral Wells, TX. My favorite for AA is “One Day at a Time”. 😘

 

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Celebrating Thirty One Years of Recovery in Al-Anon! One Day at a Time!

letitbeginwithmealanon

I can hardly believe that it has been thirty one years ago today, that I began my road to happy destiny in Al-Anon. I dragged into my first meeting depressed, pissed, suicidal, homicidal, full of self pity and resentments toward others. I came to “get him sober” yet I found out that I had no power over him, and that I was the only one that I had any power over. Of course, I did not believe them. I thought, “But you don’t know me”. He will stop for me. I am younger than him, sexy, and he really loves me.

JUST FOR TODAY - AL-ANON

Long story short, he did not stop for me, but I found what I needed for me…serenity, peace, and love. I found people that “loved me, wanted me, and needed me” for free.

Nine months going to Al-Anon and still being miserable and doing all of the DON’Ts instead of the DO’s, my sponsor recommended that I go to AA, and find out more about alcoholism. I continued to drink at my husband, because I thought, “I am not the alcoholic…he is”.  I agreed that I might check it out. 

After three years of my attending meetings and working my steps with my sponsor, I finally had had enough of his drunkenness and chaos. So, I chose to divorce him, because I could not live in the insanity anymore. I was beginning to feel better and I decided that I wanted recovery even if he did not. I had spent my whole life thinking of others, trying to help others, and in the process, I did not lose me, because you have to have an “identity” in order to lose one, and I had never had one. I found out that I was Co-Dependent. I read up on Co-Dependency and I went to therapy too.

Let it begin with me.When anyone anywhere reaches out for help, we want the hand of Al-Anon and Ala-Teen to be there.

I celebrated thirty years of sobriety and serenity in January 2017.  God has used me for thirty years to “carry the message of recovery” to many others.  I share my recovery to those that “want” it, because we can only help those that “want” recovery and are “willing to go to any lengths” to achieve sobriety and serenity.  Very few have chosen to stay sober come hell or high water, no matter what, because we have “free will”, and they are looking for an “easier, softer way”.  I chose the “harder, right way”.

Bill and Lois Wilson

 

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Seeing God In Nature

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“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” – Genesis 1:1

Where is your spot? Where is that place that you go and no matter how crazy and chaotic your life has been, that place that will bring you peace and help you to center?

Some people find that place in the mountains. The awesome grandeur of majestic mountains shows God’s power and creativity and it reminds us that the problems of earth can certainly be handled by God.  

Some find a sense of peace and perspective in when they are near the ocean. Again the massive body of water and the consistency of the tide and waves brings peace and comfort. 

Some others enjoy a meadow setting; still others love the varied creativity of the woods. 

Regardless of where the spot is where you feel calmed and closer to God, it is a place where you can appreciate God’s creation… His creativity, His power, His strength and His love. Being in this spot in creation gives you a God moment.  

My serenity spot’s are all of those above. I especially love waterfalls and the woods. I love my jungle. I love trees. My backyard is my jungle, and it is not perfect, but it is my gift from God. There are weeds, and roses have thorns, but I focus on what I have instead of what I don’t have today. I can find peace and serenity in the bird’s singing and all of the greenery cropping up in the Springtime, my favorite time of year. It represents ‘New Life” to me. 

Nature is the art of God. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Prosperous Trees

I will come in the clouds surrounded by all the angels and the saints in Heaven

Father of Love and Mercy

Jesus-Christ-3109My dearly beloved daughter, My children must know that the reason the world is spiritually empty is because they no longer know the difference between right and wrong. If it were not for My Light, which fills each soul, including sinners, the world would cease to exist. It is My Light, which keeps the world alive.

Many of My followers, who consecrate themselves to suffer in union with Me, also help keep this Light alive.

Just before I return, My Light will disappear in the world, for a period of three days.

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THERE IS HELP!

20151217_I have never met a person...

I was down and could not stand.

I found some folks with a helping hand.

They told me they knew a way to be free.

I was doubtful at first but now I see.

I reacted to things I couldn’t control,

I strived and searched to find my life’s role. 

It appeared to me that life was sour,

‘Till I learned to trust in my higher power.

Most of my life was spent in fear,

I was unable to shed a compassionate tear.

You think I’m a snob, and you think I’m withdrawn,

Truth is I’m afraid, so you leave me alone.

When we’re with these folks that I have mentioned before,

Listen and learn, and we’ll open the door.

Learn and practice the basic Twelve Steps.

I promise———-I know how much it helps.

Go back to your meetings, Go back to Step One,

But above all else—-Learn the way of Al-Anon.

written by Judy C, Hobbs, NM, Tyler Newsletter