Loving to be Alone – Ep. 51 – Jonna Jinton – I call it serenity, solitude, and peace

Hello my loves! So in this video I will answer some of your questions regarding the subject of being alone and traveling alone, since that was one of the most common questions on my previous video. I also let you follow along during this weekend that I spent in my art studio with my beautiful dog Nanook, and some skiing out in the winter forest, and much more of course! I hope you will enjoy it!

And THANK YOU so much for watching! ♥

► Link to the instrument I was talking about: https://www.etsy.com/se-en/listing/88… ► MY SOCIAL MEDIA AND LINKS! • My Art & Jewelry Webshop: https://jonnajintonsweden.com • Instagram: @jonnajinton http://www.instagram.com/jonnajinton • Wallpaper collection: https://www.photowall.com/designers/j… • Facebook Page – http://www.facebook.com/jonnajinton • Blog: https://jonnajintonsweden.com/blog/ ► MUSIC You can find most of the songs here: http://share.epidemicsound.com/pR9G6​ (affiliate link) Community – Max LL (Musicbed) Cain – Lo Mimieux Reste du temps – Lo Mimieux You know it too – Da Sein Light in your hand – Sad Moses (Musicbed) Dissipate – Gavin Luke Yearn – Chris Coleman (Musicbed) Greatest Love – Generdyn (Musicbed) Time without end – Spectacles wallet and watch MB01LBIJBBA9RK2


Father Joseph Charles Martin’s Last Message

Rev. Joseph Charles Martin

I thank God everyday for Father Joseph Martin and all of his “good works” for the still suffering alcoholics and addicts. I am grateful for my 34 years of sobriety. He passed away with over 50 years of sobriety.

Rev. Joseph Charles Martin memorial

Father Joseph Charles Martin was a Roman Catholic priest, recovered alcoholic and renowned speaker/educator on the issues of alcoholism and drug addiction.

Born: October 12, 1924, Baltimore, MD

Died: March 9, 2009, Havre de Grace, MD

Education: Loyola University Maryland

Known for: Lecturer/educator on alcoholism

Books: Chalk Talks on Alcohol, No Laughing Matter: Chalk Talks on Alcohol

Parents: Marie Joseph (Miller) Martin, James Andrew Martin


Happy Easter To Everyone~~Jesus Lives

jesus-christ-Jesus Lives

I would rather live believing that there is a God and Jesus, than to not believe, and find out that I was wrong and I be doomed to an empty life full of hate and fear without a God. My God is real, He has proven to me over 35 years that He lives, He loves me, and I am ENOUGH. I spent 33 years in doubt and fear, misery, and depression. Jesus gave me a “New Life” on 28 March 1986 through the Al-Anon program. Nine months later, I joined AA and I have been sober ever since. Jesus loves me “Just as I am”, and I was saved by grace not works. I am not perfect and I will never be, but my God loves me anyway. Thank God, I am forgiven and no one is my judge but God. All I have to do is to do the best that I can with what I have, and leave the results up to God.



Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth:

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Thou as for that, the passing there

Had worn them really about the same.

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black,

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way

I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence;

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I

Took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost, 1916


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


 🤗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



Balanced Living…Life is a Balancing Act

Even as a child, I had grown up responsibilities, so it is no wonder that I grew up to be a caretaker. It seemed so comfortable, so automatic to think of others first. In fact, I was conditioned to be a caretaker by helping with taking care of my other 5 sisters and brothers.

In fact, mother was always reminding us to think of others, and not just ourselves all the time. In my messed up mind, to me that meant that I was not important and other people were more important than me. I constantly compared myself to other girls, and I always fell short. They were cuter, or smarter, or had things that I did not have. I became a people-pleaser. I thought that if you needed me, then you would not abandon me.

In sunday school, we were taught to always help others, and to do unto others as we would have them do unto us. But…they never told us that it was ok to think about ourselves or our wants and needs, or to not give away everything with no thought of ourselves.

 One of the most important things that my boss, my mentor, and my friend taught me was that I am a “Giver”and in the world there are “Givers” and “Takers”, and if I continued to Give that the Takers would Take until they sucked me dry! He was so right! In recovery, I had to learn to keep a balance. I learned to help others when possible, but I had to take care of me and my recovery FIRST, because if I did not then I could not keep it.

I had to learn through the program to not do for others what they could do for themselves. I also learned that there is a name for it…Enabling, and it is not good for you or them. It keeps you both in the cycle of dysfunction. Some people that you have tried to help and you have had to let them go, so they can grow up will be pissed off, because they cannot Control you anymore. Remember that God is your “higher power” not them.

sources: Courage to Change, Al-Anon Family Groups, One Day at a Time in Al-Anon II, 1992


My Mentor, My Boss, My Friend, Michael “Mac” Henry McBurnette

Michael Henry McBurnette, 1994, Sugar Land, Fort Bend, Texas

Michael Henry “Mac” McBurnette

BIRTH17 Oct 1945 Louisiana, USA
DEATH20 Jan 1995 (aged 49) Sugar Land, Fort Bend County, Texas, USA
BURIAL 1995 Houston National Cemetery Houston, Harris County, Texas, USA
PLOTMA, 0, 83

Mac was my Mentor, my Boss, and my Friend, and I dearly miss still today in 2021. I will never forget the sacrifices that Mac and many others made to defend our country. Mike was a helicopter pilot in Vietnam. Thirteen of his buddies died when their helicopter was shot down. He suffered from “survivor guilt”, or “PTSD” for twenty years. He suffered from alcoholism and overeating and nicotine addiction.
Mac helped a lot of suffering alcoholics and addicts to begin their recovery, in the TDCJ-ID Central unit in Sugar Land, TX. He was loved by many! He worked for the prison system, and helped start a group at the Jester II unit for veterans. God, I miss him! Mac worked as Senior Counselor, for SATP department, for the prison system at the Central unit from April 1, 1985 to Oct. 28, 1994.
Promoted to Regional Director of SATP, where he worked tirelessly up, until his suicide on Jan. 20, 1995.
I, too, was very disillusioned with the Texas prison system, that chose to just “sweep it under the rug”, and by it I mean Mac’s suicide. He had been sober for over twenty years. That month we had a quarterly meeting at Jester I, Richmond, TX. No one even mentioned his name! He was supposed to lead that meeting! Needless to say I was pissed. Someone asked me if I was alright, and I answered, “Hell, NO, I am not OK!” Mac suffered and died, and not one person even acted like they missed him.
I knew that no one cared about the inmates, but after that I realized that they didn’t care about us dedicated employees either. I left that dysfunctional system in 1996, after five years of dedicated, hard work trying to help alcoholics and addicts to begin their road to recovery. God never gives up on us, even when we do. RIP Mike! written by Sally Frederick Brown, 1995
https://www.vvmf.org/Honor-Roll/1179/MichaelHenryMcBurnette/ Gravesite Details Mike was cremated.

Michael H. McBurnette, Helicopter pilot in Air Force in Vietnam. Poor Mike he suffered from what we call, Survivor Guilt. All thirteen of his buddies were killed when their helicopter was shot down in Vietnam.
Mac’s Medals and Awards at his Memorial in 1995
Sally’s Memorial for Mac
Michael Henry McBurnette footstone, 2012


Proud to be One of God’s RADICALS!


I have been called RADICAL, and I kind of surprised myself, and answered, Yes, I guess I am a RADICAL!

I am RADICAL about my love for my God, my country, my family, and my friends, and I will FIGHT with all I have to try and “protect” and “save” them all from the demons in power!! I am RADICAL about my love for America and I will FIGHT for her, and I will honor my ancestors by not sitting back and allowing the demons to completely destroy our beloved nation!

I have always been a REBEL, and I am proud of it! I never wanted to go along with the clique’s, and I have always followed my own path and traveled to the “beat of my own drummer”.  I have always been “unique”.  I have always been “hard headed”.  I never give up, when I know that it is God’s will. I believe in fighting for what is right!

no longer accepting things that i can change

I never knew that I was a RADICAL. I do believe that I am now. In my own opinion, there are a lot worse things to be. Someone who has never failed, must never have tried or done anything. I have failed many, many times in my sixty seven years of life. 

Definition of Radical:   Simple Definition of radical

  • : very new and different from what is traditional or ordinary

  • : very basic and important

  • : having extreme political or social views that are not shared by most people

Examples of radical in a sentence

  1. The computer has introduced radical innovations.

  2. There are some radical differences between the two proposals.

  3. The new president has made some radical changes to the company.

Source: Merriam-Webster’s Learner’s Dictionary

The #DemonicDems are working for satan not God! They Stole the Election! #BejingBidenisNOTmypresident #PresidentTrumpWonbyLandslide2021

I will do whatever I can to spread the TRUTH about all of the CRIMES, that the #DemonicDems and #TraitorousRINOS have committed! #PresidentTrumpisStillmyPresident


My Sponsor, My Mentor, My Friend, Birdie Mae Neff

Birdie Mae Neff, dos 12-2-74, Dec. 1994, Industrial Group, Galena Park, Harris, Texas
Sally Ann Johnson, 34 years, Industrial Group, Galena Park, Harris, Texas, 1 Jan. 2020
Birdie Mae Neff, Industrial Group, December 2, 1994, Galena Park, Texas

Mrs. Birdie Mae Neff, wife of Andy Neff, resided on Tenth St. in Galena Park, Harris, Texas. Divorced. Maiden name unknown. She was one of the founding members of the Industrial Group on 1601 First Street, Galena Park, Harris, Texas. She was the first women member who helped to found the Industrial Group. Birdie was a homemaker, and she was a loving and giving lady. I miss her dearly, as does anyone who knew her. (dos: 12-02-1974)

Birdie, like me could could never have any children of her own, so she adopted one son, whom she loved dearly. She was a joy to be around, she made everyone feel loved and special.
Birdie helped many, many people! She made you laugh. Men and women came to her for advice and fellowship. Whatever she had she shared it with others.
Birdie Mae, I called her, told me that no one had called her that since her family had.

I am “carrying her message” of “faith, hope, and love” to God’s children. She was a friend to Bill W. & Dr. Bob for twenty five years. Birdie was cremated and a simple memorial was held for her at the group that she helped found-the Industrial Group, 1601 First Street, Galena Park, TX. ~~~Sally Frederick Johnson, 8 Feb. 2021

Memorial for Birdie Mae Neff

Given Name: Birdie
Middle Name: M
Surname: Neff
Birth Date: 14 August 1920
Social Security Number: 227-07-5396
State: Virginia
Last Place of Residence: 10th Street, Galena Park, Harris, Texas
Previous Residence Postal Code: 77547
Event Date: 26 July 2000
Age: 80
“United States Social Security Death Index,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/VSGY-VXS : accessed 22 February 2015), Birdie M Neff, 26 Jul 2000; citing U.S. Social Security Administration, Death Master File, database (Alexandria, Virginia: National Technical Information Service, ongoing).

Mrs Birdie Mae Neff
BIRTH 14 Aug 1920
Virginia, USA
DEATH 26 Jul 2000 (aged 79)
Galena Park, Harris County, Texas, USA
BURIAL Cremated, Ashes given to family or friend


The Little Boy Who Needed Someone to be There for Him

Jason Fallin and Bruce Davis, Richmond, Texas, circa 1991

My son and I moved to Richmond, Texas for my job in Sugar Land, Fort Bend, Texas in 1991, and he met Bruce in our neighborhood. We lived on Riverwood Drive from 1991-1995. They attended middle school together in Richmond. My son, Jason was an only child and pretty spoiled. He had almost every toy made. He was lonely and loved having a friend to play with. Bruce knew that we loved him and he loved us too. I thought about adopting him, but I knew that he needed to be with his family. His grandma would need him.

Gradually, I found out that Bruce’s dad was in prison behind drugs, and his mother was no where to be found and on the streets using drugs also. Thank God, he had a grandmother, that took him in, but she was older and could not do much for him but put a roof over his head. He was a sweet boy and he and my son became very good friends. He spent a lot of time at our house. He never wanted to leave. I asked him once won’t your family be worried about you, because it was getting dark out. He told me no, they don’t even notice if he was there or not.

Bruce started eating dinner with us everyday. I thought how sad to think that your family did not care if you were there or not. I started letting him stay as long as he wanted to, and I never tried to pry for any other information. I did not push him to go home. He and my son were together everyday, and I started letting him stay overnight. My son and he would start their own band and sing with our Karoke machine. I took them out for pizza at the CiCi’s Pizza and let them play video games. We went to the park, the river, and beach together.

I was a divorced mother, and I made very little money and could not afford much, but whatever we could do that was pretty cheap or free, we did. We sang and laughed a lot in the car with the radio. We were happy, joyous, and free. By God’s grace, I had learned how to live with alcoholism and drug addiction with my Al-Anon program, and I felt deeply for the innocent children of alcoholics and addicts. In fact, my son was adopted. His father was unknown, and was a rapist, and his birth mother was a alcoholic/addict too.

In 2000, I was hiding out from my ex-husband, that was stalking me. I left town, changed my number, and did not put in a change of address. For my safety I stayed off the grid for several years. For two years, I did Elderly Home Health care in Rosenberg, Texas. I always wanted to help others. I loved working with older people, and talking about history and their families.

Years later, from 2002 to 2005, I took a job in Richmond, Texas as a Nanny for six (6) children. I loved my job, and being able to stay home and care for the kids. They really needed me. Their daddy worked a lot and sometimes went out of town on business. The mother was an alcoholic and could not care for them. The children were from ages 9 months to 16 years. I cooked, cleaned, and helped them with their homework, drove them to church and activities, and played with them and the baby. I always wanted a girl, so now I had several, and even more kids. We came to love each other and they felt like family. They told me that I was like a mother to them.

Years later, in about 2004, me and three of the children went to CiCi’s Pizza to eat pizza and play video games. I was in line getting my food, when someone came up behind me and grabbed me to hug me and said, “Mrs. Brown!” I was still jumpy from my psycho ex and at first I was startled. I turned around and it was Bruce. I was so happy to see him and to find out that he was doing well. I grabbed him, hugged him, and yelled, “Oh, my God, Bruce, I am so glad to see you!” He joined the service and was doing well. I was so proud of him.

Over the last 34 years, I have attempted to help many others, but not many were “willing to go to any lengths” to change and turn their lives around. Many abused women were not willing to “let go” of their abusers. Instead of leaving them they stay until their abuser kills them. God help them to escape the nightmare! Over the years, I have helped to raise several children. I could not have children because I had Endometriosis. God put the children in my life to help.

So, if you are able please reach out to the innocent children in your path needing help. God will reward you. In a dream one night I had dreamed that I saw God, and he told me that “If you will help My children, I will watch over you and keep you safe.” He has kept me safe from abusers, liars, users, and psychos. By God’s grace, I am enjoying my 34 years in recovery and my senior years with “my Norwegian hunk husband” that calls me “his Girl”. God has been good to us even with us losing our spouses in death, God gave us each other to live out our lives together.

Helping innocent children who are suffering with their parents alcoholism and addiction. We cannot fix the problem but we can be there for their innocent children.


January is my Birthday Month…

Sally Johnson, Birthday night January 2019, Industrial Group, Galena Park, Harris, Texas

In the month of January every year I celebrate all month long. I was born in January, got sober, and got married in the same month. With the Chinese Virus crap this year, I did not get a chance to celebrate at my group for my 34 years on 1 January 2021, but this year I celebrated with my favorite cousin, Rebecca Cooke Floyd in Matagorda, Matagorda, Texas, USA.

God has been good to me. I know that there is nothing that a drink or drug would make better. I cannot imagine living my last 34 years not sober, it would be horrible. Sobriety and Serenity is the only way to live with God as my “higher power”. He has carried me through divorce, death, unemployment, abuse, stalking, hurricanes, flooding, and living in a hotel for three months…all sober and serene. By God’s grace and love. My mentor, Michael Henry Mcburnette taught me that we were no longer allowed to make excuses! “NO MORE EXCUSES!”


Old Trees and Roots…

Trees, Moss & Fog
Photographed by Freddie Ardley
(Source: freddieardley.com)

My maternal grandmother, Phylis Palen Linderman taught my mother, Jean Marie Linderman to love old trees. My mother taught me to see the beauty in old trees too. My oldest brother, Joseph Frederick painted a Tree on our living room wall of a Tree for mother in the 1960’s. In college, I had to memorize a poem, I chose to write and memorize the poem by Joyce Kilmer titled Trees. I thought that Joyce Kilmer was a woman. Come to find out, it was a man.

Tree with Roots

This was one of my favorite pictures of a Tree that I came upon thirteen years ago. I believe that it is taken in Germany. I am a writer, and family historian and I write about my life and my life experiences.

Trees by Joyce Kilmer, painted by Cleo Leona Sachtleben Ward

Alfred Joyce Kilmer

Alfred Joyce Kilmer was an American writer and poet mainly remembered for a short poem titled “Trees”, which was published in the collection Trees and Other Poems in 1914. —Wikipedia

Born: December 6, 1886, New Brunswick, NJ, USA

Died: July 30, 1918, Seringes-et-Nesles, France

SpouseAline Murray Kilmer (m. 1908–1918)

ChildrenKenton Sinclair KilmerMichael Barry KilmerRose Kilburn KilmerDeborah Clanton KilmerChristopher Kilmer

Quotes: But only God can make a tree. I think that I shall never see A poem lovely as a tree. The fairy poet takes a sheet Of moonbeam, silver white; His ink is dew from daisies sweet, His pen a point of light. https://g.co/kgs/FN4c1S

Trees by Joyce Kilmer
Joyce Kilmer

Be Grateful…November is Gratitude Month

November is Gratitude month. I could go on and on about all of the things that I am grateful for: 1. Sane Life, 2. Sobriety, 3. Being born to Christian parents, 4. My Norwegian Hunk Husband, 5. Being born in America, 5. My Baby boy, 6. My Loving Family, and AA/Al-Non friends, just to name a few.

Even with us getting older, slower, and weaker. Even with all of the Corruption going on in our government right now, we still live in the best country in the world. We will fight this corruption by the DementedDems and if it be God’s will, the Criminals in our government will be going to GITMO soon. We will not just accept evil and say and do nothing. God wants us to fight evil. I will do my part. God will save our beloved nation from the evil – doers. God bless America. God bless President Trump as he fights against the “Deep State Demons”!!




“Somehow, I thought it would be better.”

Many of our disappointments in living with sobriety can be measured by our expectations of it.

Some of us expected too much, attached magical wonders to sobriety, counted on it to solve all our problems, leaned on it too make us feel better about ourselves. We were disappointed.

Some of us expected too much too soon, forgot that alcoholism was a lifetime illness, that sobriety was only the beginning of recovery, that it could be short-lived, that our loved ones might still have character defects. We were disappointed.

Some of us had no expectations. Numb from battles we didn’t start on battlegrounds we didn’t choose, we no longer expected anything. We mistook the absence of pain as happiness. When we recognized our confusion, we were disappointed.

And then there were those of us who felt there was a difference between expectation and hope. While we tried not to count on things turning out well, we still hoped that sobriety might mean a certain togetherness, a sharing of experience and responsibilities, a pleasant life. Some of us were disappointed.

There is no end to life’s difficult turns, and yet, does that mean we should be without hope? Don’t we all know people who have supportive and helpful loved ones who still suffer their losses, poor health, or bad debts? Living with sobriety, is, after all, living. As long as we live, we are going to be subject to life’s disappointments as well as our own, and because we cannot hope to avoid them all, it appears we might do better to find a way to neutralize their damaging effects on us.

Some of us have managed to deal with disappointments by setting realistic goals, avoiding expectations of others, and using the Al-Anon program when, in spite of our best intentions, we were unsatisfied. source: Living with Sobriety: Another Beginning, Al-Anon Family groups, Virginia, 1979, p. 28

Three C’s of Al-Anon


Humility is not


Another great dividend we may expect from confiding our defects to another human being is HUMILITY-a word often misunderstood…it amounts to a clear recognition of who and what we really are, followed by a sincere attempt to become what we could be. 12 Steps and 12 Traditions, p. 58

I knew deep inside me that if I ever were to live happy, joyous, and free, I had to share my past life with some other individual. The joy and relief I experienced after doing so are beyond description. Almost immediately, after taking the Fifth Step, I felt free from the bondage of self, and the bondage of alcohol. That freedom remains after thirty three years, a day at a time. I found that God could do for me, what I could not do for myself.


Feeling Our Feelings…

Feelings - Al-Anon

When I came to Al-Anon I didn’t feel. When I lost a job, I said, “No problem”, I can take it. When we had a child, I said, “No big deal”, it’s just another day. Nothing moved me at all. It was like being dead.

My Al-Anon friends assured me that I did have feelings, but I had lost touch with them through years of living with alcoholism and denying every bit of anger, joy, or sorrow.

As I began to recover, I began to feel, and it was very confusing. For awhile I thought I might be getting sicker than ever because the feelings were so uncomfortable, but my Al-Anon friends assured me that this was just part of the process. I was ready to experience feelings, and the discomfort did pass.

Slowly, I became more whole. As long as I kept them trapped inside me, my feelings were painful and poisonous secrets. When I let them out, they became expressions of my vitality.

Today’s Reminder

Today, I will stop from time to time to see how I feel. Perhaps the day will bring joy or perhaps sadness, but either will remind me that I am very much alive.

I would not exchange the laughter of my heart for the fortunes of the multitudes; nor would I be content with converting my tears…into calm. It is my fervent hope that my whole life on this earth will ever be tears and laughter.” Kahlil Gibran

source: Courage to Change in Al-Anon, page 114, April 23, 2020

Working the twelve steps of Al-Anon brought me from Chaos to Serenity. Hence, the name of my blog. My philosophy is to: Love, Live, and Laugh every chance that I get.


Reality vs Fantasy? Recovery vs Disease? Love vs Hate? Peace vs Chaos?


Reality is a lot of people are full of hate out there and are insisting upon killing you, whether it is physically, mentally, verbally, or sexually.

I prefer to fight to stay free and alive. I have had to learn to accept the realities of life, and to not allow others to abuse me, in order to try and keep peace. I am not a fighter, but today in Recovery, I am strong, and I will fight to keep my sobriety and serenity. Today, I love others, but not to the detriment of myself. I choose not to be miserable, depressed, or to accept unacceptable behavior. I do not have to give up me to be loved by you.

Peace and Serenity are within us from God, but we must choose God. It would be nice if everyone could be at peace and loving, but if I put out love, and if it is met with hate, then I choose to separate myself from the “drama”. I refuse to become a “victim”. I choose to become a “victor”.

Peace all over the world be wonderful, but that is “utopia” and impossible. Love until they begin abusing you, then they gotta go. I refuse others to abuse or use me. It is called “boundaries”.

Recovery to me, is about me being me, and allowing others to be them, as long as their behavior does not affect me. For me, it is a choice. I can choose to be happy, or I can choose to be sad, my choice.

I lived a lot of years in fantasy, thinking; why can’t everybody just be nice. Because reality is— not everybody is nice. I live in the real world. I help those that I can, but reality is I cannot save the world. I can love and try to help those next to me. Remember God is in charge, not me.



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
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.


“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



In a world where you can be anything…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.



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’.
Click to listen to Brad Paisley on
As featured on The Collection: Brad Paisley.
Click to buy the track or album via iTunes: http://smarturl.it/BPaisleyColiTunes?…
More from Brad Paisley
She’s Everything: https://youtu.be/JCjXaEbrLdw
More great country videos here: http://smarturl.it/CountryAnthems?IQi… Follow Brad Paisley Website: http://www.bradpaisley.com/#
Subscribe to Brad Paisley on YouTube: http://smarturl.it/BPaisleySub?IQid=B…
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
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.

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.


Let it Begin With Me…


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” 


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.



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



Mind Your Own Business! MYOB


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


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.


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.




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


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


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. 


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


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



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 conference again finally after a few years that I missed because of taking care of 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. 

Sally Tudor and Garry Johnson, Brownfield, Texas, 2018 REUNITED

Wild Angels…


My favorite pic of us: Sally and Garry Johnson, Reunited after 52 years, Texas, 14  April 2018

Wild Angels

Martina McBride

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.

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


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 



We Are Not Responsible for the Actions of Others!!

Today, Sally, we believe God wants you to know that greatness is your birthright.

Who are You to shine brighter than others? Who are You to take a step forward when others are shrinking back? Who are You to make others feel insecure with your greatness? You are a child of God. Take a step forward, shine bright, – inspire others with your light to their own greatness.

Do NOT allow others to make you feel guilty for taking care of yourself and your family first. The Bible tells us to do just that! Take care of Americans FIRST! Do NOT allow others to manipulate you with fear or guilt. No one chooses to be used or abused. Change you, the only one that you can change. Get the hell away from those that want to use and abuse you and blame you for their unhappiness. 

Abusers control, manipulate and make you feel like your are the one with the problem. Stand up, Speak out and take back your life. You are NOT to blame!  September is #RecoveryMonth. Pass it on!


Just for Today

Just for Today

  • JUST FOR TODAY I will try to live through this day only, and not tackle all my problems at once.  I can do something for twelve hours that would appall me if I felt that I had to keep it up for a lifetime.
  • JUST FOR TODAY I will be happy.  This assumes to be true what Abraham Lincoln said, that “Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
  • JUST FOR TODAY I will adjust myself to what is, and not try to adjust everything to my own desires.  I will take my “luck” as it comes, and fit myself to it.
  • JUST FOR TODAY I will try to strengthen my mind.  I will study.  I will learn something useful.  I will not be a mental loafer.  I will read something that requires effort, thought and concentration.
  • JUST FOR TODAY I will exercise my soul in three ways: I will do somebody a good turn, and not get found out; if anybody knows of it, it will not count.  I will do at least two things I don’t want to do – just for exercise.  I will not show anyone that my feelings are hurt; they may be hurt, but today I will not show it.
  • JUST FOR TODAY I will be agreeable.  I will look as well as I can, dress becomingly, keep my voice low, be courteous, criticize not one bit.  I won’t find fault with anything, nor try to improve or regulate anybody but myself.
  • JUST FOR TODAY I will have a program.  I may not follow it exactly but I will have it.  I will save myself from two pests: hurry and indecision.
  • JUST FOR TODAY I will have a quiet half hour all by myself and relax.  During this half hour, sometime, I will try to get a better perspective on my life.
  • JUST FOR TODAY I will be unafraid.  Especially I will not be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful, and to believe that as I give to the world, so the world will give to me.

The Oak Tree Was Once Just A Little Nut That Held Its Ground


The Oak Tree Was Once Just A Little Nut That Held Its Ground…I always have felt like a nut. I was a little nut that grew into a large and strong Oak Tree…God through my twelve step programs has made that possible for me. 

I have always loved flowers, trees, grass, water, and all of nature.  In the sixties, I was a hippie; a “flower child”.  I always knew that I was different from other girls. I did not like a lot of “girl things”.  I did not like make up, or messing with my  my hair, or dressing up. I loved wearing shorts or pants instead of dresses. I was a “tom boy”. I always felt out of place and like I didn’t fit in. I never felt like I belonged.

I love the analogy of the “nut” and the “oak tree”.  It fits me. I thought that I was crazy but I acted as though I was ok. I was a good actress. I pretended as though I was fine, because I was afraid of being locked up. I was depressed like my mother. They had come to get my mother in 1966, and took her to the hospital for treatment supposedly. I had nightmares about nurses chasing me and locking me up too.

The Oak Tree also reminds me of my Family Tree. Our Oak Tree has a strong foundation that just began with one nut. I am so grateful to have been born one of the nuts on my family tree. Grateful to be born free in the U.S.A. to Christian, Conservative parents.  God has blessed me. 

Tree and lavender fields



The Al-Anon Promises

From Survival to Recovery, Al-Anon

“If we willingly surrender ourselves to the spiritual discipline of The Twelve Steps and work the program, our lives will be transformed. Members work their program by being willing to attend meetings on a regular basis, reading Al-Anon/Alateen literature, getting a sponsor, working toward applying the 12 Steps of recovery to their lives and by becoming involved in Al-Anon Service work as they begin to recover. 

1. We will become mature, responsible individuals with a great capacity for joy, fulfillment, and wonder. Though we may never be perfect, continued spiritual progress will reveal to us our enormous potential.
2. We will discover that we are both, worthy of love and loving. We will love others without losing ourselves, and will learn to accept love in return.
3. Our sight, once clouded and confused, will clear and we will be able to perceive reality and recognize truth
4. Courage and fellowship will replace fear. We will be able to risk failure to develop new hidden talents.
5. Our lives, no matter how battered and degraded, will yield hope to share with others.
6. We will begin to feel and will come to know the vastness of our emotions, but will not be slaves to them.
7. Our secrets will no longer bind us in shame.
8. As we gain the ability to forgive our families, the world, and ourselves our choices will expand.
9. With dignity we will stand for ourselves, but not against our fellows.
10. Serenity and peace will have meaning for us, as we allow our lives and the lives of those we love to flow day by day with Gods ease, balance, and grace.
11. No longer terrified, we will discover we are free to delight in life’s paradox, mystery, and awe.
12. We will laugh more.
13. Fear will be replaced by faith, and gratitude will come naturally as we realize that our Higher Power is doing for us what we cannot do for ourselves.

Can we really grow to such proportions? Only if we accept life as a continuing process of maturation and evolution toward wholeness. Then we suddenly begin to notice these gifts appearing. We see them in those who walk beside us. Sometimes slowly or haltingly, occasionally in great bursts of brilliance, those who work The Steps change and grow toward light, toward health, and toward their Higher Power. Watching others, we realize this is also possible for us.

Will we ever arrive? Feel joyful all the time? Have no cruelty, tragedy, or injustice to face? Probably not, but we will acquire growing acceptance of our human fallibility, as well as greater love and tolerance for each other. Self-pity, resentment, martyrdom, rage, and depression will fade into memory. Community rather than loneliness will define our lives. We will know that we belong, we are welcome, we have something to contribute, and that is enough.” source: Survival to Recovery, p. 267-68

NOTE: I realize that this is NOT Al-Anon approved literature, but to be truthful I don’t care. “Take what you need and leave the rest.” It has helped me so much that I wanted others to read it. I consider it proof of the Promises working, if we work the steps, then we can and do recover! Lovingly, Sally B. (added 19 May 2021) 



We do recover, IF we have the capacity to be honest! I am a Double Winner. I am an Al-Anon and an Alcoholic. Yes, we are all the same. My Al-Anon date is 28 March 1986, and my AA date is 1 Jan. 1987. I must be an Al-ca-non. I thought that my problem was that I was married to an alcoholic, and if he would get sober then I would be happy. I have learned in whatsoever state I am therewith to be content. (Bible) I have learned to Live Life on Life’s Terms. (Big Book) My recovery has come through many avenues. I have been open-minded enough to soak up whatever I could to help me and I clung onto what I needed and I left the rest. If any of my recovery can help you, then I am happy to share my story. God has blessed me with thirty five years of recovery. I share it whenever and whereever I can.

I Stand By The Door

The Poem: “So I Stay Near The Door”

[I have received so many inquiries about the poem, its title, its wording, and where to find it, that this rendition is made available for your blessing. Further extensive comments on Sam Shoemaker can be found it my title “New Light on Alcoholism: God, Sam Shoemaker, and A.A.” (http://www.dickb.com/newlight.shtml)]

“I stay near the door.
I neither go too far in, nor stay too far out,
The door is the most important door in the world—
It is the door through which men walk when they find God.
There’s no use my going way inside, and staying there,
When so many are still outside, and they, as much as I,
Crave to know where the door is.
And all that so many ever find
Is only the wall where a door ought to be.
They creep along the wall like blind men.
With outstretched, groping hands,
Feeling for a door, knowing there must be a door,
Yet they never find it . . .
So I stay near the door.

“The most tremendous thing in the world
Is for men to find that door—the door to God.
The most important thing any man can do
Is to take hold of one of those blind, groping hands,
And put it on the latch—the latch that only clicks
And opens to the man’s own touch.
Men die outside that door, as starving beggars die
On cold nights in cruel cities in the dead of winter—
Die for want of what is within their grasp.
They live, on the other side of it—live because they have found it.
Nothing else matters compared to helping them find it,
And open it, and walk in, and find Him . . .
So I stay near the door.

“Go in, great saints, go all the way in—
Go way down into the cavernous cellars,
And way up into the spacious attics—
In a vast, roomy house, this house where God is.
Go into the deepest of hidden casements,
Of withdrawal, of silence, of sainthood.
Some must inhabit those inner rooms,
And know the depths and heights of God,
And call outside to the rest of us how wonderful it is.
Sometimes I take a deeper look in,
Sometimes venture a little farther;
But my place seems closer to the opening . . .
So I stay near the door.

“The people too far in do not see how near these are
To leaving—preoccupied with the wonder of it all.
Somebody must watch for those who have entered the door,
But would like to run away. So for them, too,
I stay near the door.

“I admire the people who go way in.
But I wish they would not forget how it was
Before they got in. Then they would be able to help
The people who have not even found the door,
Or the people who want to run away again from God.
You can go in too deeply, and stay in too long,
And forget the people outside the door.
As for me, I shall take my old accustomed place,
Near enough to God to hear Him, and know He is there,
But not so far from men as not to hear them,
And remember they are there too.
Where? Outside the door—
Thousands of them, millions of them.
But—more important for me—
One of them, two of them, ten of them,
Whose hands I am intended to put on the latch,
So I shall stay by the door and wait
For those who seek it.
‘I had rather be a door-keeper . . .’
So I stay near the door.”


Loving and Honoring Yourself Is NOT Selfish!


As a child I was taught to not be selfish and think about all the other starving children or orphans. It was drilled into me that I should not think about myself, and to only think about others. I was so miserable, and I lived in constant chaos. I hated school! I lost my identity about the age of twelve when my addictions began.

No one told me to be good to me, or that it was ok for me to think about my needs too. I became an “enabler” and a “Co-Dependent” person. I hated me because I was never perfect, and could never live up to the expectations set on me by my parents. I grew to hate me and magnified all my flaws and did not look at the good things about me. I was terrified of being “abandoned” and not being loved, or being different from others. I allowed others to define me because I had no definition of myself, except so and so’s daughter, so and so’s wife. It was not alright for me to be me, or for me to choose who I wanted to be. I lived in Fantasy instead of Reality, because I hated myself and my life so much that I escaped the pain through my addictions. I had an “addictive personality”. 

Praise God, in my recovery, I have learned that I have a choice, and I can choose who I want to be, where I want to live, what I want to do, and that I AM Special, Loved, Wanted, and Needed, “Just as I am”. I am not Selfish, but I think of me less.

My program taught me how to have relationships with the priorities in order of number one God, then myself, and then others. I don’t have to give up me to be loved by you. I can be happy serving God, but taking care of me and my family too. We are supposed to take care of ourselves FIRST then others. Like the example of the oxygen mask, if I don’t take care of me then I am not strong enough to help others. I cannot save the world.

C.S. Lewis


God As We Understood Him…


I thank God everyday, that in my recovery program, I was told that I had a choice, and that I could choose the type “higher power” that I wanted or needed for me. Some just switched addictions to a person or substituted another kind of drug besides alcohol. Some used a door knob for their “higher power”. Sorry, that would not work for me. I used my group and sponsor for my “higher power” at first. They did not push God or religion on me. They knew that would just serve to piss me off, and maybe run me off and kill me.

If they had pushed God or Jesus on me, I would just have avoided them out. I came from the street, and I was angry at God! I tried several different religions. I did not want someone else’s opinion of what God wanted for me. My God had to love me no matter what, “with warts and all”. I chose a loving and kind God that loved me no matter what. Like the gentleman that He is, He never tried to push Himself on me. He gave me “free will”. I did not want a “controlling” or “critical” God.

I blamed God for my messed up life and all my pain and misery. I had tried organized religion but for me it was not enough. Some of us are sicker than others.

Some people might get sober through the church, but for me I did not dress like they wanted me to, or talk like they wanted me to, and I believed that I had to be perfect to be accepted. I could not take a chance of being rejected or judged, because I hated myself enough already, and believed that I had to be perfect to be loved or accepted. 

And…that is one of the reasons that I want people to be made to pay their consequences for their bad behaviors and to not enable them. If people had continued to enable me and cover up for my bad decisions, then I may not ever have gotten sober or have been motivated to change my life.

How It Works
From Chapter 5 of the Big Book

RARELY HAVE WE seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way. They are naturally incapable of grasping a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty. Their chances are less than average. There are those, too, who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders, but many of them do recover if they have the capacity to be honest.

Our stories disclose in a general way what we used to be like, what happened and what we are like now. If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it — then you are ready to take certain steps.

At some of these we balked. We though we could find and easier, softer way. But we could not. With all the earnestness at our command, we beg of you to be fearless and thorough from the very start. Some of us have held on to our old ideas and the result was nil until we let go absolutely.

Remember we deal with alcohol — cunning, baffling, powerful! Without help it is too much for us. But there is One who has all power — that One is God. May you find Him now!

Half measures availed us nothing. We stood at the turning point. We asked His protection and care with complete abandon.

Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a program of recovery:

  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 a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Our description of the alcoholic, the chapter to the agnostic, and our personal adventures before and after make clear three pertinent ideas:

a) That we were alcoholics and could not manage our own lives.
b) That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism.
c) That God could and would if He were sought.

Copyright© Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.

Father Joseph Martin

Father Martin, a recovering alcoholic himself and his recovery helped me so much. I figured if he could do it so could I. He told me that, “For an alcoholic, if they use the Bible and the Big Book, and adhere to the Ten Commandments, then they are doing God’s will”. 

Today, my “higher power” is God and Jesus. I have twenty eight years sober, and at about three years sober I chose to go back to church. I do sometimes go to church, but the program is where I got my sanity and serenity, through my sponsor and working the steps. I even chaired a twelve step Bible Study class for a few years, but I did not push my “conception” of God or my religion onto others. I gave them the same freedom that I was “freely given” by others that came before me.

Father Martin Remembered

“We all need a hero, and Father Martin is mine.”  –Bill W.  


Self Respect


Today, Sally, we believe God wants you to know that …today you have a cause for celebration. Today, you should celebrate what an unbelievable life you have had so far: the accomplishments, the many blessings, and, yes, even the hardships because they have served to make you stronger. Just as a gem cannot be polished without friction, nor can a life be perfected without trials. Take a time to acknowledge your life and to praise yourself.


We Must NEVER Give Our Children Everything That They Want…

We must NEVER give our children everything that they want….because if we do then they do not learn that life is NOT fair…and we cannot always get our way…or what we want. Then they may think that if they want something, all they have to do is whine and pitch a fit and they will get whatever they want. That is how we ended up with a “Entitlement Generation”.  We have a generation that excuses “unacceptable” behavior! And…if they want something you have that think that it is alright to take it! Teach your children that it is NOT ok to Lie, Cheat, Steal, or Kill!! What the world needs more of is MORALS and MANNERS!!

  • Reality is…bad things happen to good people.
  • Reality is…the world does not revolve around you.
  • Reality is…if we constantly expect to get our way…we will constantly be disappointed.
  • Reality is…the world owes you nothing.
  • Reality is…your parents owe you nothing.
  • Reality is…life is NOT fair.
  • Reality is…if you do not learn that sometimes you will lose…sometimes you will win.
  • Reality is…it is NOT hard working taxpayers job to support you.
  • Reality is…you are responsible for your children NOT the government, via taxpayers.
  • Reality is…if you don’t discipline your children…then society through the jails and prisons will.
  • Reality is…without teaching our children about God, Honesty, Morals and Manners…they will grow up to be spoiled brats…and a menace to society.

We Thank Thee, Lord

Some of the things that I am grateful for from my God.

Number one for my God/Jesus.

Number two, to be born in the USA to Christian parents.

Number three, for my sobriety and recovery.

Number four, my New Life since March 28, 1986. Number five, My loving family and friends.

Number six, For all of our military Heroes past and present.

Number seven, for my wonderful Clients that are also good friends, and make my work a joy, like Arthur H. Van Slyke, Jr./T’ Quarius Music USA.

Healing Grace — Daily Devotionals by Thoughts about God — Truth2Freedom’s Blog

“For it is by free grace (God’s unmerited favour) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation) through your faith. And this salvation is not of yourselves (of your own doing, it came not through your own striving), but it is the gift of God.” Ephesians 2:8 (Amp) Some of us have accepted […]

Healing Grace — Daily Devotionals by Thoughts about God — Truth2Freedom’s Blog