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Archive January 17 2008 DonInLondon 'Day in the Life'



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DonInLondon January 17 2008



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January 17 2008 DonInLondon - ‘Day In the Life’ Unique And Authentic

Two meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous for me yesterday, and very good indeed. I realise that many might wonder what AA is all about, unless of course it has benefit for you, the reader, or interest from others who are worried and concerned about family or friends who may have a drink problem.

Alcohol Addiction - Addiction In General & Prejudice

How is it that some people can drink and drug and come out of that phase in their lifetime pretty much unscathed? If we knew the answer then I guess we would all be better informed. And how is it some of us humans can take a drug and drink and end up with not only a habit, but a habit which will kills us sooner than our natural life span? If we knew the answer as individuals would we have ever taken that first drink? The answer is really linked to the way recovery works for many an addict and many an alcoholic.

Emotional - Physical - Spiritual

Mankind is forever evolving as nature and providence have shown. We are progressive and always changing, to the good or bad. When we learned to drink in our youth ( and for some in later life ) it was not long before some knew when to be moderate and some of us just kept on going and doing more harm. Excessive drinking is self harm yet we know full well by the time we know our situation, most of us alcoholics and addicts are near rock bottom in life. Anyone who knows their problem enough, knows denial keeps us stuck and dependency is a real and not imagined state of being. Addiction is not a self inflicted wound and this is the prejudice we alcoholics often have about ourselves, and what the rest of the uninformed world consider a lack of will power on our part.

Lack of Will and Will Power

Indeed it is because we have self will, willpower, we are always utilising and hanging on to ideas notions and behaviour like "grim death", that almost always, self will run riot and no will at all, kills and ensures an addict has a grim death.

A three fold disease, mind, body and spirit. I am in recovery a while now and have come to understand my malady as anyone else in recovery may acknowledge, we have to learn to live again without addiction to a substance which certainly does kill us makes us anti social, emotionally crippled and unable to function in the here and now. That is addiction.

For Me Today

Recognising I am an alcoholic, and merely in a recovering state helps me find my path in sobriety.. What Alcoholics Anonymous has helped me realise is the nature of my condition, what to do to keep well, what to do to improve my outlook and how I relate to this world, and how to help others in the same situation as me.

Unique and Authentic

How to make life work again and get along as we may, the AA programme has taught me new ways to live to my choices. AA offers no guarantees other than follow some suggestions and life may improve. AA is just a bunch of people, not an organisation you can blame. Full of fallible humans doing their best, AA is like society, full of good and bad people making their way just like everyone else. We find good and bad people wherever we go. And people who are part of AA have the same fallibility as anyone you may encounter in life. You need to stick with people you trust and not blindly trust people.

Choices

We all have them, and yet often we do not exercise choices simply because we have lost our way. We don’t have the courage faith and confidence to make our way to good conscience and our preferred way of life. And this applies to many and not just to addicts. AA helps me make my own choices based on reality and not fantasy.

Hard Work - No Fixes

Recovery from any disease, or being in recovery, or just plain recovering is hard work. There are no ways to fix addiction, indeed the word fixing is synonymous with addiction. Fixing, like a repair on our feelings is often a worry for recovering addicts as they realise there is nothing which can fix what has been missing from life. That is some emotional, physical and spiritual balance.

Ask anyone who is mature in their outlook, they will tell a story of hard work, endeavour, application and steadfastness in simple principles for emotional balance. People who work at recovery share their experience strength and hope exactly as others you can meet in the right place at the right time. Always we need utilise our choices and judgment to the good of good conscience as we learn to be sober. And we make many mistakes along the way.

Simple?

To achieve a spiritual, emotional and physical balance which offers serenity in the moment comes down to acceptance:

"Accepting the things I cannot, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

This exhortation to Nature, The World, To Your God, your intelligent mind, your good conscience is the absolute beginning and maintenance of a life lived with choice and purpose. Long may it be so.




January 17th 2007

Dark Days - Dark Times

Seems a little like this tonight. After a pretty useful day I might add. I have mixed feelings health wise. It seems my walking is gradually becoming more and more difficult. I look forward to next month where I can discuss the implications with the diabetic consultant at the clinic in Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.

I had a couple of things on the agenda, to get a heavy fan back to the shop for replacement. Fortunately for me it could not be replaced, so I had no worries getting it home. Why? Simply because getting there wore me out, or rather wore my feet out. The pain walking was pretty horrid. And I had to abort trip two to get prescriptions sorted at my GP’s surgery. Now this is not all bad news. Because after a rest, I was able to get on the bike and cycle to tonight’s meeting. Still very painful, but I got there, so a good move.

As the Coffee Shop Café Nero is next door to the meeting venue, I was able to sit and wait, and reflect, and of course write! I spend a lot of time writing, it’s a solitary endeavour, one which balances my need to be in company too. Part of the time alone and writing, while at the same time surrounded by life and stuff going on.

Makes me see where I am, and what is going on.

Changes and Tonight

And tonight was a reminder that some people had not made it far into the new year. Four people locally have expired, one from drink and three from ailments in recovery.

The absolute faith some people have in handing their lives over to a loving God in recovery has been a hot topic this week. As most are pretty fed up when they get some other malady in recovery, they feel their faith undermined. Not me actually, my faith in human endeavour and medical science has given me a couple of years I would not have had. So in my mind, a reprieve. For if I were in a less developed society, I would have gone years ago. So my faith in higher powers than me is unchanged. And my faith in purpose remains the same too, we have purpose as we keep sober and make life work and share how to live with others who fall to addictions and then hopefully find recovery.

Life has purpose

It does and being fairly pragmatic I enjoyed the share tonight. And it made me realise I am changing and suddenly life is different, and we need to realise we are getting better able to make better choices.

Life and Relationships

A big theme tonight in my mind and others. The understanding that we are changing by the day, and remarkably finding out how to live again. Living again, seems like we are reborn? Actually no, we get to grips with who we are and what we like and want to be in the recovery of living.

Reclaiming our lives is not about discarding our living completely, its about discovering what life can be and with choices made in sobriety, hopefully to the good.

Was reminded that some never change and others change to awful before they discover their best way.

As sobriety affords a better outlook, it affords much consternation about the journey we have, just a day long, as we set ourselves into new ways of living, our attitudes changing and behaviour. The choice of course is always ours how we endeavour and see the world.

Much of tonight was about how we develop and move along. We start to form our own identity again and make our new selves up as we are going along. It means a fundamental shift in many respects as we are enlightened to ourselves and our world.

No one stays the same from recovery

Or we end up back in the drink again. We need change and change happens as we work the 12 steps of AA. Its to some brainwashing, actually its quite the opposite.

From blind endeavour and drink, we move to seeing the world as it is and our life in it. We get our choices back in our new sanity, and we see our lives as they are, warts and all.

Revelations

They are quite profound the revelation of life without obsession as we progress the steps. And the odd thing is they only apply to ourselves. As the world continues much the same, we change quite dramatically, and see ourselves quite differently. We get wisdom and identity.

Identity

Such a big subject and not for now. I pause and leave things where they are for now. Identity and changes to our outlook, we need be careful and gentle as our changes happen and others remain as they were. We need all our faculties and wits. Life gets harder and easier too in sobriety as we develop our compassion and understanding, simply just how to be ourselves..

Being ourselves, it takes time to know and understand this journey, more tomorrow …

January 17th 2006

Gratitude

A tough subject when we are displaced and our balance may need some adjustment. When we enable our choices and let go the usual horrors we face on a daily basis, there is much to be grateful for. This life and the content thereof...

Actually I am grateful I have the capacity to love. It went missing a while and now its coming back. Love our fellows and ourselves, just a bit, or a lot, will help us deal with all of our life as it happens and not as a reaction to the past.

January 17th 2005

Brotherhood

Brotherhood means understanding that a cry of pain means the same in all languages and so does a smile.

-/-




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Be Tolerant

You have the power to tolerate anyone and any situation. But tolerance is not just suffering in silence.

It means going beyond any personal discomfort you may feel, and giving a gift to whom ever you would tolerate. Give your time, attention, understanding, compassion, care - all are gifts, which paradoxically, you also receive in the process of giving.

And, as you do, you will experience your own self esteem and inner strength grow. In this way you can turn tolerance into strength.





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Ghandi

There come to us moments in life when about some things we need no proof from without. A little voice within us tells us, 'You are on the right track, move neither to your left nor right, but keep to the straight and narrow way.

A person falsely claiming to act under divine inspiration or the promptings of the inner voice without having any such, will fare worse than the one falsely claiming to act under the authority of an earthly sovereign. Whereas the latter on being exposed will escape with injury to his body, the former may perish body and soul together.

You have to believe no one but yourselves. You must try to listen to the inner voice, but if you will not have the expression"inner voice", you may use the expression "dictates of reason", which you should obey, and if you will not parade God, I have no doubt you will parade something else which in the end will prove to be God, for, fortunately, there is no one and nothing else but God in this universe.

For me truth is the sovereign principle, which includes numerous other principles. This truth is not only truthfulness in word, but truthfulness in thought also, and not only the relative truth of our conception, but the Absolute Truth, the Eternal Principle, that is God. There are innumerable definitions of God, because His manifestations are innumerable. They overwhelm me with wonder and awe and for a moment stun me.




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Ghandi

There come to us moments in life when about some things we need no proof from without. A little voice within us tells us, 'You are on the right track, move neither to your left nor right, but keep to the straight and narrow way.

A person falsely claiming to act under divine inspiration or the promptings of the inner voice without having any such, will fare worse than the one falsely claiming to act under the authority of an earthly sovereign. Whereas the latter on being exposed will escape with injury to his body, the former may perish body and soul together.

You have to believe no one but yourselves. You must try to listen to the inner voice, but if you will not have the expression"inner voice", you may use the expression "dictates of reason", which you should obey, and if you will not parade God, I have no doubt you will parade something else which in the end will prove to be God, for, fortunately, there is no one and nothing else but God in this universe.

For me truth is the sovereign principle, which includes numerous other principles. This truth is not only truthfulness in word, but truthfulness in thought also, and not only the relative truth of our conception, but the Absolute Truth, the Eternal Principle, that is God. There are innumerable definitions of God, because His manifestations are innumerable. They overwhelm me with wonder and awe and for a moment stun me.










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