Wednesday, June 5, 2024

The Continuing Gifts of Al Anon~ Years Into Recovery


I’ve not lived with an alcoholic or addict since 2004; however, the tools I learned in Al Anon continue to give me the strength, hope and abilities to navigate the challenges I continue to face today.

When I first accepted, after 10 years on Step 1, that I was completely powerless over other people, places & things…including drug and alcohol, it was an awakening. Seriously, it took me 10 years of meetings to ‘get’ the first step! We all have our own paths. 

But, the journey was essential to my healing. While I rarely attend meetings, the lessons I’ve learned have given me the experience, strength & hope to make positive decisions.

My current relationship is far from perfect. But, the lessons I’ve learned and the tools I’ve incorporated into my tool belt have given me the confidence to make healthy decisions for my wellbeing.

Whenever I hop into bed after a particularly challenging day, I recite the 12 steps of Al Anon, recite the Serenity Prayer, acknowledge my gratitude for my good fortune, ask my higher power for courage to accept the things I cannot change, and celebrate my blessings.

The community, experience, strength and hope I found when I was at the depth of my despair, saved my sanity and my life. If you are hurting because someone in your life is an addict or alcoholic, reach out and find a path to recovery. It is a lifelong journey. 

Monday, June 3, 2024

Some Old Fashioned Values Should Be Taught Again


This photo shows me with my 92 year old Dad. I grew up in the 1960s and 1970s. There was no such thing as a helicopter parent, excuses for misbehavior, trophies for everyone, safe spaces, pandering to children. Yes, my siblings and I experienced corporal punishment. Two of us believe it as appropriate and did not affect our sensitive psyches. The youngest, who had the least oversight, believes that only di food spoils, not children. That did not work out so well.

So, these are some precepts that every child in my cohort learned:

1) Do unto others as you would have them do unto you;

2) if you don’t have anything nice to say about another, don’t say anything at all;

3) Sticks & stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me;

4) Don’t judge another unless you’ve walked a. Ike in his shoes;

5) judge not lest ye be judges/

6) People who live in glass houses should never throw stones;

7) he who is without sun should throw the first stone; 

8) Grudges, resentment & hate only hurt oneself. 

8) kindness costs nothing 

9) Opinion is not fact; 

10) hading behind a pseudonym or anonymity is cowardly. Always take ownership for your comments.

Overall, my biggest frustration is the number of people or bots that judge, criticize, denigrate  cast aspersions or express vitriol anonymously online, particularly in comments to news stories. Grow a set and be open, honest and forthright. Don’t hide behind a fake handle. Take ownership of what you write and your opinions or shut your cowardly trap the f#$k up! 

Saturday, June 1, 2024

Find Peace Within Yourself in Times of Turmoil

 A few weeks ago I visited my 92 year old father in Logansport, Indiana. I know that I’m fortunate to be able to spend time with my dad. We’ve both experienced the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune in our everyday lives and in the political sphere. 

Dad is a rabid republican. I am an unapologetic libertarian. Neither of us has tolerance for those who denigrate America. We’ve both traveled and experienced the travails of people who live in socialist, communist, fascist, oppressive, martial law, autocratic countries run by despots. Travel has confirmed for both of us that those who disagree with the American experiment are either idiots, uneducated, uninformed, indoctrinated, confused, conditioned, corrupted, lost, mentally unstable, or spies for autocratic governments. One cannot travel the world without realizing the freedoms we in the USA enjoy everyday. 

Name a communist government that has not repressed, imprisoned or executed its people in the name of re-education.