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Monday, November 14, 2016
So, we don't have money for babysitters today, because I can't find my ID card and it takes some time to get a new one.   I think it's going to work out, regardless. 

I may get to stay home with my cuties all day today, which certainly will be a gift.  I may be able to find someone to help out.  I only need $45.  So I may even be able to sell something.  ANYWAYS...... I was praying a lot last night for Step 2 work.

"I can't."  "He can!" 

So, I can't control the fact that I lost my ID, but I can control what I do today.  I can believe that I am just where I need to be right now.  I can listen for my Higher Power's guidance and trust that he will provide.

The D in the ABC's of Gratitude/Al Anon said, "Don't.  Let God do it."  And the R said, "Relax, God's god it covered."

And I know that this current work format isn't going to work long term.  I can't work 2-9pm when the kids go to school.  So, I'm open and listening.  And I know it's going to work out.

Oh and I find it so funny that I continually think that DH isn't going to drink.  Same old expectations.  Yesterday morning, I was grateful because I really didn't think he would.  Ha ha ha.  Ok, I'm not really laughing.  Kind of laughing at me thinking I've got things figured out, once again.  In my boundaries for being comfortable with staying, I never put no drinking.  Because, as long as he is attending a meeting a day, I have faith he will see progress.  So, he was hypomanic yesterday, which drives me bananas because it's just a picture of unhealth.  Maybe he drank.  Maybe he didn't.  He spent the night in the garage (or most of it).  He was out there since 2pm in the afternoon.  He attended an aa meeting and an SA meeting.  He told me he also was reading and journaling and working out.  So, maybe when he stays in the garage, he will now be doing recovery stuff.  He may also be drinking though.  He is new new new to consistent recovery, so just because he's doing this now, doesn't mean he will always.  J was asking questions about where Papa was though.  Anyways, I got a lot of me time after the kiddos went to bed and had some great prayers last night.  Now that I think about it, Hubby did call me around 8pm and sounded sober, so maybe he was doing recovery.  How great would that be? 

Babysitting 4 kids, three and under was tough.  A little less fun then last time because J was misbehaving in a big way, being overly aggressive, running out of 'time out'.  Super rough.  But, after a long time out half way through, she calmed down and remembered herself.  Then it was fun!  Passages.....

Passage 1 - Gratitude, Higher Power
It seems strange, when I think of it, that God is most vivid to my consciousness when I am in the depths of despair, and all I can say to Him is: "God help me!" And He does help us when we turn to Him in our great need, for "man's extremity is God's opportunity." An equally imperative reason for prayer is to acknowledge our gratitude. Gratitude is in itself a wholesome and healing force and it becomes all the more real when we make it a regular part of our prayers.
Those of us who lived so long with alcoholism, and can now enjoy the recovery of a loved one from this sickness, have good reasons for prayers of gratitude.

Today's Reminder
I will keep myself aware of the many blessings that come to me each day and remember to be thankful for them.

"You pray in your distress and in your need; would that you might pray also in the fullness of your joy." (Kahlil Gibran: The Prophet)*

**I have never been so intentional about gratitude, until starting this program.  Grateful for gratitude.  :)  I still do my own A-Z of gratitude when falling asleep at night, although I rarely get to Z.  Also grateful to raise my sweet girls in this way.

PASSAGE 2 - Step 6
Step Six talks about becoming entirely ready to have God remove all my defects of character. This readiness rarely appears to me in a sudden, blinding flash of enlightenment. Instead, as I struggle to make progress in a positive direction, I become ready a little at a time.

An important part of my Sixth Step work is practicing gratitude. The more I give thanks for my life as it is, the more I can accept the healing that allows me to change and grow. By recognizing and cultivating my abilities, I am increasingly willing to let go of my defects.

This Step is a lesson in patience, but as I see my life opening up before me in new directions, I do finally become ready to have God remove all my defects of character.

Today's Reminder
"Progress, not perfection" applies to my readiness to let go of my defects, as well as to other parts of my Al-Anon program. One day at a time, I make progress in readiness.
"Step Six is my chance to cooperate with God. My goal is to make myself ready to let go of my faults and let God take care of the rest." Alateen-a day at a time


** I absolutely love how Steps 6 and 8 are just getting ready.  How wonderful to actually work that into the steps.  How often do I work that into my life?  I'm going to be doing something big........ before hand just get my head and heart ready to proceed.   It is a gentle step and a difficult step.  How do I know when I'm ready?  I think it would be impossible to do this step without all of the prior, because of course Step 2 and 3 set us up for this.  And without Step 4 we wouldn't know our character defects and without Step 5, we would still carry much shame about them.  Step 5 is also part of the preparation for Step 7.  Very grateful the steps themselves model gentleness and "Progress, not perfection."

PASSAGE 3 - parents
My sponsee and I were discussing how angry she was at having grown up in an alcoholic family. She asked me how I overcame my anger so I could have a loving, adult relationship with my mom.

To explain, I took her on a mini-journey through the Twelve Steps. First, I admitted I was powerless over my childhood. The survival skills that I developed made my adult life unmanageable. Second, I came to believe that only my Higher Power could show me how a healthy adult behaves. Third, I made a decision to notice the people and situations my Higher Power put in my life to illustrate healthy behavior. Fourth, I inventoried my attitudes and actions that hindered me from having a better relationship with my mom. Fifth, I admitted to God, to myself, and to my sponsor that my anger from the past prevented me from accepting the love my mom was able to offer today.

Sixth and Seventh, I became ready to have my defects removed, and I humbly asked my Higher Power to do so. The next Step was easy because I already knew my mom belonged on my Eighth Step list, and I wanted to make amends. However, the Ninth Step presented a challenge. Wouldn't I injure her by dredging up the past? Instead, I decided to change my behavior by accepting her love and loving her in return. Tenth, I examined my behavior every day to see if my actions stemmed from old patterns. Eleventh, I asked God to make me a more loving person, which I believe is His will for me. Twelfth, I began carrying this message of healing by sharing my experience with others and showing how I broke out of old cycles by living the Steps one day at a time.

Thought for the Day
"The Twelve Steps provide ways to live a new and different life. They help me to know myself." Living Today in Al-ateen, p. 281

** Oh my goodness, I love this so much!  Not only how it talks about a very real issue.  But, the model of working out the 12 steps.  Feel very empowered after reading this.  And may even add it to my favorites - It definitely resonates with me.

**UPDATE - Hubby was def. drinking, found some beer bottles in the laundry.  Oh well, all the above still applies.  As long as he's attending meetings.  One day, my boundaries may change.  But, for now.... I'm waiting.  Having a sponsor and developing program tools will help both of us.  Money is a trigger and he got paid yesterday.  One day, maybe we can change all his payments to go directly into a business account, no cash.  Money is also a trigger for manic/hypomanic behaviors in bipolar, many of which are spending sprees.  I don't want to overload him with change.  But, maybe that day will be soon, if we end up staying together. 


  1. Passage 2: "The more I give thanks for my life as it is, the more I can accept the healing that allows me to change and grow." I've been mulling over this for the past couple days. I don't know how to explain my thoughts on it.

    I too noticed how there are many preparatory steps. Even step 2 is prep for step 3.

    I love passage 3! Such a great idea to show how the 12 steps apply to all types of situations.

    I'm sorry about all the craziness going on. But it seems like you're using your many tools to manage it well.