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Friday, December 16, 2016
At 3am

"Mom, Moooooom, Mom!"
"Yes, J?"
"I think we should have some quiet time." (she wakes me up and brings me into her room for this, haha)
"I think that's a great idea, J.  Good night."
"We can have quiet time in the morning, we can have quiet time at night."
"Ok honey, go to sleep sweetheart.  I think quiet time is a great idea."
"We can have quiet time with Mama.  We can have quiet time with L....."

**My sweet girl has so much to say.  How cute and funny that she can't stop talking about having quiet time.  Even though, of course, it's preventing the quiet time from occurring.  I wonder how many things in my life are like that. 

There are the super-optimists who imagine that Al-Anon has a magic formula for curing all life's ills. A weekly hour for a meeting, they think, and all will be well.
A situation in which the lives and sanity of an entire family are at stake is not so easily solved, but the super-optimist resolutely clings illusion that Al-Anon can fix everything. It "fixes" nothing; that is up to us. Not in the once-a-week meeting alone, but with plenty of in-between reading, constant recall of the principles and constant use. Al-Anon does have the formula, but it is we who must use.
Today's Reminder
Changing our whole way of thinking is a monumental task, not to be taken lightly. But many thousands of members can testify that it's the most rewarding and self-serving activity ever devised for curing sick family relationships!
" 'Listen, read, think, use' says Al-Anon to those who really want a better way of living."

**A monumental, yet achievable task.  

PASSAGE 2 - One Day at a Time
I was convinced that I had to take care of everything and everybody--I had no choice. But with the help of Al-Anon I have learned that, while I do have responsibilities, there are also many things I do not have to do:
I don't have to understand everything. Some things are not my business, and others will simply never make sense to me.
I don't have to be reluctant to show my feelings. When I'm happy, I can give into it! When I'm not, I can turn to my Al-Anon friends who help me to grow through the tough times.
I don't have to feel threatened by the future. I can take life one day at a time.
I don't have to feel guilty about the past. With the help of the Steps, especially Eight and Nine, I can make amends and learn from the mistakes I have made.
I don't have to feel alone. I can go to a meeting, or pick up the phone--there is always somebody to reach out to in Al-Anon.
I don't have to take responsibility for other people's choices. They have their own Higher Power to help them make their decisions.
I don't have \to give up on my hopes and dreams--my Higher Power is not limited by my lack of imagination.
**What a great post for "one day at at time."A lot of truths and a good summation of program beliefs which are truly life changing.

I had a job in my alcoholic family, and I learned it very well. The job was to keep silent about what was happening in my home and how I felt about it. I became an adolescent with no coping skills. Gradually so much pain and anger built up inside me and I had to find some way to relieve it. My alcoholic parents' reservoir of coping skills was virtually nonexistent, so they had no way to recognize what I was going through, let alone help me through it. Left to my own devices, I escaped through food. Only later, when I started coming to Al-Anon, did I realize that my use of food was very similar in motive and pattern to my parents' use of alcohol.
First Al-Anon taught me through the Step Four process that it was all right for me to identify my buried emotions and to allow myself to feel them. Step Five encouraged me to share the results of this emotional inventory with another trusted person, and I chose my sponsor. These Steps helped me clear pain from my heart and fill that space with something healthy. Today instead of eating when I feel anxiety or some other uncomfortable emotion, I choose to use an Al-Anon tool. I call my sponsor or another Al-Anon friend. Sometimes I read from Al-Anon literature to calm my soul. Occasionally I sign up to volunteer as a monthly chairperson, or pick a few names and numbers from my phone list to offer words of hope to a hurting newcomer. I can't always control my pain, but I can choose what I do to heal it.
Thought for the Day
What coping behaviors do I use to soothe my pain? Are they really helping me?
"I've learned a lot . . . about coping with my feelings and making my life better.” Living Today in Alateen, p. 133


  1. I love passage 2.

    "Left to my own devices, I escaped through food. Only later, when I started coming to Al-Anon, did I realize that my use of food was very similar in motive and pattern to my parents' use of alcohol." Although the addictions are different, I can relate to this completely. I love the last part of the passage: "I can't always control my pain, but I can choose what I do to heal it."