marilea.rabasa@gmail.com

Resentment Hurts Us

When I feel resentment it’s uncomfortable, and I’m prone to want to stuff my feelings. But that’s never good for me. It’s an old bad habit that my years in the program have enabled me to give up. I need to stay in tune with my resentments every day and deal with them constructively. Sometimes that means airing them; other times I need to bury them. Otherwise, they will come back and destroy me. I’m so grateful to be able to look at negative behaviors and try to replace them with positive ones. It’s “progress, not perfection” that keeps me moving forward to calmer waters. “Resentment is like swallowing poison and waiting for the other person to die.”...

“Happiness Is An Inside Job”

From Each Day A New Beginning, September 30: “What difference does it make how I am treated by life? My real life is within.” ~Angela Wozniak “It is said that we teach people how to treat us. How we treat others invites similar treatment. Our response to the external conditions of our lives can be greatly altered by our perceptions of those conditions. And we have control of that perception… The program offers us the awareness that our security, happiness, and well-being reside within. The uplifting moments of our lives may enhance our security, but they can’t guarantee that they will last. Only the relationship we have with ourselves and God within can promise the gift of security. The ripples in my life are reminders to me to go within.” When I rely too heavily on circumstances in my life, especially those over which I have no control, I’m setting myself up. It’s great when things go smoothly in my life, but often they don’t. When all is well, it’s natural to feel happiness and a sense of well-being. But I can lose that sense of security in a heartbeat when all is not well, when I am burdened by heartbreak. That’s when I’m grateful for the spiritual life I have at my disposal. When I remember to trust in my program every day, I’m able to feel God’s grace. My daughter Angie has been in and out of addiction for fifteen years, and for many of those years I allowed her illness to destroy my well-being. I fought like a warrior mom to save her, as though her...

The Pain Of Isolation

From “When I Got Busy I Got Better,” p. 12 “Recently I attended a neighborhood hearing to show support for a local service. To my surprise, I found myself taking part as an active and committed member of my community. My pre-Alanon feelings of isolation and frustration had abated as I established a connection with my neighbors…In tracing the development of my new experience of common ground, I realize that my years in Al-Anon had been instrumental in dispelling my isolation…A member of our fellowship once explained how reaching out in simple ways had helped her break through her loneliness, desperation, and isolation.” Feelings of being an isolated outsider have shadowed me all of my life, and not just because I’ve traveled a lot. Many of my friends who grew up in alcoholism share the same experience of being different from others. I’m not sure why this is, but I do know that the work I’ve done in recovery has pushed me out of my shell, “my dark cave of depression,” and encouraged me to jump into life more, do more service work, get involved. In other words: shed my fear and take risks. Recovery is all a matter of perception, I often say here, and the world has opened up to me in new and different ways. I’m grateful not to be closed off to all the possibilities ahead. Life is...

Embracing Our Freedom

From Each Day A New Beginning, April 1: “‘It is only when people begin to shake loose from their preconceptions, from the ideas that have dominated them, that we begin to receive a sense of opening, a sense of vision.’ ~Barbara Ward …The past that we hang onto stands in our way. Many of us needlessly spend much of our lives fighting a poor self-image. But we can overcome that. W can choose to believe that we are capable and confident. We can be spontaneous, and our vision of all that life can offer will change—will excite us, will cultivate our confidence…We can respond to life wholly. We can trust our instincts. And we will become all that we dare to become…Each day is a new beginning. Each moment is a new opportunity to let go of all that has trapped me in the past. I am free. In the present, I am free.” I’m not on automatic pilot anymore. My step work has helped me know myself better, be accountable for my actions, make amends when necessary, and move on. That last one is critical: moving on. When I get stuck on something, my sponsor in the program helps me shake free of it. Get unglued. Life is too short to bury myself in the past that I can’t do anything about anyway. And tomorrow? Well, I could get hit by a car! If I make an effort to stay in today, I have an opportunity to make “cleaner” choices and live better. At my age, that matters a lot to me. The three A’s are an important...

Memories of Greece

      I’m finishing up my second memoir about addiction, a sequel to A Mother’s Story, but had to visit a major crossroads in my life first. My daughter Angie was ten when a big change occurred in our lives, and I needed to revisit Greece with a fresh perspective nearly thirty years later. Sending love to all my FB friends from the top of a volcano, Santorini, where they have internet and TV,...