From Courage to Change, January 14:
“I learned in Alanon that I’m bound to fail to make someone else stop drinking because I am powerless over alcoholism. Others in the fellowship had failed as well, yet they seemed almost happy to admit it. In time, I understood: by letting go of this battle we were sure to lose, we became free.
Gradually, I learned that nothing I did or did not do would convince my loved one to get sober. I understood intellectually, but it took time before I believed it in my heart…Today I will take the path to personal freedom and serenity that begins when I surrender.”
My mother love doesn’t operate on an “intellectual” level. I behave on instinct, and it’s a natural instinct to want to save our children. I tried to save Angie—for years. I thought that NOT trying was giving up. And I would never give up on my child.
In time, I learned about the nature of addiction—what it was and what it wasn’t. It’s not a choice or a moral failure; it’s an illness, and I have no more power to cure her from that than from any other disease.
So, other than leading Angie to programs that might help her, I’ve let go. There’s nothing more I can do. I pray for her and hope she reaches for recovery from the illness that has separated her from her family. And I hope she comes back to us.
But life is short, and I want mine back. I’ve turned my attention to other people and things in my life. I count my blessings every day, and I’m grateful to be alive. There are lessons I’ve learned that only suffering teaches, and I join hands with all loved ones of addicts here. God Bless Us All!
From Hope for Today, February 13:
“…Now, after consistent attendance at meetings and working the Steps, I can honestly say I trust God to take care of me. I don’t pray anymore for my father’s sobriety. Instead, my prayers might say this: ‘God, I haven’t a clue as to what’s going on with him, but I know You do…’ I tried to get God to listen to me through my prayers. He did, once I stopped telling Him what to do.”
Letting go of my stubborn will to be in charge of everything: that was one of my biggest challenges. It’s all in Step One: admitting my powerlessness over the disease of addiction.
I understand why many of us can’t take that step. I couldn’t either for a number of years. I was completely focused on helping my daughter Angie. My love for her, and my desperate need to save her, had turned into obsession.
Eventually it broke me. This cruel disease had taken two victims, and I was faced with a choice: continue down that rabbit hole with her; or get off that fast-moving train and save myself.
I chose the latter. I learned how to let go. I’m grateful that I found a way to make my life work and be content. The tools of the Program provide so much wisdom on how to build and rebuild the relationships in our lives. For I have learned over time that this disease has affected each and every one of mine.
“I don’t pray anymore for my father’s (Angie’s) sobriety.” Instead, I focus on what I have power over—my attitude—and I do pray for God’s help in keeping it positive. And gratitude—always gratitude—for my blessings.
The Problem: Someone I love is sick with addiction.
The Solution: Acceptance of my powerlessness over someone else’s addiction; Faith in God’s plan; Gratitude (for ice cream and sunsets…and rainbows).
Every day when I wake up I do my best to live in the solution; my life works better when I do.
From Each Day A New Beginning, November 28:
“’The idea of God is different in every person. The joy of my recovery was to find God within me.’ ~Angela Wozniak
Coming to believe in a greater power brings such relief to us in our daily struggles. And on occasion we still fight for control to be all-powerful ourselves, only to realize that the barriers we confront are of our own making…The program’s greatest gift to us is relief from anxiety, the anxiety that so often turned us to booze, or pills, or candy. Relief is felt every time we let go of the problem that’s entrapped us and wait for the comfort and guidance God guarantees.”
My program of recovery is not based on any organized religion. I was raised in a church, but my concept of God was childlike—a vision of Santa Claus to give me what I asked for. I lacked the maturity and discipline it takes to develop faith and hold on to it.
When I started to read the literature and use the tools available, I entered into uncharted territory where I was asked to let go of my grip on circumstances and allow someone else to take over. Many people think of “God” as that other force, but just as many others focus on nature or the recovery fellowship found at meetings.
The point is, my isolation is over and I am now partnering with a Being who is all-loving and all-powerful. I have learned to surrender to His will and put my faith in Him. This is the spirituality I speak of, and my path is only one of many out there.
Acceptance of what is, and nurturing my faith that all things are unfolding as they are meant to, have given me a sense of peace and serenity that I had never known before. When I’m willing to take myself out of the driver’s seat and surrender to God’s will, I feel free and able to move forward with my life.
“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” ~Soren Kierkegaard
From Courage to Change, March 23:
“They say that pain is inevitable but suffering is optional. If I learn to accept that pain is part of life, I will be better able to endure the difficult times and then move on, leaving the pain behind me.”
‘When we long for life without…difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure.’ ~Peter Marshall
There is no life without difficulty. But my recovery program has given me the tools to embrace the challenges I face with grace under pressure. Acceptance of what is. Joy in the simple things. Gratitude for all I have. When I steer my attitude in a positive direction, life is good.
Let your brilliance shine like diamonds in 2018. Best wishes to my friends and family. God Bless Us, Every One!
From Hope For Today, June 13:
“…What I had overlooked in Step Two was the word ‘Power.’ The day I started placing my attention on that Power instead of on insanity, I began to see miracles in my life. One such miracle was my ability to talk about my fears in Al-Anon meetings. Other miracles included taking the Twelve Steps that lead me to serenity, and engaging in the process of forgiving and healing.”
It has taken many years of hearing Step Two read at meetings for me to really hear the word ‘Power.’ Now I realize how much more awesome my Higher Power is than this disease. That power has always kept me from tumbling into the chasm.
Before recovery, I was spiritually bankrupt. I had no faith in anyone other than myself. But that wasn’t working for me: I needed to bet on another horse. As I slowly accepted that I was powerless over other people, places, and things, it became easier for me to bring God into my life and let Him take over. Suddenly, I felt much lighter.
Instead of dwelling in fear, today I am striving to pass on the miracles of recovery to my children and grandchildren. With faith and hope in my heart, I look forward to getting up every day. I’m just glad I stuck around long enough for the miracle to happen.