Your Excuse Is Invalid

In a meeting this morning, someone shared that they were the youngest of 7 children and that two of this person’s sisters were molested sexually, became depressed, and committed suicide when the speaker was 16. The molester? He was the speaker’s older brother.

When hard times come (and they will come, they come to everybody), on a piece of paper write down all the crappy things you are experiencing. It’s OK to use several pieces of paper, if necessary. Reread the list. Losers will see a list of excuses. Winners will see a list of challenges.

You cannot choose what happens to you. You can choose to be a Winner or a Loser.


About Al K Hall

Like a battered drinker or a punch drunk boxer, i am here for another round. For those of you who don’t know me, i’m a semi-professional writer on the rocks and a non-practicing alcoholic (if after 30 years of practicing, you still can't do something well, it's best to just give it up). For those of you who do know me, thanks for stopping by anyway and where’s the ten bucks you owe me? Welcome to my Bar None. A hole in the wall where we can hang out and trade the kind of stories you swap only when you’ve had one too many and either can’t find your way home or are afraid to. Hell, it’s cheaper than therapy and plus the pictures are prettier. Here we’ll crack open bottles and jokes and ‘last call’ are the only dirty words you’ll never hear. Pull up a stool and make yourselves at home.

Posted on May 6, 2012, in Alcoholics Anonymous, Alcoholism, Lessons in Recovery, Recovery, Toolbox and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 20 Comments.

  1. AL,

    Wow. You really hit it out of the ball park here my Friend. well done and Thank YOU! It is so easy to get stuck and it is important to be grateful and to put all of it in perspective.

    YOU reminded me of this.

    Thank you you virtual meeting across the world.

    XO Jen

    • Hi Jen!

      You know me, just glad to be of service. i’m proud to be one of the many who carry the message. It’s an easy message to carry because It Is Light.

      Keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

  2. working on it

    One can choose wisely or.poorly. Does that really make one a winner or a loser?…I’m kind of hesitant to.answer that. I love the pic…I do get your point tho.

    • Life is all about choices and i’m the King of not making the best one. No one is ever truly a Winner or a Loser, though. i’m just trying to instigate people into acting and not reacting!

      Keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

    • You’re awesome, WOI. Keep the faith … listen to Al …

  3. Gosh, I love that photo too!

    And yes… hard times [will] come and I will remember your advice to make a list. We cannot stop the hard times from coming, but we have the power to decide what to make of it.

  4. Thank you. Brings back “Improvise, adapt, overcome” hard in my mind. Getting to that thought pattern isn’t easy. It started with being told ” if you leave us…then the next person with that history will have no one to help them”. It evolved into “pray to see life’s problems through HP’s eyes, he/she has no problems, only opportunities.” Long road but soooooo worth it! Thanks again for reminding my teflon brain!

    • Lol! A very long road and i so know what you mean about the Teflon brain. The best cure for the for me is meetings, meetings, meetings… The people there don’t let you forget!

      Keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

    • working on it

      Improvise, adapt and overcome. I’ve never heard that in my life before my present boss (former ARMY) and now you. I like your new phrase. Those are words to live by. Peace to you.

  5. Excellent lesson and a must-do exercise. I think i may have a handle on my challenges. It’s certainly an ongoing process, innit?

    OK, and i have to comment on the pic … LOOK at that beautiful, smiling, joyful boy. Damn that warms my heart. I just want to grab that kid and squeeze him to pieces. XO mel

    • Hi Mel!

      Let me know when you try the exercise. It worked for me and i wonted to know if it works for others. And isn’t that little boy amazing!

      Keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

  6. I guess i think of “challenges” as “must do’s” or “do the best i cans” because i am responsible for my life, and MY behavior. No one else is.

    Perhaps, that’s not as positive as “challenges”, right? But i think i get the same result.

    I shy away from that phrase … like in Corporate Business where we don’t call sh** “problems” we have “challenges”.

    Still, i get your point, and the result, as i said, is the same (to the best of my ever-evolving best efforts).

  7. That little guy is so cute! Just love the way he is beaming. 🙂

    I’ve been doing some reading on shifting one’s perspective, and this post fits so nicely with all of that.

    I like the idea of not only acknowledging the crappy and being honest with all that could be troubling, then shifting perspective on it, but also on the other side of the column, listing the things that are good — the gratitude list.

    It all helps — it all helps with undoing the negative programming that we all experience from the world around us, the one that tells us we are weak and worthless and hopeless and helpless. It’s not true. Just look at that little kid go!

    P.S. You think of another name for me, yet? I have been trying to think of one periodically and have had a tough time. It seems like Mrs Demeanor has stuck, lol. I’ll keep trying to think of something…

    • P.P.S. Mrs Celeste E Hall? (that one popped up on a search for words ending in “al” I like it — fits with “Angel”)

      Mrs Sarah Bree Hall? (get it, get it? :D)

      Mrs Clee Tora Hall? (hahahah, horrible one I would never choose, but it made me laugh)

      Mrs Dee Pendab Hall (it has the “Mrs D” still in it… although “Pendab” is, well, bizarre, lol. Same with Mrs D Lectab Hall).

      Mrs Dee Betab Hall (lol)

      Mrs Dee Votion Hall

      Mrs Kissa B. Hall (oh that one’s kinda nice for a lot of good reasons! Some authentic initials are in there, too!)

      Okay, I’m tapped out. That’s all for now.

    • Inspiring little dude, isn’t he?

      You’re right, it is all about undoing the negative programming and learning to look at life without the filters and blinders that make us lose perspective.

      i love your list of new names! Celeste E Hall works for me, because you’re my Angel!

      Keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

  8. inthesameboatla

    Yes! Don’t focus on the losers. Focus on the winners.

    Something that has helped me get through a tough spot is to identify ‘winners’ who don’t drink, and use them as inspiration. Steve Jobs didn’t drink. And look what he did!

    But my hero is Richard Feynman, the famous physicist who won the Nobel Prize for explaining Quantum Mechanics. His book “Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman” helped me a lot throughout my life, to understand scientific integrity.

    Here is few key passage from the book, that really had an impact on me.

    (This is taken from ‘O Americano, Outra Vez!’, where he recounts a year in Brazil, and plays in a Samba band, while teaching Physics, and having adventures with the flight attendants who stayed in his hotel. He was quite a womanizer.)

    “The people from the airlines were somewhat bored with their lives, strangely enough, and at night they would often go to bars to drink. I liked them all, and in order to be sociable, I would go with them to the bar to have a few drinks, several nights a week.

    One Day, about 3:30 in the afternoon, I was walking along the sidewalk opposite the beach at Copacabana past a bar. I suddenly got this treMENDdous, strong feeling: ‘That’s *just* what I want; that’ll fit just right. I’d just love to have a drink right now!’

    I started to walk into the bar, and I suddenly thought to myself, ‘Wait a minute! It’s the middle of the afternoon. There’s nobody here. There’s no social reason to drink. Why do you have a such a terribly strong feeling that you *have* to have a drink?’ — and I got scared.

    I never drank ever again, since then. I suppose I really wasn’t in any danger, because I found it very easy to stop. But that strong feeling that I didn’t understand frightened me. You see, I get such fun out of *thinking* that I don’t want to destroy this most pleasant machine that makes life such a big kick….”

    Being a bored college student at age 20, I remember reading that. At the time, I was aware that I had a problem with alcohol but so do most college students. I called my friend and read him the passage. And he said “well, there you have your test. If you feel like drinking in the afternoon alone, that’s the time to stop.” I wish I had remembered that test and followed through with it. But it took me much longer than Feynman to figure it out.

    And here’s another passage I find therapeutic. Here he discusses the party the Swedes threw for him when he was award his Nobel Prize. It’s from “Alfred Nobel’s other Mistake”

    “I sat next to the lady who was in charge of organizing the dinner. A waitress came by to fill my wineglass, and I said ‘No thank you. I don’t drink.’

    The lady said ‘No, no. Let her pour the drink.’

    ‘But I *don’t* drink.’

    She said, ‘It’s all right. Just look. You see, she has two bottles. We know that number eighty-eight doesn’t drink.’ (Number eighty-eight was on the back of my chair.) ‘They look exactly the same, but one has no alcohol.’

    ‘But how do you know?’ I exclaimed.

    She smiled. ‘Now watch the king,’ she said. ‘He doesn’t drink either.’

    Thank you, Dr. Feynman. Now that’s a winner!

  1. Pingback: A New Era (or at least a new year…) | now what?

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