Advertisements

Blog Archives

Have no fear

Used 2013-09-29 I'm afraid to tell you (AlKHall sobriety recovery)

i’d been an alcoholic for over 2 decades before i first heard the expression “Liquid Courage”, but after i did i couldn’t believe i’d never heard it before. Let’s just say i didn’t need subtitles to understand what it meant.

Lately things have been improving concerning that and here’s why.

  1. i learned early on that i had to give up my life to my Higher Power because when i was driving the bus, i drove it straight to Hell and got lost there. Giving the wheel to my Higher Power means i have nothing to fear because the HP is in charge. (For agnostics, just remember “The future is none of your business“. )
  2. On my sponsor’s instructions, i share at every AA meeting i go to (3 a week, usually). The more i share in front of a group of people, the less tense i am about it.
  3. i’m able to recognize the symptoms of fear and when i do i’m getting better at consciously telling myself to chill. Breathing deep is a big help when it comes to this.
Used 2013-09-29 Bullet Proof Vest Tester (AlKHall sobriety recovery)

Bullet Proof Vest Testers have balls bigger than all outdoors

The reason i’m going on about this is that i’ve only just learned these lessons and only have made significant progress with them in the last couple of weeks.

Unfortunately, because i think the girl i have a crush on has been avoiding my regular meetings because she had a crush on me too, but when i didn’t make a move she assumed i didn’t feel the same way so she’s given up. Which is sad but not tragic. i keep reminding myself that i can’t lose something i never had, and that sometimes rejection is God’s protection.

Still, i do wish i’d been braver sooner, and hope that the universe has some second chances left in its deep pockets.

_______________________________________

Advertisements

My (very) Bad

Al K Hall
Yeaman

 February 20, 2013

Al’s Insurance Company
United States

Hello,

My name is Al K Hall and twenty-three years ago, I was a policy holder of AlKHall Automotive Insurance. In February, 1990, I was involved in a one-car accident on a public interstate with no injuries. I reported the accident to you, saying that I hit a deer, and received a reimbursement check.

I am writing you today because, as a recovering alcoholic who has not had a drink in over two years, I would like to apologize for making a false statement concerning that accident. I did not hit a deer as I reported at that time, but instead fell asleep at the wheel of my car while driving under the influence of alcohol.

I offer my heartfelt apologies for the false statement I made and I understand there may be potential repercussions for it. I am trying to put my troubled past behind me and if, in order to do that, I must be held financially liable for this incident, I would ask you contact me at the above address.

Thank you for your understanding and God bless,

Al K Hall

i sent this letter a month ago to the insurance company that paid for the car i totaled while drunk driving. i haven’t yet received a response, but every day my heart beats just a little faster as i open the mailbox.

Until i remember this is Step 3 stuff. i and my fellows “made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God,” so i have no control over the result of my letter. There is a distinct possibility that the company will insist i reimburse them for the the car and if that’s the case, i need to hope they’ll let me work out a payment plan because i don’t have the money to pay them back.

i sent the letter in the first place as a part of my Step 9 amends [“Made direct amends to such people {we had harmed} wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others”]. i tried to find ways to avoid sending it, justifications that would let me off the hook, but i knew i had to tell my sponsor about the accident and he told me i had to write the letter. For what it’s worth, he did acknowledge what a bitch it was!

Step 9: Putting Recovery where your mouth is.

Used 2013-03-21 i made a mess (AlKHall Anonymous sobriety recovery)

Cleaning up my mess

i’ll keep you posted when/if i hear back from them.

____________________________________________________

Let It Be

Childish Behavior alcoholic recovery sobriety

Childish Behavior

i wrote a manual to teach foreign Business Types how to make presentations in English. The compliment i hear most about it is that it’s very practical, that the student can easily apply it to their business life. My point is, i hate writing a post like i did a couple days ago where i just say something like “Give up your problems to God” without concrete, practical tips on how to do that.

To remedy that, here are a couple suggestions on how to “Let Go – Let God”.

Toolbox text Al K Hall Anonymous Sobriety Recovery Alcoholism

1. Repeat “I gave that up to God” Until the Thoughts Stop

This is the mental equivalent of plugging your ears and going “nah nah nah nah nah nah” to drown out someone else’s talking. It’s childish, but it works.

This was the first tool i learned when i entered recovery. My sponsor told me that the basic tenet of sobriety is the simple sentence, “I don’t drink no matter what.” Whenever i caught thoughts about drinking creeping into my mind, i learned to squash them with the mantra, “I don’t drink no matter what.”

Now, the instant i find myself lost in my thoughts of fear, insecurity or worry, i tell myself “I gave that up to God.” As soon as a stress resurfaces, “I gave that up to God.” The moment I — “I give that up to God.”

Find a phrase of your own and use it whenever negative thoughts sneak in…it works!

2. Pack Up Your Worries

i started creating my own mental exercises. My latest one is to imagine myself packing all my concerns about the neighbor, plumbing, internet… into tiny (because they’re such little problems) boxes that i then label and  load onto a hot air balloon with “For God” written in huge letters on the side. When the balloon’s basket is full of all my worries, i cut the tether and release the balloon which floats up higher and higher, out of my reach and then out of my sight, until it reaches its creditor (because i give my Higher Power a lot of credit).

Play a part in your sobriety! Be an active non-alcoholic.

I’m Giving Up

Letting Go Out Of My Hands Alcoholism Recovery Sobriety

Learning To Let Go

Dear Universe,

i got the message. You can stop now.

Love you,

Al K Hall

PS Let’s do lunch some time.

Here’s my BIG problem. The third time the plumber came he found the leak. He fixed it, left, and… The fourth time the plumber came was the charm.

Two nights ago i found a different leak in a different place from a different source. My Higher Power has a sick sense of humor.

The same two nights ago, the Devil sent her daughter to come upstairs and complain about my son’s practicing guitar at 9:30pm. My plumbing problems are on their way out, so i’ve decided to obsess over the insane woman who lives below me. To make this my BIG problem.

i always have a BIG problem. i used to think it was the problems’ fault, but now i realize it’s my fault. Instinctively, i scan my problems and elect one lucky one to become my BIG problem.

Listening to shares at an AA Meeting last night, everything fell in to place (Thank you, Universe, for guiding me to that meeting). i remembered what i’m forgetting: to let go. To give these problems up to my Higher Power when i have no control over them.

So, i’m giving up. i’m giving up my problems to my Higher Power, giving up the stress, the worry, the obsession to the Universe and i’m going to let the Universe worry about it–or not–if it wants but it doesn’t matter to me because it is not my problem any more. i’ve given them up and given up on them.

Hear that, Universe?

_________________

For those of us in AA: This is all 3rd Step stuff.

Step 3: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

The good news for us lucky alcoholics in recovery is that “Our Lives” include “Our Problems”. We get to give away all our concerns until the only worry we have left is how to stop worrying over nothing.

Connect the Dos

Getting from A to B

Fair warning, i’m working on Step 6 in Alcoholics Anonymous and so my next few posts will be about that.

Step 6

Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

WTH? Defects of character, moi? What defects of character?

One of the things i like most about AA is that there is a clear, practical program to get better. It’s as easy as connecting the dots.

Here’s a short Step By Step refresher course of how i got here.

In Step 1 of AA’s 12 Steps, i admitted my life had become unmanageable because of my inability to handle my drinking.

In Step 2, i said that i obviously couldn’t control my drinking, so a power outside myself was going to have to. My Sponsor and i  decided this “Higher Power” was AA Meetings.

In Step 3, i turned over control of my drinking and life to this power.

In Step 4, i made a list of all the deepest, darkest defects of my character and the actions these defects led me to.

In Step 5, i went over this list with another person (my AA Sponsor).

Now, in Step 6,  i’m letting my Higher Power know that i’m ready to give these up to him/her/them/us.

10 Ways for an Agnostic to Find God

It's a Miracle!

One of the main tenets of recovery is that the addict is not able to control their own drinking (or gambling, or binging/purging, or drugging, or sex addiction…), otherwise they would control it and there would be no addiction problem. Because we addicts are not able to control this aspect of our lives, we have to give control of that area to someone / thing who can; this entity is often referred to as a Higher Power, or a “power greater than ourselves”.

But what about those people who cannot find their Higher Power?

What follows are my suggestions for those who are struggling with the concept of a Higher Power.

10 Ways for an Agnostic to Find God

  1. Stop looking
  2. Listen to the silence
  3. Create something from nothing
  4. Write a mental list of at least 3 people you love, and why you love them
  5. Do a totally anonymous act of kindness
  6. Decide what you want most, then think about it until your heart hurts
  7. Hold hands with someone (two people works best, one on each side)
  8. Talk to someone with less experience than you
  9. Apologize out loud to someone you love
  10. Do something that makes you deliciously happy

When you have done all of these ten things, put a face on how you feel (note: it doesn’t have to be a person’s face).

The next time you need God, think of that face.

When you can’t see that face anymore, go back to step 1.

Today’s Epiphany

A Bright Idea

Literally. Today is Epiphany because the 6th of January, Epiphany, is the Christian holiday celebrating the wise men visiting baby Jesus.

“Epiphany” is also the word that means “sudden realization of great truth”, and is basically how i’m going through the AA steps. With each step, i’ve had an epiphany where i’ve understood the essence of the step.

Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.

My realization here was the second part of that sentence. Everyone knows the part about “powerless over alcohol”, but when i heard the “unmanageable” thing, my recovery kicked off. i clued in that the way i’d been living my life wasn’t working.

Step 2: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

My sponsor helped me with this one. He told me that AA Meetings were my Higher Power. By going to 4-5 meetings a week, i found something i could have faith in that wasn’t religious…something that paid me back more than i put into it.

Step 3: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

My epiphany with this step came at a meeting when i shared about how i had problems with humility and fear. It suddenly came to me that giving my will and life over to the care of God meant i had to be humble, because i was admitting “someone” else could do something that i couldn’t; namely, control my unmanageable life. On top of that, there was no reason to be afraid because i wasn’t in charge anymore. God was in the driver’s seat, so i no longer had to fear where the car was heading.

Like they say in the program,

Step 1: i came

Step 2: i came to

Step 3: i came to believe

Thanks to Mrs Demeanor, who made the link between Epiphany and Epiphany for me when we were in the shower.