When I first stopped trying to fix other people, I turned my attention to “curing” myself. I was in a hurry to get this healing process over. I wanted immediate recovery from the effects of growing up in a family riddled with alcoholism and from being married to an alcoholic. I looked forward to the day I would “graduate” from Al-Anon and get on with my life. As year two and year three passed, I was still in the program. I began to despair as the character defects I had worked so long to overcome came back to haunt me, particularly during times of stress and during periods when I didn’t attend meetings.
I have sever arthritis in my joints. To cope with my condition, I have assess my body each day and patiently respond to its needs. Some days I need a warm bath to get going in the morning. On other days I apply a medicated rub to the painful areas. Yet other days some light stretching and exercise help to loosen me up. I’ve accepted that my arthritis will never go away. It’s a condition I manage daily with consistent, on-going care.
One day I made a connection between my medical condition and my struggle with recover. I began to look at myself as having “arthritis of the personality,” requiring patient, continuous care to keep me from “stiffening” into old habits and attitudes. This care includes attending meetings, reading Al-Anon literature, calling my sponsor, and engagin in service. Now, as long as I practice patience, recovery is a manageable and adventurous process instead of an arduously sought end point.
Thought for the Day
Al-Anon is like physical therapy for my soul, aligning my principles and behavior so that I can move joyfully through life!
“…Patience would become the foundation for my recovery.”
The Forum, March 1998, p. 14
Reading From: Hope for Today, pg. 110
I can so relate to this reading. Ongoing care is one of the big keys in the philosophies of the 12 steps. It becomes something that is just part of who we become not something that has to be done. Anything done with gratitude becomes something that we like to do or at least something we don’t curse and dread. (yeah, I see you saying, Yeah, right!) Think about it! Those people that love their jobs are the ones that have the most energy to put into it and do it gladly…
I have a part time job that really is not something anyone would love. I get to shovel manure. Yep…really. At first I thought ugh…though the reason I have that job is directly related to something I really do like it doesn’t make the smell, weight or cleanliness of it any better. It is still stinky, still dirty and still heavy…but I am grateful for what it allows me to do. It allows me to keep a couple of horses one that is my children’s and brings great joy and one that is mine. So where is the great joy in it? I can laugh about it, someone says, “I’m dealing with a lot of “crap” right now.” I can laugh and go yeah I understand. I get to see the joy that my children have when they get to ride through the summer and I know that these animals that I love are being kept in a way that I feel respects them. I get a lot of exercise doing that job and as long as I continue that I’m pretty sure I’ll be lucky enough to eat the things that I like without fear of gaining too much weight that might hinder my ability to enjoy other aspects in life. Those things make me really grateful for that job. So much so that some days I don’t even see it as work…I see it as time to reflect, think, and because it’s a type of solitary work I can converse with my higher power whenever I want to…and still keep working ;D
Working the 12 step philosophies and doing the things that take care of our soul is like that…look for all the things to be grateful for and that “job” becomes almost a pleasure…if shoveling manure can be like that, how much more so should things that are good for us be a pleasure and become a part of who we are…
Have a wonderful day!!!
And even if you’re dealing with “crap” remember there are others dealing with “crap” too ;D