How does the program help you to start over?
Please share your experiences by commenting on the topic below. The opinions expressed here are strictly those of the person who gave them. Take what you liked and leave the rest. Member sharing on the Member Blog may be used in future Al‑Anon publications.
This month we’re asking you to share on how does the program help you to start over?
Topic: Disappointment When Life has forced me to step outside my comfort zone, the 12 Step Programs I’ve participated in have made it easier for me to surrender to the unforeseen challenges and fend off discouragement with positivity. Now I stay emotionally sober by applying various Program slogans – most of the time. I realize that I have the “power to choose” how I’ll view disappointments and my physical ailments as I age. Ten years ago, I had two surgeries to get rid of thyroid papillary cancer and I had a suspicion on how I got it. I felt by… Read more »
No matter how long I am a member of Al-Anon, life continues to throw me curve balls in which I am constantly challenging my recovery. Al-Anon gives me the tools I need to reach out for help right away. I can call my Sponsor, read one CAL, or repeat a meaningful slogan to get me back on track. I keep coming back to meetings to keep these “ go to” tools fresh in my mind. Al-Anon keeps me grounded and balanced, which makes my life peaceful in the midst of challenges.
This reminds me that at any time of the day I can reset and make a commitment to enjoy the rest of the day, night, week etc. So often I would’ve carried my overwhelmed feelings with me. Now with help my books and meetings I now better way of living. I will always be grateful for having walked into a meeting. My life and the life of those around me has improved from my wanting to change me.
Oh man, starting over. What a beautiful and comforting concept. An adult child of an alcoholic mother, daughter of an absent father, and wife of an addict led me to Al-Anon in my 20’s. It was a life-line, and truly saved my life. I went from feeling incredibly alone and unworthy, to finding a community of survivors – and to my surprise I learned I was a survivor too! I spent a year faithfully attending Al-Anon meetings, and then life, school, children, and my husband’s sobriety slowly moved my focus to other things in life. Here I am twenty years… Read more »
Al-Anon has given me the tools to start over daily. When I hit a road block or difficult circumstance I can find calmness in reassurance by following the Steps and using the wonderful tools given to us by working the program. I always have somebody to talk to that understands the insanity of disease.
The program is a road map for living that I am so grateful for! At any moment, if I catch myself in a rough spot I can pause and choose to use one of the tools of our program. There is always an action I can take to feel better and that has been invaluable to me. Before coming to Al-Anon I didn’t know what to do with myself when I felt sadness, despair or anger come up and so the feelings would persist and become unbearable. Today, I remember that I can have a plan and though I may… Read more »
When I arrived I had 2 adolescents in substance abuse program and resentments against most of my family. It wasn’t long until I started remembering much of the good parts of my family of origin. In this way, Al-Anon continues to let me gain perspective and gives me my family, such as it is, back.
Since entering recovery with Al-Anon, starting over has become about at least a daily examination of Step One in my life. I came into the Al-Anon room desiring serenity but knowing that I was full of resentment because I was powerless over my husband’s drinking and my father’s drinking before that. Through the fellowship and the literature, I realized that this family disease is mine and that my relationship with control is a disturbing manifestation of it. I have adopted a daily practice of lovingly observing rises in my frustration level (pointing to anger and resentment). I am learning to… Read more »
My brain is wired to fear, fight or flee. I try to start each day with acceptance that that’s the way my brain works. I trust the tools (meetings, literature, Steps, service, Sponsor, Higher Power) I was given in Al-Anon. When I chose to use them, I can be the person I choose to be rather than be the way my brain is wired. It’s a start-over each day, life long journey. I’m blessed that I found Al-Anon.
So I live trying hard to live the Al-Anon way. I know when I am in a bad spot and I remember that I got tools to use and that they are my best friends. Thanks to my Higher Power
Al-Anon is the greatest thing for me. After attending less then six meetings it gave me the strength to do all things that I thought were impossible and it gave my life a new meaning by being more happy than I had been in a long time.
The only way that has worked for me in starting over is by continually living the principles of Al-Anon, especially the Steps. As soon as I am not feeling serenity (I was able to obtained serenity by thoroughly working the Steps, traditions and Concepts in Paths To Recovery), I do a quick Twelve Step routine. 1) I am without Power (I call it God). When I am in self-reliance and create chaos, I manipulate, I managed, (two of the fours “M’s” in the Fourth Step in Paths to Recovery) I feel like a martyr and I start blaming others. But:… Read more »
It helps me begin the process of acceptance. The support from others who understand and the insight they provide is invaluable. I’ve realized so much about myself just listening to others share. It feels less lonely too, connecting with people dealing with what I am and have so much in common with me.
I think I needed to hear what they shared before I was able to start accepting things as they are. I was stuck before in anger, denial, self-pity and not moving forward.
Engaging in fellowship with other individuals who are dealing with the same difficulties and personal pain helps me realize I am not alone. While we all face uncertainty, we face it together and we grant each other the grace to be human in the midst of our trials. We don’t judge each other and we don’t give advice. We share success and failure alike. We offer and foster authenticity because it is our reality. The truth sets us free and we embrace it.
I know for a fact, that the program has helped me to start over, since my coming to the room of Al-Anon. I am still starting over today. “Starting over,” to me, means that I have to stop what I am doing wrong and change it for something right and appropriate. When I am off the right path, having inappropriate thinking about others and myself, entertaining feelings of resentment, envy, false pride, etc. or judging, manipulating, controlling, criticizing others or myself, I have to stop this insanity. Something has to be done to stop this process, that brings only discomfort… Read more »
Hello – I would like to share on the question of how does Al-Anon help me start over? The most obvious comment that jumped into my mind at this time is constant use of Step Ten. I love the freedom to immediately do an assessment of my behavior or attitudes and see where i could have handled a situation with better use of the Al-Anon program principles and tools There is no need for self-recrimination or judgment – just an honest and clear assessment of the situation, etc. If I owe an amends, I do it immediately or as soon… Read more »
The Al-Anon program is helping to strip away all the armour that I put up to protect myself from feeling anything. Vulnerability, fear, loneliness, humiliation. “One day at a time,” I’m peeling back the layers of judgement, perfectionism, self-pity and self-righteousness. Looking at why I have these imbalances, accepting them, healing them and then turning them over to my Higher Power. I’m growing up! Then, I can rebuild a spiritual foundation to live by, using spiritual tools, literature and a Higher Power leading the way.
The program teaches me to be more aware of my powerlessness. It teaches me I’m powerless over some things, but not everything. These past few months have prompted me to think about this all over again. The world-wide pandemic is certainly beyond human control. Neither I nor my community can “just make it stop”. Before Al-Anon that’s what I tried to do in painful and scary situations. I’d search and search for the right move. Maybe if I just did more of this and less of that, everything would be okay. The suffering would stop. These past weeks have given… Read more »
More than twenty years ago, I attended an Al-Anon group regularly for a couple of years, then stopped for various life reasons and child care issues. My first spouse was an alcoholic. I later remarried and assumed because there was no active drinking in my family life at that time, that Al-Anon did not pertain to me. However, both of us — I and my second husband — were Adult Children of Alcoholics. When he died unexpectedly a couple of years ago, in my grief and shock I started to realize all the unnecessary resentments we had with each other… Read more »
The program helped me to work through the resentments, anger, and bitterness so that I had the energy to to do the work of starting over-. I was able to begin again from a more positive place.