Jul 22: Accepting Others As They Are

Accepting Other As They Are

I read the serenity prayer several times each week, adding 2 words in my mind: “…accept the people and things I cannot change…”. I personally find it much more of a struggle each day to truly accept the behavior of others when they don’t meet my expectations. I also convince myself that they should be able to read my mind and understand that I am not pleased, and therefore change – for me! After all, I am the center of the universe (aren’t I)?

At times I am able to easily turn my expectations over to God, and eventually that promised feeling of serenity washes over me like a warm glow. Other times, my fears and insecurities in my personal and work relationships hit me hard, and I want them to make it (i.e., me) feel better. When they don’t, well, I want to drink, eat or go shopping.

This excerpt is from the Hazelden app that I use every day, I find it so helpful when I am stuck in the mire of expectations (the first sentence really makes me chuckle, it’s so true!):

“Women like to sit down with trouble as if it were knitting. How often we turn minor challenges into monumental barriers by giving them undue attention, forgetting that within any problem lies its solution! However, the center of our focus must be off the problem’s tangle if we are to find the solution’s thread. The best remedy for this dilemma is the Serenity Prayer. We cannot change our children, our husbands or partners, not even the best friends who we know love us. But with God’s help we can change the attitude that has us blocked at this time. A changed attitude, easing up on ourselves, lessening our expectations of others, will open the door to the kind of relationships we seek, the smooth flowing days we long for. We need not take life so seriously. In fact, we shouldn’t take it so seriously. We can measure our emotional health by how heartily we laugh with others and at ourselves. The 24 hours stretching before us at this time promises many choices in attitude. We can worry, be mad, depressed, or frustrated, or we can trust our higher power to see us through whatever the situation. So, we can relax. It is our decision, the one decision over which we are not powerless. I will be in control of my attitude today. I can have the kind of day I long for.”

Please share your thoughts on this topic or anything else you would like to bring up.

Grateful to be of service this week, thank you!
Susan P.

Aug 20: Acceptance


Hello lovely ladies of GROW,

Marti here, grateful recovering alcoholic and grateful to be here and be of service! Welcome to the newcomers! It has been quite a long time since I have actively participated. I have remained quiet and still sober through the grace of my Higher Power who I call God.

I would like to start out with the “Acceptance” passage from p. 417 in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Page 417 Acceptance
A.A. Big Book – Acceptance is the answer to ALL of my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing or situation- some fact of my life- unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment. Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in God’s world by mistake. Until I could accept my alcoholism, I could not stay sober; unless I accept my life completely on life’s terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes.

I have had lately a lot of unmanageability and chaos here in my house- specifically with my 18 year old daughter who just went off to college. I feel like I have had several emotional hangovers in the past week alone. She has a lot of anger towards me regarding my drinking history and also of my not being around much when she was younger due to going to AA meetings. She has seen me relapse multiple times over the years since 2008. I am so grateful that I have been able to stay sober on a daily basis since July of 2016. I am trying to be a good role model for her also which I don’t know if she really sees.

I am powerless over people- my daughter-, places and things. I cannot change her, and I need to fully understand and accept that she is who she is right now and to stop wishing that she would act and respond differently to me. I must accept that she is the person who she is right now and be okay with it. Acceptance has always been difficult for me. I want everything to be just right- to have things the way I want and when I want. LOL- real alcoholic thinking!! It’s a matter of working that Step 3 also- to turn Everything and Everybody over to my Higher Power.

I am grieving in a way also the fact that both she and my son are away at college. They are both very far away now. I have been so emotional and missing them so much. I am longing for the days when they were young. Acceptance again- they are where they are supposed to be for this time being, and I am where I need to be at this time. I have been praying the Serenity Prayer a lot which also helps! I am learning to adjust to this transition and to remain sober while I go through it. Sobriety must always remain my Number One priority!! I also must not hold on to any resentments towards my daughter. She had said some very hurtful things to me before we took her to college. I also realized that I do not know what is really going on in other people’s head, and that they may be experiencing a lot of fear just like I do.

One more thing about acceptance. I had lost another nursing job just this past June- I was still under my 90 days probation. I thought it was going to be my “dream job.” Well it did not work out, and I was told that it was not the “right fit” for me. I am actually relieved and grateful that it happened and, I have accepted it. It allowed me the opportunity to change careers and to pursue a different “calling” which I am very passionate about.

Thank you for the opportunity to be of service. Dear sober friends, I look forward to reading your shares. Pleases share on the topic of Acceptance, how to deal with transitions or any other topic that is on your mind.

Love and Hugs, Marti DOS 7-4-16

Apr 30: Self Acceptance

Self Acceptance

Greetings fellow ladies of GROW.

It brings me great pleasure to share I am 4 years sober today by the grace of God (my Higher Power) as well as the fellowship of AA and many people like those of you in this group. I couldn’t conceive of the idea of ever reaching 4 years of sobriety when I got to these rooms, so if you are a newcomer, welcome and keep coming back. There is hope for each of us.

When I first entered the rooms of AA I thought I was coming here to learn how to live without drinking. What I learned was my drinking was but a symptom of why I drank. It wasn’t until I read my 4rth Step with my sponsor that I was able to see where so much of the pain came from that I had been trying to drown with the alcohol. I found I really didn’t like myself and spent a lot of time wallowing in self loathing and self rejection. Finding myself an alcoholic, albeit a recovering one, did little to change my opinion.

I found it pretty easy by the time I arrived at AA to accept the fact that I was an alcoholic. I was totally defeated and ready to do whatever it took to get and stay sober. Finding self acceptance has been much harder for me. I don’t find it so difficult to forgive myself for things I have done or not done but rather I find it hard to accept things I perceive as personal shortcomings. Not being smart enough, lacking motivation and my personal favorite- never being happy or comfortable with my body. I’m too fat, I’m too this or too that. These days I am also too old! Up until this point all my efforts to be better – more acceptable, more loveable have only managed to keep me at war with myself and make me my own worst enemy. Regrettably, many of us give up our power by trying to live up to standards that don’t “naturally” fit us – standards that deprive us of being our own true self and deprive us of being who we are “naturally” meant to be.

Thanks to AA and some outside help through group and individual therapy I have learned to look at self acceptance as a skill, one I need to practice on a daily basis. I surround myself with people that lift me up and eliminate or limit my exposure to those who speak negatively to me. I try to be more gentle and caring with myself. If it’s something I wouldn’t say to someone I care for I don’t say it to myself. I try to be more aware of my habit of searching outside of myself for validation and instead celebrate my strengths.

It has taken a lot of soul searching and 12 step work to improve my self esteem and begin the road to self acceptance. Turning my life over to a Higher Power has been “key” for me in this journey. I believe in a God/Higher Power and I believe that God does not make junk: therefore I must not be junk. Who do I think I am to question God? I frequently remind myself of this when I find the negative self talk taking over in my head. I know it is my ego and my disease talking. I have begun to give up trying to be perfect and instead try to work at accepting my short comings. Instead of thinking of “should” and “ought’s” I practice being grateful and happy with what is. I know that as humans we are not able to be perfect but that we can learn something from our mistakes. Self acceptance for me means I know I am alright even when I am not perfect but that I can improve. It’s a gentle place of making peace with who I am.

Please share your E,S + H about self acceptance in your program of recovery. As always feel free to share anything else that might be on your mind.

Thank you for letting me be of service by being the meeting chair this week.

Yours in Recovery,

Cheryl B