Let There Be Peace (Living Consciously) 1 year retrieved.

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sharon
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Re: Let There Be Peace (Living Consciously) 1 year retrieved

Post by sharon » Thu Mar 10, 2011 10:22 am

I'm glad you could retrieve it.

It made me happy to see it this morning when I woke up in MY own house.

I do apologize for the error. It happens. Done it myself.
DONE
Love,
Sharon

TOGETHER WE STAND~~~~~DIVIDED WE FALL
grateful member since 2004


http://www.nar-anon.org

Tako
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Setting Boundaries is easier when………..

Post by Tako » Sat Mar 12, 2011 9:25 pm

by Tako » Tue Aug 31, 2010 6:51 pm

………our priorities are clear. I often hear members question how to go about setting boundaries and what should they do if their loved ones don’t respect those boundaries. I know, from all the missteps I made, that setting boundaries without setting priorities leaves me in the quandary of trying to figure out why they don’t work.

I have learned, the hard way, that boundaries are not imposed limitations on someone else: trying to control other people and their choices/behaviors is impossible once they’ve passed the age of twelve (may be younger than that nowadays). I have learned that the boundaries I set need to be set for the purposes of “self-protection.” In order to protect myself, I need to be the priority in the situation and I need to wear my Nar-Anon Goggles so that I can clearly distinguish myself from anyone else: I am responsible for my own happiness and well-being.

Putting myself first in any situation took some time to accept: after all, I thought martyrdom was in my job description of being a “Good Mother.” Someone, along my journey, reminded me that even the airlines instruct parents to take those oxygen masks and apply them to ourselves BEFORE trying to save our children: if we aren’t breathing who will save our children?

I looked around my house and decided that I would set my boundaries at my front door. I would protect myself from emotional and physical harm by setting boundaries that precluded anyone using or carrying drugs (and drug paraphernalia) would not be entering my home. I decided that I needed a place that offered me peace and serenity at any time of the day or night: in order to secure that need, I set a boundary that anyone who was hostile, threatening, deceptive or disrespectful would not be given permission to disrupt my sanctuary.

When I announced these boundaries, I didn’t tell anyone what they could and couldn’t do outside my home, but I made it very clear what they couldn’t do in my home. Setting those priorities and those boundaries set me free; I got a lot of support through my Nar-Anon program and now I am the captain of my own ship.


Quote: "Nobody can hurt me without my permission." - Mahatma Gandhi

Tako
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Re: Let There Be Peace (Living Consciously) 1 year retrieved

Post by Tako » Sat Mar 12, 2011 9:26 pm

by Tako » Fri Aug 27, 2010 10:52 am

"To weep is to make less the depth of grief." ~ William Shakespeare

Ah, but the tissue box has been a part of our meeting set up for as long as we have held meetings. Tears are part of our experience and bring much relief to those of us who have held the pain in for too long. Just like the life cycle of the butterfly, we go through transitions in our recovery process and tears are the mode of transporting ourselves from people who live in pain to people who work through our pain in order to appreciate the lives we've been given and to continue on.

I remember looking around the room in curiosity when I heard them all laughing; I thought I was in the wrong room because I couldn't imagine replacing my tears with laughter. Today, I can express both emotions and feel the great sense of relief that I am human and a work in progress. You are right where you need to be and doing what you need to do, so please be patient with yourself. Oh, and I prefer to call character defects, "character challenges," I challenge myself to do better as I get better.

Tako


"Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward." ~ Kurt Vonnegut :lol:

Tako
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Expectations: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Post by Tako » Sat Mar 12, 2011 9:28 pm

by Tako » Sun Aug 22, 2010 2:41 pm

I've been thinking about expectations ever since it came up as a topic at our weekly meeting. I really think it is my biggest challenge, even after all these years. I have people in my life who are addicts and people in my life who are not; the expectations that I've held in my heart about them has often been the biggest source of grief and frustration for me. I guess I really didn't give without some sort of expectation and now I realize that expectations can be the source of the good, the bad and the ugly. What I mean by that is that there are some good expectations, like expecting to be loved in return by someone I love, graduating from college when I pay the bills and simple things like that. On the other hand, there can be bad expectations; like the ones that have me "walking on eggshells" and wondering when the other shoe will drop (in the case of addicts, expecting relapses and poor behavior after they've gotten on the road to recovery). There can be expectations that cause me to become ugly in my attitude and demeanor: like doing a favor and expecting a favor; expecting a raise or acknowledgement for a job well done or some sort of gratitude in return for a service that is volunteered.

It really comes down to the fact that creating expectations, in general, set me up for resentments when they are not met; frustration, grief and anger can be the reactions I suffer with and it makes me realize that I have brought those feelings on myself (I am not a victim when I volunteer myself). It wasn't until I heard Oprah talk about, "random acts of kindness," that I realized how simple it is to do something without any expectation; to be willing to give financially or with valuable time without the slightest expectation of even receiving a thank you.

Now, I am not a proponent of living in a thankless society where gratitude is not a part of social interactions, but from the giving perspective, it frees me to give and move on without looking back. I like the whole concept of being free from burdens: emotional, physical and perceived.

Nar-Anon has helped me with my perceptions and opened me up to other ways of looking at situations: I have learned the many concepts of "letting go," and the best one of all is to set myself free from the expectations that are good, bad and ugly!

Tako

Tako
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Accepting vs. Condoning

Post by Tako » Tue Mar 15, 2011 7:50 pm

by Tako » Mon Oct 18, 2010 2:30 pm

In the Serenity Prayer, there is a phrase that goes, "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change," which can be misinterpreted and cause confusion. "Accepting the things I cannot change," does not mean condoning the things I cannot change and we, who love someone who suffers from the disease of addiction, must not get complacent in protecting ourselves and our property.

After studying this phrase and being involved in myriad discussions and group shares, I came to understand that I could separate myself from the chaos and insanity that addiction brings, by accepting that it was real and destructive, but certainly not something I had to condone or live with in my home. Learning this helped me understand the necessity to effect change by setting healthy boundaries of "self-protection." Setting healthy boundaries of protection afforded me the luxury of living in a peaceful and safe environment. I chose to make my boundary at my front door; no longer would I accept chaos, insanity, disrespect, stealing, drugs, drug users or drug paraphernalia in my home. I "accepted" that all of those things were indicative of unhealthy addictive behaviors, but I refused to condone that behavior in my home and made it quite clear, to all concerned, that their choices were theirs and that I would not be involved with the consequences that ensued.

I chose to change my way of living and encouraged those who suffered from addiction to do the same. I came to understand that I was not in control of their choices or behaviors and took measures to protect myself. Learning the difference between accepting and condoning was an important lesson that helped me change my own life. There's a wonderful slogan that goes, "When we know better, we do better."

Living and learning "one day at a time!"


Tako

Tako
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Helping vs. Enabling

Post by Tako » Fri Mar 18, 2011 12:48 pm

Yesterday, I watched a segment on Dr. Phil that brought back a lot of memories for me. Dr. Phil was rather obnoxious for the sake of entertainment, but his message was strong and brought some clarity about the difference between helping and enabling.

In our Nar-Anon little blue booklet, there is a topic on "Helping" which is very helpful. The common definition of enabling is known as "doing something for someone who is capable of doing it himself/herself." Helping would then be about doing things that enhance one's recovery rather than doing more, or giving more, so the addict can do less.

What Dr. Phil discussed is the controlling ways we use "helping" to make ourselves feel better and to give us a sense of control. He described the feelings we get when we provide things for our addicts and set ourselves up with a false sense of normalcy. For instance, in the middle of my daughter's active addiction, I thought providing her with a car would "help" her get to college and, perhaps, to a job. The reality of the situation is that a car might be helpful to a person who is healthy and not using drugs, but it can become a lethal weapon for an active addict. I shudder to think of all the scenarios that might have happened and am thankful that my "helping" didn't get her or another innocent person killed. The college classes and job that I wanted her to get were just my ways of trying to control the uncontrollable; I wanted to make sense of all the insanity: going to classes and working were signs of stability and that's what I tried to control in her life: I wasn't helping, I was enabling her. Providing a car enabled her to fly around town to obtain and use her drugs, carry her druggie friends around (OMG, the cigarette burn holes were everywhere), and she could disappear for hours, or days, at my expense (financially and emotionally).

Back then, I used my helping schemes to manipulate her; I didn't see it that way back then, but I fully understand, now, that I did all that voluntarily. When I felt used, it was because I didn't get the results I wanted: it was all about my feelings of superiority, security and a sense of loss that was too difficult to bear. None of my schemes worked because I wasn't the intended target; my daughter just used all the things I gave her to use her drugs, in comfort, for as long as I was willing to "foot the bill."

Nar-Anon literature and the fellowship helped me get the clarity I needed to stop funding addiction: it gave me the courage to check my own motives and behaviors. I made my meetings a priority in my life and picked up my Nar-Anon tools, which included a clearer vision enhanced through my Nar-Anon Goggles! ;)

I can see clearly now,

Tako

Tako
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Finding a Higher Power (HP) When You're Not Religious

Post by Tako » Sat Mar 19, 2011 7:05 pm

by Tako » Fri Oct 08, 2010 10:24 pm

Boy, the first time I heard the word, "Higher Power," I thought to myself......oh, no, I must have stumbled into a cult. :shock: I contemplated making a dash for the door, but I decided to stay and just listen. In listening, I realized that those who were religious had no issues with identifying who their Higher Power (HP) was. I, on the other hand, sat there thinking that God was just a figment of one's imagination and I had lost hope in the whole concept long ago. When I was a child, I watched the newsreels about the Holocaust and came to the conclusion that God was not everywhere and certainly not "all powerful" because if he were, the Holocaust never would have happened, nowadays, I am still horrified at the catastrophes (earthquakes, fires, floods, tsunamis, radiation leaks) and other human tragedies.

I'm thankful that I didn't let the term, "Higher Power" or "God" get in the way of my journey into recovery. I attended meetings week after week and soon months after months and then the years came and went. Along the way, I met an NA member who explained to me that, in her culture (the Native American Indian culture), they could choose from amongst things in nature to be their Higher Power...........she told me to go down to the ocean's edge and stand there until I had a better understanding of who, or what, was in control. That little exercise helped me realize that I still had a belief that something was bigger than myself and that I had no control over most of what went on around me........not the sun, not the earth, not the ocean, not the wind, nor much of anything else.

Now, when I recite the Serenity Prayer, I know that I am saying it to myself with the hope that the powers greater than myself will put their strength behind making the world, and the people who reside in it, better. All I know is that I am incapable of changing the world or its people, so there is no alternative but to seek out a power greater than myself..............a "Higher Power."

Just wishin' and hopin' and prayin',

Tako

Tako
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Tired of being alone

Post by Tako » Wed Mar 30, 2011 11:44 am

Tired of being alone
by Tako » Tue Sep 14, 2010 3:16 pm

"Never alone, never again."

I just love that slogan! When I felt abandoned by the people I loved, I spent some time in the pity mode and then I decided to take charge of my happiness and to fill my life up with meaningful and purposeful endeavors. Now, my recovery and my volunteer efforts keep me busy and I measure my happiness by the way I feel about myself.

I now understand that addicts must find replacement activities in order to distract themselves from the physical and emotional cravings they have for their drugs of choices (and the chaos and drama that all that activity includes): most are advised not to start any new relationships at least for the first year because they will be far too consumed with their meetings and distractions to have any meaningful relationships.

I wanted every Sunday evening to be family night; when I learned to accept that it wasn't going to happen, I chose to attend meetings every Sunday evening. My happiness isn't contingent upon someone else's presence. I still miss my loved ones, but I don't allow that emotion to consume my thoughts. Now I know that no matter what they choose to do, I will never be alone again unless I choose to be alone.

Image

Tako
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My Nar-Anon Goggles help me see better!!!

Post by Tako » Mon Apr 04, 2011 1:22 am

Mon Sep 06, 2010 12:01 am

Initially, I lost my sense of self-worth and my sanity: my child was addicted to drugs and I was addicted to his/her chaos.

Since making a commitment to my own recovery in Nar-Anon, I have lost:

-my need to control the lives of the people I love;
-my need to know every detail of my child's life so that I could figure out the best way for him/her to avoid his/her consequences;
-my need to fix, pay for and reverse the damages done;
-my deep sense of fear, depression and regret; and,
-my misdirected need to be a guard, inquisitor, defender, pretender, martyr.

I now wear my Nar-Anon Goggles and know that I never was anyone else's Higher Power and that I never could have controlled their lives or deaths. I have lost a lot, but gained so much more than I lost.

Tako

Tako
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Grieving and Gratitude

Post by Tako » Tue Apr 12, 2011 7:30 am

by Tako » Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:53 am

Grieving and Gratitude

Now, some may wonder, how in the world could those two words be used in the same sentence. Long ago I became aware that losing a loved one to addiction had brought me to a point of grieving. I have lost a loved one to death and lost others to the chaos and insanity of living in addiction: both caused me to grieve all that was lost and all that would never be. In my brother, I grieved the loss of his opportunities to get married, have children, grow in a career and to even grow old. In my children, I grieved the loss of precious years to active addiction; I grieved all that I had expected them to be.

What I hadn't expected throughout my grieving processes, was the fact that the time I invested in Nar-Anon would bring me through the darkness of grieving to a point of gratitude. Although I lost them, I subsequently found me! Initially, I didn't even know I was lost, I just knew that I barely existed in a world that revolved around death and destruction. Although I couldn't change the course of anyone's life or death, I found a path of recovery that took me to a new awareness and acceptance of what is.

The gift of awareness and acceptance permits me to free myself of the burden of grief. I can acknowledge my losses/disappointments and move forward on a path that offers me the peace and serenity I thought would escape me. So, I have gone from grieving to gratitude on this journey of self-discovery; Nar-Anon fellowship has helped me change the only life I could: mine.

In gratitude for all that is and all that will be,

Tako

Quote for the day: "At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us." - Albert Schweitzer

Tako
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A Quote to Ponder.........

Post by Tako » Sat Apr 16, 2011 2:45 pm

"Our willingness to create a new dream or vision for ourselves is a statement of belief in our own potential." - David McNally

Who am I if not your son, daughter, mother, father, sister, brother, partner, spouse? Who am I when you're not here? If I'm not taking care of you, am I taking care of myself? Am I willing to do everything in my power to change my life for the better? Am I willing to do for myself, what I wish you'd do for yourself? Do I matter?

Tako
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Chipping away at the facets of self-discovery.

Post by Tako » Sun Apr 24, 2011 8:23 pm

Chipping away at the facets of self-discovery.
by Tako » Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:33 pm

I’ve often heard the term that our recovery work is similar to peeling back the layers of an onion, but today I heard it referred to as chipping away until we find the diamond inside us. We were discussing the many facets of self-discovery that goes with working our Steps with a Sponsor.

Ironically, it is common knowledge that many addicts stop working their Steps when they arrive at the point of working Step 4; in Nar-Anon, I have found Step 4 to be a labor of self-love that culminates in a sense of newly found self-awareness. Working the Steps is a labor of love and it is worthwhile because we can come away with a new appreciation of our journey to Nar-Anon and through the storms that we have faced (one after the other). I found a sense of resilience that I had long forgotten; I have also discovered that I am worth every bit of energy I expend on this journey of self-discovery.

Nar-Anon has helped me realize that in letting go of someone else’s chaos, I am able to instill a sense of peace and purpose in my own life. I am no longer willing to settle for living in pain, in fear, in unhappiness, in chaos driven poverty or in guilt for all that did and didn’t happen. I have come to terms with what has happened and journeyed on to find acceptance in myself and others; after all, “It is what it is.”

I only have this day to create the life I want to live; I cannot change what happened yesterday and I can only hope for the tomorrows that will come: Nar-Anon has helped me to stay in the present and to put forth the energy it will take to make each day worthwhile.

So, the metaphor for the me that was buried for so long in chaos and insanity is perfectly describe in my search for the diamond that lies within: I will continue "chipping away at the facets of self-discovery"………….one Step at a time!

Nar-Anon’s Principles: :arrow: http://nar-anon.org/Nar-Anon/Nar-Anon_Principles.html

Keep coming back, it works if you work it, so work it cuz' you're worth it!

Tako

Tako
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"I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore."

Post by Tako » Sun May 01, 2011 11:38 am

"I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore."
by Tako » Wed Sep 08, 2010


I remember watching this scene play out in that old movie, "Network." I remember how absurdly funny it looked at the time, but I can appreciate those words much more now that I've been through Hell and back. Once I got "sick and tired of being sick and tired," I came to the point of wanting to yell the same words............I hit my bottom long before my addicted children hit theirs.

I thought I had no where to turn: I thought I was all alone in my misery and that no one else could understand the pain that constantly stabbed me in my heart. How could I possibly admit that a couple of the most beautiful people on earth had succumbed to the disease of addiction.........where would I even start to express the horror and the sadness that kept me from sleeping, kept me from my friends and family and perpetuated a fear that ran chills down my spine? Surely, no one else was going through what I was going through: everyone else's children were straight A students and motivated to be the best they could be. What would they think about my parenting skills if I had to admit failure?

That kind of thinking kept me isolated and fearful of those who would surely judge us as individuals and as a family. Thank God I participated in the family programs at the rehabs my children went to; that was where I met other parents who were going through the same things we were and they seemed like really nice and intelligent people. I came to understand that bad things happen to good people all the time: those who judge, just haven't walked in our shoes, YET!!!!

These family programs urged us to get going in our own recovery programs and to take advantage of the support that was awaiting us: if only we'd drum up the courage to walk through the doors of a face-to-face meeting. Thankfully, I listened and that began the new journey that I embarked on............I went there to learn how to save my children's lives; ironically, it was there that I learned how to save my own. Wow, what a journey it has been. I often reflect on who I was and I am often reminded of how I thought before I knew better. It doesn't really matter what brings us together (e.g., anger, grieving, sadness, fear, depression, etc.); what matters is that we come together and learn that we need never be alone again.

Now, when I'm alone, I don't feel lonely and that's a big difference than when I first came into the program. I guess I enjoy being alone because I enjoy being with myself..........I'm no longer mad, but I am convinced that I will never take it again. I am not going to wait for someone else to make me happy; I now understand that I am responsible for creating my own happiness and I make it a goal everyday to work on it.

"When we know better, we do better."

Tako

Tako
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Making amends by changing my behavior(s)....

Post by Tako » Sun May 22, 2011 1:17 pm

by Tako » Sun Sep 19, 2010 11:12 pm

Re: Step 9 "Made direct amends to such people wherever possible except when to do so would injure them or others."
:arrow: http://nar-anon.org/Nar-Anon/Nar-Anon_Principles.html

We've studied Step 9 this month, at our meetings, because it is September and we discuss each Step as it corresponds to the month. We read from the little yellow booklet about Step 9 and it mentioned that we don't need to verbally say, "I'm sorry," but that we can make amends through changing our behavior(s). Knowing this has permitted me to let go of the expectations I had for a very long and tearful amends from my recovering daughter who was addicted to meth: she made our lives unbearable and caused soooooooo much grief.............initially, I felt like she "owed" those amends to me.

Over the years, I realized that I would probably never hear those words from her, but she has changed her life and her behaviors and I am deeply grateful for the turn around. Each day of her recovery is a gift for both of us and I feel the amends far greater than any words she could have uttered.

I, too, had some amends to make to another one of my children........I had "dumped" on her repeatedly when she was away at college and she let me bring her down when she had no possible way of helping me or her drug loaded sister. I imagine every call brought a sense of dread for her. I really had to work hard at keeping my focus on us, rather than her sister, and I have made a concerted effort to stop using her as my sounding board. I, too, changed my behaviors and made my amends by getting healthier which gave me the tools to share at my meetings rather than using a loved one to dump on.

"One day at a time" and "Progress, not perfection," were my mottos because I really had to work at getting healthy: one meeting at a time and one Step at a time with my Sponsor, not my family member.

I am grateful that, if I continue to work my program, I never have to relapse into being that person I was before I knew better!

Tako

judyg
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Re: Let There Be Peace (Living Consciously) 1 year retrieved

Post by judyg » Mon May 23, 2011 8:42 am

Tako--Thank you for the Step 9 lesson. I have found myself resentful from time to time that I never get/got the amends I thought I was due. At the same time, I have felt unable to express my own amends as it seems counter-productive to go back into the history of our family sickness. Thank you for the important reminder that our amends can sometimes best be expressed by our own changes in behavior. When we know better, we do better. Let it begin with me.
XXOO
Judy

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