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

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Tako
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Looking Deep

Post by Tako » Mon May 30, 2011 12:53 pm

(Thu Sep 23, 2010)

I don't call Nar-Anon a recovery program any more, I call it a "survival" program. I got into recovery and learned how to survive.

When my focus changed from the addict to myself, I started to value my life: it was then, that my life started to change.

Tako

Tako
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Learning to love ourselves...............

Post by Tako » Fri Jun 17, 2011 7:35 pm

Image

by Tako » Thu Sep 02, 2010


Step 9 "Made direct amends to such people wherever possible except when to do so would injure them or others."

One of the lessons I learned in working this step (which is difficult for many to wrap their heads around early in recovery) is that we need to make amends to ourselves, too. In fact, many suggest that we put ourselves at the top of the list!

I was thinking about how I didn't really understand this step when I first heard it, but in time, I came to understand that I needed to respect myself and take good care of myself because I was the only one who would or could. I came to realize that I was not a victim, but rather a volunteer in the unhealthy relationships I found myself in: I realized that I had become addicted to chaos and drama. Staying and working my Nar-Anon program gave me the tools to stop reacting to all the negativity and to "choose my battles" and choose to act rather than react.

I call Nar-Anon a survival program because it saved my life and my sanity. When I look in the mirror now, I know who I'm looking at and to paraphrase Stuart Smalley, "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough and doggone it......"

Here's your affirmation! You are too! Now, all you have to do is start believing it and don't let anyone treat you as if you aren't! Treat yourself the way you wish others would and be your own best friend!

Tako

Tako
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Hitting Bottom

Post by Tako » Sat Jul 02, 2011 1:31 am

by Tako » Tue Apr 13, 2010 3:45 pm
Hitting Bottom

Even before I understood the concept of my addict "hitting his bottom," I had hit mine. I didn’t know the perilous journey I had been on would bring me to the “fork in the road,” where I would be offered a respite in the loving support of Nar-Anon or continue on until I could go no further. I always thought of myself as the “Energizer Bunny,” and felt that, when it came to the people I loved, there was no beginning or end.

The disease of addiction brought me to my knees and to the edge where sanity and insanity cross paths. What I didn’t understand is that in my effort to fix, protect, shelter and control my addict(s), I lost track of who I was and where I was going. There was no up or down, there was just a sense of being “stuck.” I kept searching for answers, but with the multiple layers of lies and deceit, I lost all sense of reality.

When I came to Nar-Anon in such abject pain, it became clear that I had reached a new low that was referred to as “hitting bottom.” At first, I didn’t want to discuss anything about me or the insanity that swirled around me; I just wanted to seek out the answers to fix the addict in my life before she self-destructed. I think I would have preferred to attend NA meetings and just listen to all the addicts describe their nightmarish journeys and describe how they stopped the insanity rather than put any focus on myself or my "bottom."

While watching the Intervention episode on Ashley last night, I was brought back to a time and place when I was just like her adoptive mother: up all night and obsessing over everything my daughter said and did, even though I knew that 99% of her behaviors were drug induced and made no sense at all. Around and around and around I went like a crazy person, because I was crazy with obsessions of the mind.

Nar-Anon helped me understand that we "codies" hit our bottoms loooooooooong before our addicts ever do. Nar-Anon members have sat with me week after week in our face-to-face meetings and joined me at conventions to share the life-changing concepts of experience, strength and hope. Watching programs like Intervention are good reminders of where I’ve been and where I never want to be again.

Everyone’s bottom is different and comes at different stages, but the truth of the matter is that, until we get there, we’re just treading water in a sea of fear and pain: I am grateful for hitting my bottom when I did. "Hitting bottom" is a place of surrender; not to be confused with giving up, but rather surrendering any misconceptions of control we might have when we first realize that we are powerless over other people.

Tako

Tako
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Hope vs. Expectations

Post by Tako » Sun Jul 24, 2011 12:21 pm

Re: Hope vs expectations
by Tako » Mon Sep 06, 2010 10:45 pm

“When things are bad, we take comfort in the thought that they could always be worse. And when they are, we find hope in the thought that things are so bad they have to get better.” - Unknown


I grieved because we (my addicted children and I) had lost so much, then I laughed because getting support lifted my spirits, now I realize that the greatest thing I have is hope: for me and for them. The hope I have is left undefined so that I do not relapse into designing my life or anyone else's (designer expectations like I wanted to be tall and thin and I wanted my children to attend college and graduate and immediately be recruited into amazing careers). I love that little slogan, "I plan and God laughs."

Instead of designing my life or the lives of my loved ones, I just hope that we can all be healthy and reunite in our recovery efforts: I just have to let go of what those recovery programs look like (i.e., do they go to enough meetings and call their sponsors every time they're upset or needing support).

I clung onto my expectations until they made me sick and tired of being sick and tired: it was my bottom and I went in search of a remedy for my pain and grief. I finally realized that I truly was powerless to stay awake 24/7 and to be on "high alert" at all times in hopes of stopping the insanity that came with addiction; so, I learned to embrace the slogan, "Let Go or Be Dragged." Eventually, I did let go and that's when things started to change for me and for them: we each were responsible for making the changes that would make our lives worthwhile.

I watched them struggle with their addictions and their demons, but I came to realize that they each had their own Higher Powers and that I had to get out of their way so that they could learn how to stand on their own two feet. Finally, they called and asked for help and that is when their lives changed: I had hope for them then and hope for them now, it is the power of hope that keeps me moving along in my own recovery program.

Tako

Tako
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Getting Stuck - Slogans Help Bring Clarity!

Post by Tako » Wed Aug 10, 2011 1:20 pm

Getting Stuck - Slogans Help Bring Clarity!
by Tako » Sat Sep 04, 2010

While seated at our home group meeting, a relatively new, "Newcomer" mentioned a slogan he had just heard; he shared it with those of us who have heard it a hundred times, but it sounded brilliant, just like it did the first time. He was anxious to share his newly learned slogan that goes, "Nothing changes if nothing changes."

I think that's why I keep coming back because I need to see the newcomer who is just stumbling upon the pearls of wisdom that are shared amongst us. I am always pleasantly surprised to learn something new from a newcomer or even hear words that I might have forgotten.

Reminders of why we get stuck in old behaviors and familiar thoughts can be the catalyst for change:

"When we know better, we do better."
Einstein's definition of insanity, "Doing the same things over and over and expecting different results."
"Courage to change the things I can."
"Easy does it, but do it!"
"We are only as sick as our secrets."
"Sorrow is looking back, Worry is looking around."
Formula for failure: "Try to please everyone."
"Let go or be dragged."
"Misery is optional."
"You can't think your way into a new way of living...you have to live your way into a new way of thinking."
"If you do what you always did, you'll get what you always got."

Whenever I find myself relapsing into old behaviors or old ways of thinking, I get out my SESH Book and read a few shares that help me reorganize my thoughts. When I take my own inventory, I then have the opportunity to check my motives. Nar-Anon has given me the tools to do these things: I am grateful that I understand that I don't have to be anywhere I don't want to be and that I am capable of getting myself "unstuck."

Tako

Tako
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"Take Care of yourself"--what does that mean?

Post by Tako » Thu Aug 25, 2011 4:41 pm

Thu Aug 19, 2010

Taking care of myself has been a process of elimination.............removing the things that inject negativity, fear and grief in my life. I took the motto, "Let Go" to a different level that included the things that triggered my relapses: yes, we relapse, too, if we're not diligently working our own program.

I have learned to:

• eat healthy foods and to quit smoking (still working on portions and timing)
• journal my feelings so that they don't get stuck inside me - a great release
• exercise my body to detox it from negative energy and to replace it with endorphin infusions - yoga helps me regain focus
• laugh at funny movies and at myself
• stop isolating by getting out to meetings, working with sponsees and seeking out meaningful friendships
• read self-help books instead of addiction related books
• meditate so that I can stay in the present and not future trip about what may or may not happen

No one says, "Take care of yourself," to me anymore; I think they can tell that I already do!

I'm a work in progress and I like it that way!!!

Tako
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Does knowing WHY ever help?

Post by Tako » Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:40 pm

Does knowing WHY ever help?
by Tako » Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:24 am

Sometimes I look around at the behaviors of others and ask myself, "Why are they doing that? What are they thinking? Are they thinking?" I see a teenager with a cigarette in her mouth and ask myself, why would someone who knows so much about cigarettes even touch those deadly things? I was a passenger in my daughter's car and I looked over to see her texting while driving.....OMG! I see a morbidly obese person putting fries in his mouth and wonder if he's heard about Diabetes. I come to a stoplight where a dishevelled person is begging for money and ask myself why did he end up here looking like that and resorting to begging to support himself. I watch the Intervention program and wonder how each person ended up on that couch (addicts and family members alike). The answers probably lie in bad choices, bad habits and the awful disease of addiction that takes naïveté to death's door.

I have quite an imagination, but I have to stop and refocus, because I know that the "why" question could preoccupy my thoughts and take me away from my reality. Getting myself a sponsor and working the steps has helped me put the focus on my own life so that I can appreciate the good things in my life and be willing to help others do the same. I choose to stay in the light rather than in the dark side of life: I am aware that people make bad choices, have bad habits and succumb to the cravings that the brain signals, but I choose not to focus on all that I cannot change. I take out a mirror and ask myself why I landed where I am and take an honest inventory of the choices I made and why I made them.

I hope you will join me in working the Steps with a sponsor: a sponsor can help you get honest and start the journey to living a better way…..why you got here isn’t as important as where you’re going.

Blessings on your journey,

Tako

Tako
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Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 4:19 pm
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Being Still and Becoming Aware:

Post by Tako » Sun Oct 23, 2011 1:48 pm

Sun Aug 15, 2010 3:59 pm

“As with all relationships and situations in our lives, we must look within for both the source of our difficulties and the solution.” – Daily Om

I read this quote and thought about it all day. It really describes what we do in Nar-Anon; the program slows us down so that we can really stop and see what it is that is making us so unhealthy and unhappy.

I equate my active days of chasing an active addict to the game of “hide-n-seek.” In retrospect, I can see that my existence revolved around trying to find someone whose life revolved around hiding himself and his drugs. Everything was instinctual and reactive; there were no quiet moments. If nothing was happening, then the voices in my head would start trying to figure out how to outrun or outsmart the addict whose behavior had become destructive and stealth.

I found myself exhausted from the constant worry, fear and anger; not realizing, until I was devastated, that I was no match for the disease of addiction (neither my education nor my life experiences could have prepared me for the chaos). I couldn’t run fast enough or think fast enough to keep up with all that was going on…………I only knew a fraction of the truth and I really couldn’t cope with that.

Thankfully, I stayed in Nar-Anon and received my survival kit, which included learning the Steps and working them with my sponsor. I am grateful for the lessons and the support that helped me save my own sanity.

Doing the work and gathering the tools to survive the nightmare of addiction, brought me to a point where I could become still and, thus, become aware of the life I was living.

In gratitude for all that I have received.

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

Post by Tako » Thu Nov 17, 2011 8:25 pm

by Tako » Mon Oct 04, 2010 10:59 am
Here's a quote for you to put on your refrigerator (perhaps you can print it in BIG font) so that you and your husband can start to find a "common ground."

Be the change you want to see in the world.” - Mahatma Gandhi

It wasn't until my husband and I started attending Nar-Anon meetings together, that we finally got on the "same page" and learned how to present a united front. He doesn't share as often as I do, but he's right beside me hearing and learning how to live a better life.........now, after being ardent students, we do have a better life and a better relationship (not perfect, but definitely better)!

Blessings on your journey,

Tako

Tako
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Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 4:19 pm
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Letting go: it's about hitting bottom.

Post by Tako » Fri Dec 30, 2011 1:51 pm

Sun Aug 08, 2010

Sometimes I hear newcomers say something similar to, "I can't imagine how to let go of someone I love more than life itself," and I am taken back to a time when I thought my heart was dying of unmitigated pain. I, too, loved someone beyond measure and had centered my whole life on his/her well-being; if he/she were happy and well, then so was I. I never imagined that the love and concern I had for someone so dear to my heart, could be the catalyst for so much pain and suffering. Could it be that I loved too much or was it really about low self-esteem, believing that it was easier to put all my focus on someone else so that I didn't have to focus on myself? By not focusing on myself and honoring the life I had been given, was I avoiding having to take care of myself and setting those boundaries of self-protection that I didn't even know I needed?

I've heard many times, and have come to believe, that hindsight brings with it a sense of brilliance; it's true, if I knew then what I know now..... What made me stop and look at myself and the life I had come to accept? I believe it was my own hitting bottom; I had no relief and I was in excruciating pain from being on high alert and exhausted from trying to outrun and out scheme an addicted loved one. I had no previous background in being a detective, warden, or therapist and I, often, made the situations worse by reacting to negativity and bizarre behaviors: addiction had me beat!

I was sitting in one of my many Nar-Anon meetings feeling so upset and forlorn, when another member said, "When we let go, we aren't letting go of the person we love, but rather the chaos and insanity." Those words stuck with me and I have kept them close to my heart. I now understand, with every part of my being, that letting go is about hitting bottom: I hit mine long before he/she ever hit his/hers.


Tako

Tako
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Cultivating Hope

Post by Tako » Sun Jan 29, 2012 2:09 am

by Tako » Fri Aug 06, 2010 12:42 am

"Cultivating Hope": I read that term today and thought it described Nar-Anon perfectly. For those who come and go, they'll never know what they missed. For those of us who, kept coming back, we grow in our awareness and gather the strength to accept the things we cannot change and try ardently to change the things we can: meeting after meeting we gather the strength to look at things as they are, not as we wish they would be. Acceptance and awareness bring us to the point of recovery and, within time, we are "cultivating hope."

Tako

Quote for the day:
“The jump is so frightening between where I am and where I want to be...because of all I may become I will close my eyes and leap!” - Mary Anne Radmacher

Tako
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Conscious Awareness

Post by Tako » Tue Feb 14, 2012 2:19 pm

Conscious Awareness
by Tako » Thu Aug 05, 2010

I have found myself just going through the motions of living; getting up, doing chores, meeting obligations and getting in bed at the end of the day and wondering where the day went. It bothers me to think that I just moved through the day unaware of the little motivations and the sensations of being alive. I realized that slowing down the process of getting up can help; I can recite the Serenity Prayer and vocalize a gratitude for something or someone: a couple of minutes more and I can start my day consciously aware of who I am and why I am.

When I greet someone or bid them farewell, I can stop and hug them: I can feel the person who I am talking to. I love the concept of doing "random acts of kindness," as Oprah introduced to us: oh, what an intimate and humane concept that is!

Today, I plan to move my focus from things and people who irritate me to those who surprise me with joy............for it is in the smiles of those who I encounter that I sense a feeling of camaraderie and hope. I am choosing to be happy and I am choosing to be more present in my own life; I will use conscious awareness to improve my life.

Tako

Quote for the day:
"The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself."- Henry Miller

Tako
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The "Schools of Hard Knocks."

Post by Tako » Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:52 pm

Re: So painful
by Tako » Wed Aug 04, 2010 12:23 pm

The "Schools of Hard Knocks."

My son, who was addicted to Vicodin and Oxy's has shared with me that his time in jail and his time in rehab were opportunities to see his future through the eyes of other people. He learned a lot being in the jail and even more at the rehab; he saw everything he never wanted to be. I told him about these things, but he never believed them until he saw them with his own eyes. Some of the best lessons he ever learned were taught to him through the inmates and patients at the "Schools of Hard Knocks."

Although my son had grown deaf to my warnings, insights and general information, he became acutely aware of his surroundings and heard the judge's orders loud and clear: his lessons needed repeating and consequences. :roll:

Stay strong for your sake and his.

Tako

Quote for today:

"Whenever dealing with a difficult task, you are bound to have some adversity. It is all a part of life and it is a part of growth. Growth is about change. Change that allows you face adversity head on. Adversity is what can make or break us........." - Princess Que

Tako
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Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 4:19 pm
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PRAYER TO A HIGHER POWER

Post by Tako » Mon Mar 12, 2012 10:44 pm

PRAYER TO A HIGHER POWER

THANK YOU FOR THIS FAMILY OF FRIENDS
AND FOR THE SPIRIT IN WHICH THEIR HELP IS GIVEN AND RECEIVED.

TEACH US TO SEE THINGS AS THEY ARE,
NOT AS WE WOULD LIKE THEM TO BE.

AND THROUGH THAT TRUTH
TO HELP OURSELVES AND THOSE WE LOVE
ACHIEVE THE PEACE AND SERENITY WE SEEK.

Tako
Posts: 512
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 4:19 pm
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Wearing my Nar-Anon Goggles and carrying my Nar-Anon Toolbox

Post by Tako » Fri Apr 20, 2012 2:02 am

by Tako » Fri Jul 30, 2010 2:50 pm

I didn’t know, what I didn’t have, when I made the decision to attend my first Nar-Anon meeting. Nowadays, when I witness newcomers “come and go,” I wonder if they could even imagine what they might discover if they were to decide to stay? I remember wondering if Nar-Anon was a religious organization or if I had to give up who I was, in order to join them in their program. I thought the little slogan, “Keep coming back, it works if you work it,” was a rather silly farewell statement; but then, again, I didn’t know what I didn’t know.

I am so grateful that I didn’t let myself get in my own way; that I didn’t walk away from a life changing and sanity saving recovery program. I’m not sure I even understood that I needed a recovery program………….I thought that was really for my addicted loved ones; but then, again, I didn’t realize that I had become addicted to the chaos and insanity and had been trying to find balance in a topsy-turvy world.

So week after week, I got myself to the meeting and after a couple of years I took a long hard look at where I had been and how far I had come: if I had known then, what I know now, I would have gotten myself there a lot sooner. I suffered far too long believing that I was alone in my misery and that there was little or no hope for change; after all, I had spent a number of years putting out fires and I was exhausted.

Somewhere along my journey of self-discovery, I discovered that, although I had sought out Nar-Anon for the recipes to change my loved ones, it was I who had ultimately changed. I no longer looked at myself as a victim; I had learned to accept my choices and behaviors and come to the realization that I was a volunteer! OMG………did I really do all that crazy stuff? I was compelled to get honest about my own actions (and, yes, doing nothing is an action too) and acknowledge my role in the relationships I had.

Attending meetings was my best first step, but then again, it was only the beginning of my journey. It took me a while to find my Sponsor, but she was worth the wait: she has walked beside me on this journey and helped me get honest with myself. Today, I never leave home without my Nar-Anon Goggles and my Nar-Anon Tools.

Are you starting to see things differently too? What tools have you put in your tool box so far?

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