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

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

Post by Tako » Wed May 30, 2012 1:36 pm

From Fleetwood Mac Landslide Lyrics by Stevie Nicks

“Well, I've been afraid of changing
‘Cause I’ve built my life around you,
But time makes you bolder…….
Children get older……..
I’m getting older, too.”
••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
So, I was driving down the road singing along when I realized that this is very true for those of us who raise our children and forget that parenting is only a “temporary job.” “Letting go” is part of life’s process…………it happens with and without addiction being a factor.

Getting through the pain is something we can support each other through. You’re here for me and I’m here for you!

“Together we can do, what we could never do alone.”

Tako

On Children
by Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

Tako
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My Nar-Anon Goggles

Post by Tako » Thu Jun 28, 2012 1:08 pm

My Nar-Anon goggles have shown me all the things (and people) I took for granted while focused on the addict in my life.
Image

I can see clearly now, the rain is gone,
I can see all obstacles in my way,
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind,
It's gonna be a bright, bright sun shiny day. - Johnny Nash


I thought I understood my role as a parent and was sure that martyrdom would just go with the job, but when addiction came into my life, via my child’s obsession with his drug, I realized that I was going to die right along side him if the madness didn’t stop. I am forever grateful that the therapist at my son’s rehab center informed me about Nar-Anon and explained why I needed to get help too. After all, I had no experience or training with the terrible disease that was wreaking havoc in our home and in our lives.

Nar-Anon offered me many tools and the power of unity that enveloped me when I entered the room of kindred spirits. I found a place to share my deepest and darkest secrets and, after a while, I felt the load of pain and fear lift off of my back. I started to see things around me that I had forgotten existed, because I was too busy worrying about and chasing my beloved addict.

I also started to see a new version of the old me, the one that could laugh and hope and dream…………I was learning how to live a better way. I started by not answering the phone and letting all calls go to voicemail; then I got myself to the gym and yoga classes; I learned how to meditate; and then, set my “healthy boundary of self-protection” at my front door (no more drugs or active drug addicts in my home…………..ever again).

I have a life now and how I live it is up to me.

Tako

linda.f
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Re: Let There Be Peace (Living Consciously) 1 year retrieved

Post by linda.f » Fri Jun 29, 2012 7:47 am

Woo hoo, :)

Love to wake up and read this.

Awesome, awesome, awesome.

Just sitting here with my coffee and

amazed on how I can make this a great day

and everyday thereafter.

Gratitude is all around me.

Oh how I love my children.

But Oh how I love myself.

The greatest gift we can give ourselves is

this program, without a doubt. If you can't

love yourself then you can't fully give back

to them, or anyone else.

xo
Live-love-laugh

Linda.f

Tako
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Recreating Myself…………..time marches on!

Post by Tako » Thu Jul 05, 2012 2:07 pm

So, I used to be someone’s daughter, someone’s sister, someone’s niece and a doting mother to a few beautiful little people: I was young, I was smart and I was someone who was constantly trying to understand all the whys of life. It frustrated me immensely to go through this life without understanding why we were all here, what we were all supposed to do with our lives and to comprehend why we all had to die (some way too young to even experience this thing we call, “life”). When I was young, I constantly asked my mother the “meaning of life and death” questions and she did her best to respond from a semi-religious perspective……………but I was left with many questions.

So, when life presented me with challenges (big and small) I did my best to overcome them and to believe that there would always be “better days ahead.” I had to believe that something better awaited me, because there were so many years of struggle and my mother showed me what courage and survival looked like: she was my hero and brought us out of some horrific situations.

When I was raising my own family, I always revisited the hard years to convince myself that I could make it through anything. When addiction reared its ugly head and came into my home, I ran across Winston Churchill’s quote, “If you’re going through Hell, keep going.” So, I grabbed the proverbial “bull by the horns” and was determined to defeat addiction on all fronts……………..little did I know that I had met an opponent far stronger and infallible than I: I was on the nightmarish ride of my life with blinders on! :o Yikes!!!!

I cried, I pleaded, I researched, I chased and followed, I bribed, I threw good money after bad and sought out all the professionals I could find (e.g., police, therapists, motivational counselors, and more) to fight the “Disease of Addiction,” but nothing brought the results I had hoped for. I was exhausted from my endeavors while the addicts in my life were off in their numbed and miserable lives………..running from their realities, leaving the carnage behind them and discarding all who loved them.

I was most fortunate to find Nar-Anon along my way. I didn’t necessarily listen or put as much effort into myself as I had the addicts in my life, but I became aware of the fact that support and a better life awaited me, whenever I was ready to let go of the misery: yep, all I had to do was let go of my end of the rope and the “tug-o-war” would be over. All I had to do was to becoming “willing,” the same as I prayed the addicts in my life would do in their own efforts at recovery.

Because I was stubborn and judgmental (even towards my own well-being), the transition from misery to serenity took me longer than it does for some. I wanted the peace and serenity that others had, but I didn’t want to give up the chase and the desire to be the one to defeat the “Disease of Addiction.” I had rope burns from hanging on too long, to people and beliefs that only made me sick.

Finally, I heard the words that would stop the insanity for me. “You are not your addict’s Higher Power,” and you cannot control outcomes. Well, duh………there I was with my jaw on the floor…………”Let go or be dragged,” became my motto and my perspectives began to change from fixing them to fixing me. I set about with a determination to change the only person I could, ME!!! I wanted to quit smoking, lose weight, do some volunteer work, become more engaged in my own well-being and so I did. I made myself and my well-being a priority in my life. ;)

Nar-Anon showed me how to set myself free from the chains of misery and gave me the courage to start creating happiness and joy in my life. I no longer felt the need to be someone’s doormat or savior; I got busy cultivating a new life and recreating myself.

Tako

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

Post by Findinghope » Thu Jul 05, 2012 2:22 pm

Reading this is so inspirational. Today has been the first day I have had hope in a long time. I feel as though my life has spun so far out of control I do not know how to grasp it. But that apart of this sickness? Needing control. Today I am glad I do not have control. That my HP does. Seeing so many posts that connect us all lets me know this is a healthy realization. I forced myself to go on sheer willpower trying to fix everything for everyone I love, because I don't know myself any longer. Much less love myself. And for today I have found happiness in small things around me. We have hope.
You can't think your way into a new way of living . . . you have to live your way into a new way of thinking.

Tako
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I wanted things to change.........

Post by Tako » Fri Jul 20, 2012 11:26 pm

I wanted things to change…………

In response to what addiction did to my family, I spent every waking moment (and I was awake far more than asleep) trying to change my loved one and the consequences that he faced. I researched the Internet for information and remedies. I fine tuned my detective skills and searched endlessly for “proof” of what I already knew. I cried, I begged, I spent money that should have been spent elsewhere, I focused on the addict and his chaos, rather than those who deserved my attention and, I neglected myself and my own well being in order to effect some semblance of change in him. I wanted to change everything and return to the days of innocence and naiveté.

In the midst of my tears and insanity in trying to change the person I loved so much, I was blinded to the fact that I needed to change myself. I didn’t realize that the change I longed for would, ultimately, start with me. My first attempt at change came with the realization that I had to start, “Letting Go,”……………..my heart said, “don’t do it,” but my gut told me it was time to sever the umbilical cord and let him start living his life according to his choice and actions. I’m ever reminded of Dr. Phil’s motto, “When you choose the behavior, you choose the consequence.”

My awakening came when someone informed me that I was not my son’s Higher Power! OMG, I was forced to come to terms with the reality of the situation and the limits of my abilities…………I was powerless over his addiction, but I wasn’t powerless over my own choices for my own life. All I had to do was retire myself from the role of Higher Power and I would be free to change the only person I could: ME.

So, now I realize that much of the pain and suffering I did was self-inflicted. Had I realized, early on, that I couldn’t be anyone else’s Higher Power, I might have saved myself a lot of grief and a lot of money. With the tools of recovery that Nar-Anon provided me, I moved on to create a life for myself that reflects all the things I wanted to change.

Tako
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Getting out of the way changed our lives.

Post by Tako » Mon Aug 20, 2012 2:05 am

There was a time when no one could have convinced me that “doing nothing” could benefit me and my beloved addicts. Doing nothing wasn’t in my nature…….I was a doer, a fixer, a provider, a nurturer and an enabler. I gave until there was really nothing left to give: I was exhausted from chasing and manipulating the addicts in my life. I just figured that something I’d say or do would finally convince them to surrender and turn their lives around: I had the answers, all I had to do was figure out how to get them to listen to them. Hell no, they wanted no part of my solutions, but they were more than willing to take whatever else I had to give. Being used hurt me deeply, but I felt that anything that would give me the opportunity to observe them or time to make one more feeble attempt at fixing them would be worth the sacrifice.

I was so deep in denial, that I didn’t want to confront the fact that I had to STOP the insanity that I was creating. At first, I blamed them for all my pain, but then I came to understand that I had created much of it; after all, I was the one lying awake all night, isolating and obsessing. They were off in their addictions and numbing themselves from their realities and couldn’t have cared less what was going on in my head and my heart: I was alone……very much alone.

We invite NA guest speakers to our Nar-Anon meetings and I have learned a lot from them. The most prevalent message I’ve received is to, “Stop doing for them what they’re capable of doing for themselves,” which is what we call enabling. They’ll be the first to admit that they used everyone when they were in their active addictions……..they used drugs and people. So, I’ve taken their advice to heart and stopped the insanity.

Today, I have two beloved addicts who are in long-term recovery. I can’t take credit for their achievements, but I can take credit for mine: I got out of the way and saved what was left of me to enjoy their recoveries and my own.

Progress, not perfection!

Tako

Tako
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Forgiveness………each day a new beginning

Post by Tako » Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:26 pm

I remember Oprah explaining how forgiveness frees us from our burdens. I was listening in awe, because I had never heard it explained that way before. Having had a few people in my life who did the unthinkable, and then the addicts in my life, who did the unimaginable, I didn’t think it was really possible to forgive all that transpired. I have since learned the concept of “NOT renting space in my head” to certain members of the despicable species and I just love it. :D

In my Nar-Anon journey, I have learned much about the “letting go,” process and have come to understand that letting go of my burdens (as described above) is a vital factor in freeing myself from the things and people who could bring me down. Forgiveness, I’ve learned, is a choice and it is the best way to rid myself of unwanted crap. Now that the addicts in my life have embraced recovery, I can look at our situations differently and can let go of what transpired. Now, that’s not to say that I shall ever forget what happened, but I can let most of it fade to gray and free myself of reliving the insanity that pervaded our lives.

I am grateful to carry the ESH I’ve been given instead of all the burdens thrust upon me. Forgiveness is a gift I give myself so that I can fill my life up with other feelings (e.g., joy, peace, curiosity, learning, love and more). Tradition 8 has helped me learn to forgive myself for all the crazy things I tried to coerce and manipulate the addicts in my life to do things "my way." If they'd only do things my way, they'd never get themselves in the messes they've found themselves in; oh, but I digress..............life goes on and I have learned what doesn't work, right alongside what does work! :lol:

Lightening the load, by freeing myself of the burdens and responsibilities that weren't mine to begin with,

Tako

Tako
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Letting Go Of Our Burdens and Obsessions

Post by Tako » Mon Oct 08, 2012 1:21 pm

I tend to get fixated on things that don’t work and people who are “needy.” I know what to do, but I still have that “fix it” mentality: can’t change a tiger’s stripes, right?
If someone I know is out of work, I start looking at job offerings. If someone I know is sick or hurt, I search the Internet for ideas to help them obtain a remedy. It goes on, but I get to the end of the day and wonder why I didn’t get more of my own business accomplished? Why haven’t I read any of those brand new books I have stacked up? Why haven’t I used those relaxation (zero gravity) chairs I purchased to read those books in?

I used to think of the “let go” concept as just a remedy for my illogical and chaotic relationship with the addicts in my life, but the concept has proven to be a Godsend in other unhealthy relationships and in the case of carrying someone else’s burdens. Step 10 comes to mind when I think of how my own defects keep me stuck; it’s time to take a “personal inventory,” and ask myself how I might better utilize my days, my thoughts and my life in general.

How can I apologize to myself for making some poor decisions? I can start writing out a “to do” list every day and carry the items I don’t accomplish forward to the next day. I imagine it will become quite clear that I am too easily distracted by other people’s challenges and need to address my own.

In addition to my wanting to fix, I also have a child who is distant and too self-absorbed to even have a relationship with. I’ve grieved the loss of that relationship, but find myself powerless to recapture what I thought was a wonderful adult relationship with her. I realized that I have been transitioning through the “Five Stages of Grief,” and that I am arriving at my destination: ACCEPTANCE. It isn’t that the pain of loss has disappeared, but the pain is less intense and I am, reluctantly, letting go of someone who has been a very big part of my life.

The burden (of pain) is gradually being lifted from my soul: Nar-Anon has taught me that life does go on. I am grateful for the lessons I’ve learned. I will go through the grieving process and then let go of the things I cannot change. God, grant me serenity……….

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

Post by Rachlovesdogs » Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:14 pm

Thank u thank u! Good stuff here

Tako
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Taking the holidays, “one day at a time.”

Post by Tako » Sun Nov 18, 2012 2:49 am

Although I longed for my family to be altogether on the holidays, I purposely chose to forget how horrible some of the past holidays had been. I chose to only remember things as I wanted them to be, not necessarily as they really were.

I guess I grew up believing all the “other” families had perfect children and that their holidays were warm and fuzzy with heartfelt hugs and kisses. I missed the children and their sweet little faces; I omitted the God awful teen years which where fraught with tantrums and sourpuss faces from those who wished they could always be elsewhere.

Now, when I think of holidays, I remember to take a deep breath and to recite the Serenity Prayer all day long. I try to remember that we are not characters from a Norman Rockwell painting, nor the perfectly polite television families that were paid actors. I use the days to reflect on the things that have been important in my life and reminisce about the sweet days of the innocent children who graced my life with challenges and “mommy I love you” hugs………………oh, how I remember those days.

Now, I have learned to keep busy and to move through the days with purposeful actions when I cannot be with family. Addiction has taken its toll, but recovery has brought us a new sense of gratitude…………..there is hope for all of us.

Let’s take each day as they come and let old expectations rest in the scrapbooks we’ve put away.

Wishing us all the peace and serenity we deserve.

Tako
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Amends

Post by Tako » Tue Dec 25, 2012 1:29 pm

To tell the truth, for the longest time, I awaited looooooooooong drawn out, and tearful, amends from the addicts in my life, but they never came. :?

In light of those expectations, I decided to continue working my own program of recovery and to see what gifts I might give myself. Well, somewhere in my Steps
( :arrow: http://50.63.54.209/naranon/About_Nar-A ... elve_Steps), I learned about forgiving myself and that I should be first on my list. Wow, what a concept! This program really is about ME!!!! :D

My daughter finally gave me a tearful apology when she found herself married to an alcoholic and became painfully aware of the chaos and heart wrenching pain that comes with loving an addict. This was years after her own recovery began, but her lessons brought her awareness in a much different way than expected and brought me the amends that I never thought I'd hear.

Oddly enough, I had just learned the term, "Living Amends" from an NA guest speaker and had an awakening that the addicts in my life had already made their amends in this manner, so my daughter's verbalization was just, "icing on the cake." Living Amends is what I was witnessing for the past 7+ years, but didn't have a term for it. I had watched in the addicts in my life struggle with their recovery programs, experience relapse and move through the rehab/sober living experiences that brought them their sponsors and their new found awakenings. I got to see them change through their acceptance of consequential learning (repaying debts and receiving rewards............teachable moments).

So, living amends were all around me and I make them to myself, too, in my efforts to quit smoking, exercise more, attend more meetings, work an honest program and letting go of all that I thought I knew and wanted (this is a lifelong process, not an event). ;)

I have learned a lot from Nar-Anon and NA members who have come to share with us. If I even think of staying home and not attending a meeting, I always reconsider by considering all that I will miss and all the lessons I will not learn....................being willing is the best step of all; it opens the door to a lifetime of learning.

Hope you'll join me in this wonderful program of self-discovery where amends come in different ways that we can only experience IF we are working our own program.

Tako

Tako
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STEP 4 WAS LIKE HOLDING UP A MIRROR

Post by Tako » Thu Jan 17, 2013 3:15 pm

Image

It wasn't until I worked STEP 4 with my sponsor that I really got to take a long hard (i.e., honest) look at myself! I had convinced myself that I was going to be my addict's savior and that I would figure out how to save him from himself...............if he would only listen to me. :evil: I joked about him being born with his fingers in his ears, but the truth of the matter is that defect of character was obviously hereditary because I didn't want to listen to anyone either!!!!

In STEP 4 we talked about justifying our actions (regardless of their consequences) and the sheer arrogance of believing that only I had the answers. These were "life" lessons for me, since I was in such horrific pain and didn't realize that it was self-inflicted. :shock: I cried for my addict and all the damage he had done to himself, but I totally ignored the fact that I, too, had harmed myself in my well-meaning, but ill conceived actions and reactions to addiction.

I am ever grateful for the woman who volunteered to be my sponsor: I consider her a Mother Theresa type person who gave me the opportunity to work an "honest" program with her support.

I am still stubborn, but my fingers have been surgically removed from my ears and now I can hear the messages when I show up to my meetings to hear them.

Tako

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

Post by Nic » Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:46 pm

Thank you for ALL of this. I soaked it up like a sponge. From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU
Nic

"where there is life, there is hope"

"Ruin is the road to transformation"

Tako
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Choice vs. Disease of Addiction

Post by Tako » Sat Feb 02, 2013 2:39 pm

While humans come with brains that permit us to learn and make choices, there is always the issue of how diseases get in the way of our progression (i.e., mental retardation, Alzheimer’s, Disease of Addiction, etc.). When people argue that an addict is just someone who makes bad choices, I would argue that we all make bad choices at one time or another, but they don't necessarily harm us or prevent us from moving forward in our lives.

When I envision a group of people sitting in a circle making a poor choice to play Russian Roulette, I envision the addict being the one who gets the bullet.
"There but for the grace of God, go I."

Tako

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