January 3, 2017

Blank Pages on Which to Write My Recovery

This year is a book of blank pages on which I will write a record of my experiences and my growth through the daily use of EA ideas. I turned to the Twelve Steps as a last resort because I was living with a problem that was too much for me. I know I can deal with this problem through applying EA principles through my thoughts and actions every day. If I allow myself to be influenced by what the person still suffering from emotional problems says and does, I will make blots and smears on the pages of my year. This I will avoid at all costs. 

I can live my life one day at a time. What if I have  to take it one hour at a time, reminding myself constantly that I only have authority over one life—my own?

Let me realize that nothing can hurt me when I lean on my Higher Power. Please guide my fingers through the most tractable parts of my mind, that are open to change. Each hour and each minute, let me remember to bring every problem to Him, or I know He will show me the way I need to go.

Jan 1, ODAT

January 1, 2017

Courage to Re-Appy Criticism

Dear program friends,  

Since the winter of last year (2015), I've been coming to more fully realize how delicate we all can be, who are in private communication here, even as we seek recovery, and we grow stronger.

I too would tend to say we're safe here, AND we also get to have more, hopefully gentler, insight that helps us in our personal inventory. (But those last us's and we's may only apply to me).

Every time we read the Helpful Concepts in our face-to-face meeting, I am called to ask myself, "Do I live by EA's Concepts everywhere I do my program? 

There is a reason that one of these Concepts reads, "We do not judge, we do not criticize, we do not argue..."

Today I feel how vulnerable I AM to criticism, even when it comes to me within the boundaries of our program.

I'm needing specific insight into how to apply outside criticism, to the inventory we do  in program. Your experience, strength and hope welcomed.

On a growing edge in this newest of years, Smitty

December 31, 2016

When a Program Friend Unloads

I received a tough letter from someone I thought was a long-term friend in my program.   I've rewritten it so that I feel less of a sting. 

"Dear Smitty,  

Thank you for your note of appreciation.

Now I would appreciate that you respect my choice--that you not be in contact with me.

It will be tough for you to understand, perhaps.  But. I do not want endless explanations or for us to engage in run-on circle talk, trying to figure things out.   I've unfortunately come to question your sincerity and stability. I have forgiven you many times for what have seemed recently like digs/back-stabbing to me,  over years,  but no longer. I don't want any apologies, and can no longer accommodate your short-comings.

Perhaps you won't understand.  I wish I had been able to tell this to you much earlier, before things got to feeling so bad at my end.

As you have a hard time understanding the concept of detaching,  I am making double sure you are warned of my boundaries. You have written short notes to me a few times already and I chose not to respond.   Please respect my boundaries by not emailing/contacting me in any form, otherwise I will have to inform those that moderate our list serve.  

I hope you won't need to rebut these words on any public forum  It is, however, your patterning. You cannot just accept a fact without dissecting it to pieces.  

You seem to have head games/jabs/flip-flop antics and are a big chocolate mess. I hope you will learn from this email and grow in ways that are less confusing for folks in recovery."

Yes, I hope to learn how to love myself despite the criticism that comes to me from out in left field. I have things to learn, and teamwork is one of them.  

December 30, 2016

A Clean, Well-Lit Way to Travel

I acknowledge that I am powerless over the ruts in my road that detour me into relapse.  But I am not powerless over my internal “drive” to come back out. 

My program walk is asking me to re-create a quiet well-lit place for recovery—so I  am sending myself compassion. I also send this compassion to others who may find the Emotions Anonymous walk to be healing and self-accepting. 

Please let me know if I can help you with acknowledging  Step One as helpful and true, as we launch into the New Year.  

December 22, 2016

Revisiting Relapse With Kindness

I am using the Reflection for Today from my EA program, to notice notice how I back away from myself and "look for the bad." 
I have, unwittingly, put my Inner Critic in the driver's seat of my life, and this inadvertently led to a relapse last November.
This past month, I kept bringing up the relapse, so as to be fully honest about it. But now I see that is still a way to put the Inner Critic in charge! I have taken the "admission" of Step One to an extreme, which has truly resulted in my being unkind, almost harsh. I have not allowed the truth of the relapse to simply BE. I have been judging myself, instead, by insisting that I NOT forget what happened.
Instead I need to learn to be kind to myself. I need to do this, even as I find myself daily revisiting the location of my relapse each time I drive my car across town.

December 20, 2016

So You Want More Structure to Your Healing

Dear J,

I have learned something today from your humility in asking that members of our list-serve consider new ways of structuring their shares!  Imagine the gentle presentation of a novel idea, that we all embrace either a sharing which focuses on experience, strength and hope, or that speaks about how we work a step!

I can learn from observing how you communicate!  

I wish you the very best in initiating a turn of leaf, on our list serve, that can only serve to benefit others.   I am a long-timer on Loop, who has appreciated the past freedoms afforded by the Loop, to share more spontaneously,  who is slowly learning to model another way of being that is likely to be healthier.

Like you, I am working to create structure. Mine hopes to create a healing space for newcomers that works online. In the end, it may only work for me.  I like its gentler boundaries. I like that it can do  a formal group conscience—Eanon has moderators instead.  They do their best to be fair and even-handed in setting boundaries.  I give them a lot of credit for this, because I am a person who (unfortunately) tests boundaries, even when doing the best program I can do. 

Not everyone likes me, because of that.  That said, I hope to support your efforts in any way I can, and will share posts with you or the Loop as the topics come up. 

I hope that I will continue to interact with you in a way that allows you to grow fully and be what you need to see in your world.

December 17, 2016

I Begin Again

I know so many of the tools by heart, from being a long-timer. And yet, here I am, at a crossroads in my recovery and I know how easy it is for me to be judged for not working a "good-enough" program. Let me today just shed my fear and my own judgment of myself. Let me begin my program again, and not deny myself the hope I would extend to any newcomer that comes in the door.