August 22, 2010

August 22: My Teachers: Fear and Anger

(Adapted for personal use from Courage to Change in Al-anon)

My 12-step recovery involves becoming aware of what motivates my choices. I was appalled to discover that fear ruled my life! I seemed to be afraid of everything: I was afraid to simply say, "no," when necessary. Afraid to show anger or hurt or confusion, and afraid of the anger in others. Denying my own anger with clenched teeth and a painted-on smile, I'd say, "Oh no, everything is OK," while thinking, "I'll find a way to give you a piece of my mind." And of course, there were times when all I wanted to do was get even when someone hurt me. Those times were the worst for me, because the power of my anger scared me and even made me feel ashamed.

Many of my program friends used slogans to help them with their fears and their anger. But when my fear overwhelmed me and rage was close behind, and all I could think of was, "Came to believe..." I could not even finish the words in the Second Step, but that one phrase was enough.

So when the telephone rings, and it is my mom calling, and I am sure the worst is going to happen if I answer that call, I can take a deep breath and say to myself, "Came to believe..." Once the words are working my heart to a place of peace, I can pick up the phone. Who knows, I might end up feeling so much lighter because I am going to handle a difficult situation, that once used to baffle me!

Today's Reminder

Before taking any action, I need only remind myself that I am in the care of a Higher Power. Whether the words I say are, "Help!" or "Let go and let god," or "Came to believe," I know that my Higher Power and I can deal with whatever we are facing.

As we allow step Two to work in us, we find step three begins to work as well: "We turn our will and our life over to the care of God as we understand [Them]." That is the beginning of our promises coming true.

"A Higher Power is like a friend who really cares about us and wants to share our problems."

the above is adapted from Courage to Change and Al-anon One Day at a Time


  1. What you call "adapting" is actually plagarism, and you can be sued for it by the publishers.

    PLAGIARISM: the unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one's own original work.

    You are not the author of these writings, and using them to fill your blog, by changing just a few words, and using the word "adapting" is dishonest.

    Either quote them as written, or write something original.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. A heartfelt apology if you feel mislead by my blog.

    I created this blog because the material as written is helping me find recovery in healing a relationship with a parent who has borderline personality disorder.

    (I also did have the hope of being able to refer a few personal friends to this site so they could actually experience WHY joining a recovery group and being part of a discussion of the materials could benefit them.

    Making the IDEAS easy to access was my way of attracting more people to 12-step recovery groups, face to face.

    For me personally, the readings timeless and healing by themselves, and are inspiring a lot of journal writing that is helping me heal even more deeply.

    Sometimes the words don't fit my story and I feel moved to share the particulars that make the reading more meaningful to me.

    From time to time I share my specific story as "Smitty's ESH". Please take a look sometime and see what may come up there. That work is all my own voice and story.

    Today's sharing was adapted to some issues I am having in an online recovery forum and in my relationship with my parent. The section about my mom and upcoming phone calls, is a prayer that I may finally be able to work a step two and three with the anger my mother (a functional dry drunk) presents to me in her phone calls.

    I will consider your thoughts as I continue my recovery work, and as I move past the point of using this particular piece of Al-anon literature.

    My best to you,
    Sincerely, Smitty

  4. Authorship is not what I am claiming at all here. I write elsewhere for publication and hope that it is understood that I am not doing this blog for any author credit, kudos or followers.

    From the start I was aware of the issue of plagiarism and in no way wish to become widely known!

    Thought it was time to get educated. Now, I understand from that "plagiarism can be avoided, however, by citing sources. Simply acknowledging that certain material has been borrowed, and providing your audience with the information necessary to find that source, is usually enough to prevent plagiarism."

    I hope others who have been reading here, have noticed that from the very start of the blog in January of this year, I have regularly inserted the following words at the beginning of each daily reading: Adapted for personal use from Courage to Change in Al-anon.

    My intent was for this site to be used for my personal recovery. But my recovery story is bigger than just these readings, and so... some days you will find me sharing from the challenges of my own journey as a kid of a person with BPD. As it is not my desire to trigger anyone, I have used the Al-anon readings to heal the worst parts of my story, privately.

  5. Smitty, I'm not sure what to make of the comments... someone has you running in circles and I think that is very unfair, here on your own blog. You gave ownership to the original author in the disclaimor at the top... that should be enough.

    I hope you can let the opinion of one person fall away and not cause you discomfort here in your own domain. If you can't say what you want and need to here... what's the point?
    (I removed the explative, but you can read it in if you like)

    I also write "elsewhere" and would not imagine anyone would think my blog was for anything other than my own growth and what I could share with others about my process. I often quote others (also posting the original source so people can look up the information themselves if they feel moved to do so). Quoting your program is a way of sharing, not plagerism... and I'm fairly certain you did not need someone to define the word for you.

    About the post itself... I was equally shocked to discover that fear was the number one thing ruling my life. When I got to the fourth step and started writing out resentments, I was amazed at all the anger I was carrying around. It took a while longer to understand just how those things were driving my life.

    I love the reminder to check in before taking action. This is not a habit for me, yet. I need to work on it on a regular basis and life seems to keep distracting me.

    I need a lot of reminders.

  6. It may be worthwhile looking at the copyright in the front of Courage to Change. I like your personal stories a lot Smitty. Maybe a mixture of your own stories and how the readings from Courage have helped would be useful.


I welcome your thoughts. Keep me honest~