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What we CAN do - practical things

Old 11-07-2007, 10:44 AM
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get it, give it, grow in it
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Location: Calif coast
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I appreciate your wisdom oh dear CatsPajamas.
Like you I have made a couple of like-minded Al-anon friends that have been life-savers. I also exercise even when I don't want to because it makes me look and feel great. I have become a good listener...I use to be a good talker..but I learn and connect on a deeper level now that I listen well. I practice acceptance of the way things are. When I argue with reality that is when I feel emotional imbalance.
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Old 11-07-2007, 07:45 PM
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I've learned to check my "list" when I'm feeling down, listless, hopeless, exhausted, angry, etc., rather than leaping right to Life Stinks. Here's the things I do and take, in order to feel good-to-great. If I don't do them, the consequences are my responsibility. If I DO do them and still feel lousy, then I know there's something bigger to address:

--30 minutes of some kind of physical activity every day, even if it's just walking around the block three times slowly with my iPod.
--10 minutes of sunshine or bright light
--A good B-vitamin complex. Stress, alcohol, prescription drugs, they all suck the B's right out of your body, and B's are the things most responsible for making you feel good. You do the math!
--At least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night. I guard that jealously, like a lion guards a kill.
--15 minutes of nothing...just sitting, thinking, writing, all by myself.
--Laughing at least 10 times each day, even if it means putting on a funny audiobook in the car or looking on the joke sites on the web or reading the Onion.
--At least three tall glasses of water, usually lots more
--The right number of calories for my body and my activity level that day...something between 1500 and 2500 on an average day. Any more than that and I feel like [email protected] no matter what other people are doing. Any less, and I start to shiver and get headaches.
--Physical contact with at least one other human being. This can be a hug, a handshake, a kiss, a massage, a haircut, a pedicure, trip to the doctor, whatever. Science shows that people deprived of physical contact with other humans suffer physical symptoms from it.
--I ask myself Martha Beck-type questions while I'm in the shower: What hurts today? What's the painful story I'm telling myself? Can I be sure my painful story is 100% true? What's my heart's desire today? What's one teeny-tiny step I can take toward it? (If anyone wants a cool long-term learning experience, go to the library and get the audio version of Martha Beck's "The Joy Diet: Ten Daily Practices for a Happier Life.....I swear this changed my whole life)

From that position of strength, I can solve almost anything that life, or people, or addiction throws at me. It doesn't make pain or fear go away. It just makes me able to cope with it, feel alright about being alive, and sleep well at night.

I'm writing down everything above me, too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 11-09-2007, 07:26 AM
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Thank you so much for your message. To me, it really shows recovery in action. Instead of waiting for the alcoholic to take care of me "some day soon," and feeling sorry for myself, I learned from the Serenity Prayer to "change the things I can." "Once upon a time long ago" fantasies don't help or work on my personal recovery. Understanding alcoholism or the need to heavily consume alcohol as a powerful, all consuming physical, emotional, and spiritual disease and that drinking is the drinker's first priority wasn't easy for me. But I was mentally going down the tubes and things never got better for me until I started taking care of me and my own needs.

I became a functioning adult instead of a dependent child when I told the alcoholic that I was no longer willing to be left alone day after day without any money (he told me my handwriting was so bad that he didn't want me to write anything in the check book for years). Instead of threatening him, I told him I was keeping my own pay check and that out of that money, I would make the car payment and buy groceries. That action assured me that I would always have access to transportation and there would be food available to me whether or not he came home. Using the slogan, "how important is it," I learned to hire someone to do handyman repairs because something was broken that mattered to me, I did. If it wasn't important to me, I just left it broken.

Recovery feels funny. But what I learned is that I could take care of myself and meet my needs without continuing to hope that my husband would start acting and responding like a husband. And I learned that I could handle most situations quite well or knew where and who to ask for help. I was no longer willing to have my safety jeopardized or willing to go without the basic essentials of life...food, shelter, and clothing.

I also learned more about myself as I thought about myself. I bought toothpaste and shampoo that I liked instead of products that I knew he liked. I started listening to music that I liked when he was home instead of waiting to listen to it when he was gone. I went ahead and fixed meals for myself instead of planning a meal on what he liked. The real truth of the matter was that I started doing things I should have been doing for myself all along and that I had caused so much of my own discomfort and unhappiness by abdictating responsibility for myself. And with each day, I started growing and have remained ever so grateful to Al-Anon and my Higher Power.
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Old 11-09-2007, 11:01 AM
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remember to breathe
 
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I just started taking vitamins A B C D E
I don't just let anyone complain to me about their problems (after they are done I give NO advice in fact I just tell them what I had for breakfast lol)
I am "learning to say no"

I think I would like to start that exercise thing (I'm fat)
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