An Opportunity For Growth

A few years ago my hubby and I were struggling in our recoveries. We were still learning The Concept of Us. As the trauma from his disclosures lessened, I was able to start working on myself. because somewhere along the way, I’d lost my identity. I wanted to be that independent person I once was. Before the addiction wormed its way into our marriage.

I was able to do this self-work with the help of my counselor, S-Anon, and AA.. Doing my Step Four work, (that’s one where you take a moral inventory of yourself) was a catalyst for positive change. The workbook, Blueprint for Progress, is actually from Al-Anon. I know, so many anons, but I did whatever I could to feel whole and worthy again. That workbook kicked my ass. But in a good way. I was motivated to keep making changes and improvement for myself. Here are some examples that the Blueprint for Progress, S-Anon, and AA address coupled with sayings that I like from the program.:

from Google

from Google

From:                                                               To:

Emotional Insobriety                                       Emotional Sobriety

         From AA:   

·      You must love yourself in order to love others

·      Give without needing anything in return

·      Be dependable, not dependent

·      It is better to comfort than be comforted

·      Experience inner peace

·      Be comfortable in your own skin 

Harboring Resentment and Anger                    Forgiving and Joyous

1.            Do I see making a list of resentments as a first step toward rooting them all out?

2.            Once a conflict is over and I have expressed my anger, can I let it go?

3.            Can I offer understanding if involvement in the program occupies a good deal of my partner’s time?

         From AA:

·      Live and Let Live

·      Negativity is my disease asking me to come out and play

·      Just because you’re having a bad day, doesn’t mean you’re having a bad life

·      Sometimes the hardest decision in life is which bridge to cross and which one to burn

·      Resentments take a lot of work. They need to held close, fed, and kept warm. Cause if you don’t take good care of them, they die. And then what good would be resentment be if it died? 

Procrastination                                       Prompt

1.            Do I try to avoid thoughtless delays in actions or decisions because of my laziness or carelessness?

2.            Do I realize that procrastination often leads to justification for missed opportunities?

3.            Am I aware that being late shows disrespect for those waiting for and on me?

         From AA:

·      Today is the tomorrow you worried bout yesterday so live in the now

·      If I have one eye on yesterday and one eye on tomorrow, I’ll be cockeyed today (sure it doesn’t have to do with procrastination but it’s cool)

·      Today is a very important day! It’s the only day you may have!        

Selfish                                                     Generous

1.            Do I make an effort to consider the needs of others as well as my own?

2.            Am I generous with my time in service to others, especially my family members?

3.            Do I know that a humbling experience is never a humiliating one?

         From AA:

·      Are you comparing your insides to someone else’s outsides? Would I rather be right, or would I rather be happy?

·      It takes a powerful man to rule over all with a loud voice. It takes a truly wise man to change one person’s view with a whisper.

·      Humility is a perpetual quietness of heart (from Dr. Bob’s desk plaque)

Self-Pitying                                                      Thoughtful

1.            Have I considered that others may have had as difficult a time in life as I have?

2.            Do I steer clear of getting others to feel sorry for me?

3.            Do I see problems as one of the greatest forces for growth in my life, a real gift from my HP?

         From AA:

·      If God made anything better than this, He kept it for Himself!

·      I may not always know God’s will, but I always know what his will is not

·      If the grass is greener on the other side, it must be because of all the fertilizer they are putting on it

·      Things aren’t necessarily going wrong just because they aren’t going my way

Withdrawn                                              Outgoing

1.            Am I comfortable in my social interactions with others?

2.            Do I realize that others may benefit from experience if I share it?

3.            Do I involve myself in the affairs of the world, my community, and my family?

         From AA:

·      Say what you mean, mean what you say

·      We are not failing as long as we are trying

·      I don’t know how to make it better but I sure know how to make it worse


Depressed                                               Cheerful

1.            Do I avoid blaming others for my unhappiness?

2.            Can I understand why Abraham Lincoln said, “Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be?”

3.            Do I recover quickly (and honestly) from disappointment?

         From AA:

·      By changing attitudes and finding solutions through our program of recovery, we can regain freedom and joy…

·      We must become the change we want to see – Ghandi

 Indifferent                                              Loving, caring

1.            Do I avoid an I-don’t-care attitude about others, realizing that indifference can be more cruel than outright rejection?

2.            Do I try to avoid being overbearing?

3.            Can I accept the love that offer me?

         From AA:

·      Love is less a feeling than a thousand tiny acts of kindness

·      Keep your acceptance level high and your expectation level low

·      There are several paths to the top of the mountain, but the view is still the same

Dishonest                                               Honest

1.            Am I honest about myself with my motives?

2.            Do I avoid rationalizing or justifying my faults?

3.            Can I keep from telling lies, even small ones?

4.            Can I be straightforward with others, letting them know me as I really am?

5.            Am I careful never to be hostile or vicious under the guise of honesty?

From AA:

·      I cannot mend if I bend the truth

·      Take the program seriously, not yourself

·      When you are in fear you should remember to go to your HP and T.R.U.S.T. = Try Really Using Step Three

·      Justification and rationalization leads to masturbation because you’re just screwing yourself.

Just because these are cool: quotes

From AA:

·      The problem with isolation is I’m the only one I get my solutions from

·      When I’m alone and thinking, I’m behind enemy lines

·      Isolation is the dark room I enter to develop my negatives

And finally, keeping in the mindset of Take What You Want and Leave The Rest:

·      This is my opinion. If you don’t agree or like what I have to say, then pray for me because I always want to improve and I always want to get better.

Did any of the questions or quotes resonate with you? Have you had to make an effort towards positive change?