Don’t React – Episode 242

Do you find yourself reacting without thinking? Does anxiety impel you to action? How can you pause and not react?

A listener wrote in with these questions.

How do I not act (or react) on the first impulsive thought or feeling? How do others sit with uncomfortable feelings? How do I act on God's will not my will? Letting time pass, a month or longer or a week or few days seems impossible when i am so anxious. How do you deal with that??

How also to know God's time as I'm a naturally impulsive person and have always done things fast. Any fear I have makes me say something I regret later or take action too soon, as i don't give myself enough time to write and meditate and breathe.

  • My first thought is about the “Al-Anon pause button”. But then, the question is: “How do I remember to use it?”
  • A couple of helpful slogans:
    • “How important is it?” (Courage to Change, August 15)
    • “First Things First” (How Al-Anon Works, Chapter 9)
  • The thing: It takes practice!
  • My experience with just about any “defect of character”
    • First I become aware of it.
    • Then, I notice it after I do it.
    • After a while, I notice it while I’m doing it.
    • Eventually, I’m able to notice when I’m about to do it.
  • Don’t “kick myself” while I’m trying to learn a new way to be.
  • Awareness, Acceptance, Action!
  • How to “sit with it”. The reading from Courage to Change, January 10 about worry may be helpful.

Our topic for next week is talking to small children about recovery. Please call us at 734-707-8795 or email with your questions or experience, strength and hope. Or just leave a comment right here.
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My Body, My Codependency – Episode 204

The pit of my stomach is churning.
My neck and shoulders are tense.
I don’t have any energy.
My whole body is out of whack.

Do you feel this way? Have you felt like this? Let's take a look at how living with alcoholism or addiction can our bodies and our health.

  • How was my body affected by the alcoholism in my house?
    • Laying awake at night worrying — tired and sleepy all the time.
    • “Knot in my stomach” — From “awfulizing” and “catastrophizing” the future and worrying about the present.
    • Anger and resentment — tension in my body — muscle pain
  • I had no energy for anything other than stewing about my situation.
    • No exercise
    • Poor eating habits (junk food)
    • Weight gain
    • Resulting in even less energy
  • The things I did to try to dull the pain.
    • Eating
    • My own drinking
  • Feedback effects
    • Not taking care of my body leads to loss of energy
    • Leading to depressed feelings.
    • And worry about my health.
    • Without the energy to “fix” it..
    • Leading to more not taking care of my body.
  • How does recovery change things?
  • Letting go
    • When I can “let go and let God”, I can loosen the knot of worry. I can relax the tension of anger and resentment. I can get go bed at a reasonable time, because I’m not sitting up late with worry or anger (or both!)
  • “Take care of myself”
    • Easier to do when I start letting go of taking care of my loved one.
    • Eat “right”.
    • Get some exercise.
    • Getting enough sleep.
  • Breathe
  • Meditate
    • Practice being still
    • Relaxing physical tension
  • HALT — Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired — When I am these things, I am more likely to “act out”. Being aware of the state of my body can help me live a calmer, more serene life.
  • Putting myself (my health, my well-being) first
    • Putting on my own oxygen mask
    • Learning to support rather than control
    • Practicing gratitude and acceptance


From Courage to Change: January 21, July 21, August 16, December 19.

From How Al-Anon Works: Chapter 12, Taking Care of Ourselves.

  • Please call us at 734-707-8795 or email with your questions or experience, strength and hope. Or just leave a comment right here.

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Worry – Episode 119

vultureDo you worry a lot? Is it hard to get your mind off the terrible things that might happen? Or maybe it’s just obsessing on the stuff that is wrong in your life today?

  • Think about a time before program when you were worrying.
    • What were you worrying about?
    • How did worrying affect your life at the time? (Inability to get things done, acid stomach, lack of sleep, etc?)
    • Did you get any resolution of your problem from your worrying?
  • Think about a recent time when you could have worried?
    • Did you worry?
    • How was it different from the time before?
    • How did you use program tools in this situation?
    • Were you able to move out of worrying into some productive resolution?
  • What is worry?
  • How does it differ from preparation?
    • Slogan: “Worry is not preparation”.
    • But also: “Preparation is not worry.”
  • Does “Let Go and Let God” mean we shouldn’t do anything?
  • What slogans and steps help you when you find yourself worrying?
  • What would you say to someone who can’t stop worrying about their loved one who still drinks or drugs?

Upcoming topics include laughter, Al-Anon dreams, and Concepts 6 & 7. Please call us at 734-707-8795 or email with your questions or experience, strength and hope. Or just leave a comment right here.
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worry – a meditation


Worrying doesn't take away tomorrow's troubles. It takes away today's peace.

If worrying was an Olympic sport, I think I'd win gold every time. I often do everything I can in a situation and then when there is literally nothing else I can do, I worry. I start thinking of all the worst case scenarios and it triggers my fears. In all of these worst case scenarios, I end up alone, worthless, and unlovable. I engage in controlling behavior because that's my defense mechanism, and I lose my serenity.

Just writing a general overview of how my mind works required a paragraph. In reality, this process of worrying takes up takes up more than a paragraph in my head. It takes up the space of books, of epic novels. I have found, however, I never lose my serenity, when I worry. I just lose sight of it. I bury it under all these other things because I make them a priority over my serenity. I just put piles and stack of my epic novels of worry on top of my serenity. When I see my serenity like this, I see how easy it is to get it back. I just turn over my worries to my Higher Power. I imagine myself taking each “book of worry” off the stack and putting it in my Higher Power's hands. Then, when there is no more worry, I find that all I am left with is my Higher Power and my serenity.

A meditation for June 23, 2013.

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