In this blog you'll find mostly my thoughts and experiences as well as poems in regards to my Al-anon 12-step recovery.
I hope you enjoy. Please feel free to leave me comments.


If someone's drinking, drugging or sobriety is bothering you or if you grew up with drinking or drugs in your home, please find an Al-anon meeting.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Bridging the Gap Recovery Retreat Weekend 2010

Bridging the Gap..... This is a weekend retreat for Alcoholic and Al-Anon women in recovery.

This year marked the 16th, held in the mountains of Prescott Arizona. This same type of retreat, although called different names, is held all over this country as well as Europe. It was started by a small group of Al-Anon women in the first groups of Al-Anon in Texas over 30 yrs ago.
Things like this were not done then. The Wives (and yes at that time they were mostly wives) of recovering alcoholics didn't associate with the women of Alcoholics Anonymous. Marci W of Texas decided, after talking to an alcoholic woman in recovery, it would be a great idea to start a retreat weekend for Al-Anon. While she was at it she decided to invite the recovering alcoholic women to attend as well. That legacy has been passed down and around this country for, as I said, over 30 years.

My sponsorship line descends from that great woman. I can trace my Al-Anon family tree straight back to Marci. She was a member of Al-Anon before there even was anything known as Al-Anon in Texas.

This retreat is a safe place. It allows Al-Anon and AA women to come together and grow in their recovery.

Every time I attend a retreat I learn something new. Some great.. although most times, painful truth about myself is revealed. This weekend was no different.

I haven't wanted to go to most of the retreats I have attended this year. As I have shared with you in past posts, it's been a hard year for me and I have struggled in my recovery.

I packed my bags on Friday and began that long drive up the mountain with my favorite Al-Anon sisters. Lot's of hemming and hawing.. and let's not forget eye rolling.
But I go.. I go because that is what I've been taught to do. I go because I know... I KNOW with every fiber of my being that I NEED to be there.

Let me first start by saying that when I attended this retreat the first time 4 yrs ago... It changed my recovery, because of that it changed my life.

The theme of this years retreat was:
"Lack of power, that was our dilemma. We had to find a power by which we could live, and it had to be a power greater than ourselves" AA big book pg. 45

So what did I learn at this specific retreat?

LOT'S of things... Needless to say, it was a VERY emotional weekend for me. All my thoughts have not yet jelled but I will do my best to capture what is in my mind for you.

At every retreat they tell you in the beginning to listen for your word or phrase of the weekend. Something that you just keep hearing over and over again.

By Friday night I knew what my word was... It was actually two words

Love and God

This retreat is a series of workshops. 3 are done. But you have choices... they run 2 workshops in parallel and you have to choose which ones you want to attend.

The third was the most profound for me.
"Life is not waiting for the storm to pass, but learning to dance in the rain"

Good grief... My life has certainly been a storm from the summer of 2009 until now. The thing is, the storms come and go... and when they are gone... I become the storm.

Meaning, I am the maker of my own misery... my own insanity.
This, as you can imagine, should be simple to fix right? Ha! Well no, it's really not.

The AA speaker, while telling her story shared with us some crucial things she became aware of over the years of recovery from her alcoholism. She said of course that she had been a willing participant, which is true for all of us in this disease...However she went on to say: "With FULL participation, she took the actions she did... BUT... it was without her permission."

Hmm... With full participation...BUT without her permission.
This made sense to me.. You see, we do things...the choices we sometimes make are things we would NEVER permit to happen normally. Yet, there we are, fully participating in our insanity... I would never normally permit the damn storm and here I am participating in the storm.

This leads me to my two words.. Love and God.

Love is present in my life.
All around me... some misplaced and some not. Some returned and some not. Through all of this, where is God? Where is my willingness? I had shut God out.
I've recently invited him back in and I still feel lost. I still feel tormented in my mind. I want things to be different than they are.
I want what I want..... and I want it now!

I have started praying again. The other night I truly surrendered, one more time, to a power greater than myself who I choose to call God.

There is always a 'but' with me...Like everything in life I have to practice or it won't stay. So I turn my will and my life over to the care of God as I understand him and then.. within a minute, an hour or a day later, I take it back... Ah yes.. More insanity... The roller coaster of recovery.

What I heard this weekend was that God comes down and he meets me right where I am, no matter where that is. No matter how far down the hole I have fallen.
For me this is powerful, because there are days where I am in the depths of hell... or at least, I feel like I am.
But God is there. You see, He never, ever turns his back on me.
It's me that turns my back on him.

The late Pat C. said... "God is a gentleman. He waits" He waits for me to invite him in. When I do, he is there, ALWAYS... God shows up.

Although I'm in a better place than I was yesterday... Today, I am nowhere near where I need to be. It seems, sometimes, that I take one step forward and then two steps back.

I have more to write, more to tell you and maybe I'll do that tomorrow.
That's plenty for now...

Love to you all!
Wookies Girl


  1. I don't know why, but this made me cry. It's a good cry. I'm at a point right now where I feel like I can't do anything right. Maybe I don't need to try so hard...

    Thanks for sharing your insight.

  2. Sounds like you're recuperating from your emotional journey. Sounds intriguing.

  3. What a moving, powerful post. Thanks for sharing. I look forward to the next installment. I love you. xxoo