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.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Factory Reset

Today I went to the annual anniversary celebration for my Al-Anon home group. What's a home group? Well... It's a meeting that you commit to attend weekly, participate in service work at and generally stick around so people get to know you. I highly suggest you get one.. It's a good idea for everyone in recovery. When people get to know you, they notice when you don't show up. They also know, simply by taking one look at you, when something is wrong.

Today was the anniversary of that meeting, as well as the AA and Alateen meetings that are held at the same time at the same location. It's a family recovery thing.
I believe this meeting has been in existence for over ten years. I should know this, but I can't remember the exact date...

At the anniversary they provide dinner. They have 3 speakers: AA, Al-Anon and Alateen and they do an auction as well as a 50/50 raffle. (The auction and 50/50 raise funds to pay for the event the following year.)
We actually won the 50/50.. Awesome!

I want to share what I heard today from the AA and Al-Anon speakers. They always invite a married couple to speak because, it's an example of active family recovery.

The Al-Anon speaker (the husband) said something that caught my attention.

He said that the other day he was in his laundry room, he has one of those nice front loader washers... Anyway, he said he noticed the wash was spinning, going a million miles an hour of course, and as a result the clothes were all pushed to the outside.

In that brief moment of watching the washer, it made him think..."This is how my life was, this is how I lived my life." Spinning a million miles an hour and pushing every feeling, every moment and every person in his life, to the outside.

Now, as an Al-Anon, I can say that I have done this, and still do it...sometimes daily! It's not intentional, I can assure of you that. It happens though.

It's as a result of my selfish and self-centered thinking. I just move forward, doing as I please. Never thinking about who I am pushing away or harming with my actions. I want what I want, when I want it! Either come along for the ride or get the hell out of the way.
Truly this is not a conscious thought, when I look at my actions though, I can see my truth.

For those Al-Anon's that believe you are NOT selfish.. Try reading the Big Book of AA. Where ever it says "Drinking" or "Alcoholic" substitute the words "Controlling" or "Al-Anon" and see if it doesn't apply to you.
I think you'll see it does.

Moving on to the AA speaker. (his wife) I have to say what she said near the end of her story was profound to me... I literally laughed out loud and grabbed for the notebook I keep in my purse. I needed to write it down.

She was talking about her own selfish, self-centered behavior. (A common theme for me lately)

She said that she has a "Factory Reset" in her mind. That she gets up in the morning, prays, goes on about her day, works with other alcoholics, completes her day, prays and sleeps. At some point throughout the night her settings reset and she goes back to her selfish and self-centered self... She wakes up that same old selfish person!

The good news is, she prays first thing again. She asks God for help to stay sober and for freedom from self... and goes on about her day.

This resonated so much with me.

A while back I had realized something similar. I am NOT a naturally happy person. Truly when I wake up each morning, I have a scowl on my face. It isn't my natural state of being to be happy. I have to work at it.
I have to ask God to help me be what he wants me to be. I have to work with my sponsee's. I have to attend meetings and talk to my sponsor regularly.

My spiritual sandpaper is ALWAYS happy. In the past I envied her because I really wanted to be that way. I mentioned this at the time, to my Great Grand-sponsor Corinne. Corinne said: "Some of us are just not built that way. For those of us that aren't, we strive for...moments of happiness."

That worked for me. I didn't have to TRY to be happy all the time. It took the pressure off, that's for sure.

I loved hearing the "factory reset" comment. It's "truth" for me. I'm selfish and self-centered as well as grumpy. Knowing my truth is a blessing, not a curse. If I know my truth, then I can do something about it.

So today, one more time... I'll pray for God's will for me and look for the happy moments. I'll also pray for continued awareness of my truth. I do not wish to do harm to others.

I do not want to be a selfish person. Only God can save me from this...and I know if I take the right actions and continue to be teachable, then I can be better.


  1. I like that "moments of happiness". Naturally happy creep me out anyway ;-)

  2. So much of this hit home for me. As a depression sufferer, moments of happiness are truly godsends. When I'm cranky or grumpy I used to feel guilty. Now I just let people know it isn't personal, I'm just cranky, and we usually end up laughing about it. It's more of an internal struggle than this, of course...but being upfront with myself and the people I care about is the best I can do, really. Thanks for this post.