Sunday Open Speaker Brunch

October 30th, 2016 – Sunday Open Speaker Brunch

Doors Open @ Noon – Speaker @ 12:50 pm

We’re happy to have Kelly W. from Lake in the Hills, IL share her experience, strength, and hope with us!

$3 Members / $5 Non-Members / Kids ARE ALWAYS Free! 

Elgin Alano Club – 73 S. Riverside Dr., Elgin, IL

Bring a Dish to Pass and get in for FREE! 

Taming the Beast with 12-steps

I had a long discussion with my sponsee last night. She had expressed that after a recent relapse, she thinks she may never “get” our 12 Step program.  I once was as hopeless and remember that feeling well, so I told her this:

I have a beast inhabiting me. It is a living and breathing entity and this beast wants me dead.

Before I found a 12 Step program I did not know how much I was nurturing this beast.

When I stopped drinking without a program I only had “arrested” this beast. I hand cuffed it and put it in the back seat of my car.

Of course this beast escaped as it is so powerful and knows me so well. It lives inside me after all.

Once I entered a 12 Step program I acquired the skills, tools, and weapons to incarcerate and contain my beast. I built a prison for it to sit in. If I could wipe the beast out completely I would, but I don’t have those tools. Yet.

When my beast starts to speak I silence it by starving it not only of alcohol, but from the negative thoughts that the beast will use to manipulate me into helping it escape from its cell, overtake my life, and then finally end it.

Some days I have compassion for this beast and I find myself indulging it with my negative thoughts. When I catch myself talking to it I take my tools and my higher-power and I get back to work on maintaining its prison.

I “get” this program so well because I know how this beast operates now. I have learned how to arrest and contain it because I followed a program of action, sought out advice from many others in the fellowship who have successfully contained their beasts.

I know not everyone wants to be part of a 12 Step Program. I was that way for many years. That beast was a master at convincing me a program wasn’t for me.

So if you are on the fence about trying a program, think about what your beast wants you to do.

I hope this doesn’t offend anyone, I know from experience the beast can be can tamed. My thoughts are geared toward the people who are in active use or chronically relapsing and are considering AA or other programs.

Treat yourself like a Toddler

“Treat yourself like a toddler” Overheard at the tables last night and it gave me that slow opening ‘ah ha’ moment. Why are we so hard on ourselves in recovery? Often times our #1 resentment or critic is ourselves… Day 5 or day 500. 😕  Would I carry these same thoughts towards Toddler LF?

So I’m going to try something different today, treat myself like a Toddler. Talk about my alcoholic self in the 3rd person, give her a bit better care and understanding…

  • “LF gets cranky when she’s over-tired. We really need to stick to the usual bedtimes.” – Perhaps I should stop the Netflix binges after 8pm…
  • “LF shouldn’t wear those cute boots for work, they will get too tight after a few hours and her feet will hurt” – okay, I will wear something more comfortable, yet fashionable.
  • “LF doesn’t need to eat donuts in the morning, too much sugar – will make her tired and cranky later” – let’s by-pass the coffee shop at the train station this morning.
  • “LF needs some quiet time each day.” – perhaps a little bedtime story is in order tonight.  🙂

The fact for me is, if you’re dealing with a toddler, you have to plan. You have to think ahead about eating, sleeping, proper winter clothes, necessary equipment, a limit on sweets, etc. Because with a toddler, the consequences can be very unpleasant. In the same way, to be good-humored and well-behaved person in recovery, I need to make sure I have my coffee, my cell-phone charger, healthy snack choices, and my eight hours of sleep.  😆

What type of things would you say to your ‘toddler’ self to guide in the right direction for your recovery journey?

Holiday Parties: 5 Tips to Stay Safe and Sober 

  • Be Prepared to Turn Down a Drink – It’s common to be offered a drink at a party, so be prepared to turn one down. An effective way to avoid an awkward line of questioning is to claim an allergy to alcohol. Addicts and alcoholics have an abnormal reaction to alcohol and in this sense we are indeed “allergic” to it!
  • Hold a Non-alcoholic Drink – Keeping a non-alcoholic drink in-hand will ward off potential offers of a drink. People will likely assume anything that isn’t water is alcohol.
  • Use the Buddy System – When attending a party, it helps to buddy up with someone who is available to talk. That individual can also be in attendance or connected by phone. For those with a designated support system – such as a sponsor for those in AA – plan to check in both before and after the event.
  • Reach Out to Others – Support networks are extremely useful during the holidays, so be sure to use them. Reach out to sober friends and supporters, even if you’re not in trouble. It’s important to stay plugged in, especially during this time. The Sober Grid community is a great place to connect with others with similar experiences.
  • Take a Break – Maintaining sobriety is more important than any party. Don’t be afraid to step outside, or even leave if necessary.
  • Travel Smart –  If traveling, plan out support group meetings – AA, NA a local Alano Club or other 12-step fellowships- in advance. You can visit a 12-step fellowship or local district website, or use addiction.com/meeting-finder/ to get information about resources in different areas when traveling.