Post by Susan Peabody on Aug 25, 2022 21:51:27 GMT
To Whom It May Concern:
Acceptance, if you're a mortal being, comes in stages. For me this is the process . . .
Denial: This is not happening to me. Shock: This happened to me. Anger: This is not fair. I do not deserve this. A little self-pity. Acceptance: I am powerless over this. Forgiveness. Forgive them Father for they do not know what they do. Moving on: Today I accept what happened; I forgive those who need forgiving; I create a new life with the help of my Higher Power.
I am kind of stuck in the angry stage right now, but I went out today and found an A.A. Sponsor. She was a perfect fit. Everyone needs to be patient with me. I am not perfect. Only God is perfect, and we all sit in the shadow of perfection.
P.S. We get stuck in the angry stage (our outer child) to protect ourselves from the harsh reality of the circumstances at hand. Acceptance, moving on to the next stage, will fix all this. But move at your own pace. It is not healthy to forgive prematurely before you are ready. I am determined not to stuff or transfer my pain right now. Thanks
Post by Susan Peabody on Aug 25, 2022 21:52:16 GMT
I am soul searching and trying to get in touch with my side of the story . . .
I will admit that I had some strong feelings about how to run meetings in LAA, and I did push this on others after I started the ODAAT meeting and made myself coordinator. I remember a newcomer asking me to change the three-minute shares to two minutes. Rather than have a group conscious I just said, "I do not think this is a good idea, as newcomers need to talk." This person went on to my friend Shirley.
I rationalized unilateral moves in the interest of expediency and my ego. This was my baby and I wanted to incorporate all my ideas that stemmed from resentments that I had from other 12-Step programs. For instance, CoDA kicked me out of a parents' meeting I started because I was a "professional." As a point in history, I started LAA because I was unhappy with SLAA for talking so much about sex (instead of love addiction) at the meetings in the SF Bay Area. SLAA was angry at me for a long time, but I wanted to offer more information about love addiction than SLAA did. For instance, I introduced in LAA the idea, and the literature, about the different types of love addicts that I talk about in my book Addiction to Love. I also introduced the concept of ambivalence.
On the other hand, about a year ago I did start turning decisions over to the group. I started the International Business Meeting and then gave up the chairperson slot to others. The IBM took three hours and people told me they would not go if it was so long and chaotic. So, I took over again for a while and then let go again. Letting go is a process and I am ready to let go. At the same time, the way things went down at the IBM meetings was very stressful. Katya took a vote to make LAA a 12-Step Program. That was voted on at the first business meeting in 2004. It was unnecessary and at the time it seemed like a slap on the face. Now I see it as a good thing to reaffirm our commitment to the Steps and the Traditions. Eventually, I will make peace with everything that has happened. Namaste
Post by Susan Peabody on Aug 25, 2022 21:53:09 GMT
God always opens a window when door slams shut. Two months ago, I want back to my old church. I am a Quaker, also known as the Society of Friends. We believe that men and women are equal. We believe that God is in everyone, and that he loves everyone. We sing and meditate for twenty minutes. When I asked God recently, "Where do I go now?" He said, "Go home." I took this to mean Alcoholics Anonymous and the Quakers. I am getting my serenity back one day at a time.
Post by Susan Peabody on Aug 25, 2022 21:54:23 GMT
Today there was a meeting of the International Business Meeting without me. It was hard not having a voice and everybody that wanted me gone was so pleased with themselves. A friend of mine tried to get them to restore me to the WhatsApp Groups and they ignored her. So be it . . .
The meeting went well. At first, I was annoyed that they were picking apart everything the old IBM had done over the last two years, but perhaps this will reaffirm the good work we did. There is always room for improvement.
One woman, who shall remain anonymous, is trying to get rid of my Adult Children/Parents meetings. I hope they don't kick that out of LAA.
I still feel enmeshed with LAA and want to be involved. I thought if I went to meetings people would get to know the real me. There has been so much gossip. People are telling me to "lay low." So, I am praying about it. It is hard leaving my reputation in the hands of others.
Post by Susan Peabody on Aug 25, 2022 21:55:11 GMT
My mood fluctuates. Today I am feeling hurt and trying hard not to feel sorry for myself. I know this will pass. One of my friends accused me of being addicted to LAA. That would explain why I am in such a painful withdrawal. I have done something in LAA every day for 18 years since I started this message board.
Another friend accused me of being addicted to recovery. She said, "You have no life outside recovery." This may also be true. Since November 7, 1982, I have surrounded myself with recovery work and recovery friends. But I also got married for 12 years and enjoyed that outside experience.
I am venting now. Trying to kill some time. I will check in later.
Post by Susan Peabody on Aug 25, 2022 21:56:01 GMT
One of my spiritual gifts from God is my ability to start each day as a new beginning. So, I have decided to post in the morning when I am always optimistic about the future. Because I am still processing my feelings of rejection by LAA as the day goes on, I often slip back into the pain I feel. It is distressing to me that I still have such a sensitivity to what my inner child sees as rejection. That is not what is going on. LAA has simply "come of age," as is described in the book about the transition of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Eventually, my inner child and I will find new adventures, and this will all be a distant memory.
Post by Susan Peabody on Aug 25, 2022 21:56:54 GMT
I used to take classes from David Richo who wrote, How to be an Adult. His book explains that to be mature one must accept four things about life.
Life includes suffering. Things are always changing. Life is unfair. We are alone.
The condition that we are alone always confused me as we are surrounded by people in our lives. But this experience in LAA has helped me understand this. All of my friends are busy right now and no one has answered my plea for support in terms of taking me out of the house to get a cup of coffee. So, I have been feeling lonely a lot. The good news is all this gives me an opportunity to reach out for God and to get closer to him than I ever have before. So, I decided to stop pestering my friends, and stop feeling rejected, and bask is the "peace of God beyond all understanding."
Post by Susan Peabody on Aug 25, 2022 21:57:54 GMT
Here’s what the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous has to say about acceptance in AA . . .
“And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing, or situation—some fact of my life—unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly that way it is supposed to be at this moment."
I don't know about others, but this really works for me. This morning, I was angry at all the people who pushed me out of LAA, and all my friends who didn't have time to take me out for coffee, and I decided to pray about it. A voice in my head said, "Susan, just accept what is going on in a state of Grace." Then I thought about the serenity prayer, and I asked God for the courage to change what I can . . . myself.
I fell asleep. When I woke up, I was in acceptance mode. It was like magic. I had been released from the burden of resentment which was giving me a migraine. As I write this, I am actually happy and looking at the bright side again. I hope this lasts for a while. My emotions are all over the place today.
Post by Susan Peabody on Aug 25, 2022 21:58:50 GMT
At some point in the last 18 years I must have become addicted to service in LAA, because now I do not know what to do with my time. The message board being part of LAA meant so much to me. I am retired and have no car. All my friends are busy with their lives. I need something to take the place of LAA service but it has not arrived yet so I am depressed today.
My acceptance speech was probably premature, because I am still stuck on why the message board was a violation of the traditions and why did so many people want it gone. It was not perfect, and I was not perfect. But I thought it was valuable nonetheless.
My faith tells me there will soon be a new beginning, but I have to go through withdrawal first. I have only heard from one person and my inner child is hurt.
I wish so much I were not Adult Child, with all these wounds that have not healed. I am tired of being not yet recovered.
I am venting because I believe that writing reduces my stress. I would love to hear from others about how they feel about the message board.
Post by Susan Peabody on Aug 25, 2022 21:59:35 GMT
This episode in my life, and that is all this is, is teaching me a lot about fear-based controlling. It is a coping mechanism common to Adult Children. Instead of moving on, I am fantasizing about having LAA all to myself like I did when no one offered any help. I am fantasizing about getting even. I am fantasizing that someone will rescue me from all these emotions.
At the same time, I am holding tight on to my recovery and moving in and out of acceptance mode. This is much harder than I thought it would be when I decided to let go.
But I am dedicated to reaching my goal of accepting God's will for me today.
I want so badly to be past all this as it is making my physically ill. But grief is a process it and we cannot rush it.
Identify the trauma. Talk about it. Write about it. Feel your feelings without self-medicating. Forgive yourself and others. Let go. Move on.
Right now, I am feeling my feelings rather than stuffing them or transferring them.
Post by Susan Peabody on Aug 25, 2022 22:00:49 GMT
There is one thing I am really pleased about that has happened recently. I hope you don't think this is coming from my ego, but rather it comes from a place of new-found self-esteem. I am thrilled to finally not be bound by the tradition of anonymity. I can now use my last name. Robin Norwood is far superior to me, but Melody Beattie and Pia Mellody are my peers. We came of age togethers along with my friend Susan Anderson. Our books all came out at the same time. In 1989, I sent a copy of Addiction to Love to Hazelden and they sent a rejection letter saying, "We love your book, but we just signed Melody Beattie. So, I went on to find my own publisher. Random House. The rest is history.
I try to be humble when I can, but the truth is I have always devalued my writings because of my low self-esteem, even though I get many letters of gratitude from my readers. It still feels odd for me to see myself as a published author even though that was my childhood dream . . .to write and to help people. My Higher Power has made this dream come true and it can happen to you is you turn your life and will over to the care of God. He has much more in store for you than a romantic partner who is unavailable. He knows what is really going to make you happy. You may be surprised to find out it is a relationship with him and with yourself. This is where true spiritual happiness lies.
Post by Susan Peabody on Aug 25, 2022 22:09:21 GMT
In the last two days, I have been learning lessons from my friends Marian and Vince.
Vince said, these are "self-inflicted wounds." By this he is telling me that my inner child and angry teenager chose to take all this way to personally and that I had not successfully given up my unhealthy habit of soliciting negative attention. Time to outgrow that . . .
Marian reminded me that this was God's will for me and that it would all make sense sometime in the future. That is starting to happen now.
She also said that I had gone from processing the pain of the past to ruminating the past too much. She said I was stuck and needed to forgive myself and others. I agreed.
Finally, she explained to me that God can only be found in the present moment. He cannot be found in the past or the future. So, to be with God (to be whole/holy) I must live in the moment most of the time.
God is filling me with revelations about myself in the guise of my recovery friends. Recovery friends are wonderful.