Shame

Forgiveness, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

Forgiveness, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

“Forgiveness is nothing less than the way we heal the world".

   -- Desmond Tutu, The Book of Forgiveness 

I was a terrible oldest sister.
 
In our dysfunctional family filled with addiction and anger, yet held together in intense love and loyalty, I raged and cried and felt isolated.

Lists...Again, by Susan Beyler

Lists...Again, by Susan Beyler

My mom was a confirmed list-maker.  As I observed her manage the home, I knew this was a helpful tool.

Fast forward – I am a confirmed list-maker.  But, my life is very different than my mother’s and my lists are same and more – much more complexity.

Awareness, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

Awareness, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

Before my mother died she said to me; “I wish you could stop trying to fix yourself!  Why can’t you just be more like me?!”

I have a dining room cupboard filled with dishes and china from relatives who have long since died.  I never fully thought about whose they were because my younger sister remembered it all.
She died six years ago.
 

#NOFILTER, by Stephanie Shockley

#NOFILTER, by Stephanie Shockley

I thought I knew the meaning of love until my first grandchild was born. Grandmothers told me it would be indescribable and even more amazing than having my own children and not until I held my grandson have I felt a joy this intense.

Admitting Our Wrongs, by guest blogger David Saffold

The following is my fifth entry in a series about the 12-step spiritual program of recovery.

Step 5:  “Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.”

Step 5 is found in Chapter 6 (Into Action) page 72 through page 75 of The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.  In step 4 we discovered the deeper causes in our nature that were creating our problems.  Now we need to start the process of healing by telling them to another person.  We have to stop hiding from life and others, we have to finally find the courage to remove our mask and be entirely honest with another person.  The book gives the reason why this is so important on page 73; “More than most people, the alcoholic leads a double life.  They are very much the actor.  To the outer world they present a stage character.  This is the one they want others to see.”  This mask or “stage character” is the lie that is presented to the world and the alcoholic is terrified that the lie will be discovered.  This makes for a life of constant fear and tension which empowers the addictive behavior.

Fully Facing Ourselves, by guest blogger, David Saffold

The following is my fourth entry in a series about the 12-step spiritual program of recovery.

Step 4:  “Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.”
 
Step 4 is found in Chapter 5 (How It Works) page 63, last paragraph, through page 71 of The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.  We are to take a personal inventory in order to “face, and be rid of, the things in ourselves which have been blocking us.  Our addiction is but a symptom.  We had to get down to causes and conditions”.  Searching and fearless means thorough and honest.  We cover our entire life, past and present, leaving nothing out, exhausting everything we can bring to consciousness.  Having set a firm foundation in Step 3, we now have the courage and strength to look within and shine light on the true causes of our problems.  What we discover we write down.  We search through every emotional aspect of our lives, resentments (anger), shame/guilt (I am a bad person/what I did was bad), fear (stress, tension, anxiety, terror) and all of our life situations: relationships (sex/people/institutions), work/career (people and institutions), finances (beliefs and fear around money), spiritual (God/religion), health (physical/mental health problems).  We look at our life events, real and imagined, how and why we were threatened by what we believed was happening, and how our actions and reactions created or contributed to the destructive outcome for ourselves and others.
 

Find a Way, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

Find a Way, by Susan Austin-Crumpton
      “Find A Way”
                --Diane Nyad

My daughter is a hero.  She is a nurse practitioner working with elderly demented patients.  When she was working with an Asian woman who spoke no English and refused to eat, she and the staff were perplexed.  It was clear her patient was not in this reality.  How were they to take care of her physical needs?