Tuesday, January 5, 2010

I hate change.

I need to make a change in my life.

When I signed up for a university course in the fall of 2009, I needed to make room in my life for that time allotment. One evening a week to attend class and about 8 to 10 hours a week to do the homework. I work full time, attend meetings, have service responsibilities, have a relationship with a wonderful woman and relationships with my children and friends, sponsor, and sponsee's. So, to get the extra day and half for the class into my life, I had to give stuff up. I went from three meetings a week to two meetings. I gave up time with my spouse. I gave up one service position. I stopped writing in my blog. And for that, I got a really great mark in a class I really enjoyed, and a lot of restlessness, irritability, discontentment, and stressed relationships.

When I was laid off last summer, I returned to school to help start a new career. I had to drop out when I was surprisingly called back to work. I loved the positive environment of the classes I was attending. I did not and do not want to loose it. Yesterday, my sponsor asked me to make up a priority list and the top two are sobriety and my spouse. My classes are down around #6. Someone else I really respect said something similar, in that I need to protect that which is important to my family.

Enchanted Oak recently commented: "Just wanted to say that the solution I found was extensive work with other alcoholics. It keeps me out of myself and also gives me a sense of peace inside." At a meeting I attended in December, after I shared of my restlessness and irritability, an experienced member shared that the only way to RID myself of the emotional discomfort was by working with others. And that takes a big time commitment.

As I write, I feel a deep sadness about being an alcoholic. It is proving difficult to write the words "I am going to give up the class I am scheduled to start tomorrow." so,

My name is Hank and I am an alcoholic. I am in recovery due to the altruistic nature of Alcoholics Anonymous. I stay sober and can gain in serenity by having three important parts in my life:
  1. a relationship with my Higher Power.
  2. an honest evaluation of myself.
  3. working with others.
I shall keep on trudging down this road with you. No one knows where it's going to end up. Not my will, but God's.

Photo Credit: Beedieu


Garnet said...

Oh Hank, those are tough choices you lay out. I struggle with a full schedule constantly. It's hard to say no to something that gives me joy. I wish you success discerning the right path.

An Irish Friend of Bill said...

RID goes with the territory of being out of ones comfort zone. which is what further education puts you in.

I am comfortable being uncomfortable and so being uncomfortable as a result of study does not present any problems to me. Study gives you new skills to be of service to others, so the act of study is an act of self sacrifice for those you help in a new career.
nothing is black and white. there are many ways to skin a cat. so dont think the aa 'party line' is that you have to ditch your plans to better yourself in order to get back into the comfort zone of helping others in aa.
Your WHOLE LIFE can be about service. not just helping alcoholics in meetings.
well thats what i think. My commitments mean i get to fewer meetings, but i dont mind being temporarily less comfortable in order to achieve long term goals. Isnt that what delayed gratification is all about?

Annette said...

Take care of yourself first. Put your own oxygen mask on first. Make sure your own needs are met first, whatever that may look like....then you will be a brilliant beam of light to those you serve.

I like what your Irish Friend said too.

Syd said...

Hank, I knew that you weren't indistinct really. You are distinctive in my mind. I found that for so many years, my studies were a source of solace for me in a world filled with a lot of other unhappiness. I carried on but since being in Al-Anon, I've found that there are many things out there in the world that make me happy. My work and my studies are only one aspect. There is much more as well. Do what makes you feel joy.