Jerusalem AA/NA

The Wailing Wall

The Wailing Wall

After traveling for about 2 weeks and attending only 2 meetings, my husband and I were both ready for another boost to our emotional health. In Jerusalem, the online meeting list included one or two English speaking AA meetings every day and only a few English speaking NA meetings each week.

Wanting to attend a meeting to get spiritually fit and centered, we planned our evening around the 6 PM AA.  At 25 and 29 years of recovery, it is not likely that either of us will drink or use, but that is not all of what recovery offers us. There have been very few weeks in a total of more than half a century of recovery when each of us has not attended one or more meetings. (More on travel to Indonesia and other meeting-less places later. Hint: take a book and have your own.) Continue reading

I am 29 Today

Ongoing Recovery, One More Day

 Today I am 29. Twenty-nine years without a drink or a drug. Since every day alive is a miracle and a gift, I count many thousands of miracles and gifts. They have not all been “good” days, but each has been tolerable. Even if I have “found it necessary to use,” I have not used. One day at a time, for 29 years. Continue reading

Control Freak, Part Two, the Spouse

In part one of this three part series, Control Freak, the Family, we discussed parents attempting to overly control children. Part Two of Control Freak deals with how we may inflict our old issues on other adults, specifically on our spouses. We are all products of everything that has happened to us, how we were treated by parents and others when we were children, and how we have been helped (or not) to grow through both the minor and major traumas of life.

If we were made to feel bad about ourselves as children, often by a critical or overly controlling parent, we may grow up to try to handle the fear of not being good enough, that self-doubt, even self-hatred, by attempts to make our spouses and children, be a certain way. Controlling behavior is an endeavor to quiet some fear and gain a sense of well being, (happiness?) by putting ourselves… well… in control! Continue reading

Control Freak, Part One, the Family

Arrogant, self righteous and disrespectful are the words that come to mind when we watch someone in control mode. A trait that is extremely difficult to deal with, the need to control is born from fear. Fear of not being okay, of what people will think, of self doubt. Old childhood stuff, often unresolved rage at controlling or demeaning parents, can result in a need to dominate. Sadly, the fearful and angry child often becomes a controlling adult and perpetuates the cycle of dysfunction. He (or she) may find a spouse who allows him to “run” the family, dominate the marriage and the children, the money and everything else. If you do what he says, his fear is temporarily assuaged. If you do not bend to his control, he becomes increasingly angry, a consequence of his fear of not being in charge. Continue reading

Trust and be Trusted

Infants in most families learn to trust that Mom, and other adults and older children in their lives, are responsive. Sense of security develops as discomfort is removed, needs are met and life is predictable and safe. Infants who are fed, changed, and loved thrive. Studies done long ago prove that the last ingredient, love, that ill-defined component, is essential for normal development. Simply meeting the physical needs of food and shelter is not enough for infants to grow and mature normally. Failure to gain weight, serious developmental delays and deficits, even death, are the consequences of severe emotional deprivation. Human beings, as well as other animals, need each other and that nebulous element, love. Continue reading