Using the Steps for life on life's terms

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Using the Steps for life on life's terms

Postby Troy M. » Wed Jul 06, 2016 4:34 pm

I love my wife. We are coming up on 28 years married and are having a great time. But...I've always had a problem with dealing with her family. They are loud, relatively crude and I always seem to just be put on edge thinking about them. I spent the first 27 years just staying drunk every time we were around them. My wife changes when she is around her sister. She changes from my sweet and funny girl to a bossy, opinionated nag who feels that she ought to order me around and is very condescending in her tone and attitude with me.

But, I'm newly equipped to deal with the in-laws when they visit. My sister-in-law and her 8 year old daughter arrived yesterday afternoon. I deliberately tried to keep my attitude good in the run-up to them visiting. I smiled and looked pleasant as much as possible. After they arrived, soon my wife and her headed off to shop so I had a few hours to keep getting prepared. We planned pizza for supper, so we had the dough in the bread machine getting ready and I had all of the toppings ready to go when they got home. After they arrived, it started. My wife started in on the controlling talk and aggressive attitude that seems to arrive when her sister is around. It came across as "When are YOU going to make that pizza?" I started to sull up a little but bit my tongue.

Then they decided that they needed to repot a plant that has been sitting on the counter for a month and it had to be done right now. So I headed out the garden shed to look for a pot and some potting soil. 2 seconds after opening the shed door I got stung 3 or 4 times by wasps. Back to the garage for the wasp killer and got that job done, grabbed a pot and some potting soil and by then (all of 2 minutes) the urgent need to repot the plant was gone and they decided to do it tomorrow. I was in a pretty foul mood.

But we started on the pizza. I rolled out the dough, because that is my job on pizza night and got everything ready to go, all while just being pretty pissed off at the world and on edge because of the "atmosphere" in the house with a couple of loud and obnoxious acting women. The pizza dough was not working on the second pizza and I was getting more and more edgy. I was ready to start yelling and throwing things and I realized that I needed to get myself under control.

I left the kitchen and went downstairs and started praying. I was surprised at the words that came out of my mouth. "Lord, what is my role in this?" I'd been thinking to myself that I don't like the way my wife acts when she is around her sister. My HP showed me that what I really didn't like is how I act when her sister is around and that I was the only one who could influence my reaction. I went back up and the pizza turned out great and we had a great time.

I was feeling a little sick from the wasp stings so I went to bed early. This morning, my sister-in-law and I had a really nice visit over coffee before the rest of the house woke up and I shared with her about my experiences in AA and how sobriety was helping my life. She and her husband are "on the wagon" after a domestic issue resulted in her spending 2 days in jail after she whacked her useless husband after he got up in her face (they were both drunk at the time) during an argument. She had many questions about AA and I answered as best as I could, but told her that I could only share what my experience was like and related to her how I had blackouts and finally realized that I was never satisfied with 1 drink and had to have all of them. She did relate to that.

I came away from this experience fully convinced that it was only because of my experience with the steps in AA that I could respond the way I did. The steps gave me a framework to respond to something that was not about drinking, but about living a sober life with other imperfect people. Those steps are powerful.
Last edited by Troy M. on Wed Jul 06, 2016 4:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Using the Steps for life on life's terms

Postby Brock » Wed Jul 06, 2016 4:51 pm

Most wonderful, that story sure shows the power of the program. Where it says 'when agitated we pause, ask for the right thought or action,' this I try to remember all the time. Sometimes like Troy I forget, and instead of just agitated I am pretty pissed off. With time I have found great improvement in my use of this, and can generally pause before I get really upset, thanks for the post and best of luck.
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Re: Using the Steps for life on life's terms

Postby ezdzit247 » Wed Jul 06, 2016 5:22 pm

Thanks for sharing such a great story. Hope you send it in to the Grapevine so a lot more AAers can read it for hope and inspiration.... :D
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...to leave the world a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Re: Using the Steps for life on life's terms

Postby PuppyEars » Wed Jul 06, 2016 5:46 pm

Thanks for sharing this.
I too have to remember not to kick the dog because I tripped over the cat. :lol:
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Re: Using the Steps for life on life's terms

Postby Noels » Thu Jul 07, 2016 8:24 am

Absolutely beautiful share. Thanks Troy :D

Then they decided that they needed to repot a plant that has been sitting on the counter for a month and it had to be done right now. So I headed out the garden shed to look for a pot and some potting soil. 2 seconds after opening the shed door I got stung 3 or 4 times by wasps.

if you take it a little bit further ...... try to remember what your thoughts and your feelings were right before the above happened. :lol: now you know why you got stung :lol:

Nite nite, I'm signing off. Have to go feed my two monsters and busy (trying to) knit a jersey. Hopefully this one will come out and actually LOOK like a jersey - whether it fits or not. My hope right now is just to LOOK like a jersey :lol:

Mwah xxx Noels
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Re: Using the Steps for life on life's terms

Postby clouds » Thu Jul 07, 2016 9:11 am

Troy,

I really relate to your inner journey. So often I have to stop and let go of my old ideas and behaviors, those things I would have done or said in the past. This new way works because I seem to be able to allow some space in which a Power Greater than myself can work. Including that other human beings get to do what they are going to do. If I stay out of it for even a few moments, many times these others learn things they couldn't if I were still running the show like I used to.

I love how it all came round to your being able to share about the AA program for living with your sister in law.
" Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone. The only condition is that he trust in God and clean house." page 98 A.A.
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Re: Using the Steps for life on life's terms

Postby Feeya » Thu Jul 07, 2016 10:11 am

Troy,
Thank you so much for sharing your ESH! It really gives me hope to see how well this experience turned out for you! :)
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Re: Using the Steps for life on life's terms

Postby Mike O » Thu Jul 07, 2016 10:23 am

Thanks so much for sharing your ESH, Troy. It's helped me remain sober today.
8)
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Re: Using the Steps for life on life's terms

Postby Troy M. » Fri Jul 08, 2016 5:29 am

Brock wrote:Most wonderful, that story sure shows the power of the program. Where it says 'when agitated we pause, ask for the right thought or action,' this I try to remember all the time. Sometimes like Troy I forget, and instead of just agitated I am pretty pissed off. With time I have found great improvement in my use of this, and can generally pause before I get really upset, thanks for the post and best of luck.


Thanks Brock! Pausing to ask about what is the next right thing to do is a wonderful approach to life, isn't it?
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Re: Using the Steps for life on life's terms

Postby Troy M. » Fri Jul 08, 2016 5:31 am

ezdzit247 wrote:Thanks for sharing such a great story. Hope you send it in to the Grapevine so a lot more AAers can read it for hope and inspiration.... :D

Thank you ezdzit247! I shared this story at my morning meeting and others seemed to enjoy it.
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Re: Using the Steps for life on life's terms

Postby Troy M. » Fri Jul 08, 2016 5:31 am

PuppyEars wrote:Thanks for sharing this.
I too have to remember not to kick the dog because I tripped over the cat. :lol:

:D thanks for that great mental picture PuppyEars!
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Re: Using the Steps for life on life's terms

Postby Troy M. » Fri Jul 08, 2016 5:32 am

Noels wrote:Absolutely beautiful share. Thanks Troy :D

Then they decided that they needed to repot a plant that has been sitting on the counter for a month and it had to be done right now. So I headed out the garden shed to look for a pot and some potting soil. 2 seconds after opening the shed door I got stung 3 or 4 times by wasps.

if you take it a little bit further ...... try to remember what your thoughts and your feelings were right before the above happened. :lol: now you know why you got stung :lol:


Mwah xxx Noels

That is so spot on Noels!
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Re: Using the Steps for life on life's terms

Postby Troy M. » Fri Jul 08, 2016 5:33 am

Feeya wrote:Troy,
Thank you so much for sharing your ESH! It really gives me hope to see how well this experience turned out for you! :)

Welp, I guess a few wasp stings amongst friends....glad this helped you out. My wife checked out my head and neck later and it turned out to be only 5 stings.
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Re: Using the Steps for life on life's terms

Postby Troy M. » Fri Jul 08, 2016 5:34 am

Mike O wrote:Thanks so much for sharing your ESH, Troy. It's helped me remain sober today.
8)

Thank you Mike O for reminding me that its not always just about me.
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Re: Using the Steps for life on life's terms

Postby Troy M. » Fri Jul 08, 2016 5:41 am

Thank you all for the responses. I've not been too active here on e=aa but I know that we are all in this together. Just a quick update, I'm not sure if we've ever had a nicer visit from my SIL. My niece and I went out for ice cream yesterday morning and had a great time. Nothing like a chattery 8 year old girl to keep me on my toes. We've had several opportunities to talk about the challenges and blessings of sobriety.

I expect we will miss them a little when they go home tomorrow but the quiet will be nice. Heading toward the weekend now, hope you all have a great one! Tomorrow is my 9 month anniversary and tonight I will be helping out as a greeter at a 5:30 meeting.
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