Helping hands in service

Bookmarks – December – The Worst of Times, The Best of Times

Dec 19, 2021

If you feel like you’re in an Instant Pot pressure cooker during the holidays, you are not alone!

Baking cookies, buying presents and sending Christmas cards can be too much for anyone. Throw in active—or even recovering—alcoholism and, well, it can be a recipe for disaster.

As someone with an unhealthy tendency to stress myself, I recently reached for In … All Our Affairs (B-15). The subtitle is “Making Crises Work for You.” The book is broken into four parts: Awareness, Acceptance, Action and Moving On.

For me, just opening the book was recognition that I need self-care during the holidays, which I can choose to be joyful or dreadful.

I went to page 143, Chapter Seven, Taking Care of Ourselves: “The last thing on our minds in the midst of a crisis may be taking extra-good care of ourselves, but it may be our best insurance for coping with whatever may occur.”

It goes on: “Alcoholism is a three-fold disease—spiritual, emotional, and physical—not only for the alcoholic, but also for those of us affected by someone else’s drinking. When our circumstances lead us to ignore our spiritual, emotional, or physical needs, we invite this progressive disease to take over. If we act as if our needs are unimportant, we subtly teach ourselves that we are unimportant. That is why many of us have found that it is crucial to be diligent about taking care of ourselves, especially during stressful periods. No one else can do this for us.”

Just reading that I felt better. It seemed to give me permission to relax, to just breathe.

Much of … All Our Affairs consists of short stories highlighting various aspects each of the four parts of the book. The Taking Care of Ourselves section includes stories such as “Finding Time for Myself,” “Recognizing My Need to Relax” and “Getting My Priorities in Order.”

The stories affirm that “… we deserve health, self-love, and self-respect, no matter what is going on in our lives. This can only make us better able to know and carry out the will of our Higher Power.”

Reading the section helped me “right-size” myself. I looked out the window; it is a cold but blue-sky morning. The cookies can wait. I’m going for a walk! 

Thanks for letting me share,

In grateful service,

Ellen C.

Literature/Forum Coordinator

Panel 61