Tagged: Day 4; Total Truth
This topic contains 154 replies, has 93 voices, and was last updated by
August 28, 2015 at 11:06 am #1325Keymaster
Feel free to share any challenges, questions or concerns in this thread.
January 22, 2016 at 6:54 pm #5546Participant
Someone asked what to do if you feel stuck or resistant about journalling on Day 4. I wanted to post my response in case it may help others who have the same question.
To help you move through the program with the greatest potential for success, it is important to journal about what Dave and Jack suggest each day, along with the action steps and how you feel about the action steps. You can also look at the entire chapter to see what content calls to you – or what repels you (as often the answer is in what we push away…) See what feels right to you and what resonates with you. Here are some ideas to consider going deeper in your journal for Day 4:
Day 4 is all about Forgiveness… forgiving others and forgiving ourselves. A lot of times, people get stuck on Day 4 because it can be painful to think of things we are holding on to, the hurt, sadness, guilt and shame, as it is much easier to push these feelings away. And sometimes we push these feelings away so much that it is hard to get to the root and really feel our feelings, because we become a little, or even completely numb. If you are having a hard time getting to the root of your feelings, you can trace your way there by noticing uncomfortable feelings (or zings, as I call them) in your body when you think of certain things. This will often lead you to your pent up feelings that need to be released to move forward. Remember, we want to look for the “Why” under the reason that we feel that we need alcohol to help us get through. And when you can get the “Why” and can release these feelings, forgive others and yourself, you can move forward with much more freedom.
I would challenge you to explore some of the following questions in your journal and see how they make you feel and what comes up for you:
*Is there anything from you past that you are holding on to that still brings you pain?
*Are there any people that you might not have forgiven in your heart of hearts? (and don’t justify things – just tune into your feelings. It might not make sense or maybe you can rationalize things, but try not to do that and just listen to your feelings without judgement, go into them, and accept them). Sometimes we think this has to be a big thing that we are looking to forgive people for, and it doesn’t. It might be something relatively small but something that was meaningful to you.
*Do you feel like anyone has, or is, hindering you in anyway that you feel resentful about?
*And then of course, it is important to consider if you have you forgiven yourself for any mishaps or ways that you could have caused others emotional pain? Really look at this, as hard as it is, so you can release these feelings.
*It can also be helpful to look at the Total Truth Process too. Are there feelings that you are holding on to that you are not expressing to someone in a healthy way? Are you numbing these feelings with alcohol and not expressing your needs or are you exploding in anger?
As lengthy as it might be, it is so helpful to do the Total Truth Process in your journal, for as many people as you need to. This is a great process and is so great at helping us come to a place of forgiveness.
Remember, “Change comes at the edge of your comfort zone”. It is OK to feel uncomfortable when facing these hard feelings, by facing these feelings you no longer have to run from them and hide from them with alcohol.
All the best,
January 28, 2016 at 9:07 am #6062Participant
I’m struggling with the Total Truth Process action step today. Somewhere along the way I picked up the idea that I should do this with myself first. I am struggling to get in touch with any anger, shame, or resentment that I feel towards myself. I have done the process just to keep moving forward, but it has not resonated with me like other days action steps have. I’ll move on to completing the process with others. There are one or two where the anger, shame and resentment is more palpable, but still not generally prevalent. Anyway, I am trying to just do the work today. jeff
January 29, 2016 at 11:17 am #6102Participant
Happy to be living a sober Day number 4! I don’t remember being sober 4 days in a row in past 5 years, so feeling very happy about that 🙂 It is Friday so that is bit of an extra challenge, but I will make it too 🙂 Was bit distracting to see a drink in a drawer in fridge at my lunch break when I was taking some lettuce out… But I took it away and put where hubby’s drinks are. Yesterday I started a new exercise hobby and it felt SO good! I was tired and didn’t want to go, but my daughter was so encouraging that I finally went… and I am so glad I did, it was awesome!!!
February 1, 2016 at 6:29 pm #6515Participant
Day 4 first day no alcohol. I’m committed to 30 days. I’m not sure after that. I don’t feel I have pent up anger.
February 3, 2016 at 8:07 am #6648Participant
Very coincidental quote I heard on the radio from The Archbishop of Arlington, Va today. This is not verbatim: God does not grow tired of us asking for forgiveness, we just grow tired of asking him/her for it.
I feel like when I was in an altered state, that I forgot to ask for forgiveness. When others asked for forgiveness from me, my ears were closed.
Day 4: starting to lose the fog in my head and receive clarity.
August 5, 2017 at 3:07 pm #18661Participant
Keep up stay strong be commited
February 8, 2016 at 4:32 pm #6878Participant
I am struggling with this step. I wish there were more examples. Has anyone else struggled? I made it through the day and feeling good but I feel like this is obviously key to recovery but I am a bit unclear.
February 9, 2016 at 4:45 pm #6925
The Forgiveness Solution, although presented as the solution for Day 4, is really something that will be ongoing. We don’t expect you to fully forgive yourself and anyone in your life you may have hurt on the fourth day of the program. On the other hand, we do expect you to begin the process. In regards to looking at some examples, check out today’s forum. Read through what other people are posting, you never know what may hit home for you. In addition, remember that we all learn and process things differently. I encourage people who are struggling with any solution to approach it differently. If you tried journaling about forgiveness, try writing a letter to someone instead. It puts a slightly different spin on it, which may be useful for you. Try making an art piece about it, or writing a song about forgiveness as a whole. When we approach the same problem through different avenues, we often experience breakthroughs and insights. If you are the type of person who likes to read and gather information, be sure to check out the footnotes section for Day 4. We have a number of great resources, many revolving around forgiveness. Finally, don’t be too hard on yourself. Work through it as best you can and remember you can always revisit the solution when you feel you need to.
February 10, 2016 at 8:01 pm #6989Participant
Day 4… forgiving myself for not seeing excessive alcohol for the problem that it is and has been in my life and for taking so long to see it, acknowledge it and do something about it.
February 19, 2016 at 9:22 pm #7335Participant
On day 4 I’m four days sober. I have half a bottle of vodka sitting in my cabinet. No I’m not tempted to drink it. I’m tempted to throw it against the wall out of frustration. The “Forgiveness Solution” is really making me question whether this book/project/challenge is right for me. Yes, I’m angry. But I haven’t been drinking because of people I’m angry with. I’ve been drinking because I’m angry about my situation. I’m a good person, who has led a mostly productive life. But from a professional perspective, I’ve been screwed over hard on three separate occasions. Not because of anything specific I did. Just because I chose to work in a volatile industry. I think I’ve been very unfortunate. That’s frustrating. It hurts. And being under-employed has led to me drinking way too much. So riddle me this… Who am I supposed to be forgiving?? Why should I be forgiving myself? The only person I owe an apology to is my partner, who’s had to live with a depressed and alcohol dependent boyfriend for many years now. But I don’t hit her. I don’t yell at her. We actually have a very strong relationship. We’re not all melodramatic anecdotes from the book. Some of us haven’t been actively and emotionally hurting ourselves or others (aside from hurting our bodies with booze). We’re just stuck in a really painful rut and we don’t want alcohol to be a part of it anymore. So as far as I’m concerned, Day 4 has been a waste of a chapter.
February 21, 2016 at 4:51 pm #7473Keymaster
Thanks for sharing! First, and really most important, people that struggle with addictive behaviors LOVE one thing. They love looking for reasons why they shouldn’t be doing something, instead of looking for why. Each solution will be different for each person, depending on a variety of factors. Perhaps this solution doesn’t apply to you. Or maybe you are not in a place where you can apply it in a healthy meaningful way. What I can tell you is using it as a reason to quit, or question the whole program, is just another way of escaping. Another way resistance shows up in your life, resisting change. Resisting being the person you really want to be, because it just seems too hard.
And all you need to do is look at one thing to know how true this is. The half bottle of vodka. Why didn’t you throw it? Why didn’t you pour it out? When I have done that in the past it was because I wanted it there. I wasn’t really that committed, no matter what I told myself. But I rationalized it. I said oh, that is real money, I am not going to throw that away. Or, it doesn’t matter, and if I am going to make this work I need to be used to having alcohol around. Or I should save it in case a friend comes over.
But guess what. Every time I told myself that, and the people I coached told me that, it was me or them that ended up drinking it. The reason you want to throw it against the wall is because you don’t want it in your life anymore, but really you do, and with that explains the greatest problem drinking dilemma.
Let me pause for one second. I am going to guess that as you are reading this you are already planning out your response, why what I am saying isn’t true, and focusing on everything that annoys you. If not, great – and go to the next paragraph, but if you are doing that, just take a deep breath and let go for a few minutes as you read the rest. Read this as if everything I wrote is 100% true and not open for debate. You can always read it again with whatever approach you want.
So let’s take a look at your other comment, about not apologizing to yourself. Who is responsible for how they showed up to their spouse (that as you said you own an apology to)? Your employers? The economy not providing you enough work? Who is responsible for how you responded to your challenging work situation by drinking, as you said? Your parents? Who decided after two times being screwed over in a bad profession decided they would return to it again, because maybe this time it will be different? The local job prospects? And who decided the best solution to being under-employed is to drink? Your spouse? The bars and liquor stores around you?
If you embraced Day 1 you know the answer. What would your life look like if instead of putting your energy into drinking after the first time being “screwed over” you put your energy into a new career?
You say you are stuck in a painful rut that you don’t want alcohol to be a part of, yet you are making choices that actively continue to bring alcohol into your life. And alcohol is one thing we know that will keep you stuck.
What if you let you anger fuel your desire to learn a new skill, find a new career path, or even just volunteer for a great cause so maybe you appreciate what you have and the opportunities instead of acting from a place of lack?
If, as you say you owe an apology to your partner, who is responsible if not you? And if it is you, then it is impossible for you not to be holding on to shame and guilt. Honesty can suck. It can be tough, but it is the only way through. This might come across somewhat harsh, but only one alcoholic to another can call out your bs, and do it fairly because we have been there. You are not alone. This is a common response that is used until things really suck, and trust me, you don’t want to wait for that other shoe to drop.
So with all of this you are stuck in what is the typical cycle of addictive behavior, ensuring you stay in it. This program is about getting out of that cycle, because it isn’t easy alone and without the right tools.
You have tried it your way, so what’s the worst case in trying it a new way? Fear and resistance play tricks on our minds. Deceive us and trick us into thinking that for one reason or another the best solution is to just go back to drinking, or just willpower through sobriety for a few days or weeks, as if we will magically become a healthier better person without working at it. It shows up in ways like saying the success stories are “melodramatic anecdotes,” as if you would even have enough information to know or be accurately able to say that. It shows up by blocking out the fact that 2.8 billion people in the world survive on less than 2 dollars a day, and make us believe our problems and challenges are far greater and too hard to overcome, so you might as well just drink. It comes across as rationalizations, like I am not smart enough, there are not enough opportunities, or I can’t afford to go back to school, all so you can say your only choice is to drink.
If you want more in life, more in your career, and more in your relationship, you have your answer. You are here for a reason. You posted this paragraph for a reason. And I am responding to probably my 10th or so forum response only in the first month for a reason. You can push that reason away and go drink that vodka you have been saving, or you can make a clear decision, embrace that you are 100% in control of your destiny, and demonstrate that by pouring the vodka out.
Either way make no excuses. This is your choice and you are at a crossroads.
February 25, 2016 at 12:24 am #7637Participant
Wow, Dave, that was an impressive and thorough response to torontotippler… I’m here to follow through, to log on to the forum of the day, say something, check-in with this community, as I complete my action steps and get ready to go to bed. I’m just getting through Day 4 myself, so I’m no pillar of strength and wisdom, but I feel torontotippler’s pain and frustration. There is still alcohol in my house as well, but I feel no need to drink it, break it or toss it. If I feel weak, it’s all gonna go… I feel very positive since I started last Sunday. Re-booted Day 1, after drinking around the clock, 3+ liters a week, for 2-3 years non-stop. As I wrote yesterday I used my fear of withdrawals as just another excuse. I also believe that tapping needs to be brought in right away with this program. I do it every morning first thing, and again during the day if I feel the slightest regression. It works. I knew about tapping before I heard Jack on the radio talking about the book a couple weeks ago with Danielle Lin. He mentioned tapping as part of the 30 Day Solution, and I knew this was what I was looking for. My best to torontotippler, hang in there, try tapping. I see my doctor in two days for a full physical, blood work and a full confession… best part is I’ll do it with 5 days of sobriety, which I don’t think I’ve ever had in my 52 years… that’s crazy.
February 25, 2016 at 10:08 am #7649Participant
I am on day four with the second day of not drinking. I am really struggling with the not drinking. Maybe i just need to be more positive. Of course I feel guilty for not being more inspiring. I have done the tapping before getting the book and did it this morning. It helps for sure. Maybe I need to do it often .
February 25, 2016 at 3:46 pm #7666
Hang in there Judy!!! I’m on day 4 as well and it’s not easy, however nothing worthwhile is. I live where it is cold and there is a lot of snow this eve so there is nothing better than curling up with a book and a couple glasses of wine. However, the couple of glasses become the bottle and the cycle continues. I have to do my journaling which I find hard, but what is helping me not drink is the 100% commitment. It is non negotiable to drink for 30 days- then I’ll go from there. But we must allow our minds to “Re-boot, otherwise we are not giving ourselves a fair chance. You can do it…we got this! ??
Thank you Dave for your frank comments! Any of us who know the power of dependency know the excuses. Awesome that you take the time to follow the website and forums! ?
February 26, 2016 at 12:52 pm #7711Participant
Thank you so much Sunny16 and all. Huge help.
February 25, 2016 at 5:42 pm #7671Participant
The weekend is starting tomorrow.Ugh. Any tips on staying 100% committed for days 5,6,+7? I will try tapping, but, sigh… Old habits of a weekend warrior, die hard. Forgive the pun.
Really appreciate this day’s forum as it was the hardest so far.
Nice response Dave, it is difficult to confront one’s own circular thinking. Thanks all!
February 25, 2016 at 5:59 pm #7673
You’re very right, weekends are tough, especially early on in sobriety. Tapping is a great strategy to use, as it will help with the cravings. As for other suggestions, I have a few: First and foremost, keep going through the 30-day program. Do each day’s solution first thing in the morning to set yourself up for a successful day. Make sure you follow through by doing the action steps and journaling. Next, come back on here and interact with people on the forum. Offer support to others, because this can be empowering to do. Outside of the actual program content, try scheduling yourself this weekend to avoid boredom. Think of activities (that don’t involve alcohol) and plan your days with these activities. If you’re struggling with this, take a peak at Day 26 and look over the 101 New Activities List for inspiration and/or ideas. Finally, remind yourself that you ARE 100% committed, this leaves no room for negotiation. Best of luck!
February 25, 2016 at 6:06 pm #7674
Weekend will be hard. Just going to take it one day at a time rather than thinking about entire weekend. I will prob journal from today cuz today was a little too much for me to focus on. Also, I’m allowing myself just this week to reward myself w/o guilt…I ate a Klondike bar tonight Hahaha. Going to try to stay busy, and may ask 1 friend I’ve confided in if I may call if I need to talk. Just a few of my ideas…Also, I will again focus on 100% commitment—tell myself drinking just NOT an option. Best wishes!!!?
February 25, 2016 at 6:09 pm #7676
Thank you Chelsie, great specific and practical ideas!
February 25, 2016 at 11:28 pm #7690Participant
I hired a professional organizer to come to my house on Saturday. This is my first shot at “scheduling myself”, and finally bringing some order back into my home. Just trying to make it through the weekend, so I can show up Monday for Day 8.
February 26, 2016 at 6:57 am #7696Participant
A very profound chapter for me. I have buried a lot of resentment for a long time. Feels yucky/good to bring it up again. Crazy, I know. Went to bed feeling lighter as I work on forgiving past “wrongs” that others don’t even think about any more. I have felt this to be a significant step in the right direction for me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m really raw and scared but lighter.
February 26, 2016 at 9:08 am #7704Participant
Another idea to “get through” the weekend. Thinking humor will be helpful ?
Came across this in case folks have Netflix which I just got (I know way behind the times, sigh).
Also, check out Gag You Tube which has lots of funny practical jokes. Generally, good-natured, not mean spirited, so you won’t feel badly for the participant’s in the end.
Finally, here is a free meditation from Jon Kabat Zinn, love his work. He is a psychologist, a semibal leader in the Mindfulness Movement, who has been leading years of work at the Stress Reduction Clinic at UMASS Medical Center.
Check this out – it it only 10 minutes – may be helpful.
February 26, 2016 at 7:11 pm #7722
LOVE Jon Kabat-Zinn- Thanks so much for sharing this!
March 17, 2016 at 2:34 pm #8509Participant
I feel like I need to forgive myself, but don’t really blame any one else for my drinking. It came about as having fun and now i feel I need it to be happy. I feel better about stopping drinking this time. It doesn’t feel quite as miserable as the times I’ve tried to stop on my own. I need to try tapping because today’s st. Patrick’s day and then the weekend.
March 21, 2016 at 11:48 pm #8705Participant
I’m a bit shy, this is all so new to me. Day 4 was hard, especially for forgiving myself. I was hesitant to finish, but I can honestly say, after reading everything…Day 4 is my favorite day so far. Yay.
I’m really excited.
March 23, 2016 at 6:42 pm #8779
Congratulations on persevering and coming out stronger on the other side! Best of luck to you as you continue your journey.
March 23, 2016 at 10:24 pm #8794Participant
Day 4 is by far the toughest day yet. I drink to numb myself to painful emotions, and reviewing all the negative, shameful things brings up a lot of pain. I don’t want to drink, so I did most of todays exercises, but left the letter of forgiveness for tomorrow. I listed all the people I need to forgive, with me at the top. I thought about some of the behaviors, the shameful acts, the losses I have encountered. I also thought about forgiveness and how I know that is key to me staying healthy. My negative self-talk is usually what contributes to me spiraling into a drinking binge-the self-loathing. However, I couldn’t put pen to paper today. I was tired and rushed. I will do it tomorrow morning when I am clear. I was afraid that I wasn’t strong enough today. Mornings are my best time of day, so I will do it tomorrow. For now, I will go to bed- SOBER, reading my affirmation-loving myself.
March 24, 2016 at 4:36 pm #8826
What I’m hearing you say is that you have wonderful boundaries and truly know how to take care of yourself. You knew that this exercise would be difficult, especially without alcohol, so you set yourself up for success to do the rest of the work in the morning. Great decision! How did it go for you?
March 29, 2016 at 11:01 am #8987Participant
I am on Day 5 of Sobriety and Day 2 of Day 4 of the program -doing the 60 Day (would have been day 7 if not for a slip on Day 2). Feeling really good and find this the best potential ever for me. Haven’t posted yet and have some thoughts I want to share but wondering what the process is to create a new topic rather than just replying to the current topic? Off to do some chores on this beautiful spring day on Vancouver Island but will be back later to read todays emails and maybe post some thoughts
April 4, 2016 at 8:46 am #9268
Hi @namaste_23-03, sorry to keep you waiting on your answer. There’s no real protocol for creating a new topic vs. replying to an existing one. We recommend you read through the forum for the day you are currently on, and post responses if you feel inspired to do so. If you have something new you’d like to talk about, creating a new topic would be perfect. So really just explore, connect with others, and have fun!
April 28, 2016 at 4:46 pm #10366Participant
Just finished my day four. I will probably extend it until tomorrow. This day is very powerful for me, more than I expected with the passing of my father 2 months ago and the letter to him. I am hoping this brings about some positive change for me.
April 28, 2016 at 9:15 pm #10390Participant
Wow started off very motivated and feeling great. The hard part just hit me as I love to start with a glass of wine while cooking and I have to say it was hard but I pushed through. I will need to find more about the tapping as the weekend is coming and I will be intertaining with food and wine.
May 22, 2016 at 7:43 am #11393Participant
Wow, well done! I’m sorry for your loss. This is day 4 for me and I’m excited to get this stuff off my chest. Whether I ever share any of it with anyone else, is another matter. But I too can see me picking another person from my past and going through this in the future. Sometimes things come up and I feel like I get smacked in the face with something I’d forgotten about. My big issues are with 2 people in particular. Those I’m dealing with today.
Again, well done. Keep moving forward. Otherwise you may let those things/people keep you from where you’re going. That would not be fair to you.
April 28, 2016 at 9:00 pm #10389Participant
I think positive change is heading your way daisy100.
April 30, 2016 at 9:48 pm #10462Participant
So my problem with Day 4.
I feel great I have made it this far I started not drinking from Day 1, My family and friends would not agree I have a drinking problem, but I know I do. I also cannot remember not drinking for 4 days in a row for 30 years, except when I went on a 5 day Health Retreat and being pregnant. I lead a very normal life so it would be very difficult for others to know that I have this problem.
Today I have listed my list of people I need to forgive and even written some letters. But there is one person who did something wrong to me years ago when I was a child and I cannot put this on paper and I have never told a sole. This person is still very much a part of normal life and to put this on paper I would be frightened who would see it and even the damage it would cause everyone. Is it ok to just forgive in my head. I really dont want to forgive but understand that I have too, in case it is something that is a block in me feeling better.
By the way Day 4 and I can see big improvements already. I am looking forward to making it all the way.
2 more days and it will be the longest break in 30 years apart from my pregnancies.
Yesterday was a test, we went to celebrate a friends new purchase, with this comes having the celebratory drink, I bought non alcoholic wine and soda water and had a good day, but I would be lying to say I didnt want to have a drink for the whole day, because I did. But I drove home and woke up with a clear head.
June 22, 2016 at 3:46 pm #12223Participant
Write it and burn it.
May 9, 2016 at 8:55 am #10909Participant
This is a little bit hard for me on day 4. I have been doing a lot of self developing and of course my last on the list was to quit drinking for good. I know that all the self developing will fall right into place as soon as I give up the drink. So why drink? I feel like I have forgiven all of those who harmed me and I know it was not their intention. So I guess what is left is to forgive myself instead of buring those embarassing momments and moving onward. I also did not realize how lonely I was. I sought and found unavailable friends and partners as a way to fix my childhood.(thank you expensive therapy!) I am ready to find some meaningful connections and to offer all of myself to those relationships.
I forgive myself for not being present for my kids and not in the moment. I forgive myself for gossiping about neighbors and friends so I could feel good about myself. I forgive myself for not appreciating my husband and how hard he works and how he loves me unconditionally. I know I was doing the best with what I had but now I have the tools to do so much good for myself, my family and those who request my help.
I forgive myself for hiding the fact that I drink too much and endangering others. I forgive myself for
thinking negatively and criticizing others. I forgive myself for trying to control everything. I forgive myself for my expectations of others and myself. I forgive myself for assuming and taking things too personally. I forgive myself for not doing my best. I forgive myself for losing patience.
I love myself!
June 22, 2016 at 8:13 am #12210
Thank you for putting in words, clearer and more fully than mine, how to forgive myself.
May 9, 2016 at 6:07 pm #10924Participant
I’m on my 8th day sober and have relied on the book and the steps as a guide and crutch to fall back on in order not to start drinking again. I am on day 4 in the book and program and am not deliberately rushing it or going specifically by day. I want to finish each day in the book properly and I’m feeling a bit disconnected from this step as I feel I’m not fully accepting yet some of the pain and suffering I caused my wife and family. I think I should find it difficult and almost impossible to forgive myself and yet I”m not feeling that at the moment. I should feel terrible about my behavior and what I have been doing or not been doing over the last few years. I have not been physically abusive with anyone but I’ve wasted so much time, money, love, and I know I have said nasty things and not been there for my wife, not been supportive. I feel I should not be able to forgive my self so easily. I should feel the pain, I should be weeping in sorrow because of what I’ve wasted (money, love, time) but I’m not. I feel disconnected as others have posted in some of the previous posts. Should I wait before proceeding to Day 5… I don’t want this to be fake… I want this to be real. I can’t just go through the motions anymore… that’s how I got here in the first place.
June 22, 2016 at 8:19 am #12211
I understand because although I am forgiving myself for what has passed, but I am not forcing false emotions. I want to and intend to try to make the present moments better leading to a better future for me and anyone connected to me. I feel deeply, but am still somewhat emotionally detached. I think it is good because sad emotions are a trigger I am deactivating by trying to work things out or let them go daily. Haven’t arrived, but very, very glad I am not crying but acting. BTW, my husband. Would wonder what was up if I became so emotional! You are not alone in your emotional response.
May 14, 2016 at 3:23 pm #11122Participant
Day 4 solution was very helpful. I didn’t realize the frustration, anger and resentment I had accumulated over the years; and I was drowning all this in alcohol. Tried hard to let go. Hope it helps.
May 15, 2016 at 3:39 pm #11156Participant
The day 4 solution looked like a daunting task. I was scared of it. I did not see how I could possibly accomplish it. But I have promised myself that I was going to engage in each and every action step so, with trepidation, I sat down with my journal. I was shocked at the result. I felt liberate when I finished it. So much so that I decided to post my first “Letter of Forgiveness” with this forum. I hope this is not inappropriate. I just felt the need to share it:
Total Truth Process (letter of forgiveness):
• I’m angry that you treated me so shamefully; that you beat and humiliated me not because you believed that it was good for me but because you could not control your own anger and pain. You used me to hurt yourself because you could not love yourself. I am angry that you took your life when my mother was dependent on you for in-home hospice care – who died three months later bitter, as a result of your action. I hated you because you chose to shoot yourself in the head in the middle of the day at the end of your driveway in front of neighbors and children so that you wouldn’t leave a mess in your house. I threw your ashes in the recycling container one evening when I was drunk. I went for years feeling guilt and shame because of it until, in preparation for our move, I found you in the storage room behind boxes of discarded tile. Apparently I retrieved you before passing out. My brother took your remains to Arlington National cemetery but I could not bring myself to attend.
• You hurt me, frightened me, and demolished my self-esteem. It instilled uncontrollable anger and resentment. It caused me to lash out, be cruel, and embrace vengefulness toward my loved ones, my friends, and total strangers at the slightest provocation. It crippled my ability to interact with understanding and forgiveness where it was warranted. You created a person who, like yourself, is emotionally crippled and self-loathing.
• You created in me fear of you. Each day that I arrived home from school I had an hour or so to feel joy and to be myself. But the time that you arrived home from work has forever been a dark storm cloud in my memories.
• I’m sorry that I came to feel no love for you. I am sorry that I could not move past the hate. I am sorry that I reacted with spite and vulgar disrespect.
• All I ever wanted was to have a parent that made me feel safe and loved. A parent who could guide me into become a strong, confident, caring adult.
• I understand that you had a traumatic childhood yourself. I know that you wrestled with your own guilt and shame otherwise you would have shown me the door when I graduated from high school; your duty done. Rather, you chose to pay my college tuition. I know you lost the mother you worshipped at a very young age. Your father abandoned you and separated you from the sister you loved to be raised by relatives far apart from each other. Like myself, you became who you were as a consequence of your environment. I cannot condone or forget the hurt that you have caused but I do forgive you. It’s time to move on.
Whew, one down, a zillion more to go. Good luck to all.
May 31, 2016 at 12:24 pm #11662Participant
Thanks Brian, that was a very moving letter. My heart goes out to you. I hope you are still working the 30 day solution because you are totally worth it and deserving of a life thriving in sobriety.
Yours in sobriety,
May 31, 2016 at 12:26 pm #11663Participant
I forgive myself.
I am angry that I didn’t parent Mitchell better.
The hurt and pain is like a dagger in my heart
I fear I am responsible for his behavior and contributed to his death
It is true I did ignore danger signs because I didn’t want to confront him about them
I didn’t get to him in time, and I lost him, he died in pain
Can I forgive myself?
I needed him to love and care for me, but also for his self
May 31, 2016 at 4:59 pm #11664Participant
Thank you for the kind response Hunnywest. So far go good. I’m on day 20 with no cave-ins. I was basically chugging a pint every afternoon and hitting the sack at about 7 p.m. I already suffer from a life time of depression so this was not healthy for me and just made the depression worse in the morning. I basically started with a 1/2 gal. of scotch per month (when I was 22) and it grew from there. I’m now 62 and decided I’d like to stick around awhile longer.
I can’t imagine the turmoil your must be in having lost a child. Perhaps it would help if you were more specific about it (not necessarily here but certainly in your journal) and then forgive yourself totally and completely. Yes, you can forgive yourself. Good luck! Brian
June 4, 2016 at 12:20 pm #11798Participant
Today is Day 4 for me. I have a lot of reasons why I drink but have now truly decided to be more committed to the results I want in my life rather than the “reasons”. I have done affirmations before and forgiveness letters to my now deceased parents. I’ve done personal growth seminars, counselling and have read voraciously the books by Louis Hay, Wayne Dyer, Brene Brown and countless others. They have all helped me enormously. The 1 thing that I have never owned up to until now, is my drinking. Everything else, I’ve been able to be brutally honest about. Freeing myself of the immense guilt and shame has been life changing. Im inhaling this book and can’t wait to read a new chapter every day. I’m 100%accountable for my life, my choices and my happiness. Thank you Dave Andrews! You are saving my bacon-or rather, helping me save my own bacon!!!
June 4, 2016 at 4:47 pm #11800Participant
Attended a retirement party last night and all my teacher friends were drinking – that’s how we relieve the stress. Anyway, I brought my own non-alcoholic drinks and I did well. I found it hard though because I didn’t seem to fit in with the drinkers. I kind of missed that. I woke up without a hangover and I know some of my friends must have been feeling pretty rough today. Sleeping well is becoming my new addiction!
June 4, 2016 at 10:29 pm #11808Participant
YIKES. The Day 4 action steps are by far the hardest yet (I know, it’s only been three other days 😉 I realize that each action step will be experienced differently by each person (but it’s still a little shocking to see people who don’t seem to have anything on this one and I am choked up with tears reading the entries of people being so forthright)… for me this one is FULLY LOADED. I’ve had a really hard time doing the process of this step. I 100% see the value and that my block to the action steps shows how important this step truly is for me. – Prior to finding the 30 Day Solution, in fact for the last year and a half or so, I have been planning a bit of a forgiveness ceremony. I am a lifelong journaler. I have my first one, started at the age of 10. My grandmother’s handwriting: “I will love my brother” and my handwriting: “I will TRY to love my brother”. … anyway, as the years progress and the self destructive behavior increases the journals seem to be a tomb of ‘woe is me’ and sadness. I don’t want this ‘left behind’ when I go… so I decided to burn them, with reverence. Then I realized that so much of the person in the journals is not who I am any longer and that I want to let it go, to make room for better energy and a ‘new me’. I should note that I am approaching 50 and definitely feel a new phase of life coming on (not just menopause 😉 So… I realized along the way that what I really need to do is FORGIVE myself, forgive the girl who made all those ‘bad choices’. So you can see why this step is super powerful for me.
For tonight I feel a bit stuck (writing this helped). I have started the list of people. I see that this is an ongoing process and crucial…
June 6, 2016 at 10:59 pm #11867Participant
Day 4 solution and day 5 sober. What a great feeling. Then blast it I am asked to revisit hell! I did the work but really didn’t have a break through moment yet. I think I am feeling too raw as one of my parents just passed away. I will keep working on this step as I did do the work but I just do not want to get too overwhelmed with emotions. I have been in that state for a couple of months now and waking up feeling great is such a new way to just be I just don’t want to derail my sobriety. Any comments would be helpful. I do want to engage in all the day solutions 100% so if you think I am being too hesitant let me know.
June 22, 2016 at 8:37 am #12213
Actions are also a deep form of involvement. I am thankful that I am getting through my solutions, so far, with authenticity but not with a strong emotional response. I feel grounded. If I get to a point when those deep emotions hit, then I will allow myself to experience them. I feel focused and appreciate moving forward in a positive way. Stay true, don’t feel like you are not progressing if there is no breakthrough moment. I didn’t have one either.
June 9, 2016 at 8:53 am #11931Participant
I’ve been working on this for years. I am fortunate that I don’t have anger or resentment for my parents or siblings. My parents were good role models, salt of the earth people. Most of my anger and resentment is directed at myself, for my failures to make better decisions for myself. I have used the “Loving What Is” by Byron Katie for several years for dealing with negative thoughts toward others and found it useful. I will be working on forgiving myself …. the work Day 4 outlines is very clear and helpful. I am also finding the Forum feedback from others very inspiring and giving me what I need – I’m not by myself here!
June 22, 2016 at 7:49 am #12209Participant
I am loving this program. I have not done the complete day four yet. I think the one I do need to forgive the most is me. To forgive myself for all the years of my precious life that I wasted drunk/blackout or hungover and the sometimes not so nice things I did in that state.
June 22, 2016 at 3:51 pm #12224Participant
That’s how I feel too. Mostly upset I allowed myself to waste so much time and life on alcohol. I know why I did… I copied what I saw and that’s how my family coped. But now I get to choose for myself, and I forgive myself for not knowing better.
June 23, 2016 at 6:22 pm #12240Participant
Day 4 for me. I’m so glad I found this program. I’ve tried to quit drinking many times with many failures. I really like how positive this group is and I’m most grateful. I put a lot of thought tonight into forgiving myself. It seems like something I can do but loving myself? That’s a far step for me. I don’t know if I’ve ever looked in the mirror and thought or felt love for the person looking back. I know that’s one of the holes I’ve been filling for years with alcohol. Not sure where to begin there but today’s activity is a start. Best to all of you!
July 14, 2016 at 7:53 pm #12624Participant
I am on Day 4 and found the process of forgiving my past self pretty powerful. I was taken back when I said to my prior self “I forgive you” and felt the old me say “thank you, I have been waiting so long to hear that”. Sounds strange but It was unsettling-in a wonderful way. I really believe now this is the only way to get better- to really look inside myself. I never wanted to do that- due to the shame and guilt. I feel like I need to spend a bit more time on forgiving others and understanding them but willing to keep working at it. Overall, I have been to AA-left after first meeting and lied my way through the meeting, quit for 5 months but always felt like it was temporary. This feels different and the urge to drink isn’t there because I really look forward to doing the work and reading and feeling better each day. Hope everyone gets to Day 5 safe and sound.
July 14, 2016 at 8:00 pm #12625
Hi yankees16! I’m glad Day 4, The Forgiveness Solution was so powerful for you. Please keep posting, it can really help to share, I know it did/does me! I friended you on your profile. Keep up the good work! Sina
July 14, 2016 at 9:07 pm #12629Participant
Total Truth Process (letter of forgiveness):
1. Acknowledge my anger
• I’m angry at myself for being so naive and trusting that I allowed people to walk over me. I gave away my ideas, my heart, my trust, and my belief in the decent honesty and loyalty of other’s, yet my confidence and self esteem were compromised in the process.
2. Acknowledge my hurt and pain
• I allowed several key people in my life to hurt me and diminish my self-esteem. It created an unforgiving heart in me and years of self loathing. How could I forgive them, when I could not even forgive myself. As a consequence, I went on with years of resentment carrying the weight of my shame for allowing others’ to get close enough to me and cause me pain. I also resented the fact that everyone else just seamlessly moved on with their lives, yet I was still carrying around a lot of hurt and pain, and feeling like damaged goods.
3. Acknowledge the fear and doubt it created
• I feel like I fear everything and it s unsettling. My fear is crippling. It has caused me to sabotage relationship after relationship, even with my own family. I feel like a failure and even though I put on a brave face and exude confidence, I am crippled with hurt and pain and fear inside.
4. Take ownership of my role and enabling it to continue
• I’m sorry that I have allowed my pain to manifest all areas of my life for so long. I spent my best years living a slow death instead of forgiving people, and moving on with my life. I felt like the only real friend I had was my bottle of wine. Wine didn’t hurt me, hit me, back bite me, envy me, shame me, lie to me, change my perception of my ‘perfect life’, but in essence, wine really did…did all of these things and much more.
5. Express what I did or didn’t get
• All I ever wanted was to have this perfect life; family, kids, house in the suburbs, white picket fence, double incomes, exotic vacations… – but the irony was that what I was seeking, was never attainable because it doesn’t exist. There is no perfect life. There is life, with good and bad days. Hoping I would get more good days than bad days and knowing that I have some control over them.
6. Understand where the other person is coming from and forgive. Attempt to understand.
• I understand now that hurt is a vicious cycle. Probably why it is so important to forgive. Hurting people, hurt people. Some hurt me, and I hurt some, and then I hurt.
I’m done! I’ve cried the last time over this. It is now time for me to forgive myself, so I can free myself. My burdens are just to heavy for me to continue carrying. I need to forgive myself so I can forgive others.
July 15, 2016 at 12:14 pm #12636
Reading your forgiveness to self letter causes me to reflect that we often frame uncomfortable feelings in ways that deflect the focus of our intent from ourselves.
Stating in essence that “I’m sorry that I allowed you ” is not strictly speaking, forgiveness to self for Actions You Committed.
I would urge you to pick one of the people whose actions so angered, hurt and created fear in you, and direct a forgiveness letter to them, utilizing the Total Truth Process.
For me personally, this led to an unexpected breakthrough that, painful as it was, has changed the way I think about that person and myself.
I hope you will take this sentiment in a positive way. I certainly don’t have the ultimate answers, and I offer my observation as a way of reaching out to a fellow traveler. Feedback? Sina
July 15, 2016 at 6:32 pm #12638Participant
Hi Sina. Thank you for your advice. I have addressed the few people that I need to forgive but felt it too personal to post. I have carried that around far too long so I have released them and am looking forward. This is my 5th day of sobriety and I know that if I can make it through the weekend, I’ll be alright. Still have not had an urge nor desire to drink. When I make up my mind to do something, it will be done and I am done drinking but I will continue with the program because it is helping me in a lot of other areas in my life. I am sleeping much better but a little tired. My BP may be dropping too low now that I’m not drinking. I check it daily and it is little low for me. Will make dr appt next week.
July 15, 2016 at 6:59 pm #12639
Thanks for responding to my post in the spirit in which it was intended. You sound very determined and sure of your path! That’s an enviable trait. Not sure if I had informed you about another resource I like, so I will leave a pm for you on your profile about it. Keep up the great work, sounds like you’re a freight train building up stream! 🙂 Sina
August 13, 2016 at 8:56 am #13064Participant
I wrote down the peoples names i wanted to deal with, and I am starting with myself. I wrote about 20 items that I answered from the book. Now that I am finished I feel dirty, ashamed a little, good, I feel like I am ratting on myself a little. I have written a letter, and a I love you sign in the bathroom to myself like they mentioned to do. I have not had any, ANY, love in my life in the last 15 years. Just drunkenness and isolation, so it is kind of nice to have that little heart in the bathroom. Just to have a very small feeling of love is something. I guess I have to learn,and accept to love myself now. I am all I have.
August 13, 2016 at 2:15 pm #13070
Gd260, I day 4 is a very tough day. I’m in your corner and wishing you many bright tomorrows. Keep posting here. You are not alone ! Onward! Sina
August 17, 2016 at 9:06 pm #13145Participant
Trying the forum for the first time on day 4….I’m not sure the forgiveness step(s) have been as powerful for me – YET! I’ve only done myself which was reassuring in that I will be moving forward from stupid mistakes of the past. However, I do believe as I make my way through my list of other people to forgive this could be a chapter where I have some rough times ahead….more to come!
August 22, 2016 at 11:13 pm #13210Participant
I get that completely! If your like me it comes from stuffing feelings so long! This chapter will take me some time also to really get what’s needed out of it. Just going to keep on going and come back to this a few minutes every day.
August 22, 2016 at 3:42 pm #13208Participant
I’m having a tough time with forgiveness because I’ve hated a lot of people over the years as well as myself. I will give it my best shot and try to think of the following:
“Simplicity, patience, compassion.
These three are your greatest treasures.
Simple in actions and thoughts, you return to the source of being.
Patient with both friends and enemies,
you accord with the way things are.
Compassionate toward yourself,
you reconcile all beings in the world.”
― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
September 2, 2016 at 8:24 pm #13495Participant
Why is there no where on this site or in the 4th Day e-mail that has the 6 questions in the Total Truth Process? I don’t want to go back through the CD of the book and find them. Up to this point every e-mail has had all the information I needed to complete the Action Steps for that Day. What happened to the music and the step by step help to complete the Action Step. Why is this so hard? HELP!
September 4, 2016 at 5:43 am #13519Participant
hi all. this forgiveness thing is really interesting to think about. I’m not sure if it’s just me, or what, but all that keeps coming to mind is to forgive myself. (which I just did in my journal)
when I try to muster up some deep down angst or resentment towards someone else, it comes up pretty dry.
but, i’m committed to this process, so I’m gonna share the only other thing I can think of, hopefully it’s helpful to others as well:
mom, dad, I’m resentful of the environment I was raised in. I wished that someone would have explained to me the dangers of drinking on a regular basis. the slippery slope that it could become and the physical addiction that could accompany it. why in the world didn’t you tell me that the ‘hair of the dog’ was a terrible idea? not knowing the power of alcohol caused me years of pain, self-doubt and shame. but, I forgive you. I know that you had your own demons to battle, I know that you never would have thought that your ‘good-kid’ could have fell victim to this. I know you always wanted the best for me. I appreciate that you were always there for me. And, I know that this process, my upbringing, and everything about it has made me stronger, and who I am today. Thank you for being incredible parents despite incredible challenges. I love you both, and I love myself. 🙂
September 9, 2016 at 3:07 pm #13619Participant
I hate this exercise – and it is probably the most important, though difficult, one for me. There are so many people in my past that I am angry with that I don’t know how I’d ever get through the list. I’ve spent my life feeling slighted, victimized, you name it – I’m a career victim. And I hate that about myself. Simply doing this 1 exercise within the 30 Day sobriety context isn’t going to get me far.
I did start today with my husband’s grown son from another marriage with whom I’ve always had a strained relationship. I went through all the steps but not really sure if I forgive him. I feel I may reach the same equivocal result with everyone else on my list – the anger is long-standing and ingrained; not as easy as writing a quick “I forgive you” letter. I certainly realize that this is MY problem – all this pent up anger and resentment – and I’ve tried to purge it in the past but it keeps coming back. Probably all started with the way my father mistreated me as a child and how he was mean and disrespectful to almost everyone around him – nice role model. Obviously, I’ve got to try to forgive him first (he’s been gone for 16 years and I thought I’d forgiven him already). Do I really need to go through the whole list – I mean there are a lot! Are there any additional resources out there for specifically dealing with these anger issues?
September 9, 2016 at 3:47 pm #13620
I’d say start with yourself . That’s what a lot of folks have done. Some have posted their Total Truth Process letters. The ones who followed the instructions actually use the same phrases under each of the 6 steps. Then move forward with the book . Rome wasn’t built in a day . Best to accentuate the positive the program offers IMO. Sina
September 11, 2016 at 5:27 pm #13651Participant
This is my first post. I am struggling with Day 4. I think I only have two people in the past that I have not forgiven, and I don’t want to forgive. I don’t dwell on the past anymore, although I did for a long time. I just want to move forward being responsible for my own feelings. I don’t think it is hurting me to not forgive these two people and it certainly does not hurt them, one is dead and the other I am sure does give me any thought at all, so is it necessary for me to forgive them? Am I fooling myself? I can accept they had their own reasons for their actions and did not purposefully hurt me, they were just selfish. I just can’t bring myself to feel forgiveness. this exercise is making me feel bad about myself because I don’t want to forgive. Any thoughts that may help? Thanks for listening. Liza
September 11, 2016 at 6:10 pm #13655
HI Liza! Absolutely don’t waste one more minute in forgiving those folks! Probably what most people find helpful,IMO only, is writing a Forgiveness for oneself, using the 6 starter phrases of the Total Truth Process , pg 89. Write a few sentences for each of the subtitles, such as “I’m angry that”, etc, speaking to yourself….You’re done with Forgiveness Solution, period. Move forward! This program is ongoing, we are all works in progress! Let me know you got this kiddo! Sina
September 11, 2016 at 8:39 pm #13656Participant
Hi Sina. Thank you very much for your response. I will take your suggestion and move forward with the program.😀 Liza
September 14, 2016 at 5:38 am #13691
I’m just working on day 4 (12 days sober) and it is tough forgiving myself more than anyone else.
I’ve had this super disturbing dream where I’m lost on buses and subways and slowly I lose all my stuff, my purse, my phone, everything. Everyone on the bus looks homeless, they are so kind trying to help me and then they break out into the most beautiful song I’ve ever heard. The bus driver tells me he is taking me to a place that will help me…
WTF! It’s so vivid, is this a message? I’m bouncing between being afraid and being found.
September 14, 2016 at 8:58 pm #13707Participant
That is very interesting, islandgirl! Well, things are changing in you. We are breaking away all the unnecessary stuff and getting to the core so you really are losing stuff. But you are on your way to a better place. It sounds like the path you are on actually and it’s headed in the right direction.
September 14, 2016 at 9:36 pm #13708
Thanks rivieragirl. I’m unable to let the dream go. I think it’s a sign, perhaps to help others, or maybe of what my life will be life if I don’t change. I felt it came from a higher place and it’s definitely powerful. Maybe I’m just lost.
The really neat thing was that I walked my dog in a different area today and looked up to see the Volunteer Society, so I went in and got an application to complete!
How are you feeling today?
September 20, 2016 at 7:37 pm #13806Participant
This is my second time around doing the program. I am now doing it again for 60 days and it is making a huge difference. First time around, I was very conscientious about doing the readings and writings but time wise, I felt like I rushed thru some of them; not getting the most that I could out of either the readings or the solutions. Even then, the day 4 readings/solutions hit a chord with me. It was the first action step that I felt I was resisting. I’m facing it head on this time around. I know that I need to write one of those letters to my husband, to whom I have incredible anger and resentment towards. But I did it, as suggested , to myself, this time. I found it extremely therapeutic. As I followed the script in the book, I discovered I held a lot of anger and resentment towards myself for always putting everybody else’s needs before my own. I hated that I was not more opinionated and forthright in communicating my wants and desires, believing that my thoughts, opinions, and feelings didn’t matter. And I hid behind those feelings of not being good enough by drinking. I felt bad that I abused my body that way as I always was someone who prided myself on exercising and watching my diet. I was so angry at my husband for traveling for months on end, and then coming home only for a few weeks, and seem to criticize many of my decisions that I made while he was gone, and then he’d leave again. And I was afraid that my family would be upset with me if I left, and I was afraid for myself as well. And so I drank.Thinking not doing anything was going to be the best thing for us all. (Yes, really). Im sorry I let it go on for so long but I always did it with the best intentions. Again, because it was the best for everybody else, and thats what Im good at. Putting everybody else’s wants and desires before mine. But I appreciate that I did it for such an altruistic reason. I’m really thankful that at least I was trying to be a good person. And I love myself and forgive myself for that.
September 20, 2016 at 8:14 pm #13807
I am also doing the 60 day program, there is a lot to absorb!
Day 4 is a hard day, but I agree with you that forgiving yourself and looking forward is the best thing you can do. I had to have a heart to heart talk with my husband to make sure he understood that things like suggesting we get a bottle of wine, or even drinking in front of me is too hard for me to deal with. He drinks a lot too and it’s now in board with my plan, and really only drinks if I’m not around.
I know he feels better not drinking now but he’s not ready to go totally sober yet. I hope it will come in time.
Sorry, I didn’t mean to ramble on so long! It’s just so nice to share a few things along the way.
All the best, islandgirl
September 20, 2016 at 8:28 pm #13808Participant
Thanks for taking the time to read my posting and for your input. I’m envious of you that you can actually have a conversation about what you need from your husband to be successful with this program. I haven’t even brought it up with mine because he had no idea of the extent of my problem as he travels so much. He would just want to ‘fix it ‘using his own standards and what would work for him. I know he is the next person I have to forgive. But for once, I’m first! I’m forgiving me first and then him! How’s that? And now we are equal in our ramblings!😉
September 22, 2016 at 11:04 am #13849
@hopingforsuccess — I love your rambling too! Every situation is different – my husband also has tried many times to stop drinking so it’s very easy for us to talk about this. In some ways it’s good but there are other problems that go with that too. Just keep focusing on yourself and I think when the time is ready to share you will be able to do it. Sometimes I leave little reminders around, like some of my notes or the 30 Day book. I hope it will open the door to more discussion. I’m always happy to chat so don’t be shy 🙂
November 8, 2016 at 10:57 am #14969
For part 4 of the total truth process I would assume no responsibility in situations where you were abused as a child? I don’t believe I hold resentment but in the book is says to put parents on the list. I am doing my co-worker for the 1st one and I just feel myself getting more bitter. I do twant to execute this action plan but I guess I’m having difficulty with the steps. I acknowledge my wrong doings in this situation but also feel this person is not In reality and will continue to do things that upset me. I am fortunate to see this person 5 times a week haha. 60 day plan 7 days 0 substances 🙂
November 8, 2016 at 11:44 am #14970
I finished my 1st one. I actually do feel a bit better. From reading the forums I see that this is NOT an immediate cure for resentment but it’s a step. Acknowledging my role in the conflict did help lessen my bitterness because it gave me perspective. I wonder about the situations though for others when they are not at fault and the person who harmed them was just irrational, that would be hard to forgive. I hope those people can find a way to forgive and share here how they did it. Thanks.
November 17, 2016 at 6:27 pm #15075Participant
“Day 4” was a disappointment, considering I’m about to head into the weekend, which will be a difficult time. I didn’t have any traumatic experiences in childhood, although I feel for those who did. I’ve been deceived and taken advantage of by people in the past, but no more than anyone else. And I’m sure those who took advantage of me couldn’t care less whether I forgave them for it or not. Maybe I’m an odd case here, but I didn’t start drinking for any of these reasons. I was sober for three years a while back, and frankly, didn’t feel any better, although I saved some money and I’m sure it was a lot easier on my liver. As far as telling the mirror that I love myself…well, that’s just not going to keep me from having a drink. In fact, I’d probably have to have a few to be able to do that.
I hope this book picks up pretty quickly and starts dealing with the here and now of someone trying to stop drinking.
November 17, 2016 at 10:51 pm #15078
Haha I hear ya on the love thing. I’ve been doing it though. For me I have shutdown the scoffing and reasoning for skipping action plans in this book. I figure I have done AA, Treatment, Jail and have not been a fan of those. I know I have an issue that just doesn’t seem to die off. So I will give this book a full effort no matter how damn silly it seems. I’m on day 13 and the EFT will probably seem very silly to you as it did for me. Somethings will work they said and somethings you will not keep for your “tool belt”. Hope you can make it through the weekend 🙂 but understand the battle.
February 12, 2017 at 10:33 pm #16343
I’m really happy I found this program. Kind of stuck on Day 4, I’m now Day 6 sober. So many things in chapter 4 connected with me. I’m 61 years old and alcohol has been a part of my life since high school.
I’ve been dealing with/treated for depression since I was 30, and looking back, I can’t tell which came first, the alcohol use/abuse or the depression. I’ve read so many self-help books trying to figure myself out. I’m writing this because I feel I need to get it out in order to move on to Day 5. I’m one of those who live with a ball and chain tied to me, It’s been there ever since I can remember, but I haven’t been able to put a finger on it until recently. Somehow, I’ve managed to have a successful career, 6 figure income, married for 38 years, 2 grown healthy adult children, and 2 grandchildren. And yet with all that,
I was so much like Dave’s friend Bryan in chapter 4. During those years, I used alcohol to numb out just about everything, as well as to celebrate everything. My career field is very stressful, and has become increasingly stressful through the years. In 2013, in spite of everything I had, I just wanted to put a bullet through my head. I hated work and it was occupying my entire life. It seemed all I did was work to pay the bills at a job I hated, and I had nothing left. Needless to say, I did come home every night and numbed it out with anywhere from 3 to 7 drinks. It didn’t help that 3 of my colleagues had committed suicide already, two I worked with side by side. Strange as it seems, I wasn’t thinking this out of despair. In my suicidal state, it made perfect sense. I wouldn’t have to work anymore, and with all of my life insurance, 401K, and pension, my family would be millionaires and be well taken care of. Well, I resigned my manager position and took 2 months medical leave. Used my EAP benefits for counseling, and went back to work in a different capacity with a lot less stress. Was sober during that period and for a while, but gradually came back to the 3-5 drinks every night. I am the definition of a high functioning alcohol abuser. I realized that ball and chain were still there, and as I had expected all along, it was the ball and chain of guilt and shame. For some reason, I felt inferior, flawed, not worthy and yet I can’t figure out why. I had great parents, nothing traumatic that I can remember. Now it’s all coming together. I have lived my life trying to prove myself to everyone else, doing what everyone else expected of me (or what I thought they expected), trying to get over the shame (from wherever it was coming from).
I wasn’t doing what I wanted to do, and didn’t have the tools to express what I really wanted. And at the end of the day, I felt everyone else’s needs were taken care of and I had nothing left. I was angry with being pulled in every direction, and angry with myself for letting it all happen without saying anything.
So I’d numb it out almost every evening, that was my routine. I’m saying all of this in the hopes it helps someone else, as well as myself, especially as it relates to suicide. Now I know that suicidal thoughts are irrational thinking, and your best action plan is DO NOTHING.
Our world is obsessed with being the best, my new mantra is “dare to be average, you’ll be happier”.
I’ve learned that our brain neurons are like muscles, and the ones that get the work get stronger.
David Kessler wrote a book entitled “CAPTURE” which attempts to explain how the seeds of addictive behavior are planted in the activation of neurons during traumatic event(s). They become ingrained and become a pattern of living. Those neurons need to be addressed and replaced with healthier connections.
If you just numb it out, they never go away. As Jack & Dave say, alcohol is just the symptom, you need to figure out the why and work through it. Another good book for encouragement, is “Sober for Good” by Anne Fletcher. She chronicles the success stories of problem drinkers with some surprising revelations. A common theme from all of them is DON’T GIVE UP, you need to find what works for you. Most of them had slips over the years, but were successful.
February 12, 2017 at 10:50 pm #16344
Sorry for the long post, Day 4 had my head spinning.
The other thing I found in reading which the 30 day solution incorporates is the concept of dual diagnosis. This is just the idea that alcohol is just a symptom of an underlying mental health problem that needs to be addressed. Fixing the addiction without addressing the underlying problem will just result in relapse. A really excellent web site is thecaringnw.com. It’s the website for a rehab program in Washington State that utilizes dual diagnosis strategies. Tap on their resource tab and get some really loving, compassionate, guides for mental health issues. I can see where the 30 Day Solution incorporates a lot of their ideas and now (after my long rant) I can’t wait to start Day 5.
Thanks for listening and Good Luck to all.
February 12, 2017 at 11:14 pm #16346
Amazinggrace, might there be a typo on the dual diagnosis link you provided? I tried to access it without luck. Thanks, Sina
February 13, 2017 at 10:12 am #16350
Yea, my mistake. it’s “theclearingnw.com”. For some reason, I have that “caring” word in my head everytime I myself try to go to the website. Hope you connect.
February 12, 2017 at 10:55 pm #16345
Amazinggrace, your long expressive posts are much appreciated. I’m planning on checking out some of the resources you mentioned. I have some you may find useful as well I hope. I “friended ” you on your profile page which you can access by tapping on “Where to?” above and scrolling to “My Profile”. Onward, Sina
February 24, 2017 at 11:30 pm #16565
Well I made it to Day 4 and I have to share it with you.
Had to repeat “100% Commitment” to myself a few times yesterday & today but here I am feeling pretty damn proud.
OK – writing the list of the people who done me wrong was hard because I felt I was dredging up things from the past but I think I included most everyone except for that bitch in kindergarten who lifted my dress on the bus on my first day. I forgot her name but I think it was Fifi.
I only elaborated on one person (for now) for the Complete & Total Truth Process. It felt good. Still need to work on that one a little deeper perhaps but I’m satisfied for now.
Onward to Day 5.
Keep repeating “100% Commitment”
Congrats to all of us who have made it this far.
February 25, 2017 at 4:32 am #16568Participant
that’s awesome karakucha. I know that at day 4 for me, I really started feeling GOOD. and, you’re right, 100% commitment is the key. so, congrats, keep it up!
March 4, 2017 at 5:01 pm #16711Participant
I am on Day 4 and cannot think of anyone to forgive, including myself. Perhaps it will come to me sometime later. I tend to forgive shortly after feeling screwed and don’t dwell on things. I do have regrets from alcohol ruining past relationships but they are so long ago, it has already been forgiven and let go.
So far, I am finding this program easy. It is the 100% commitment that is doing it. I have always planned to stop for a few days after a major hangover(which was every week) but never could until I found this amazing book/program.
I am 65 and retired last year. I found that instead of the travel and hobbies I was able to get into from not working, all I have done was drink more. Every freaking day. And not one or two. I narrowly escaped a DUI and am getting nothing done. Recently, I found I have a fatty liver. That was the wakeup call. It made think about how much I drink. The “why” only seems to be that I find it fun and I tend to socialize more. Wrong! I have found myself many times just being the old man at the end of the bar.
My only worry is this…
I have a new girlfriend who likes to drink. In fact, each time we have been together, we got drunk, yet had good times. Most of my friends are beer connosuers and into brewing their own, yet I tend to think they are “normal drinkers”. I even suspect my new girl is a normal drinker, although she sure drinks a lot when we are together. Anyway, I now live 70 miles away from my drinkin’ buddies, including my girlfriend. I just hate to give up people I love to avoid drinking.
Right now, I feel I can do it and I know they will respect my sobriety.
Anyway, for now, bring on Day 5!
Jody (I am male,btw)
March 7, 2017 at 6:48 pm #16773Participant
Came home today and saw that my spouse had been drinking. We’re supposed to be doing this together. He was all upset about something minor and someone had offered him a drink and he accepted it. He was arguing with our daughter about buying a car. I thought his anger was out of proportion to the situation. She’s brooding and I just told everyone to take a week off from buying a car. Focus on themselves. So my spouse dozed off while I took a shower after working out after work. I started my day 4 reading. He came around and I got him to read the book. He’s a day behind me now but I’m seeing progress. A slip can be forgiven . He’s got to forgive himself. I have to forgive him for being in that condition when I got home. We can do this.
March 16, 2017 at 6:56 pm #16910
This is extremely hard because I am extremely private….but here it goes because I am believing in this process:
1 -To the two girls in Grade 8 that spread rumours I was having sex with my Grade 8 teacher….how awful you were…He never sexually touched me inappropriately, and if he had – how horrible that you would be that unsympathetic and cold…he did constantly grab be and not let me go…he made me do tests in the janitors closets with very little lighting with just him while he verbally dismantled my self confidence…but how very awful for you that needed attention that badly you spread those rumours about me…trust me…you did not want his attention. He once made me hide in the coat closet for hours because he had kept me for yet another undeserved detention and did not want the nuns to know….and yes…he held me in there the whole time. (Yes…I struggle with extreme claustrophobia to this day).
2- To the first love of my life…who cheated on me and totally broke my heart…
3- To my parents who moved me from my high school for graduation year and took me out of country with all strangers…kids that were heavily into drinking, drugs and sex…I was still a virgin and didn’t drink much, definitely did not do drugs- within my first 3 months being there…I lost my 17 year old best friend since grade 2 to leukaemia…both of my Grandfathers and my first love lost his Dad who I knew well and it all made me feel so very sad and like I could not control anything…could not help anyone…could not be there for anyone. I completely rebelled…started drinking, went from being an athlete and a good student to skipping class and drinking at the curling club…where a friends Mom was more than happy to serve us. Had sex for the first time..with someone that I shouldn’t have.
4-I got back to Canada as quickly as I could…I had a sister to go live with…she was 5 years older than me but had a lot of resentment around my parents and I leaving her and moving overseas. She was flighty…I just wanted comfort…security…I was alone a lot in Toronto. I met someone that promised escape…he was in the military and I went back and forth as did he on weekends from his base. I married him young…there were several warning signs not too…I was 21 but I wasn’t drinking anymore in excess. After I had our first child at 23, he became very verbally and mentally abusive…he went on tours…I was a married single mother. I drank socially through those years…socially and that was it. I had our second child 4 years later…I was pregnant while he was on tour and when he came home everything was worse than ever and I had a 3 month old baby and a 4 1/2 year old. He was angry a lot…distant…finally confessed to cheating while he was away. I lived at that time in Western Canada with no family and only one friend…I was devastated…I later found out the cheating was plenty…I was angry and hurt. I felt ripped off. Eventually I got out of there…he was demanding, controlling, abusive…I weighed 114 lbs and was 5’2″ and everything I ate or drank…he was there to say…are you really going to “eat” or “drink” that? I loved and still love to run…he would be angry because I wanted to go do something for me. I did finally leave..I got out and went a little wild with my freedom…I met someone who was so amazing to me and who let me be me…he had also recently got out of a not so great relationship…we married and are to this date super happy. We did though both turn to the – ahhhh — freedom….lets have wine with dinner when the kids go to bed…and over the years…it turned to excess. We are excessive drinkers…we function and I think have caught it at a good point…but we chased the pleasure factor..woohoo…we are free and happy…until you realize…ok wait…are we happy doing this over and over? We are both on the same page…time to chill and scale it back…we both had a crummy go in different aspects of our lives but…time to step back and take control and savour the moment in real time.
My very long point is…I forgive all of the people I have mentioned above..I do thank them for making me so much stronger as a person and for teaching me to not only stand up for myself but also for teaching me forgiveness.
I forgive me for allowing myself to slip into that imaginary pleasure state…and I applaud the good things I have accomplished and in reality there are many…and turning this corner I expect that they are only going to be even more wonderful!!!
March 16, 2017 at 8:59 pm #16911
and one more add…that I hesitated to add but that plagued me…I hate to put it because my Mom has passed and truly did her best to be a good Mom despite her being brought up up with two extreme alcoholics…
I am sorry that your parents could not be the parents you wanted…that you deserved. I know they both loved you so much but they could not be what they should have been…you were an only child with noone to help. You chose not to drink because of what they were…but unfortunately, it brought out in you terrible traits anyway…the belt which I won’t forget…punching me in the nose…screaming at me…all of which led to me being shy and quiet and putting up with what I did in my post above…I guess if I go deep…thats the root. You let them take me for months through summer vacations with my Grandfather pulling a trailer and driving from Ontario down South…across the US…back North to BC then back across Canada…I don’t really understand how you could agree to let me do that with them knowing his history…but I have to hope it was faith that he had changed…that he had kept his promises and so I forgive that…I understand where you were coming from…why you wanted to believe.
March 16, 2017 at 9:47 pm #16917
I’m sorry I offended you. It was not my intention. Please forgive me. Don’t stop posting here because of my remarks. This is a wonderful resource for your journey. Keep on letting fellow Sobriety Seekers know you! Again, my apologies for unwanted advice! It was from concern, not criticism
. Onward! Sina
March 16, 2017 at 9:56 pm #16918
I am fairly certain I wasn’t “regurgitating” every “slight” I felt….these were deep emotional experiences and I am deeply offended…as I said…this clearly is not the place for me. I have asked my posts be deleted…I most certainly will not be posting here again. I will not give up on my journey but will stick to my private journal. Good luck to you Sina.
March 16, 2017 at 9:26 pm #16912
Greetings @chgfeelsgood2017 Welcome to the 30DSS Companion Website. Thank you for being so forthcoming with so many disparate issues! Please don’t despair…the Forgiveness Solution is not meant to regurgitate every slight you ever experienced in your life! I appreciate you may have many experiences you would like to address… take it slowly… use the Total Truth Process to forgive only one person…Maybe start with yourself…only when you are sober…and write several sentences beginning with each of the suggested ones in your Journal…then report to the Forums again ! Keep up the good work! Onward, Sina
March 16, 2017 at 9:38 pm #16913
Hey Sina…I appreciate your feedback…but I am sober so do not appreciate the insinuation of otherwise? I apparently cannot delete my posts or I would…I thought the point from listening to day 4 was to come to the forum and be as forthcoming as one felt comfortable with. I guess this is not the place for me.
March 16, 2017 at 10:02 pm #16919
Again, all I can say is…never give up… my humble apologies for any offense I gave. Continue to post here please! Onward, Sina
March 31, 2017 at 6:20 pm #17054Participant
This is my first day posting. I am on day four and I’m really proud of myself. I wrote a long letter to my dad today and have many more to write before I have found forgiveness. Went to my favorite Mexican restaurant last night with my husband and was able to forgo the margaritas that I usually drink.
I struggle right now is not with drinking it’s with sleeping. My doctor gave me a sedative to take at night and it isn’t helping. U am used to going to sleep having had plenty of alcohol. So now I’m paying the price by not being able to sleep. Is there anyone else out there who has had this issue who can help? Not sleeping in the past had made me turn back to drinking so please any advice would be great.
April 27, 2017 at 8:58 am #17501Participant
I forgive my wife who is 70 years old for not having sex with me now or in the future because it causes her physical pain. I can have deep physical intimacy by deeply healing my body including my liver, silent painless migraines, hand tremors, sweat free non-insomnia sleep. I can have deep financial intimacy by becoming more and more philanthropic together with my wife and creating new philanthropists. I can have deep mental or spiritual intimacy by fostering intuitive service in myself and others. I can have deep social intimacy by serving my community anytime and anywhere. If my soul reincarnates there is an opportunity for future sexual intimacy. The universe is impermanent, always changing and its ok that way. I can change the way I feel about anything including alcohol and its triggers e.g. subconscious depression including inherited subconscious depression (e.g. World War II or I soldier DNA) anytime I choose.
June 25, 2017 at 12:01 pm #18194Participant
Question: I’m doing the TTP exercise focusing on my father (who passed away last year). The first parts three were relatively easy as I had lots of issues and examples to write about (alcoholic, abusive, depressed, etc…) – but when it comes to owning any part I may have played – I’m having trouble coming up with ending to the suggested sentences: I’m sorry that …. Please forgive me for … I’m sorry for … I didn’t mean to … other than “I didn’t mean to be a child in that situation”. In other words, I don’t feel responsible for very much of the pain that my father caused me when I was a child.
Is anyone else struggling with this part of the TTP for someone in your life? I feel like I need to come up with something – but maybe not.
June 25, 2017 at 12:17 pm #18197
June 25, 2017 at 12:10 pm #18196
Hello @ursaminor! Here is a little video whuch you may find helpful on the subject of forgiveness.
August 1, 2017 at 9:03 am #18597Participant
Hi I’m in my 5th sober day and 4th day in the 30 Day Sobriety Solution journey. I’ve looked through the website for a written version of the Forgiveness Affirmation but can’t find one. Does anyone have it written out?
August 3, 2017 at 10:40 pm #18641Participant
Here you go:
I release myself from all the demands and judgments that have kept me limited. I allow myself to be free — to live in joy, love, peace, and sobriety. I allow myself to create fulfilling relationships, to have success in my life, to experience pleasure, to know that I am worthy and deserve to have what I want. I am now free. I release all others from any demands and expectations I have placed on them. I choose to be free. I allow others to be free. I forgive myself, and I forgive them. And so it is.
BTW, I just started too. I’m on day 6 sober and day 4 solution. Good luck to you!
August 4, 2017 at 7:07 am #18644Participant
Thank you so much! Good luck to you as well!
August 6, 2017 at 10:29 am #18675Participant
Just finished Day 4 and the Action Steps. First Truth Process Letter I wrote was to myself. I was astonished at how much I wrote, and what fresh perspectives on my past feelings and actions I was able to arrive at, particularly as a result of answering the ‘what im afraid of’ and ‘All I ever wanted’ questions. Ive undoubtedly done some awful things in my addiction, things which locked me in a perpetual cycle of guilt and shame. But thinking about myself almost in the ‘third person’ and looking back at the frightened adolescent who started drinking to push down the fear, made me adopt a more objective and compassionate approach to why I got so hooked in the first place. It doesnt let me off the hook for what Ive done as such, but Im starting to see the meaning of the message on p.99 ‘Slipups in life are normal and are not unforgivable sins. The only sin in your life is to spend time remembering and focusing on your sins’.
Thanks Jack and Dave for a great program – in 4 days I can truly say I feel ive made more progress than in 8 years in AA and 2 bouts of residential rehab!
Wishing everyone strength x
August 6, 2017 at 12:14 pm #18677
What a great post @polstar
It sounds like you really nailed the TTP. The late Marshall Rosenberg (Who is the father of Non Violent Communication, or NVP) said “Translate all self-judgements into self-empathy.”
It seems you have been able to accomplish just that! Hat’s off!
August 6, 2017 at 2:15 pm #18681Participant
Thanks Sina! And what a great quotation from Marshall Rosenberg! I shall research some more on NVP, looks good 🙂
August 15, 2017 at 8:05 pm #18784Participant
Thanks polstar, I am on my fourth day with two without alcohol. Had to throw everything out yesterday morning. I bought this book over a month ago, but kept making excuses to start tomorrow because i still had a few left in the fridge. The next day i would buy more on the way home because the few i had waiting for me would not be enough to hold me over.(i usually take in about 10 per week night and alot more on the weekends) I am having trouble with the forgiving someone else part. There is no one in my family that i can think of who i still have ill feelings towards . I am ashamed to look a few in the eye tho. I guess that last part falls under forgiving myself. Having some strong urges to drink tho. Usually starts around two in the afternoon. Im so used to drinking with everything i do. Tried the tapping today and it seemed to help.I found a beer hiding in the door of the fridge today and it was real hard to dump it out, but i did. Looks like i will make it to day five! Good luck to everyone!
November 13, 2017 at 10:30 am #19466Participant
I am on Day 6 without alcohol, but on Day 4 in the Program. I do not really feel stuck with Day 4, but I feel that Day4 and actions step had to sink in and I had to think about it, before I can write it all down and move on with Day 5. Not sure if that is the “correct way” to do it, but I had to think about who I will have to forgive. I feel that I can not “rush” through the program … I really have to work and feel it :/
And it is hard to realize that I have to forgive mostly myself. I just do not feel “good enough”, although I am truly loved by a few people … I will write my letters today and move on to Day5.
Thanks & Good luck to everyone!
November 13, 2017 at 10:36 am #19467
CONGRATUALTIONS on your continuing Sobriety And your first post.
If you tap on the “Where to?” above, you can scroll down to Site wide activity to see posts by current participants. Also under each day, post under the most recent topics or start your own Topic so more people can respond and support you.
November 16, 2017 at 9:05 pm #19517
Day 4 of the book & Day 3 of 0 booze. Yay!
The word “pleasure” & “deserve” in the Forgiveness Affirmation brought up issues for me.
“to experience pleasure” has always been synonymous to a notion of hedonism to me, which has included alcohol and generally in excess.
Granted, alcohol now also has become a source of pain in my life.
I need to redefine what is real pleasure.
“deserve to have what I want” – I was taught that I shouldn’t feel entitled, hence not deserve things – maybe work towards things but the notion of deserving something seems wrong to me.
Anybody have any thoughts on these issues?
PS – a little cranky today but overall minimal withdrawal sensations. I felt a little hot but then ate something & it went away. Thankful it is not worse but going to bed early just in case.
November 16, 2017 at 9:12 pm #19518
January 1, 2018 at 1:03 pm #19832Participant
I have the audio version of the book. What are the six steps of the Total Truth Process?
January 1, 2018 at 3:05 pm #19836
January 2, 2018 at 9:00 am #19852Participant
Thank you Sinaqueena. This is very important stuff.
January 3, 2018 at 3:27 pm #19876Participant
I have been struggling with forgiving my ex-husband. Three years ago he left me after 20 years and later admitted to having an affair. Anyways, I’ve been going around and around thinking that I need to let it go but feeling like I just can’t. I finally realized I was asking myself the wrong questions – I was limiting myself by saying to myself “Why can’t I let this go?” and “Why am I still so hurt and angry!?” Those are limiting and don’t help me move forward. So I changed and whenever I had an angry thought towards my ex I redirected my thought to “What can I do right now that will feed my spirit?” or “What am I most committed to?” I focused on MY life and how I was moving forward and found that simply re-framing it this way really helped me let it go. The anger has greatly dissipated and I have even been able to somewhat grudgingly wish him the best and send him positive energy. I am no longer fixated on HIM and rather fixated on making my life the best it can be.
January 19, 2018 at 11:13 pm #20030Participant
I had a conversation with my husband about the whole “forgiveness” thing and we were trying to come up with just a simple definition of what the heck forgiveness even is. Definitions just state “the act of forgiving”! What?? or Pardon. Excuse or release with out judgement. Well this seems like a truly unattainable objective when someone has done harm to you; whether emotionally, physically or both. I have not completed day 4’s “Total Truth Process” because I can not wrap my head around what I am actually suppose to do. Writing a letter and listing issues simply acknowledges that my thoughts are sound. I am not making up the situations in my head; the wrongs done to me are real. So going through the step seems like it will just reinforce what I am carrying around already.
January 20, 2018 at 8:14 am #20036
The Forgiveness Solution of Day 4 is part of the “Stop all your blaming ” mentioned in the Day 1 100% Solution. It’s part of letting go of the past and living in the Now.
Here is a short video on the subject which helped me and many. I hope it helps you as well!
January 22, 2018 at 8:47 pm #20052
March 3, 2018 at 6:07 pm #20393Participant
If it were not for the 100% commitment (quit drinking or die trying) this one would have me already back from the store with my (one time) daily dose of three 40s of Cobra. I feel incredibly intense anger and resentment which fuel my incapacitating remorse, but everyone and everything I have reason to be angry at I have already forgiven, released or rephrased in an empowering way and I don’t know what I’m still holding onto that could do that to me… For now I’m going to immerse myself in one or more of the strategies developed on day three and come back to this some other time. As for the action steps, the Total Truth Process is out of the question and the affirmation and mantra I started a year before I even found this.
March 21, 2018 at 3:50 pm #20464Participant
I am 12 days sober. I had a set back one Saturday. I have been putting this forgiveness step off. I will start with myself and revisit another time for others. I will also take a look at the video sinaqueena posted. Thanks to all who are sharing. It is very helpful to me on my journey.
April 16, 2018 at 4:00 pm #20676Participant
Pretty emotionally draining day today. I recall putting my anger into words many years ago, but it was never an exercise in forgiveness. I also never thought about how angry I was with myself and that any forgiveness needed to start with me. Thanks for that.
May 4, 2018 at 5:44 pm #23655Participant
Day 4 – Moving through the stages.
I am doing everything that Dave and Jack have recommended and I am absolutely convinced that these steps will be my saviour. I have tried SMART, AA online, abstinence and everything in between. I am not sure how I stumbled on this program, but have been a long time reader of Jack Canfield.
The Forgiveness Solution has been incredibly powerful for me today. I “wrote” a letter to my husband (we are currently separated but doing our best to work through it), my mother (who “abandoned” me when I was 15) and my father (who took me in but left me to my own devices when all I wanted was to feel safe and secure) and I had cried and cried and cried whilst writing.I immediately picked up the phone to tell my husband that I was sorry and all I ever wanted was for us to be a family (and instead I pushed him away with my drinking.) I have also compiled a list for the other “letters” I need to write. This solution has been so powerful for me and put in such a way that it stepped me through a process I haven’t been able to do in the past. Thank you so much. Day 4 solution, Day 5 Sober. “The past does not equal the future”
June 15, 2018 at 12:09 pm #119046
I went through AA/NA about 30 years ago now, and really worked on my 4th step there. It was a big deal that my sponsor and I took very seriously, and I was able to walk away from resentments left from my first 21 years on the planet. I remembering being taught how to surrender – what to say, what it felt like, and that I really could let go of whatever it was, *if* it was hurting me enough. In the intervening 30 years, when something was bad enough that I couldn’t work through it, talk it out, or walk away, I’d do what I call my Surrender Dance. I’d go through the motions, say the words, do the meditation, and it would be gone. I know that sounds crazy, but it really works, and it kept me from sticking needles in my arms. It still works. I had a howling resentment against someone in my social circle 2 years ago and I pulled out my Surrender Dance and lo, it’s fine now. We’re not friends, this person and I, but that’s okay. I forgave her, and moved on.
So come to Day 4 and I really had to think long and hard. I just don’t carry resentments anymore, and I know that self-righteous anger is my worst enemy, so I don’t allow that, either. Sure there are some petty hurts and grievances, but nothing that I’d call a simmering resentment. Even with my Mom! But I’m diligent about doing what the book says to do, so I started a letter to myself. HELLO! There were my resentments – all towards myself! I am hurt… disappointed… angry… it causes self-doubt… brings fear… I just wanted my own acceptance… and then I tried to understand where I (as the person who hurt me) was coming from, and it was like a lightbulb went on in my brain. My own behavior has been what’s been unacceptable, and I’m working so hard on changing that. So, I did my Surrender Dance on my self-resentments. I think I’m getting the hang of this.
June 18, 2018 at 9:42 pm #119083Participant
I have some questions about Day 4’s Total Truth process. The examples in the book are one thing – nothing seemingly too heavy. How do we address people who have hurt us through means such as rape or violence? I just don’t feel like saying “I’m angry that you raped me,” is sufficient, or powerful enough. And how do I try to understand where this person was coming from? Am I misreading thinking that this Total Truth process should be used for ALL past hurts and resentments, including what I’ve mentioned above? Or should topics like these be addressed elsewhere? Is there other language you’d suggest using? The language in the book seems so light hearted or nonchalant for such issues. Please help! I’m really looking forward to working through these things and would appreciate any guidance you may have. Thank you!
June 19, 2018 at 8:18 am #119105
June 18, 2018 at 10:30 pm #119084
Hey @sukisu. I saw your post in my email from the forum and came right back here to see how you were. And #metoo.
Bottom Line Up Front: This is a step. It’s a single step in a lifetime’s work of recovering from excessive drinking and becoming the person you want to be. It is not an immediate cure, or a simple “okay asshole, I forgive you.”
I know it hurts, friend. I know it hurts a lot. Forgive yourself for letting it continue to eat at you, and forgive yourself for not being able to forgive those people today. And then, Let It Be. Don’t let them hurt you all over again by dwelling on the pain now – however you’re able to put it out of your mind without drugs or alcohol, do that. Let it be.
All but one of the people who have hurt me through rape or other means of violence against me have been forgiven, but friend, it took years. I started that process 30 years ago with my AA 4th step, and got through the old hurts. Then it happened again (one of my husband’s best friends even!) and it took me a very long time of holding that anger and rage and hatred. I finally had some body work and therapy and *thought* I’d let it go. I chuckled a little when his name showed up on my little list the other day and I thought, “nu-uh buddy. You’re not getting back in my head this time!” And I simply opted out. The other person I wrote down was a snubbing slight and I forgave her and moved on. But he’s still in there somewhere, and one day, when it hurts me badly enough, I’ll do my little Surrender Dance (it’s a combination of spoken ‘prayer’, meditation, spinning and more meditation, but it freakin’ works) and I know it’ll be gone. But I have to be in pretty bad shape for the Dance to work, so maybe it won’t ever happen. Until then, I’ve forgiven myself for carrying his baggage around with me all these years, and now, I have to Let It Be.
Brightest blessings on you – I hope you get through this night sober and I hope to see you post again as you keep on keeping on with this process.
June 18, 2018 at 10:32 pm #119085
July 20, 2018 at 12:42 pm #119713Participant
I was comforted to read others’ posts and to hear that many of you struggled with Day 4 Action Steps. I really struggled with the Total Truth Process. For me, and perhaps for some of you (but obviously I can only speak for myself) this difficulty comes from the fact that I have been using alcohol to cover up/mask/bury my anger, my disappointment, my shame, my resentment. And boy oh boy, I have been so successful at burying that anger/disapointment/hurt/pain, etc., that it’s buried deep and I wanted to keep it that way. My initial reaction to this action step, was …what? I don’t have any past resentment/shame/anger etc. I don’t want to waste time on this action step. But then I remembered. Alcohol is not the problem — it’s the symptom. And my inability to face this step was in fact related to the denial that I’ve been living/breathing/drinking (!)
So I wrote a letter to myself…took quite a while to allow myself to acknowledge why I was angry at myself and resentful…but it did feel very freeing to write it down, and to forgive myself.
p.s. One of the posts mentions “tapping”.. what is this? Is this qigong body tapping? or is it something else?
July 20, 2018 at 9:57 pm #119718Participant
Tapping is found in the Day 13 area of this site. The book even says you can jump ahead to go ahead and learn this early on. Jack Canfield also has a video of him demonstrating this … maybe on YouTube, or maybe I saw it in this site. Again, maybe in the Day 13 area. I bet tapping interrupts our bio-electricity which may shorten or get rid of a craving.
July 21, 2018 at 7:09 pm #119732Participant
Struggling with the Total Truth Process. I did the TTP for myself in order to check it off the list and move on to Day 5, but it felt like I was just going through the motions, not really letting it sink in or feel it. Feel like I could/should stay in Day 4 until I feel or release something. Should I do this or move on to Day 5 tomorrow?
July 30, 2018 at 7:35 am #120042Participant
I thought this step was something I had dealt with in previous attempts, through other means, to get over alcohol. I did this step a bit grudgingly JUST NOW. It has become the most important step. Don’t think it isn’t superimportant. It’s really about your own forgiveness. I dug deep at first, it took like minutes and I got down to some very, very serious depth about myself. Don’t skip it. Don’t skip anything is my advice. This really has turned into something so meaningful for me. It has taken on a whole new life of it’s own about my awareness. Take the time. I just took well over an hour and it was just he tip of my iceberg. Very sweet journey now.
July 30, 2018 at 10:10 am #120045Participant
I still haven’t done it and am on day 20.
I just don’t think I can self forgive. It’s like I don’t deserve it or something.
Just saying “self forgive” makes me cry
July 30, 2018 at 4:31 pm #120060Participant
Mishelle I am an expert on guilt. Something that has really hit home from other attempts, and I am a big time blame taker, is that you never asked to be a mess. It’s an enormously effective addiction. Give it a try, I mean really dig and cry. It took me to another level of awareness. I didn’t think it would do me any good, but it really did. I’m still fatigued from getting healthy. I am sure the process this time will be more energy consuming, but this burden lifted really helped me step up a notch. I hope you find that.
August 22, 2018 at 8:57 pm #120673Participant
I did the action step on two people I had been non-forgiving too, and I totally took my blame like a big girl for what happened. I don’t feel any sense of relief or like a weight has been lifted. My question is, how do you know that you have forgiven because if this is the thing that is holding me back, and to some extent I know it is, it seems pretty important. I feel that I might be able to “let it go”, but is it forgiven?!?!
August 25, 2018 at 10:01 pm #120679Participant
I am also on Day 4. It was a bit hard today, in part, I didnt have time until the late in the evening to listen to this chapter. I ordinarily listen in early afternoon just around the time I would be thinking of where I would drink.
But, I was glad that I had this chapter to look forward to when I got home.
I found that when the authors said to list one person with whom I am the most angry, I thought immediately of my sister. She is a practicing heavy drinker and when not drinking is moody to the point that it makes me feel guilty for just being. No one can make me feel this way so going through this action made me see how she is in pain, too, but I can forgive her and forgive myself for doing my part.
This is a deep one so I will keep working on that and just try to keep moving through it with curiosity (the E+R=O has helped me in the last few days also).
And so it is…
August 26, 2018 at 6:59 am #120681Participant
I wonder if this could help: I happened upon Bruce Lipton. Have you heard of him? He’s a biologist. He’s made a lot of YouTube videos. He explains what’s going on with our subconscious. We humans are really up against it. But I think if we continue to learn and find out what’s going on here, then we will be able to live better and then subsequently be happier. Good luck!
August 29, 2018 at 9:14 am #120690Participant
September 14, 2018 at 6:17 am #120803Participant
I found the Total Truth Process on day 4 very hard. I was trying to find causes with other people until I suddenly realised it was myself that was the problem. It’s often the obvious that’s hard to nail.
January 19, 2019 at 2:35 pm #121694Participant
I’ve done a few Step 4’s in AA over the years and have been in and out of the programme for 30 years. I was grateful for the way in which TTP is presented because it revealed some new insight from a life changing event that happened when I was 16 which started my descent into alchoholism.
Today is Saturday and WAS usually my big drinking day. Told my husband that I’m not going to our usual watering hole today. He knew why and is supportive.
Am taking steps to maintain this day in a safe and nurturing way.
March 31, 2019 at 2:26 pm #121966Participant
Day 4 has taken me 3 days. It is tough, and obviously very important. I was the designated driver last night for some of my best friends. Went to a social club event that we have all been members of for more than 10 years. Alcohol is a big part of this group, although the group does great things for our community. I had no problem not drinking. That never has happened with this group before, for me. Pretty cool stuff. I am starting to really believe in this program.
May 21, 2019 at 7:38 pm #122102Participant
My husband insists I do not need to quit drinking. He is handicapped so he cannot get his own food or drinks. He knows I have decided not to drink any longer. He asked me to fix him two drinks tonight – which I did. Makes me feel even more isolated and a little sad. I’m not going to give in. I am determined to have a better quality of life. It will be interesting navigating this as a couple.
May 21, 2019 at 8:18 pm #122104Participant
You will have so much clarity as you go along. Let your husband see the beauty that this brings you: clear eyes, skin, easier to get along with, etc, etc.
Good luck. Remember that moderation is attainable and a definition of “thriving in sobriety” per the authors. But remaining mindful is so key and you will learn alot in this “30 days”.
May 21, 2019 at 8:22 pm #122105Participant
Thank you so much.
May 31, 2019 at 7:31 pm #122138Participant
I’ve just completed day 4. I did the Total Truth Process but it was for me of course being the first time. I’m angry with myself for attempting to do a 30 day abstain and never getting there. But each time and again today I’ve forgiven myself. I want a life free of alcohol. I know the possibilities. When I started 4 days ago in Day 1 I said I was starting my 30 days on May 28. Well yesterday, May 30, and Day 3, I got 2 new job offers (I’ve been searching for about 5 mos) and felt I should/can celebrate. So I met a friend and we drank beers and I even went after for a walk w/ my dog and stopped at a wine place for 2 wines. Again, the things that led me here came up again – not being able to work fully today, not feeling the greatest, my health, etc., so now I’m back at it saying my Day 1 of not drinking for 30 is Sunday the 2nd of June because tomorrow I’m committed to a brunch w/ friends that will have mimosas – it’s crazy I think like this. I am hoping after tomorrow (even though I may try very hard NOT to drink tomorrow June 1 being my day 1 of 30 days) I will be able to fulfill this commitment 100%. I have to. For me. For my health, for my weight for my future.
July 31, 2019 at 3:55 pm #122371Participant
Captains log, day 4 – I’m honestly not resentful or upset with others and most definitely need to forgive myself the most. I honestly don’t believe my drinking is the result of pain caused by others but rather me trying to slide by a life I’m not very proud of and have made myself a worse person for it over the years by never confronting it. Still staying strong and so far this has been a time of necessary introspection for me.
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