The White Robed Monks of St.Benedict

On Recovery Issues: Growing A Healthy Capacity to Love

Peace be with you and yours.

Out of pastoral concern and appreciation for those contemplating marriage (love, integrity, commitment) and those newly wedded we offer the following information as an invitation to assist you in growing an even more healthy capacity to love, to surrender to your yourself just as you are (and then to another just as he or she is). There is really no need for guilt, shame, blame and suffering which are related to our ability to create windmills in our minds (á la Man From LaMancha). The process of surrender involves experiencing that to which we are surrendering. Once we surrender, we are no longer either flexible or inflexible and are more fluid (like is water), taking the shape of any human experience without loosing our integrity. And as we know from human experience that which we resist persists.

Self-Appraisal: The purpose of this self-appraisal is to assist you in determining whether alcoholism (or other dysfunction) affected your childhood or present life. Any hesitation in answering a questions indicates possible denial or avoidance. If you hesitate, simply answer yes.
  1. Yes No    Do you constantly seek approval and affirmation?
  2. Yes No    Do you fail to recognize your accomplishments?
  3. Yes No    Do you fear criticism?
  4. Yes No    Do you overextend yourself?
  5. Yes No    Have you had problems with your own compulsive behavior?
  6. Yes No    Do you have a need for perfection?
  7. Yes No    Are you uneasy when your life is going smoothly, continually anticipating problems?
  8. Yes No    Do you feel more alive in the midst of a crisis?
  9. Yes No    Do you still feel responsible for others, as you did for the problem drinker (abuser, etc.) in your life?
  10. Yes No    Do you care for others easily, yet find it difficult to care for yourself?
  11. Yes No    Do you isolate yourself from other people?
  12. Yes No    Do you respond with anxiety to authority figures and angry people?
  13. Yes No    Do you feel that individuals and society are taking advantage of you?
  14. Yes No    Do you have trouble with intimate relationships?
  15. Yes No    Do you confuse pity with love, as you did with the problem drinker (abuser, etc.)?
  16. Yes No    Do you attract and seek people who tend to be compulsive?
  17. Yes No    Do you cling to relationships because you are afraid of being alone?
  18. Yes No    Do you often mistrust your own feelings and the feelings expressed by others?
  19. Yes No    Do you find it difficult to express your emotions?
  20. Yes No    Do you think parental drinking (abusing, etc.) may have affected you?
Alcoholism and drug abuse are part of the human landscape. A person does not have to be raised with a practicing alcoholic or drug abuser to be an alcoholic — to think like an addicted person. Whether or not your parents actually drank or did drugs is not an issue. That you may think or perceive the world as indicated by the questions above is an important consideration in preparing for marriage. How one answers the questions above is indication of a person's capacity to enter into and maintain a committed, loving relationship with integrity. We most highly recommend reviewing: Drug and Alcohol Treatment Programs..

The above questions come from the Al-Anon literature. "Alcoholism is a family disease. Those of us who have lived with this disease as children sometimes have problems which the Al-Anon program can help us to resolve. If you answered yes to some or all of the above questions, Al-Anon may help. You can contact Al-Anon by checking your local telephone directory" or with Official Al-Anon/Alateen World Service Office Home Page or phoning (USA)-800-356-9996.

Regarding being able to recognize the serious signs and symptoms of withdrawal, please refer to

It is often suggested, that given habitual self-sandbagging thought patterns and as personal practice to resolve such a habit, a person commits to him/herself to attend 6 consecutive (free) Al-Anon meetings — no matter what — on what ever commitment schedule the individual elects (i.e., each Monday for 6 weeks). If the individual misses a meeting, then the next meeting becomes Meeting No.1 and the process continues until the individual fulfills his/her commitment to attend 6 consecutive meetings — no matter what. After the 6th meeting, the person then makes another conscious decision as to whether or not s/he wishes to continue.

With Love, are not Integrity (keeping one's word) and Commitment (following through with one's word) traits important (essential?) to a marriage, to a loving relationship (one's own self and another)? We suggest from the Spirit of Wisdom and Insight: might it not be said that to the extent that a person has difficulty keeping one's own word to one's own self, then to the same extent might not that person have a similar difficulty keeping one's word to another? "Love God,love your neighbor as yourself." (Mark 12:29-31)

Can we truly love God if we (want or need to) make God into something we want rather than surrendering to God just as God is? Another another? And our own self? Again, we ask these questions only as an invitation for personal reflection for your own sakes as you create a family and as advocates for your children yet-to-be as the Lord may provide.

For alcohol related and other recovery issues, please contact Online Recovery Forums

Regarding Rehabiliatation Centers' Guides:

San Francisco Drug and Rehabilitation Centers
Rehabilitation Centers
Drug Treatment Center Finder
A Substance Abuse Guide for Parents
Substance Use Resources For Parents of Adolescents and Young Adults
The Addiction Center?
Rx Dangers

Regarding Abuse and Abusive Relationships:

Abusive Relationships
Sleeping with the Enemy - a Tale of Abuse
Verbal Abuse

Regarding Miscellaneous Information:
Dangers of Drinking and Driving

Peace and Joy!
White Robed Monks of St. Benedict

Frequently Asked Questions
Catholic Wedding Ceremonies
The Network's Brochure
The Order's Brochure

White Robed Monks of St. Benedict
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San Francisco CA 94127-0536 USA
Phone: 415-292-3228
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