Al-Anon Group Home Page
Al-Anon Group Meeting/Chat Room
Site Technical Problems or Questions?
Step Work Board - A Step each week!
Online Meeting Schedules

Al-Anon Family Group
Message Board

The material presented here is not Al-Anon Conference Approved Literature. It is a method to exchange information, ideas, feelings, problems and solutions on a personal level.

"Real" Al-Anon Meeting Directory

A new step every two weeks in the order they were written!

Al-Anon's 12 Steps & 12 Traditions

Members Login
    Remember Me  
Post Info TOPIC: Courage to Change (C2C) 8/10/17

~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 8698
Courage to Change (C2C) 8/10/17

Today's reading shares about how each of us lives with this disease a bit differently.  Meeting discussions regarding housekeeping habits showed how the disease presents and we react.  Some members kept a tidy home which gave the illusion of control.  Others had clothes, paper, books and more cluttering the home, and felt this was a way to keep others at a distance - isolating.

The writer recalls how clutter had served this isolating function in her home of childhood.  Everything was too messy to invite friends over and the writer was uncomfortable to realize this habit or pattern had came forward into adulthood, as it had kept her isolated as a child.

Today's Reminder --- By taking a fresh look at what I thought of as just a bad habit, I can free my life of some clutter today.  I can consider hidden motives for that habit without condemning myself or my family.  Clutter doesn't have to be physical; I may also find areas of my mental, spiritual or emotional life that are in disarray.  I can heal without making moral judgments about myself or others.

Today's Quote ---  ". . . the Al-Anon program can give me a new view of my world by helping me to see myself more clearly . . . " from One Day at a Time in Al-Anon


As the child of 2 untreated Adult Children Of Alcoholics, we had a very tidy house.  The inside, outside, yard, cars - all of it were clean, polished and outwardly things appeared very neat/normal.  However, our home was almost cold, sterile and uninviting in spite of the ever present state of cleanliness.

I brought this forward.  I spent tons of time always trying to perfect things around me, assuming I had control over 'something'.  Of course, I did not and when the extreme chaos arrived, not only was I unprepared, I felt frozen at times on how to get control 'back'.

What Al-Anon taught me is I never had it to begin with - it was all an illusion.  The more chaos, the more I tried and the bigger the 'mess' the more crazy I became.  I have now learned that outward appearances rarely align with inner thoughts/feelings and we each are imperfect in our lives, while doing our best.  Letting go of many previous habits, and practicing the Al-Anon principles brings about the freedom to heal and deal with this disease for me, and messes are just that - a mess.

Grateful for the tools of this program that help me see things differently and change habits as needed to live differently.  Happy Thursday to one and all - got the little people here today after a sleep-over!  Enjoy your day!


Practice the PAUSE...Pause before judging.  Pause before assuming.  Pause before accusing.  Pause whenever you are about to react harshly and you will avoid doing and saying things you will later regret.  ~~~~  Lori Deschene



~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 16184

Love this topic I can remember a friend visiting my home after I first married and saying"wow it looks like show case as if no one lived here ever"I felt so pleased. I loved "tidy " on the outside but had not a clue how to attain "tidy" on the inside. It did not dawn on me that it was devoid of feelings and cold until much later.

Enter alanon and learning how to go inward, with honesty, discovering  my hidden motives and agenda helped me to bring joy, warmth and love into my living space. In fact when I was selling my son's house, one prospective buyer sent me a letter asking that her bid be chosen as she felt that the home exuded so much love and warmth from every room and wanted to live in such a space. There was much sadness and pain in that home but I guess the love over shadowed it. I was pleased. Thank you once again alanon.




~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 700

Good morning all, and thank you for your service IaH.

The longer I have been away from home, the more I realize that my childhood home was cluttered. My mother is a hoarder, and she uses things to keep herself boxed in and people boxed out. Her mother did the same, and things became especially noticeable when my mother stopped working, but had to have all her instructional materials at home and when my grandparents passed and their households were transferred into hers. My sister and I grew up learning to "find places" for things so everything looked neat, as long as no doors or drawers were opened. I am amazed at the number of school papers I have sorted through from elementary school and the number of toddler toys that I have gone through. Unless I personally bring items to the donation center or take the trash with me and toss it in a dumpster somewhere, the things end up right where they were the next time I visit. I have been working for the last decade to detach myself from things, and keep only the things I really need or want.

As an adult, I see myself moving through the year in cycles. September, January, and June, my house is spotless and well organized. December, May, and August it looks like a hurricane tore through and I cannot stand living in my own space anymore. I have observed this pattern for over a decade, and have come to accept it. For me, this is part of being gentle with myself. As much as I want a clean and tidy house, I only have 24 in each day, and I need to sleep for 8 of them. I am not the only adult in the house, and the pets leave an impressive amount of fur around.

I think that letting things get cluttered up does serve as a defense mechanism for me, because it keeps people away when I am busy and overwhelmed, and when work stress is high. Perhaps with more work in the program, I will not have to rely on a messy house to enforce my boundaries around these busy times. Progress, not perfection.

I hope everyone has a fantastic day!



If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present. - Lao Tzu

Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 164

Thank you iamhere for your service. I was taught as child that being attached to objects will make you go insane. I grew up in a very cluttered home, my mother acquired and purchased a lot of "stuff" and would complain to me this "stuff" was driving her crazy, and I believed her. I was the complete opposite, I had zero use for too much "stuff", and if I wasn't using it, I didn't keep it. I used this controlling habit for a long time thinking it would keep the crazy feelings away. Today I keep many sentimental objects, I wouldn't consider myself materialistic but I do splurge on shoes, and I don't throw as much out, rather I keep some "stuff" that may come in handy down the road.


- Carrie

Stress is caused by being 'here' but wanting to be 'there'. Eckhart Tolle

Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 200

THank you for the share. I feel the house analogy clearly. On the outside I am the professional at work even when my home life is falling apart - noone would ever know. And most of the time when I detach I feel like my inside is calm but there's still the bubbling anger, the inability to eat, the feeling of wanting to cry and scream underneath the calm. I know I need to attend the meetings to learn to deal with the inside to accept the emotions and learn to handle them in a productive way rather than never feeling them or letting them consume me.


"To change the world, start with one step. However small, first step is hardest of all" Dave Matthews Band

Page 1 of 1  sorted by
Quick Reply

Please log in to post quick replies.

Tweet this page Post to Digg Post to