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Post Info TOPIC: Self-Examination


Senior Member

Status: Online
Posts: 259
Date:
Self-Examination


So lately I have been examining myself. What did I bring to my marriage, to my adult life, to motherhood. I guess an inventory. Not all inclusive, but I had been thinking about what quality about me makes it almost impossible to deal with my AH?

The need to be "right."

So, through this program I have learned that the need to be right, or the need to have others agree with my point of view does not work with alcoholics. And the sooner I give that up, the calmer my life can become. Well, they certainly got THAT right!!! LOL!

But where did this character defect come from? Was I always like this? Well it appears yes, and no.

As a child, I have always loved learning the how and whys of things. Even into adult-hood, if I could be a perpetual student, I would. There is so much to learn! So much that is changing every day! So much that (even college-educated me) I don't know! So I gravitated to the hard Sciences. My favorite classes included a lab period... I love collecting information, disseminating and categorizing it, etc. Just the sheer act of ferreting-out what is needed is a joy to me.

But the need to be "right" was not always there. I found that my greatest strength had become my enemy while living with an addictive spouse!! It was the constant gas-lighting I lived (and now am living) with, that made me feel like I had to prove to my AH or anyone else that I wasn't crazy!

In knowing this, it does make me feel a little better. It also makes me hyper-aware that I can no longer live with someone who gas-lights. Ever. I am damaged from the effects.

Thank goodness the Al-Anon program helped me to not only identify this behavior, and how to deal with it, but also helped me self-examine (gently) so that I can know MY truth.

 



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Music makes my soul soar!


Senior Member

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Posts: 192
Date:

i appreciate this share and can relate to the effect of gaslighting. grateful for the sense and reflective nature and the gentleness of this program. hugs to you.



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~*Service Worker*~

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Great share PNP,  I have always believed that this is a self acceptance program and that  self awareness is a step toward this goal. I believe that it is important to see exactly what we do that injures our inner being so we can grow and enjoy life.
Thanks for this share.



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Betty

THE HIGHEST FORM OF WISDOM IS KINDNESS

Talmud


~*Service Worker*~

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Nice share :)

I think where my need to be "right" came from the people in my life who continually told me I didn't see what I saw and I felt very unsure about what my "truth" was as far as things went with that. I know I saw the sky was blue .. however usually it was an adult for me as a child .. I would hear the sky isn't blue it's purple .. and my brain and my eyes could not rationalize that.

With my relationship with my XAH .. multiply that by 1000. I needed to know I wasn't crazy and he definitely made me feel crazy. That was def where my need to be right came in .. and it's where I learned to stand quietly in my truth.

Big hugs and great growth!!

S :)



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"I cannot learn other people's lessons for them.  They must do the work for themselves, and they will do it when they are ready." - Louise Hay



~*Service Worker*~

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Thanks for sharing, PNP! I can really identify with the need to figure things out, know how things work- I loved college for that reason. I remember the day the dean asked me to come for a meeting, because I could have graduated already, and was still trying to enroll in courses, lol!

I've discovered that I am a generalist at heart. I don't care enough about any one thing to go in depth with study, but I most certainly want to know enough about everything to "get the gist" of it.

It turns out that this didn't work so well for me living with an active alcoholic. I thought there was some magic combination of things that I would discover if I tried hard enough, and that would make things better. I did find that magic combination, just not in the way I thought I would. AlAnon + detachment + self care, among other program tools, turned out to be the magic combination for me.

I just love your awareness. Sending positive thoughts for an enjoyable weekend!

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Skorpi

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



~*Service Worker*~

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(((PnP))) - great share girl - way to work it. I can recall the moment I realized how deeply insane it was for me to try and change, control, fix or even lead those around me afflicted with this disease....I truly lost my identity for a moment as I discovered I truly had existed to enable and do for others for so long - I felt a bit devalued and scared for my future. It did not take me long to realize I could focus on me, heal and deal and fill my days with way, way better activities!!!

Self-awareness helps me stay humble and trust a power greater than me. I am continuing to grow and learn about me each day, and the more I do what's suggested, the more peace I find. It's such a lovely gift of working the program...keep doing you - it looks really good!!

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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

 

 

Bo


Senior Member

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Examining myself...hmmmmmm...excellent topic.

I have always said -- look at the steps. You don't see the words he, she, they, them, and so on. Also, other than the 7th word of the first step, the words alcohol, alcoholic, and alcoholism, do not appear anywhere in the steps. However, in the steps, we of course do see the words my, us, and we. As I hear in many of the meetings I attend...This is our program...This is our recovery. I went to my first al-anon because of my wife...but I kept going back for ME!

That said, my perspective is that you always have to look at yourself. This program is about looking at yourself. Not in a selfish way, but whenever I was struggling, facing difficulties, whatever it was with the alcoholic/drug addict...I always looked at me. It could have been my role, my contribution to the chaos, turmoil, etc., it could have been my not detaching, enabling, perpetuating, whatever -- my job, my recovery, was to look at me. It wasn't nor did it have to be a 4th step or anything of the like, so I didn't get caught up in the analysis, paralysis by analysis, or any of that. I learned that the more I tried to figure out what the alcoholic was doing, why they were doing it, etc. -- the more I drove myself crazy. I've heard many times in meetings -- you cannot apply logic to an illogical person or situation. You cannot apply healthy and rational thinking to a person or situation that is illogical and irrational.

Early on, before I truly committed and started doing the work, I found it impossible to deal with my wife. It was not feasible. The things I did...oh, had my life become unmanageable. However, as I started to learn, as I started to really do the work -- and started to embrace what al-anon was really about -- I made progress. I got better. It started out with a minor victory, one minor incident, where I actually handled the situation differently. I made a change! What did I change -- my thinking, my reactions and actions, in my communications, in how I handled it...it worked!!! LOL. Sure, I slipped the next time and did was I always did, primarily because the incident was not a minor one. But then I did it again, and it worked! So that was 2 out of 10 times. Then 3, then 4, and so on. Eventually, I was going 8 or 9 out of 10 times -- doing the right thing, the healthy thing, for me!!! There were always slips. Sometimes, I wanted to say something...but I didn't. I caught myself. I knew better. I wanted to be and stay healthy! And happy!

Yes, I always felt the need to be right. Not only did that not work with the alcoholic/drug addict...but I still looked at me!!! Why did I want to be right? Why did I want to prove my point? Why did I want to be heard, go on record, show her she was wrong, get her to see my point, and so on. That wasn't about her...that was about me!!! I am sure it is different for different people. I just felt the hardest part was the paradigm shift and looking at me. I've been going to meetings a long time, and my experience inside and outside the rooms -- when given the opportunity to walk right up to the mirror, and look at yourself, completely open, honest, vulnerable, exposed, etc. -- it can be a very uncomfortable, and perhaps scary thing. Hence, I see a lot of people run away from that. It is easier to look at -- blame, point the finger, criticize, etc. -- someone else.

So, the other problem for me -- I beat myself up, constantly. I held myself to an incredibly high standard. So, when working with my sponsor, I learned I had to go gentle, not beat myself up. It is not a criticism process...it is a learning and growing process. I very much appreciate and embrace the "look at me" philosophy as it relates to al-anon, and recovery in general. I like the searching and fearless moral inventory of step four. I have always loved, absolutely loved, doing Blueprint For Progress -- and I am doing again now, once a week, face to face -- and I suggest it to many people once they are post-crisis, starting to get healthy, get the fundamentals, etc. Self -- that's the key word -- whether it be self-examination, acceptance, awareness, expression, you name it. Excellent topic...and thank you to all of you who shared.

__________________

Bo

Keep coming back...

God, grant me the serenity...to accept the PEOPLE I cannot change...the courage to change the ONE I can...and the wisdom to know it's ME...

 

bud


~*Service Worker*~

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I relate Bo - I tend to beat myself up something fierce when not working the program. I'm a work in progress and thankful I do not have to be perfect - because I'm not and will not be.

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~*Service Worker*~

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Great thread family.  I love the focus because this is how I began to unravel the problems in my life I thought were caused by others including the alcoholics.  They played a part of course just as I played a part. Self examination and self knowledge is/was one of the "most important and necessary" tools and behaviors in my life.  I had to learn about the one person I had lived my entire life with and didn't know anything about then;  Me.  I couldn't do it alone and needed the help and guidance of those more experienced and knowledgeable than I so I go out and seek them and don't erect conditions that get in the way of that rule.  Often times the answers to the questions "What did I just do and Why did I just do it" reveal reaction rather than respond and I need to "think" before I act rather than let my emotions make the option.

Thank HP for this program of self awareness and correction...Today I have a better opportunity to live in peace and serenity.   ((((hugs)))) smile



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Bo


Senior Member

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bud, I beat myself up when I AM WORKING THE PROGRAM. I get disappointed in myself. Just this morning, I called a friend and said, 23 years in the rooms, and I still get triggered by an innocent, passing comment, that meant nothing, and it knocked me off-track. I was so upset with myself.

Go gentle on, in, and with yourself. That it what I have to remember. Daily. Yes, progress not perfection. I live my life the right way. I do the right thing. So, I have to be and I am grateful.

Thanks again to everyone who shared.

__________________

Bo

Keep coming back...

God, grant me the serenity...to accept the PEOPLE I cannot change...the courage to change the ONE I can...and the wisdom to know it's ME...

 



Senior Member

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Thanks, PnP, for bringing up this topic and to all who shared... Loved reading this thread.

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a4l


~*Service Worker*~

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I continue to struggle with this very same thing. It goes hand in hand with projecting into the future and a long held survival strategy of controlling the ultimately uncontrollable. So when I feel the need to be right its usually a knee jerk reaction to a fear of what might happen when the other person acts based on what I perceive to be an inferior viewpoint. This in the past has lead me into trying to persuade and convince the other person of why they are wrong. Today, it leads me into defense mode. Neither are needed, but I must still be aware of what my own influences are and practice waiting. Thank you for this topic. Its very timely for me.

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"When one door is closed, don't you know,another is open?" Bob Marley.



Member

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Posts: 17
Date:

Yes, yes yes. I can so relate to what you wrote about being right. For me, being right meant I wasn't stupid and that I knew something. My AH was gas lightening me where I didn't know what to believe. I think more than being right is to be heard and have a voice to be understood.. Boy, I like being right.. I am going to have to learn to listen instead of being right.
I too wonder who would I have been without all these survival behaviors coming of me into defects.
You made some interesting finds



-- Edited by LexieA on Friday 11th of August 2017 08:28:39 PM

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~*Service Worker*~

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 WOW,  PNP, the short time I have seen you here, you have REALLY blossomed...growth spurt, deluxe....I agree with hotrod, this is a self acceptance program...the good..the bad..the ugly...the in between...Being self aware and still loving me...the "need to be right" is my Achilles heel , to some degree, still..It goes back to my childhood where I was told over and over I was less then, not good enough, a failure, a stupid B**ch...So I "had to be right"  to prove my parents wrong..I, too, was the hungry student, wanting to learn..I still get on line and research stuff, because I adore learning new things..Stuff that I can use, do to save me money or just stuff that I want to learn....my need to be right doesn't go hand in hand with the desire to learn, for me, the need to be right is a coping skill to prove to me, that "Hey I am OK and I am not a failure, stupid, liability,etc"  the more I gain in self awareness and self confidence, I see this trait going way down..I don't so much have to be right to be OK with me...I am OK with progress and its OK if I am wrong because that is how I learn and grow.........AWESOME shares you have been posting..........I just wanted to weigh in and say  GOOD JOB



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Rose:

*** KEEP IT SIMPLE***

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