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Post Info TOPIC: Respect


Veteran Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 25
Date:
Respect


Hi I am struggling today with respect. How am I supposed to show respect to my AH? He does nothing for our relationship except create drama and drain us financially. How do I show myself more respect??? Why is this life placed before me to handle??? I know my HP has to be at work and more will be revealed later, I am just getting tired of the struggle. Tired of seeing him kill himself one day at a time. I tell him I love him but I just can't do this anymore. I am tired. This board is my only relief most days from the insanity. I try not to think of this at work because it affects me and I have a very public job. It is hard to be in front of people when your home is such a mess. I appreciate everyone's writing on different topics it helps. Just down today feeling like I can't take one more thing!

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~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 15336
Date:

Hello Flyfree I have pondered the same questions and found that what helped me the most was to accept that life provides experiences for " spiritual growth: and the lessons learned help me to grow spiritually.
i also decided to live by alanon principles and treating everyone with courtesy and respect(regardless of their behavior) reflects one of the principles I have embraced. i do not want to abandon my principles by reacting badly to another as I once did. Meetings , Steps, Slogans helped me to keep showing up.

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Betty

THE HIGHEST FORM OF WISDOM IS KINDNESS

Talmud


Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 487
Date:

I am sorry you are going through this. Being powerless is not always easy. It was really hard to separate my ex-a from his addiction. I tried to remember that alcoholism is a disease and he did not have any control over it. That he really had an illness. It is hard when you do not have to many opportunities to see them sober. Try to do something nice for yourself, even if it is a short walk or reading a good book. I hope things get better.

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Sharon 



~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 13378
Date:

 

 

((((Flyfree))))  Love your Avatar.  It reminds me of our front yard with the two feeders swinging in the breeze and all of our freebe feathered children yakking and snacking and running around each other.  God stuff...God is the artist and we just watch powerlessly over it all and smile.

That is so opposite of what you have spoken about and then there is your Avatar and it really exists.  How can I have just one smidgen of that beauty and happiness in the midst of the disease of alcoholism?  My sponsor gave me the answer one afternoon as I met with him so overwhelmed by our disease and he listened intimately till I was out of breath with it.

"How do you eat an elephant" he responded when I was completely done talking and couldn't find another word.  The question stunned me and I almost got up an ran away from that crazy man.  He saw how so perplexed I was and so unable to participate and he responded calmly, "One bite at a time".  I got the metaphor because I was raised with metaphors...pictures.  Of course!!  I was trying to tackle the entire problem all at one time which was impossible considering our disease ...it was too huge and I needed to find one little piece of it to work on in the moment.  

He first stepped me and we went on to choose one little thing about my powerlessness that I could work with.  I forgot that first piece now however it worked and I've held on to my sanity longer than I would have ever accepted.

It was a bite and I chewed it well and slowly and then took another bite until I was done, she was done, the elephant was done and the problem and I was surrounded with peace of mind and serenity.

How are you eating your elephant.   (((((hugs))))) confuse 



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~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 2689
Date:

Hugs,

I totally get where you are coming from .. I focus on treating others how I want to be treated that doesn't mean being a doormat.

If I am out of line then I'm out of line .. I own that it is not up to me to beat others with the accountability button I like to hold over specifically my X .. although I find it travels in my life .. LOL.

Right now I am trying to get focused and start taking care of me. Part of that is making sure I am meeting whatever needs I need to have met .. that is a part of respecting myself. I don't ever believe that someone else should be allowed to speak to me in a rude way .. however I can stand in my truth gently vs needing to bring out both guns at ready to fire ... and that's something that Alanon has helped me with a great deal. It really comes down to knowing my truth. What do I want and deserve learning when to walk away and when to take a stand.

Progress not perfection .. LOL

Hugs 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*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 561
Date:

Hugs to you, FlyFree.

My process was a lot like Jerry explains, one bite at a time. One thing at a time. There is a lot of wisdom in the program, and maybe after 10,000 meetings I'll need some more to take it all in.

It seems kind of silly, but I started by taking $20 in cash out of the bank on my pay day, hiding it in the owners manual of my car (somewhere my AW would NEVER look) and knowing that I had that $20 for gas, or parking, or coffee, or whatever I needed in the next 2 weeks. That was my first step. Being financially stressed to the point that I didn't know if I was going to have enough gas in the car to be able to get to work is the thing I decided to start with. I practiced that for a good long while before I was able to do it without being angry and resentful, and before I was ready for my next bite of program progress.

I really did find when my wife became sober and found recovery that I had been living with 2 people. My wife and the disease. As the disease became and continues to become less dominant, my wife's personality becomes more dominant. For me, it was helpful to identify whether I thought my wife was talking, or the disease was talking. I was able to give an appropriate response to my wife and to the disease, but not the same response to them both. There was a good long time when I didn't see my wife in any interaction, and I knew I was engaging with the disease, because the disease was in control. Thinking of things this way somehow made it easier to deal with temper tantrums and such.

I hope you do something nice for yourself, and I hope things get better. ((hugs))

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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*~

Status: Online
Posts: 7651
Date:

(((Flyfree))) - I too can relate to what you share. When I arrived at recovery, I was in awe at those who were able to speak kindly, lovingly - nicely about their alcoholic. I was still stuck in the mindset that all that was wrong in my life was because of them/their choices/this disease. It took me a while to realize that I am a separate person who should work on me and allow them to be them - good, bad or indifferent.

There were blurry lines as we lived together and clearly some of their actions affected me yet each time I called my sponsor and began the call with --- You will not believe what _____________ did now!!! She would say, I believe it would be more healthy if we talk about what you did first. I often found myself stopping to consider what I did/did not do. Basically, the first thing I learned was to just not engage. Not react, not, not, not.

Because I did not know how to respond in a healthy manner, no response was respectful to us both. Until I learned how to use the tools I had available, my best recourse was to pause and often - just not respond. Recovery showed me that the way I define things and words can be vastly different than others, and even distorted. Consider treating yourself as your best friend and learn to just trust the process and the program. More will always be revealed!

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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

Status: Offline
Posts: 393
Date:

Great question, and sometimes not an easy answer, or at least easy to implement. For me, it started with acceptance. Complete and total acceptance. I had to accept that my wife has a disease, and there was absolutely nothing I could do about her drinking, her actions, behavior, nothing. There was nothing I could do about it. I also had to get past the anger and resentment -- which was tough because I had tons of it. I was angry that all she did was ruin my life, her life, our life, our marriage, home, vacations, social events, weddings, charity events, dinners, holidays, all of it. I was angry that she was doing all of this, and she was doing it to me. She would drink and I was in pain. So, this is simple. She stops drinking and I won't be in pain. Or, if need be, I get her to stop drinking and I won't be in pain. WRONG! We know it doesn't work like that. So, I was angry. Livid. Furious. I had to learn that she was not doing this on purpose, and she was not doing this to me. She was sick. Dogs bark, infants cry, and alcoholics drink and do what they do. She wasn't doing it to me...she was just doing it. Period.

Once I got that, I was able to get past the anger and resentment. It no longer consumed me. Once that happened...I was able to have compassion for her. That was key. Respect was not easy. But I was able to be civil, polite, and have compassion. I was able to be there for her, but in a healthy and supportive way -- healthy and supportive for me! Most of the time, that was not enough or good enough for her, but that's not my problem. I was healthy and dealt with the fall-out from her not thinking it was enough/good enough. I used to say to her...I am sorry you feel that way.

For me, a big thing was the drama, chaos, and turmoil that resulted from her drinking. I have often said that I was collateral damage, although at the time I felt like I was very much the target. I had to learn not to contribute, or perpetuate the drama, chaos, and turmoil. I had to learn my role in it -- and stop doing it! I came to learn -- and I got better and healthy -- that she might have, and cause, a great deal of drama, chaos, and turmoil, as a byproduct of her drinking (even when she was sober as well)...but that the drama, chaos, and turmoil might be around my life...it did not have to be in my life.

I too had to hold it together in public. I am a business owner, well known in the area, I serve on the board of several nonprofits, speak in public, etc. -- all of this, while at home, my life was falling apart. But I started going to meetings, started doing readings, found a sponsor, started doing the work...and made a daily, constant, never-ending effort, every single day, to do the work, get better, and get healthy.

Focus on YOU. Keep coming back.



__________________

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

Status: Offline
Posts: 120
Date:

Bo - your answer has been really clarifying for me. Thank you. Collateral damage is a good phrase and describes my situation perfectly. It's up to me whether I carry on being collateral damage or not.

__________________

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

Bo


Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 393
Date:

MizzB...you are very welcome, and thank you for the kind words.

I have used the collateral damage phrase and mentality for a long time. It can help a lot. It can be a very healthy mindset.

__________________

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...

 



Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 17
Date:

It is so hard to do to show respect to someone who over and over again shows they do not care about what they are doing to people and who constantly disrespects me. I am still working on this defect of mine. I think I focus my thoughts on what my AH will selfishly acts on what he wants to do and he doesn't care or consider if it hurts us or not. In my book, I would avoid this person except I have to live with this person. I think it would help me to melt away all the anger, hurts, and injustices my AH has done to me. I am working on this defect which is a daily help me God on my list to do. I think this is over my head and I feel incapable of doing exactly this showing the AH respect. Then, I let go and give it to God who is my HP. I know he will work me to do what I can't. I do better at giving short answers and leave the room to my AH. Then I don't feel bad because I don't say much. With so much intense emotions swirling around me, I feel like I am a ticking time bomb. I have to hold this secret inside of me and I feel like a liar. I have hate, anger, anxiety, loneliness, and Sadness to work through to make peace with the situation. This is a lot on my plate and forgiving him with take some of this away. I think I wouldn't have any of these feelings if he wasn't in my life but I do eneed to make the best of the situation. My sponsor tells me to be kind and gentle and that my behavior can change his behavior. Ummm I walk everyday which helps calm my simmering pot. This helps me adjust my thoughts and feelings termindously. I find if I am kind and gentle to myself then it is easier to be kind and gentle to my AH. This is a process that takes time and I do receive those tiny bits of joy, peace and happiness only alnon has given me.

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~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 630
Date:

 Hi Flyfree...Love your avatar, as well...and Welcome to the board here.....Ohh I relate so much to your "how do I respect so and so when he/she does such and such??"  Its hard..and it took years of meetings, and working on the one thing I CAN learn to love and respect and care for and that is me...AS I learn to love, respect, care for me, I noticed that I "softened" towards the ones who are in a very bad place...Now..I will not take abuse, period!!! I make it really clear that abuse, I will never tolerate, but still...I can set my boundaries and do it in a humane manner and its not about them  (being humane) its about ME and how I feel about me...I walk and speak my truth and I stand to it, but I don't have to "go at them" like a saber toothed tiger to care for myself...I can do it firmly...clearly...without malice yet make my point clear....I feel for you being in this situation..I was married to two alcoholics and i just "got done with it all" and divorced the 2nd one, and drug my self into meetings, got a sponsor, got tons of workbooks on the 12 steps, any literature I could get my hands on, I devoured because I took everything so "personally" when the alcoholic would do something mean or stupid, but it wasn't about me, it was HIS issue..Not mine...

MY job was to go back into my childhood , via the steps, and figure out WHY I felt I didn't deserve a better type of relationship...and "what do I bring to this dysfunctional state of being?? what do I need to change about ME???" ....I had to totally put and keep the focus on ME and not my alcoholics in order to make the changes within me to draw better relationships to me, OR change me so I am not impacted by the drinkers, etc.  I have family members who are addicts and alcoholics..I don't really want to 100% kick them to the curb, but with program, I can be totally detached from them and their antics, set my boundaries and stand to them and not be devastated by their actions...I have my mental and emotional "hedges" up so they don't hurt me as in the past.....I used to have a "ton" of so called "friends" , but they were "shallow well" relationships....I noticed as I evolved in the program, my "friendship" circle shrank big time..it shrank because I was at a better place, mentally, and therefore my relationships changed....Hang in here with us, the meetings, etc., and keep the focus on you and what can you do to take good care of you and detach from all the drama and drinking...Some folks stay with their alcoholic, some, like me, leave...You will know what to do when you've been working your program for a while......sending HUGS of support........



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Rose:

*** KEEP IT SIMPLE***



~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 2139
Date:

Oh, this was a problem for me!

Two things came to mind as I read your post - I was reminded that I have respect for all life - I think the animal kingdom is remarkable and joyous and since I include humans in that kingdom they deserve my respect as well (although I have sometimes wondered about calling pest control!!). The second thing that popped out for me was your question about "why is this life placed before me to handle?" I remember asking myself something similar for many years - there had to be a lesson in there somewhere! I just needed to find the right key and then I'd figure out what it was that I needed to learn. Eventually I started to think about how I would feel if someone else was handling my life for me - I'm pretty sure I wouldn't like it so I stopped trying to do for others what they could or should be doing for themselves.

Once my ego got over being less than essential, it worked better for me!!!

Thank you so much for this post - it has really helped me to remind myself about why I prefer to have respect for all things, including myself.

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