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Post Info TOPIC: After the storm


Senior Member

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Date:
After the storm


After being so angry earlier and then talking to ABF he left to stay in a hotel. Says he needs space and the flat is becoming "toxic". I feel really sad because it feels like he's still trying to put the blame on me. 

 

When I am on school holidays I can work the program well. I can detach with love. I can self love. I can be kind to myself.  THis week I have a tough week at work and he's left. I always feel I"m in it alone when I need support. He had a bad week last week at work and I listened to him, but when it's my bad week, he's off.

When I do too much thinking, I realise I get nothing out of this relationship. There has been no intimacy for over a year. I get companionship in the evenings when I'm exhausted, but that's hit and miss and his work (or drinking) always comes first. And if I"m honest, I can survive without that. It's nice, but not essential. I know that I am impatient and that I want things to improve and to see improvement and when I don't, I get disheartened and the anger comes back. I know a week off alcohol isn't a long time at all, but there are still no movement forwards into a quality relationship. He's admitted that he just doesn't have any energy to be in a relationship - which frustrated me because he can work for hours on work problems, but because I'm not a computer program, it feels like I'm not worth the time to even consider trying to 'solve' - or make steps towards starting a relationship again.

I am still on my timeline of deciding by summer whether I continue in this relationship. At the moment, even though he's not drinking (a week now - baby steps) I just don't feel at all like I"m in a relationship with an adult. I'm still in the relationship with a narcissist. 

Anyway, sorry I can't be more positive right now. I'm going to go and read some reflections and meditate before bed.



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



~*Service Worker*~

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((((MizzB))))  the Big Book statement of "Acceptance is the solution to all of my problems"  helped me a lot first with my mind set and then with the practice of suggestions.  I love the lessons of acceptance...all of them and then the lessons of choices to help me determined what I was going to do when after so that I would get to do what "I" wanted to do and then of course earn the consequences.  I learned that I was always getting consequences and that helped me to learn how to make better choices.  I understand "the storm" and so did my alcoholic/addict.  She didn't want many of "our consequence" and would have loved to make other choices also.  

I have sat in the rooms and witnessed so many miracles take place, not only in speech and also in behaviors.  When I receive those signals I experience the "H" of our ESH..."HOPE".

This morning when walking into the meeting room and before entering the building I noticed a small orange traffic cone by the front door with "ESH" stenciled on it and I smiled and laughed.  Yessir...I was in the right place.

((((hugs))))   Keep coming back.  aww



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Bo


~*Service Worker*~

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I have never been one to passively fall into the space where alanon is a program that teaches us how to make the unbearable bearable, or make unacceptable behavior acceptable, or make the intolerable tolerable. No, not at all. However, aside from acceptance -- and I am one who lives in the space of acceptance, but doesn't collapse it or confuse it with unacceptable behavior or anything of the like -- there is another aspect to this.

If an alcoholic is in true recovery -- real, authentic, genuine recovery -- going to meetings, having and working with a sponsor, living a life of recovery, and so on...early on in that recovery, the very most important thing in their world is...sobriety. Keeping sober, staying sober, doing what they have to do, sometimes one minute at a time, in order to not drink. Sometimes that struggle is the only thing they can do, focus on, think about, and commit to. I've seen friends come out of rehab, hit the outdoors, call a friend, go straight to a meeting, find sponsor, and start working at that very moment, and that work doesn't stop. Not drinking, sometimes takes everything humanly possible, and even then it's not enough -- hence, the fellowship of AA, friends, support, a sponsor. I had one friend get out of rehab, go to two meetings a day, meet with his sponsor after that, do readings, and then simply do certain things just to fill his day until the next meeting (laundry, sweeping, doing service, etc.).

What I've seen, experienced, etc., vis a vis recovery -- early on in recovery -- the "us" is not part of the equation. I've seen countless people in the rooms in this situation. I was one of them. In the rooms, the "we" is the "I" or the "me" so to speak. No two people have to be alike. Everyone can be different. Each situation is a situation unto itself. So I use the we generically, and I hate generics, LOL. When it comes to the relationship -- we want it back. We want work to go into it. We are afraid that it has to be part of recovery, part of rebuilding, the trust, the love, the rapport, all of it. For us, we want us back. We convince ourselves it should be, could be, has to be. It is hard to not have it. We negotiate, rationalize, justify, vacillate, and more. We search for allies in our beliefs. We want the troops to rally behind it. Even when a professional says so, it furthers our want, desire, etc. In short, we want what we want...and we are convinced "it" is for the best. "It" is the right thing. But for the alcoholic, early on, it's about sobriety. Period. Their life can depend on it.

While I have compassion for the alcoholic/addict who is in true recovery, I also must have patience and understanding. They are ingredients in my recipe of compassion. Just my experience. Take what you like and leave the rest.



-- Edited by Bo on Sunday 13th of May 2018 08:54:51 PM

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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...

 

Bo


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In thinking this through a few other things started to resonate with me. While some may say it's a "bad attitude" -- as it relates to the blame aspect, I expect the alcoholic at certain points to blame me. I don't look for it, create it, or direct it -- but when it happens, I expect it so that I am totally shocked, offended, victimized, etc. Why? Because when I am those things -- it's my stinking thinking.

I can't allow her bad week to make my week bad. Detach, both emotionally and physically. Stay on my side of the street, same, emotionally and physically. I am powerless, I don't try to fix it, control it, etc. I also do something else -- I don't defend myself against baseless, false, or inaccurate accusations and allegations. Can I feel alone at times like this? Yes. However, there is a difference between being alone and being lonely. Discussion for another time, LOL. Alone is a moment in time...lonely is a state of mind.

For me, reality is always part of the equation. After years of fear, rationalization, justification, vacillation, and more -- I no longer avoid reality. Is this the life I want to live? Is this how I want to live my life. Companionship, simple watching TV together, and the most basic, simple of conversations always came second...to her drinking, or her already being drunk. Not my life. Just for today. Looking forward -- today I am in a wonderful relationship. So the fear and projection was False Evidence Appearing Real.

I refused to be an afterthought, or the "if there's time" element.

More to follow...I have to run into a meeting, business meeting, LOL.

__________________

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...

 

Bo


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Back...I find the over-thinking is an enemy. I don't want to be in denial...so...what do I do?

I focus on the "WHAT" of the situation...not the "WHY"

Trying to figure out what the alcoholic is thinking, why they are doing what they are doing, why they aren't doing this, but doing that, because of this, and so on...that will drive me crazy. I can't be in that place. There is no logic to the illogical alcoholic. You cannot apply logic to an illogical person or situation. For me --- too much thinking when it's about me and my situation, focused on me...that's a good thing! When it's analysis, why, etc. -- it's paralysis by analysis!

When the marriage was second to -- not just being dry, not drinking, etc., but to recovery...real recovery, I was OK with that. Why? Because I knew that if she got healthy, got better, lived a true life of recovery...then our marriage would be OK. Thus, I wasn't threatened by the marriage coming second to that. But if it was only dry, not drinking, controlling the drinking, and so on...when the marriage came second to that...I also knew the marriage had zero chance to survive.

After the storm...I wasn't in denial. Reality was a good thing, a very good thing.

__________________

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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Thank you.
Bo, you re of course right about recovery. His recovery has to be his priority. THe frustration is that he focuses on work and I feel that if he can do that then he can focus on a relationship, I feel he is still making work his priority and when he does that, it makes me feel sidelined and makes me worry that he's just going to go straight back to drinking as that is what has always happened in the past with his job.

The reality is he doesn't have capacity for me in the way that I need a relationship. The reality is that I am socially isolated so rely on him too much for all my social needs. The reality is he hasn't had a sober relationship, and he doesn't know how to do it. The reality is I feel owed for all the bad times we've gone through and all the support I've given him. And another reality we have had a few good times but alcohol has been a factor throughout are relationship, so I don't know if he'll ever be there for me in the way I need.

I don't feel this relationship is what is best for either of us right now. I have been beaten down by my job, and this relationship. I used to be fun, but I can't remember when. It wasn't in my previous school - I was constantly angry there about other members of staff not doing their jobs properly. It might have been before that when I was studying and when I had a close friend and we hung out a lot, including with shared dog walks. And yet we are both clinging to it because it's what we know and because there have been some fun times.

I know that I need to be the change here as I don't think he will end it. And yet I still don't. I"m about 70:30 on ending the relationship. I'm trying to be kind to myself and I know why I'm not ending it. I'm hoping counselling will help me get things the way they need to be and remove that 30%.

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



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Ah MizzB (((hugs))) everything you say was me when my husband was an active alcoholic and even noe iit's not easy. I couldn't have a conversation, made all the decisions big or small on my own and I felt alone. The tv was on, every now and again we would laugh at something. We didn't do anything together, no intimacy or anything. There was nothing left of what we used to be and it felt like I was fighting. I was fighting a losing battle with myself and with my alcoholic husband. Now, I choose myself over him. I can enjoy myself without him. I can have fun without him. I am confident without him and live my life without him. Me and the children are in a good place and it has taken me a lot of work to get to this place (I still wobble). I think it's really important to leave him be and enjoy the time with yourself and reflect. It's hard. X

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THanks Dutchy, I really do feel a kinship with your situation. I think we differ that I don't have children and haven't had a chance because of his drinking and because of previous choices I'm made that have got me to this age. I also think that in my situation, we've only been together 2 1/2 years and I don't think I could handle the situation you have at the moment. I want to enjoy myself in a relationship. I was on my own for 6 years before this relationship and I don't think I need to go through that again - especially as I would be living on my own. I"m not saying that I"m going to rush into anything but I want a full relationship or no relationship with him. i don't think I could have him move out now and want to continue with the relationship because I can't see how that would fulfill any of the needs/wants that I have. I don't think I have what some other people have which is a relationship that predated the alcoholism. He has been an alcoholic the whole time I've known him, it just took me a while to spot it and him a longer time to accept it and that makes it easier for me to be all/nothing in this. I don't know if that's right. I don't know what's right anymore but I know I want to be happy and that wouldn't make me happy.

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



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It looks like you've made a decision and have given your own answer. To me it feels like you want to cut ties. What is stopping you?

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~*Service Worker*~

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Hugs MizzB,

I came in late on this thread, however trying to expect someone who can't give you emotional support is the infamous expecting bread from a hardware store.

It's so important to practice self care x 10000 and find those who will support you .. yes having a sig other who supports you and can give you emotionally what you need is the goal of a relationship .. I was just having this discussion with a girlfriend of mine .. I know before I came to alanon I was emotionally constipated for lack of a better term .. I was emotionally unavailable .. probably as much as my previous sig others were.

The other thing is .. we are all entitled to our own boundaries .. and I find it amusing in my own behavior when I am shocked when someone else states their boundaries .. after all my boundaries are healthy .. LOL .. that has been a recent revelation .. LOL. What do you mean if I set a boundary someone else can .. and regardless if I see it as healthy or not .. it is their right to set it. I can only control myself and my boundaries and how others respond is up to them.

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

Bo


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I know, it seems unfair. Unfair of course to you, to me, to us. I get it. From my perspective, focusing on recovery is focusing on recovery. What that looks like to each person can be different. When I was focusing on my recovery, one thing that helped me through it was...WORK! I was able to throw myself into work, it was innate, it took mental horsepower, but it was not "personal" in that it was bifurcated from my "life" so to speak. Unfortunately, this is up to him. Believe me, I am not defending him. I have always landed on the alanon side of the equation, but I am objective as well. Just because "I FELT" my ex could focus on work and therefore she could focus on the relationship did not make it a fact. She, her doctors, her counsellors, her therapists, everyone at rehab -- all said work would be good for her. It would give her something to focus on and not make it a life focal point. When she got out of rehab, aside from AA, meetings, sponsor, etc. -- the first thing they wanted was for her to get back to work. Me, I didn't understand it, but when they explained it, I did and I went along with it.

Forget about her...that was the case for me! Did I feel pushed aside? Abso-friggn'-lutely!!! If the job drove her to drinking, like you are worried about, I get that. If it is that kind of work, can it be detrimental? Of course. But that's for him and his doctor's, therapists, etc., to work out. I get where you are coming from, and you of course should do what you feel is best for you. My experience was different. And that's just me. At a certain point, the alcoholic is emotionally incapable of giving anything. My experience is -- even when they are dry. And, even when they are early on in recovery.

Him not knowing how to have whatever kind of relationship -- OK, it is what it is. Just for today. I didn't see it as my role or my job to change that. I did not make it about what I wanted...and then forced my will...and tried to make what I wanted a priority. As far as you feel owed...I get that. Oh do I get that. Owed. Yes. So, how's that working for you? It didn't work good for me. I got past that. I had to. I did not and could not make this about what I felt.

More to follow, LOL...and I hear you on the 70/30 aspect.



__________________

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...

 

Bo


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SerenityRUS wrote:

Hugs MizzB,

I came in late on this thread, however trying to expect someone who can't give you emotional support is the infamous expecting bread from a hardware store.


 

Wow!!! It cannot be said more clearer and more concise. Thank you so very much!!!



__________________

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...

 

Bo


~*Service Worker*~

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Date:

MizzB, I hear you so well, with such clarity. I feel for you, and know exactly how you feel. I went through almost exactly the same thing as it relates to recovery, work, the marriage, etc. That frustration you are feeling is real, but it can also cloud your thinking, distort your thinking. He's not making a choice right now. He's looking to focus on whatever he can which will allow him to stay sober. Listen, I don't know his job. If he ends up focusing on his work -- and that causes him to drink -- it is what it is. Forcing what he focuses on can't be healthy for you. You will feel sidelined, back-burnered, whatever you want to call it. I found a hundred names for it. And all the frustration did was make me angrier than I had to be. It stood in the way of compassion, understanding, and I rationalized my feelings -- and my wants.

Yes, he doesn't have the emotional capacity for you, the relationship, etc. He's emotionally bankrupt and whatever is there is focused on sobriety. If you feel in your heart that there has to be something, anything, on the relationship...then stand by that. You relying on him too much for all your social needs -- well, whose problem is that? That gives you something to focus on and work on. Forget about his reality of not having a sober relationship and not knowing how to. Turn the focus back to you -- and you said you feel owed. I get it. I felt that a lot. I just kept working on that. Work on that and see where it leads you. What's done is done. The owe -- support, efforts, bad times, coupled with an expectation of a return. Well, we know what they say about expectations< LOL. Hence, disappointment. Remember, he's bankrupt.

Right now, you don't know what you don't know. Just for today. One day at a time. And of course, nothing changes if nothing changes. Keep it simple. See, what each day holds. Forget about what's best for either of you -- focus on what's best for YOU. Forget about whether he will end it or not. This is about YOU. Keep your focus there. You will be fine. You will be happy. 

So, if you know why you are not ending it -- why is that? What's at play there? All the best.



__________________

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...

 



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Hi MizzB,

Wow, such wisdom from everyone's responses! Two things jumped out at me.... the 1 week of sobriety.....survival mode for the alcoholic and survival mode for the alanon. A week is a drop in the bucket of waking up from a nightmare of thriving on booze for the A...the very real physical effects/mental effects and all the damage from the alcohol has not had time to leave...and the alanon hasn't had time to move forward after existing and thriving on destructive emotions and coping skills.....the pain of the actions, words and path of destruction the alcohol can cause.

It sounds like you may be making exit plans..........one thing I am learning that if, I could take away anything from alanon.......whether I am in a relationship or not.....if I expect anyone to meet my needs, I am setting myself up for a huge fall. I can only meet my own needs one day at a time. I used to drive myself crazy years ago (this was back when the dr phil era began, when I used to watch TV or hear these programs going at my grandmothers home while caring for her) wanting my ex to meet my needs. It was a long time before I realized I was expecting a person to do something they simply were not capable of doing. With or without alcohol. With or without gambling. The bottom line is, I had to learn how to live. For myself. It wouldn't matter who I was with, a non alcoholic, or an alcoholic.......if I expected them to meet my needs, I needed to work on myself. Do I relapse into thinking someone can meet my needs? You bet lol! BUT.........it never lasts long and the peace for me is when I am not "expecting" someone to fill in a place that belongs to me.

Be kind to yourself and sending hugs!!!

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THank you to everyone. You are of course right and have put things in perspective. In my thinking it's not just a week sober, it's the months of hell - the 'lost months' I've gone through that I'm focusing on and expecting things to improve quickly because of those. 1 week sober is nothing and 'emotionally bankrupt' is such a good way of putting it. You have reminded me that he is in the fight for his life here - literally - and I can't expect to be a focus. HIs life, his health has to be what he focuses on. It's up to me what I do with that knowledge.

I have seen others post about the difficulties of a sober partner and their journey in handling the new dynamic but my mind conveniently forgot all those posts. I guess I am very worried about the future as this is it and I think he knows that too. If it doesn't work out this time then he has to move out of London. I worry that he's not using the tools available to him - he doesn't go to AA, he's doing a different program which hasn't started yet but he hasn't attended a voluntary group so far and he keeps trying to find ways around the full time program so that he can keep his job. I know these aren't my worries to have but they have implications for me. I'm also without his parents for support for me at the moment as they are away for a month.

I guess in the analogy of Serenity, I have been in this hardware store for a very long time, trying to get my damn bread and I'm getting very hungry now!! But if I can't get the bread then maybe I need to completely remove myself from this hardware store because I already have plenty of hammers and nails from work and I'm craving, needing bread and I'm finding it hard to shop elsewhere while I have a customer loyalty to the hardware shop. I may have taken that analogy too far!!

So what stops me cutting ties? Fear of loneliness. My job has always taken all my energy. For the last 16 years I've worked weekends, holidays, evenings on top of going to work and this year has tired me out. The thought of meeting new people exhausts me - especially as I know I can be quite difficult. I like my own space, I like being opinionated, I like my eccentricities and all of these make it very hard to meet likeminded people. I once had a very strong group of friends, we were all similar in terms of being opinionated, empowered etc but over they years that group has broken up through life events. I'm too tired to go out in the evenings, I'm too tired at weekends and I have to do basic things I don't have time to during the week. I like the convenience of having a friend at home and when he's sober we are friends. He does help out with the dog as well. At the moment she is being left for 10 hours a day on her own which isn't fair on her (she is an old dog and just sleeps all the time but she still likes someone to be there). I will get a dog walker but need the summer vacation to build up trust between her and a new person. The other thing is fear of the dating market. my dating past reads like a disaster film. Failed marriage, 6 years alone, one brief relationship with a very irritative person - no concept of personal space and now an alcoholic. My "go to" for feeling lonely is work. My work makes it hard to find the energy to meet people. This circle has teeth it's so vicious. As you say Tude, I need to learn how to live. I've been chasing the almighty dollar to pay off my mortgage and forgotten that there is more to life than a low loan:value ratio. I know that I need to be enough on my own and my six years single I was ok - I learned a lot by going to therapy - I was holding a lot of guilt from the failed marriage that I learned to let go of. Plus when dating I always choose 'interesting' men. ANd these tend to be the ones with drama attached - one was a genuine psychopath which was very interesting, and entirely unhealthy for me! I guess that I feel that I have some needs that can only be met by having someone else in my life - hugs, intimacy. I don't think that's unusual though.



All this helps me get things straight in my mind about what is going on. I dislike uncertainty - I'd rather face an unpleasant situation head on and get it sorted/confronted rather than just have bad feeling or anxiety hangover me and this current 'break' feels very much uncertain especially as he taking radio silence (and I'm leaving him to that - even though my crazy brain is thinking he's drinking, or he's just making the decision to end the relationship which wouldn't be that surprising or derail me all that much). My instinct is to end it so I have certainty. I also don't like reactive rather than proactive and I feel I'm in a situation where that is exactly what is happening - I feel being proactive would be ending it as I can't really see any other way of being proactive in this situation. I have a counselling appointment tomorrow with a specialist in this area, so this is all helping me get thoughts straight in my head.

For tonight I need to spend time with my little dog and get a lot of sleep. Had a tough day of interviews and teaching and meetings and I'm worn out. I'm looking forwards to my appointment tomorrow to have someone who is focused only on me, for an hour.

__________________

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



~*Service Worker*~

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MizzB,

Big hugs be gentle with you first and foremost, .. a long timer at my meeting has stated many times that when the RA got sober the crazy in the long timer came out and seriously out. There is the expectation of ok .. they are sober .. and sobriety has many different levels it's not just physical sobriety it is also emotional sobriety. Alcoholism (addiction) is a 4 fold disease .. all coming from a point of bankruptcy .. physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. I know how hard it was for me and I wasn't in an altered state of mind dealing with it.

That takes a LONG time, like years long based upon the brain physically coming out of the fog and understanding of how to deal with the jumbled up emotions that come with that .. physical sobriety is a walk in the park compared to dealing with that forget about the other stuff that goes with it .. here's the good news that's the RA's issue .. not mine .. my only issue is keeping my side of the street clean .. expecting rational behavior from an irrational person is not going to happen .. it doesn't matter who the irrational person is because sometimes it's me.

No .. expecting someone who is a week sober to be rational is a totally irrational thought and the reality is their journey to sobriety may or may not be over in terms of the physical. That's why I am grateful this is a one day at a time program because I can only do one day at a time ... period.

I hope you have a lovely evening and make the most of it for you and your puppy. :)

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

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