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Post Info TOPIC: Detachment/ defusing slogans/ESH

Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 138
Detachment/ defusing slogans/ESH

Hi everyone-

So, Ive been helping my friend who is deep in the struggles of her AH, and she finally has reached out to me in help. Things blew up when I stopped by last night. Her husband was so drunk and asking me why I was there (I told him visiting), and he immediately got suspicious, yelling, etc. I did not respond to his rants, full knowing that itd get me no where. My friend has not been taking care of herself (she looked gaunt) and she was pleading with me that she needed help, that she cannot do this anymore. We walked out, especially after he yelled at me that I was not welcomed there, and my friend said, I invited her, and I want her to stay. We just left to help deescalate the situation with me the whole time not engaging with him (though I was concerned with her safety). Of course, he was yelling at us in his driveway, the neighbors fully hearing all that was going on. She was completely mortified. He also said he filed a police report because I wouldnt leave! Oh, the alcohols voice is irrational!


So we left, and she gave me the whole story. Shes isolated herself much more than I realized. She told her husband that she doesnt want a divorce, but she couldnt keep living like this anymore. I didnt offer any advice, but let her talk, and told her about my rock bottom situation. I told her when I couldnt take it anymore, I left because I had to get away and not talk to my AS. During that time, I reflected. I made a list of boundaries. I worked on my program away from the situation (I went to Colorado with my sister). She said she wished her family was more supportive, but her sister is very judgmental toward him and especially toward her. My spouse and I she said, is the only real support she has. She tried Al-Anon with me when I was still really knee deep in the mess, but she decided it wasnt for her.


She did say that she liked the idea of boundaries. I told her, for me, it helped make clear what I would not put up with to protect myself. Shes dealing with a lot of guilt, especially with her kids Having to also deal with this. She also is trying to not engage with him when hes drunk.  I told her a slogan that I used to defuse: That May be so. That was the only one that really came to mind, that and You May be right. I misplaced (or used up) my slogans to help defuse the situation I was once in, and I tried finding them. Are there any good ones that helped anyone else here?


She wants to leave, but now isnt a good time. Detaching and not enabling helped me during my rough times. I dont want to offer advice, so I keep sharing my experiences, like I would at a meeting. Im so sad that shes so broken. Im sending prayers and covet those for her from all of you.  Thanks!


Butterflies can't see their wings.  They can't see how truly beautiful they are, but everyone else can. People are like that as well.  Anonymous

~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 3181

Your friend is very lucky to have you in her life .. living with an alcoholic is to much to bear alone.

Hugs and prayers to your friend and you.

S :)


"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


Status: Offline
Posts: 24

I'm so sorry she's dealing with this. I'm kind of in the same boat. I haven't decided to leave my AH and he's an active (relapsed) alcoholic/addict. We have two kids at home.
I'm working on the detaching. It's really hard. I thank God for this program because with it I'm slowly starting to "get it." Reading daily or several times a day from the literature helps me, too.

When my AH is upset and trying to engage I say things like, "I'm sorry you feel that way", "I disagree but you have a right to your opinion," or just "I prefer not to talk about this right now. Thanks." I usually walk away at that point and do something else. Either go to another room and busy myself, or leave the house if I have to.

My AH doesn't like this. I think he got to used to me arguing back and our explosive crazy yelling. Now when I walk he taunts me for "running", calls me a name or whines that I won't listen to him. I think it's all him trying to get me to turn around and have that good ol' argument. But I'm getting better at letting it go and walking. I feel so good about that and proud of myself. I used to feel so ashamed and sorry after losing my temper. It feels better to walk away, take deep breathes.

Step One is helping me with this. I have to accept I can't control my AH. There's nothing I can say or do to make him get sober. His recovery or lack of recovery is not my responsibility, it's 100% his. I can love him, pray for him, and turn him over to his HP... let go and let God.

Another thing that helped me is a modified Serenity prayer I first saw on this board. After I saw it, I wrote it down in my journal. Now I think of when things get tough with AH.
"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."

It has helped me put myself first and focus on boundaries for myself. Like walking away or leaving if he's out of line. Refusing to spend time with if he's intoxicated.

Prayers for you and your friend. <3

-- Edited by sakina on Wednesday 13th of June 2018 01:26:03 PM


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 1489

Welp I Agree Your Friend is Lucky to Have you, and as for Slogans in situations like that, Well... There are Soooo Many :) Thank Goodness...

Some Slogans/Gestures that Helped Me was:

Vote with your Feet (Leave the Room till you can Think Clearer or the house if that's what it takes)
This too Shall Pass, (I Needed this Reminder DAILY)
Live & Let Live (Helped me Stay out of THEIR Stuff, and Keep Focused on Myself)
How Important is It? (When I Felt the Need to Argue Back!)

This Disease is HARD... But I Think you Being Mindful to know not to Advise but to Listen and Share your ESH is a True Blessing to your Friend, and Just Letting her Know that even tho that First Go Round for her at Al-Anon wasn't for Her, doesn't mean it wont be down the Road and Option that can Offer her Peace of Mind...

I know for Me when I Got into Al-Anon, FEAR was always in back of my Head... Because if I Went to Al-Anon "What would my AHusband think? What would My AFamily SAY! What if it didn't Work for ME? What if They was Right,... I Didn't NEED It?" all things that Almost Kept me from my Journey... But I had to Put my Faith in HP's hands... and I was Reminded Always that this was MY Program and regardless of what Others Thought, it was For Me, and About Me... Not My Alcoholics... That took a while to Sink in... But So Grateful it did :)

I have a Dear Al-Anon Friend that has Just celebrated 34 years in the Program and Her Story started with "The First time I went to Al-Anon I thought it was Great for Other People, but it just wasn't for Me!" and NOW... Well I'm so Blessed she Came Back, So Don't Give up, Keep Working Your Program, and I Have no Doubt your Friend will see what a Blessings its been for you and Who knows... Maybe one day she too will find her way back...

Just having a Friend that will listen, is More then Most get... And its Hard when we care about someone to Hand them Over to their HP. but Listening never hurt anyone ;)

Keep Coming Back...
Thanks for Your Share
Be Blessed

Jozie ;)


Thee Only Journey I Control Is MY Own :)

Gratitude.... Is a God Honoring Attitude! :D


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 952

I've often said it's hard "to do alanon through someone else" so to speak. We know what we know, and we try and help someone else, who isn't in program, and it can be a struggle. Putting yourself if the line of fire isn't always a good thing either, LOL. Regardless, she's in trouble. And when she's ready, she'll be ready. You are there for her, without telling her what to do, and that's a great thing. We can always be there for someone, in a healthy and supportive way -- and that's why we are here, LOL. To learn, healthy thinking, behavior, etc.

For whatever reason, she decided it wasn't for her. She wasn't ready. Or it wasn't for her. So be it. Me personally, in my experience, I have never been a believer in "You May be right" or "That may be so" or anything along those lines. Why? If I have to use "slogans" or some sort of tool to say to the alcoholic, it is because they are drunk, or sober, and if they are sober, they are still unreasonable, illogical, treating me with unacceptable behavior, or something of the like. If things were normal, I wouldn't have to use a slogan or tool!!! LOL. So, in that setting, when I have to use a slogan or tool, it is because the other person is "in it" or has their 'ism's, or is being difficult, etc. Whatever the situation is.

Saying "you may be right" to a "normal" or "healthy" person is innocent, non-starter, uneventful, etc. Saying it to an alcoholic who is drunk/sober but still not healthy....that is not innocent. To me, it can be offensive. It can escalate the situation. That has happened to me. I don't want to "enable" either! You may be right -- I am not going to say that if it's not possible. LOL. Yes, I want to diffuse the situation. I can detach -- physically. That has always been my go-to. But to diffuse, I learned my lesson saying you might be right, or that's a good point, or that may be so, to my drunk/sober but not healthy wife.

My favorite...go to slogan-phrase...I AM SORRY YOU FEEL THAT WAY.

Yes, people have told me it has back-fired on them, like you may be right has back-fired on me. However, I say it with sincerity. I am completely and totally genuine, and I am authentic in who I am, so I mean it. I feel compassion for the person, empathy that they feel how they do, and for that I am sorry. So, for me it works.



Keep coming back...

God, grant me the 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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