Al-Anon Family Group

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.

Members Login
Username 
 
Password 
    Remember Me  
Post Info TOPIC: The Just For Today Bookmark


Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 143
Date:
The Just For Today Bookmark


Apparently after my daily reading earlier today my "Just For Today" bookmark fell out and landed on the end table. I picked it up and read it, all of it, which I don't think I have done before. Or maybe I have and forgot about it, IDK.

 

One of the things on there says "I will not show anyone that my feelings are hurt; they may be hurt ,but today I will not show it."  I don't understand the point or purpose in that. If someone hurts us why wouldn't we want them to know it? How is it self empowering or even healthy or healing to allow someone to get away with hurting us? Why is it wrong to say "hey ,that hurt my feelings and isn't ok"? Isn't it better to acknowledge and express our true feelings instead of hiding them or faking it?

 

 



__________________


Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 131
Date:

I think what is meant by this "Just For Today" suggestion is that it may not be appropriate to get into an argument with the alcoholic.

Just my take on this. When AH does or says anything that is hurtful it is best for me to not acknowledge him, detach and remove

myself from the situation. If I engage him, that is basically what he wants and feeds on, I learned to never let him know where my

goat is tied up, then he has nothing to encourage him. {{HUGS}}

__________________

"Forgiveness doesn't excuse bad behavior, but does prevent bad behavior from destroying your heart" ~ Unknown

Debbie



~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 2562
Date:

 

aww Good topic, Sunny... good point, Debbs... aww ...

    I have this saying: "never provoke nor avoid a conflict." 

     Not a good idea to have a conversation, let alone a 'sort out' with someone who is actually drunk.

      But it does always depend on the situation... aww ...



__________________

Each Alanon member is my teacher.                                                                                                                  



~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 2562
Date:

 

Just picked up this share from an anonymous recovery friend: a doozy...

 

Being stuck inside with all the family is starting to take its toll. My teenage son became frustrated over the weekend, went upstairs, slammed his door, and my wife and I heard once of the pictures on my wall fall down. Having two teenagers in the house, I didn't go upstairs and gave everyone time to cool off. Before I went to bed, I found that one of my favorite pictures that my wife had given me had fallen and the frame had broken.
My first instinct was to grumble and fix the picture myself. But then I hesitated: I hadn't broken the frame. I did some quick mental math (talking with my son and asking him to fix the frame or just doing it myself) and struggled with what to do.
I left it for a bit and slept on making a decision.
The next day I went to my son, asked him to fix the frame, and he accepted.
I didn't get into a fight with him, but simply asked for him to fix the frame because he had caused it to fall.
We spoke for a few more moments and I expressed how hard things had been for me as well during the pandemic--not being able to see people, working remotely, etc. and got the hell out of there before I put my foot in my mouth!
Later in the day, I found the fixed framed on my desk. I hung up the picture and smiled. No drama and problem fixed.


-- Edited by DavidG on Monday 21st of December 2020 07:32:12 PM

__________________

Each Alanon member is my teacher.                                                                                                                  



~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 932
Date:

Sunnyfrogs 

Al anon was born a lifetine ago 

That was before trauma recognition, before recognition of family dynamics.   

Even the understanding of alcoholism was what would now be termed rudimentary 

Indeed at one time in the program people were discouraged from taking psych meds.  For some people that was distarous

I am with you on that being annoyed by someone is not.somethimg I.can or should deal with 

However for some of us we have to choose our response. There are definitely some people who thrive on conflict. 

Pointing anything out to any of my qualifiers was a lost cause. In fact they fed on it.  They provoked it. 

Therefore i had to go back into my boundaries

I also had to address my expectations. Exoecting someone who is obnoxious to change is a big leap 

I do most certainly voice ny feelimgs these days. I most certainly change up. I edit out relationships 

There are some persons I have to be around. How I am around them is a constant challenge. The difference is today I am up.for the challengene. 

This time last year I was very challenged.  I was up against a lot of problems. I was also physically ill .

I could not brainstorm better choices.  Now I can. Are they optimal are they better they certainly seem so 

There are many schools of thought on how some of us find ourselves in this #fawning# behavior

They certainly help me. I no longer label these responses # #sickness#  or some kind of way to dininish myself. 

It is certainly understable how I came to be attached to those behaviors. 

I welcome your questioning of some of the texts 

I think it is extremely instructive and helpful to say parts of the program do not work for you.  What is even better is having a choice means you can find a way to manage your life 

Maresie 

PS last week.was really a tough one. This week os going much better. The holidays are really hard add a pandemic into.that abd there is a real big challenge there 

 

 

 

I



-- Edited by Maresie888 on Monday 21st of December 2020 04:03:23 PM

__________________


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 1161
Date:

This is a great discussion. That line bothered me a bit when I first read it. I pictured a 1950's housewife, in her apron, just keeping a smile on her face and stuffing her feelings.

But on reflection, I noticed this is under the heading "Just For Today." Maybe it is trying to say that, if my feelings are hurt, I can pause before I react. Maybe I take a day to think about what happened, why I feel hurt, and then decide what my action should be.

If I were to edit this today, I might take out the word "anyone" -- it seems isolating not to tell "anyone" that my feelings were hurt. This could be a good mess to bring to a sponsor or trusted friend, to process it before responding.

__________________


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 10996
Date:

(((SF))) - great thread and certainly worth pondering. I don't like at each line as a goal, but rather the whole poem as a reminder that Just for Today, One Single Day, I can take a break from fighting everything, everyone, the disease, my emotions, etc. I too found it hard to digest/comprehend when I first read it - it seemed huge and impossible. Not so today, simply because I read it and accept it as a reminder that all of the issues, problems, challenges, etc. I face in a day can typically be tabled for this one day and I can just focus on being free, positive, healthy, sane, calm, etc.

As far as confronting another when I am hurt, I always, without fail, take a pause. Not just with the A(s) in my life but others. This disease has affected in ways that I don't even know but one thing I do know is I was a hugely reactive soul and I took many, many things personally. Some were, some were not. What I know now is that I will always choose to be happy/serene over being right so when I am offended by another, I do pause to pray before I proceed.

I have no problem speaking my mind and advocating for me when I need to. Recovery has taught me that I don't always need to - I pick my 'battles' wisely. In my family with 3 active A(s), many days I've opted out of confrontation, hoping to talk with my sponsor first. Much to my surprise, my lack of reaction and changing for the better brought my guys to a different place and they've come and apologized without needing me to tell them they hurt me and owe me that. Nobody (myself included) wants to be called out from another who's angry. When I do need to share my truth, I have practiced (and gotten better) at doing so with calm words, kind words and I statements so I am not blaming another. We are not responsible for another's words/actions/thoughts/deeds - the same is true in reverse. Unless we willingly give away our power, another is not responsible for our words/actions/thoughts/deeds & feelings. Time and time again when I've worked with my sponsor, I've set myself up for disappointment by expecting more from another than they were able or willing to give. Self-advocating for me does not include any JADE nor does it include blame/shame of another. If I can't speak my truth without any of that, I'm not yet ready for a calm, adult conversation (sponsor's suggestions). This assumes I want to be a calm, respectful person vs. a reactive crazy woman who rants with anger at others (how I used to be)...

So, I don't know if it helps but for me, that bookmark is a total view to take a break from all that bothers you/me/us typically, just for one 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: 932
Date:

I dont think there is a standard this is what is good to do.
The qualifier often behaved in an outrageous way. So did the former roommate. I certainly had my hands full
These days I do not have a qualifier on hand my life is challenging. There is no plain sailing
There are certain people who if they go over a boundary I am not going to deal with them anymore.
I have no illusions anymore about when my card is full.
Self preservation is hard going. I need no one who gives ne a hard time. No one unless it is absolutely necessary .
I dont have to flame them out but if people crossing my boundary that is something I will act on
There is no clearer time this is absolutely necessary than now. Maresie

__________________


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 2495
Date:

SunnyF - You have already received some great ESH on your question.

I just wanted you to know that when I first came to Al-Anon, I HATED that bookmark for this very reason! LOL! Freetime's analogy was exactly what I thought about it.
So I chose the perfect way to deal with it - Take what you like, and leave the rest.
I always chose to leave that line out when I read the bookmark. I didn't feel bad about it, and it worked for me!

Peace, my friend!

__________________

"The wolf that thrives, is the one you feed." - Cherokee legend

"Hello, sun in my face. Hello you who made the morning and spread it over the fields... Watch, now, how I start the day in happiness, in kindness."  ~ Mary Oliver

 

 



Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 143
Date:

Thank you all for the different thoughts and perspectives. I really appreciate it.

I think when I read the bookmark,that part of it,I felt offended by it. I've been working so hard to find my voice and it was saying the opposite. It touched a nerve.



__________________


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 1151
Date:

 

Sunny I can remember all the "starter feelings and thoughts" I had when I first got into program which I came to remember I accepted as "the insanities".  Of course they were.  I was new and didn't know anything and didn't know that I didn't know what alcoholism was even.  I didn't know and I was working from a dark silent condition.  Listening and listening hard didn't and wasn't helping because I was left to my own experiences which were nothing when it came to my relationships to the disease and its experiences.  

What I did was to be silent for a long time and when I could act out it was in opposition and defiance.  I kept coming back because the minimal help and hope I was getting and holding on to was more than nothing.  I fought long and hard until I could and would fight no longer supremely grateful that Higher Power was  with me when I surrendered absolutely and then all the fight left one night after a meeting while sitting at my kitchen dining table.  It was very quiet and I was so left without energy so I slumped in  my chair and started hearing the welcome from my Higher Power that came in the messages of hope that the elders in the program spoke constantly.  I came to understand and I felt free of fear that I would always be lost.  I felt encouraged to act upon messages such as "Just For Today".   Just for Today I will live thru this one day only and not try to solve all of my problems at once...recovery science for this guy and I started and never looked back.

The bookmark is as old as my recovery time and my Higher Power continues to walk that time with me also.

Thanks for the share.   ((((hugs)))) smile



__________________
Jerry F


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 2805
Date:

Some of the statements on that bookmark do make a person wonder, don't they. I understand the statement about not showing you're hurt a bit differently today than I did when I first received that bookmark in my newcomers packet. As a newcomer I had found it hard to even identify what I feeling and if I was hurt and knew it, I didn't have the courage to express it to a person who I felt had hurt me. I had a lot of denial going on back then. I denied being true to myself because changing as a result of working Al-anon meant I might lose some people along the way because of prioritizing myself, by speaking up. Sadly, I wanted others in my life then more than my true self. As I began to grow in my recovery work, I could no longer play it small, be invisible. It was exciting to find my voice. Initially, I overused it. Even the tiniest of offenses needed to be known to alcoholic/addict. My voice was really more reactionary than responsive back then.

I do think the statement still holds up for me today because it reminds me not to give my power away to someone else. This doesn't mean I shovel offenses under the rug and misuse Al-anon's tool of detachment as an opportunity to never confront another or speak about something that has hurt me. It does mean I don't sweat the small stuff today. I can zip my lip and go about my day much more often without giving away my priceless gift - serenity.

That statement also speaks about ways to get out of one's own misery by being of service to others in some way which I have found is a great way to let go of personal feelings of misery. When I put some space between myself and the perceived offender or offending situation, I can gain a better perspective concerning my level of sensitivity around what happened. In other words, I have time to inventory myself a bit and make a decision as to whom I feel it's safe to share my hurt feelings. Sometimes I found that creating a boundary is a more workable solution to show another what is and isn't acceptable to me.

So... "Just for Today I will have a program. I may not follow it exactly, but I will have it."  TT

 



__________________

Surround yourself with people and elements that support your destiny, not just your history.

a4l


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 1249
Date:

Interesting thread. I too can relate to living the extreme of not ever showing my feelings; in marriage all that repression came out and sent me to the other extreme where my Emotions were always bold, underlined and in capitals. Did it help me to be either extreme? To survive, yes, but to thrive, no. Its a bit of a mixed message that bookmark. But practically, I have to concur that very rarely has showing my hurt before I processed it ever served me well. Sometimes I need help to process my hurts but now I know that not just any old Jo blogs can help me with that.

__________________


Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 143
Date:

Thanks for the continued replies here. (When I read them I don't just "read", I re-read, I take them in, swirl them around in my mind and deeply reflect and then see what I absorb}

When I did find my voice for the first time it felt so empowering, something I wasn't used to. It actually felt euphoric. But maintaining it has been a struggle and I realize I need to find a balance. I have gone from a meek, timid person to a hard core B**** if I'm completely honest. It doesn't have to be one way or the other with no in between. I don't have to be so forceful. I don't have to speak up and speak out for every single thing. I don't have to always say something, I see that now.


I read a quote today, "Silence is the sleep that nourishes wisdom". I think maybe sometimes I do just need to be silent.




__________________


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 932
Date:

Sunny Frogs 

I can certainly relate to a lot of this d8scussion. Right now my focus is on myself.  I am done making effort towards those who are simoly nasty. That is even being pleasant. 

I just simoly want to ignore them as much as possible.  That gets easier over time 

 

The focus has to be on me. I have such an obsession with people pleasing it can really gst out of control quickly 

 

The holidays are a really hard time for some of us. I have had melt downs in the past.  No melt downs lately but I have tremendous challenges 

 

I am always relieved when the holidays are over. 7 more days 

 

Maresie 

 

 

 



__________________


Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 143
Date:

I guess I didn't really need to start a thread trying to understand this, life seems to teach me all the lessons I need.

Yesterday morning I woke up at like 4:30 AM due to a nightmare. I sat on the couch, came here to read without logging in to calm down and relax my mind. AH woke up and instantly started in on me, telling me every little thing I have ever done that has upset him throughout our entire marriage(most of it was ridiculous stuff like you offered me a candy bar when I didn't want one). Then he told me he started the argument on purpose and laughed at me. Of course it didn't go well and I reacted. The entire day, Christmas was a disaster with him being his usual self. I ended up taking the Xmas tree down before noon, along with all the decorations and decided Christmas was over with. I didn't cook, I didn't do anything and I ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for dinner, IDK what he ate and honestly didn't care. I know, I know, I could have handled it all so much better and differently. I was so tired though and didn't get to go back to sleep because of his irrational behavior. I guess from my own irrational behavior too.

That was yesterday, it's a new day.

Just for today I will not show anyone that my feelings are hurt, they may be hurt but today I will not show it.


I know now there's a time and a place to speak up. It's not always necessary or even wise to in some situations, especially when dealing with an A(lol and btw that "A" may just stand for something different than what you're thinking right now)



__________________


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 932
Date:

My qualifier always set out to.make Christmas a hard time for me. He is not.the only qualifier who did that.  I have a collection of them. Nevertheless he took pride in goading me. He made it the highlight of his year. 

I have had to look long.and hard to see how I set myself up.around certain people. They seemed  to go out of the way to let me down.   They prided themselves on it.  Then I had to look at how my lack of boundaries was the core of those issues. 

I.do not have to tell you thar the holidays are s big trigger fir the alcoholc. They notmally have alcothons around the holidays thst is 24 hours of neetings in certain locations.   One of my friends committed suicide on 23 December.

My holidays are very quiet and low key.  I went to a.meditatin grouo and the keader talked about how he had a hard time on the holidays. He kept it really low key and that was so heloful. I never thought I would have a calm peaceful holiday. It took me a lifetime to get there! 

That was good for me. I am thoroughly familiar with the kind of Christmas you had.   That was indeed my norm. Christmas was indeed very very triggering fot me.  I sirrounded myself with chaos. I had immense conflict and I always felt betrayed abd let down. I most certainly was bullied into going places I did not want to go.  Then when I got there I felt left out and uncomfortable.  When I look back on those moments of course I was right to feel out of it they were terribly dysfunctional.  For thoss of us with complex ptsd life is a saga of triggers.  Whatever worked before doesnt work for the next series of triggers.  How very challenging that is.  Nevertheless there is a part of us who is passionate about thriving and moving on.  Otherwise you most certainly would not be here 

 

Managing triggers is almost  full time job. No one but someone with Complex PTSD would understand how dedicated you are to recovery.  

We are so lucky to have you in this group to be able to duscuss the limitations of recovery in al anon. Our dear founder Lois most certainly had some  trauma issues otherwise why would she be attached to Bill W.   They did not have the benefit of knowing wherd those symptoms came from.   Thaf is why they referred to ot as a #disease# like it is something you can catch.   

I am so blessed to live in a time where the origins of codelpendence are being examined. I was always so shamed by my lack of boundaries, shamed by my choice of qualifiers. 

I was particularly shamed by how difficult and triggering Christmas was for me.  I felt such a failure and so hopeles by  that situation. Moreover I found it very hard to find somewhere to go to feel safe enough to disclose that. 

Thank you for being brave enough to discuss where you are, what you are dealing with and how resolute you are to find a way through this.

Remember how important you are in forging ahead with new parameters of recovery. You are a champion in being authentic and giving clarity to the  unfathomable problems with codependency. Now we know codeoendency has such deep roots that is s brave compelling task to take on. 

No one can promise recovery in these times. Nevertheless when the world is at a complete standstill (as it is) we can find ways to forge ahead and learn.   I know I am not going to be swallowed up by my circumstances ever again. 

 

Maresie 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



__________________


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 1161
Date:

Sunny, I am so glad you are having a new day ... and thank you for sharing how the previous day went. I'm sure we have all had days like that, maybe different in the details but the same in the frustration and disappointment.

I have to appreciate your husband's saying he started an argument on purpose. In my experience, on-purpose arguing was a feature of alcoholism. I usually didn't argue back, but man, did I stew and suffer silently about it. Your peanut butter and jelly sandwich made me smile ... that is one of my favorite meals. I would choose it over the finest steak, seafood, whatever. I hope it made you feel nourished. A PB&J eaten in peace is much better than a sumptuous meal eaten under stress. And yes, I too have thought "A" stood for something else. Also, in "Bless them, change me" I mentally substituted another short word for "bless." I am not perfect, but as our friend IAH says, perfectly imperfect.

Thank you for this thread, and the opportunity to talk about how we are all human.

__________________


Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 143
Date:

Yesterday AH cooked the meal I had planned to cook on Christmas. I was surprised actually, he never cooks.

Maybe he realized what he had missed out on,IDK, or maybe he didn't want all that food to go to waste. I would have been happy with another PB&J sandwich. And me too, Freetime, I would choose one of them over any other meal. It's my comfort food.

__________________


Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 131
Date:

Sunny, glad you are past that anxious day, been there done that as well.

BTW my all time favorite is either pizza and especially grilled cheese sandwiches!!

__________________

"Forgiveness doesn't excuse bad behavior, but does prevent bad behavior from destroying your heart" ~ Unknown

Debbie



~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 932
Date:

Glad you had a greaf meal 

I have had some success in holding back

That is an incredible feat of detachment 

I know it is very hard to be around someone who.is acting out over the holidays 

Great work 



__________________


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 2805
Date:

Thanks for the update about your Christmas SF. Sounds like you did what was in your power to restore your sanity and serenity for the holiday.

Whatever his motivation for cooking the food... pffft who cares right LOL?  Hope it was delicious and you enjoyed the rest of your day as he cleaned up his mess ;) (((hugs))



__________________

Surround yourself with people and elements that support your destiny, not just your history.

Page 1 of 1  sorted by
 
Quick Reply

Please log in to post quick replies.