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Post Info TOPIC: 1/5/21 Courage to Change – Compassion, or Enabling?


~*Service Worker*~

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1/5/21 Courage to Change – Compassion, or Enabling?


Today's author misunderstood compassion toward the alcoholic to include making excuses or covering for them monetarily. AlAnon suggests this behavior is 'enabling' the alcoholic to progress in their disease without facing the consequences. Enabling interferes by lengthening the time it takes for them to find their own 'bottom', the condition or situation where they are motivated to pursue recovery.

Enabling may temporarily shield them from the consequential pain of their choices but alters their path and ensures longer sickness. Enabling, then, is not true compassion. How can tell the two apart?

AlAnon suggests checking our motives, asking if we're trying to reduce consequences, doing something they could do on their own, doing what is best for us or makes us feel better, or feeling resentful about what we 'have' to do. It may be painful, but at times the most compassionate thing to do is let them face the consequences of their actions without interfering.

Reminder: Today I will remember that I have a choice, and so does the alcoholic. I will make the best choice that I can and let others in my life do the same.

"I must learn to give those I love the right to make their own mistakes and recognize them as theirs alone." - AlAnon Faces Alcoholism
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So much in this page...A large proportion of the discomfort I face can be alleviated by 1) accepting that I do not know what should happen, therefore 2) stop interfering in the lives of others. Let them find their way on their path with their higher power.

But, I sometimes feel, I need to do this for them or...will happen...Enter frustration on both sides, possible resentment, prolonged dysfunction.

AlAnon has the answer, I just need to follow the recipe consistently. Grateful for the wisdom and reminders of the program



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Paul

"...when we try to control others, we lose the ability to manage our own lives."  - Paths to Recovery 



~*Service Worker*~

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Desr Paul 

 

Thank you so much for your service 

Indeed I ceetainly have far more compassion for others than I do for myself. I have had to work really hard to reverse that. Being codependent was a normal defense for me. I had to work super hard to learn to set boundaries. I did not have that option before. Being boundaryless left me extremely vulnerable 

My life is much much better with boundaries. 

 

Maresie 

 



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~*Service Worker*~

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Thanks Paul for your service and for both above shares. This is an interesting topic, compassion vs enabling. I used to be all mixed up about it but lately it seems more clear. My A struggles with sleep apnea, has had the sleep study, has a machine, and the doc continues to say to use it. Is it used? No. My A recently fell asleep at worknot a surprise to me. I copied an article which outlines the symptoms and left it out where it could possible be seen/read. But thats the end of the line for meI took a compassionate step by making info readily available, but if it goes in the garbage, thats out of my hands. So I think one can be compassionate without enabling. For me, knowing where to draw the line has become important. Boundaries ....

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Lyne



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Thank you Paul for todays reading, your service, ESH and to Lyne and Mary as well, for their shares.

This is such a great topic, because I had to think about what it is that I do, on a daily basis that is compassionate for

AH. Knowing that I do not enable and do mind my own business when it comes to his continued drinking, I doing things

so automatically and without forethought. I keep a clean warm home, stocked with groceries that he likes and take care

of financially. I keep his clothes and bed clean (yes we sleep in separate rooms cause it works) and I do care about his

health and well being. We do talk to each other but only in the earliest part of the day because once he starts with the

beer and whiskey, I keep my distance physically and verbally. I have my own life and incorporate what I do for the both

of us as part of it, but do not depend on AH for anything emotionally significant, and I am really OK with that. If I were

not able to find this level of peace I most definitely would have moved on. I think AH knows this and obviously

accepts the situation as it is. He had open heart surgery the first year we were married and his stamina is nonexistent.

I do compensate and do a lot around the home that he would have not been able to cope with. It is a reciprocal

relationship and for now it works.

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

Debbie



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Thank you Paul for your service, the Daily, and for the shares above.

There was a time that I was mired in "When should I be compassionate?" "Did I just enable?" "I would like to do this for SO, but would that be enabling?"

Honestly, it was exhausting to live like that. I hated second-guessing my compassion. I am thankful I am freed from that.

Al-Anon helped me to stop and ask myself, "Is it something they can do for themselves? If so, does it help fuel their addiction? Does it "harm" me by offering to do it (whether a loss of time, loss of serenity, or actual physical harm)?

Of course, following this guideline meant that I had changed the dynamic, so I did get a lot of "You aren't being supportive," or "You just don't care like you used to." or "You are so cold to me." For a time, I believed all those things and suffered greatly.

&

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"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

 

 



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As the corona virus spreads it is also hard for me to have compassion for those who refuse to wear a mask. I have my own issue with masks. I eventually found ine which is more comfortable. Nevertheless whenever I go out I wear one
Indeed I am 99% sure I have already had the virus. Nevertheless I still wear a mask because we all have to set an example. I also steer really clear of people with coughs
I am so grateful to have medical insurance at
I have many challenges ahead of me this year. One of them is to stay healthy .
Therefore I have to set boundaries with those who refuse to conceive other people exist
I am working hard in not being resentful. Detachment really is a verb. I am also working hard on letting go if animosity towards those who party constantly. They had to party il ver the holidays. That is why we have this surge. Moreover they were proud of their partying
This is all out of my hands
I have to detach and re focus on my own health
Maresie

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~*Service Worker*~

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Good morning MIP - thank you Paul for your service and the daily. Thanks to all for your shares & ESH. Since I arrived believing I had all the answers, and with extremely black/white thinking, I took 'don't enable' to an extreme step. Needless to say, I was very uncomfortable as were my guys so had to work with a sponsor and rethink what I do know vs. what I don't know.

Turns out, I know that I love my guys, diseased, warts and all. I know that I love myself, want the best for all of us and truly hope all who live on this earth can be happy, joyous and free. What's awesome is each person in my life, on this earth, etc. gets to define, decide and choose what happy, joy and freedom mean to them. It has taken me a lifetime to realize that no matter what I think or what I know, unless asked, nobody really cares AND I have left my side of the street. I can not expect others to respect and honor my boundaries if I am unable/unwilling to respect theirs.

My life goes best when I stay on my side of the street and just do the next right thing. Compassion for me is speaking my truth - I love you and want the best for you vs. Enabling - What can I do to help you be your best self? When I am uncertain what to do, say, think, etc. I will ask, "How can I be of service?" This simple question shows compassion and suggests I will help you but not do for you.

Happy Tuesday all - sun is shining and hopefully some snow will melt! I've been splitting some indoor plants and moving those that need it into larger/different planters. Dinner is done already and I'm content staying part of the solution - staying home and limiting contact. I am grateful to have tons of masks should I need to go out - which I have found no need. I've not put gas in my car for at least 3 weeks - saving some $$ is nice too.

Enjoy your day and choose you! Do what gives you joy and trust the HP of your life to lead you where you go. Love and light all - (((Hugs))) too!

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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

 

 



~*Service Worker*~

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I hsve to say that if i could fo nothing to stop the alcoholic from drinking.  Therefore I certainly.did nothing to help him to drink. 

We need some other terms for this other than enabling 

Moreover certainly I found s lot of excuses for people's bad behavior. However that doesnt mean I helped them not be responsible 

Addiction terminology is full of reasons to blame the family. Certainly.someone can be drinking because of their circumstances. However at the end of the day they are responsible for their choices. The description of an alcoholic is that they keep drinking even when their circunstances change 

Therefore their drinking did not have anything to do with my own reaction  to them 

I am so glad that I am no longer willing to take on that issue 

The only person I sm responsible for is myself. 

 

Maresie 

 

 



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I used to be the biggest enabler for two of my children(adults). I tried my best to fix them and force them to change. I went bankrupt putting them in rehabs they didn't want to be in and paying for all the help I believed they needed and handing my money over to them whenever they asked. It took me many years but I have no problem saying no to them anymore. I know they will get mad and most likely say some mean things but I also know they will get over it. I now only do for them what I feel comfortable doing. If something they need or want from me sounds shady I know that it IS shady. I think(I hope) that I finally treat them like the adults they are. I may slip sometimes and I may do some things they may be able to do themselves but I like to call that being a Mom and not enabling.


With AH, I think there's a real fine line between compassion and enabling and sometimes it's hard to tell the difference. But I think I am getting much better at knowing which is which.

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Dear Paul,

 

Thank you for posting this today. It is just what I need to read especially now when my AH is deep in his disease. I know I am enabling the problem by giving money or making sure he has a place to stay. It is so hard to see someone you love sink so low but I know I have to let him hit his rock bottom (whatever that is for him). I dont come to the board to often but I am so glad it is here.

 

Ann



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