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Post Info TOPIC: Back to the drawing board for me.


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Back to the drawing board for me.


Funny how things come together.
I posted a little while back about how I am writing a book about living through domestic violence and how I wasn't sure if I could or couldn't mention that al-anon was a HUGE part of my way out. That prompted some discussions and thinking about privacy and anonymity that I hadn't considered in depth because I haven't attended or thought a lot about al-anon for a few years. I'd forgotten how it works I guess.
Anyway, after I posted it,  I thought about the really diabolical situation that is going on between my parents and my alcoholic brother, and how much I want them to attend al-anon, so they can learn how to stop trying to micro-manage what is now a really dangerous and frightening drug and alcohol scenario. I have been trying to get them to attend al-anon for a long time, because, surely, they'll attend some meetings and everyone will be cured! Of course as soon as I started to type it, I realised my desperation for them to attend their first meeting was far more a reflection on MY lack of detachment and desire to control things "for my family". Ho Ho, Isn't it all so crafty. I decided to have a bit of a think about my own codependence instead of posting the absurd question "How can I make my parents go to al-anon?" I've gone so far as to put my daily reader beside my bed again. Even opened it a few mornings. 
Anyway, after a few more really upsetting incidents involving hospitalisation, the cops, and a series of wacky incidents I could write about for hours, my parents told me today (without me suggesting it)  that they are definitely going to seek out an al-anon meeting ASAP. Happy day. I just had one thought to offer them, as a result of me recently thinking hard about al-anon and anonymity. I told my step-dad it would be best not to take notes during the meeting. (He is the kind of person who carries a notebook everywhere and writes down "the main points" of everything so he can ruminate on them later and make them into a plan. If you tell him a joke he finds funny, he gets you to tell it again slowly so he can write it down lol. It's his learning method). He was very surprised because, he said, he was absolutely planning to take his notebook to the meeting and make notes. So as much as I am staying out of it, I was glad to have thought of that. It might have made the difference between a helpful first meeting and an uncomfortable one. 
Anyway, it felt like a little bit of that old al-anon synergy rearing its head again. Now I need to detach and resist the urge to "prepare them". I keep thinking I should tell them the first meeting might not be perfect but they should try again, that everyone's story won't resonate, I have a long list of things I have the urge to over-explain and micromanage. I need to step back and trust the process and it's HARD because lives are being ruined and I love my brother and watching him be enabled to death is making me insane (literally). 

I hope it's successful for them because the situation has become absolutely untenable. We (my parents and other siblings) also had a discussion about the fact that our brother calls everyone at all hours and holds them hostage for hours listening to him, afraid to tell him to go away in case he harms himself again. I shared that I don't have this issue any longer because I set a boundary with him a few years ago (thanks to what I had learned via al-anon) that I love him but I won't under any circumstances talk to him when he is drunk. He has respected that boundary which is such a strong reminder to me how powerful boundaries are when you finally learn that it's OK to have them.
Anyway I will probably post more about this as it unfolds as it's a very high-stress scenario and it's reminded me that I need this in my life because my desire to micromanage and "be an expert" in everyone else's life helps exactly no-one.

Grateful for the opportunity to share.
-Melly



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~*Service Worker*~

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Melly glad to have you back and it seems you are trying hard to help and help properly to the program and your family.  I also attempted that myself with some success without mentioning the program I was in and why (alcoholic/addict wife and others) because it had become important for me to repay the respect I was shown when I first crashed the doors of Al-Anon.  I didn't do it rationally or with respect.  I did it not knowing and not knowing that I didn't know anything about the principles of our program.  I had to learn what the elders were willing to teach me about what it is and why and how it is done on a daily basis and under the guidance of a power greater than Jerry F.  Took me a very long time and then I already learned how to do it my own way and over and over.   My sponsor told me "that is why our steps and traditions are numbered and worked in order with support.  I got it!! 

Keep going girl,  keep on keeping on and stay within ear shot of the elders.  ((((hugs)))) awwbiggrin 



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Jerry F


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It's so good to hear from you Jerry. I am going to try to have open ears this time but I suspect my ego will bring me to my knees over and over.

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~*Service Worker*~

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Hey there Mel - good to see you and so very sorry to hear of the disease progression in your brother. No matter the 'who', watching one we love struggle with this disease is just vastly devastating. My prayers will include your family as you navigate forward.

I have seen many who are new bring a notebook/journal and write during meetings. We tend to allow this as we figure they're writing down slogans, tools, ideas, statements that 'speak' to them. I'm a visual learner and 'get it' - as far as how your step-dad absorbs. Most meetings will welcome them openly and do their best to explain Al-Anon and how we get as sick as the A. I have no doubt if there are rules/guidelines specific to the meeting they attend, someone will explain.

We are a super-sized family with this disease woven in every generation. As the only one in recovery, I get drawn in often - for crisis management. I've learned over the years to offer to be of service with boundaries and to not take on the problem...easier said than done at times - practice, practice, practice. I am forever in the Pause to Pray before I Proceed simply because that long habit of wanting to fix and controls others isn't far from the surface. I need a perpetual reminder that God is in charge - not me.

Keep coming back - hope your holidays are good!



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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

 

 



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I'm so glad to hear from you IMH
It's hard coming back. In the outside world, as a single parent I fight to be the authority and be heard, I MUST BE RIGHT and then coming back to al-anon I have to swallow my opinions and hear people. I am so grateful to be welcomed back. I admit humbly, I dont know what to do about Jimmy. I'm so afraid he will kill himself. I don't know what to do that hasn't already been done. The entire family thinks he will kill himself. I tell them to detach and let him figure it out, what if he does


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a4l


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Welcome back. I found your share touching and insightful. Also kind of magical regarding how you really wanted to encourage alanon, refrained from pushing It, and somehow they arrived at that conclusion. Attraction as promotion. Keep well. ((((Mel)))

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~*Service Worker*~

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Hey Mel, and thank you very much for sharing that...Alanon is powerful and it is amazing to feel it at work in our life. Good to have you here

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Paul

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



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Thanks for sharing ((mel))) Welcome back. You're worth it. TT

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



~*Service Worker*~

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(((Mel))) - I hear you and I'm so sorry for the fear that self-harm and this disease brings. I have been 'there' with my son (2nd born) who struggles with depression and anxiety as well as addiction. My disease kept telling me I could make a difference. I spent a ton of time fighting the disease and the diseased.

My recovery tells me differently. I might be able to make a difference if I trust a higher power, practice self-care so I am of service vs. co-dependent/controlling/crazy and establish healthy boundaries. I recall vividly one night a while back when my sponsor asked me, point blank, if the worse case scenario happens, what will you do?

The disease tells me I could not survive that and would probably be lost for ever. Yet, my recovery tells me that I would not be alone, I would grieve, yet survive simply because I do have more to live for than one diseased person. While this sounds so simplistic, it truly isn't and I truly try to just stay in the present and just for today, he's still hear, fighting for his life.

There is never any shame in admitting how powerless we really are. There is actually, for me, internal power in admitting and embracing surrender simply because this disease has way more power than I alone. I am keeping you all in my prayers!

__________________

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

 

 



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So good to hear from you Mel!! Not so good, the circumstances that bring us all here, but so glad

you are working the program with us!! So happy your parents are going to go to meetings and

wishing them and your family the healing that will come over time, indeed!

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"Forgiveness doesn't excuse bad behavior, but it

does prevent bad behavior from destroying your heart". ~ unknown

Debbie



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{{{Melly}}} You are on the right path! Inspiring share, thank you. From time to time, when my F2F met in person, some folks would write down stuff during our meeting. I feel whatever works to help someone get better, so be it.

Ah, the family stuff--my attempts to get my son to alanon, and my spouse to AA, all failed. Am I a failure then? Nope--just had to re-direct my efforts to someone who wanted help--ME! And I will continue to keep coming back because alcoholism/addiction is tricky business and I'm just a work in progress, not perfection. :)

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Lyne



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I have found that no matter where I am in my life, Al Anon practices and principles remain so relevant. When I begin to drift away and exert my will, my life tends to get a whole lot more complicated then it needs to be.

I understand the anxiety about your brother. My brother suffered from the disease of addiction and ultimately did end his life by his own hand. He left behind a large family and three teen daughters.

My parents had tried for years and years to help him, but it did not change the outcome.

This loss greatly affected our family, particularly my mother. She is deceased now and I often think about her and hope that she somehow knew that she really did do everything she could do. We are all masters of our own destiny. Going down the rabbit hole with a diseased person does nothing except now there is two people in the hole.

Kudos to you for setting boundaries, that are loving and kind for both yourself and your brother. It is not an easy thing to do, but is the only way that I know to survive. There is no way to prepare for the possibility of someone taking their own life. I choose to not live in that fear. It is paralyzing and serves no purpose.



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Thanks, everyone. I really appreciate hearing from you all. New years passed without incident and I am ready to start my program over; I sorely need it.
I hope everyone else's was peaceful as well.


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~*Service Worker*~

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Glad that you're back Mel! You've been missed....if it makes you feel 'better', I'm spending the month on Step One! Why Not? I find it really easy to forget how powerless I am when life is happening all around me! (((Hugs)))

__________________

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

 

 

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