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Post Info TOPIC: Courage to Change January 5


~*Service Worker*~

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Posts: 1026
Date:
Courage to Change January 5


Hello MIP! 

In today's C2C, the author shares about the meaning of "compassion." 

When the author first arrived at Al-Anon, they thought compassion meant making excuses or covering for the alcoholic. Through Al-Anon, the author learned that making excuses and covering for others is "enabling" - by cleaning up messes, covering for, and making excises for the alcoholic, the author was actually preventing the alcoholic from experiencing the consequences on their actions and allowing them to continue to drink in comfort. Al-Anon offers a more compassionate way to respond - allowing loved ones to face the consequences of their actions, even when those consequences will cause them pain. Sometimes it is hard to tell whether an action is enabling, and so talking with a sponsor or Al-Anon friend about motives, whether resentment bubbles up, whether we are doing for someone what they ought to be able to do for themselves helps us to decide whether we are being compassionate or enabling. 

Today's Reminder: Today I will remember that I have choices, and so does the alcoholic. I will make the best choices I can and allow others in my life to do the same without interference. 

Today's Quote: "I must learn to give those I love the right to make their own mistakes and recognize them as theirs alone." Al-Anon Faces Alcoholism 

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Today's reading is one I have bookmarked and review often. Being married to an alcoholic gives me a lot of opportunity to wonder if I am being compassionate or enabling. changing the oil in the alcoholics car, for instance. If I do not do it, it doesn't get done (it went over 13 months without an oil change!), however, it is not my responsibility as it is not my car. However, there is a negative consequence for me if the alcoholic's car stops working, especially if it stops working before the loan is paid off. I'm glad I have the program and Al-Anon friends to talk things through. The questions I use most often are "Should they do this for themselves?" and "Am I doing what is best for me?" I've started to use rising resentment as a signal that I'm enabling, not being compassionate or helping. It's hard for me, because in my family, when you see something that needs to be done, or you see someone working on something, you do it or you help them complete it. I'm used to people doing that for me, and I'm used to doing that for others. I've discovered that living with an alcoholic means that I cannot "help" when I see something that needs to be done, or when I see my AW doing something that would be easier with 2 people. I've also learned not to expect her to help me. It is a different way of living, and a different way of understanding family relationships, but not every approach works for everyone, and it is useful to live in a way that works for me ("is what I am doing good for me?") and also works for the alcoholic in my life (Not doing something for them that they could do for themselves.) 



__________________

Skorpi

If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present. - Lao Tzu



~*Service Worker*~

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Posts: 1376
Date:

Good morning, Skorpi, and thank you for this reading and honest share.

I certainly learned that the way I grew up, and the way I think things should be, are not necessarily what other people experience, think, feel. I've also learned -- big time -- that others can't read my mind, and cannot know what I want or need if I don't tell them.

The alcoholic who affected me has died, but I still wonder sometimes if I should have done certain things differently, such as describe how his behavior made me feel. I sure wish I'd had an Al-Anon sponsor much much earlier than I did.

I think "is what I am doing good for me?" is a great way to help make a decision. I also think that knowing what is the compassionate thing to do in a specific situation is not simple, not easy, and that's why it takes so much literature, sharing, meetings, sponsor, Al-Anon friends, and step work to help us figure it out.

__________________


Senior Member

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Good Morning. Thank you for the service and shares. " ...resentment bubbles up..." resonated with me. It's a sure sign my actions are about controlling outcomes. What helps me in gaining compassion is when I choose to be kind rather than focus on being right. Also, my sponsor suggests I offer to loan my strength instead of reminding my husband of his weaknesses. Being a proactive self starter, I often robbed him of the dignity to solve his problems in his own way in my quest to be helpful. Thank you all for raising more awareness and suggesting tools to improve my relationships.

__________________


~*Service Worker*~

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Posts: 11512
Date:

Thank you Skorpi for your service and the daily. I thought I was a kind and compassionate person and I was often. Yet, when things felt well beyond my control, my coping methods before recovery weren't very healthy and in looking back, not as kind as compassionate as could be. Simply put, I had an unintentional cycle of passive/aggressive reactions and I can also relate to 'resentment bubbles up'.

I did not realize that each time I began a statement or a plead with you that I was placing blame/accusing another. I took most things personally including the drinking/substance abuse. I was one of those who felt/thought 'if you love me, you will change/stop/etc.' My denial had denial about the extensive grip of this disease on those I love.

Today, I truly follow the golden rule. I don't like when others take my inventory or focus only on what I do wrong. I much prefer when another smiles at me vs. snubs me...in my home, the simple things make a ton of difference. I know realize that many of the insanest events resulted from me wanting to 'talk or share' at times when another wasn't capable or ready. I also know now that I am better heard when I use I statements vs. You statements.

I am most compassionate when I am quiet/focusing on listening and seeking to understand. I am most compassionate when I don't offer advice or suggestions, but instead offer to pray or be of service. I also know me better today and if I'm not able to be patient and a compassionate listener, I ask for a reprieve unless/until I am ready. I would rather step back from an emotional discussion and recenter than allow it to fester/escalate - which can happen quickly with active disease.

I am still focused on progress and practice. Happy Wednesday to one/all!

__________________

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

 

 



Senior Member

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Posts: 330
Date:

Thank you Skorpi for your service and reading! Thank you to you FT, Daffodils and IAH for all your ESH as well.

I agree that developing that idea that the person in my life, who was making me miserable, needed compassion

was really necessary not only for them, but for me and us! Grateful member!!

__________________

"Forgiveness doesn't excuse bad behavior, but it

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

Debbie

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