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Post Info TOPIC: 8/30/22 ODAT – Pause…Rework

~*Service Worker*~

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8/30/22 ODAT – Pause…Rework

This contributor acknowledges a time we may have reached the point in our family situation that seems to call for action, the end of our rope. They suggest, however, that rather than move directly to a course of action, perhaps even the 'obvious' one we have heard by well-intentioned but not thoroughly informed friends/others, that we pause...

Reminder: We likely have dealt with this situation for a long time, it may be beneficial to review what Alanon recommends, consider what alternative choices exist, and whether the course we are ready to employ is truly one that will be beneficial to me and others. 

"Make sure that the medicine you decide on in a rash and desperate moment doesn't turn out to be worse than the malady." - unattributed
There is no doubt that my reasonableness, once I've reached the end of my rope, is not my best. That is the time I am more likely to do something more drastic, less program, something that may feel good at the time but is not good for anyone long term.

Rather than continue to save my 'best thinking' for the most difficult time of difficult situations, I have really tried to put more effort in studying the problem from a program perspective in the period where I know I am struggling but have not maxed out. That brings the most success for me of using the program wisdom.

I will say that I have experienced really good results from the pause, even after I feel I have reached my decision point, reworking the problem from top to bottom, looking for ways to use the program.

Many times, this has kept from making drastic decisions or saying things I would regret later. Unless it is a safety issue, and mine never has been, I have always benefited from giving the program another chance.

Grateful for the wisdom of the program...  




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

~*Service Worker*~

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Posts: 582

Thank you Paul for your service, todays reading and ESH.

Pausing, I find, has been absolutely the best way to save my sanity and stop from over reacting in chaotic times.

I too, many times find that, when I react to quickly at those times I am boiling over, there is regret.

During that pause, it is a chance for me to reflect on that regret and that helps me to pause.

Gratitude in abundance for sure!!


"Forgiveness doesn't excuse bad behavior, but it

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


~*Service Worker*~

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Thanks Paul for your service and for all above ESH. Pausing is a blessing/useful tool I have learned in this program. I need to pause, think, and pray if necessary. That pause keeps me from over-reacting and/or jumping to a conclusion. Taking time to THINK is such a huge help. I have found that sometimes, if I can wait something out, I can actually do nothing which is an excellent choice sometimes. Live and let live, Let go and let God--progress not perfection. :)



Senior Member

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Posts: 250

Thanks Paul for the reading and to you, DM and Lyne for your es&h. I lean on my Al-anon program to stay aware of my feelings every day all day. The gift of Al-anon has been practicing and appreciating being fully present in the moment and responding to life with recovery tools. Waiting is one of our topics in the index of our Courage to Change daily reading. It's been such an important one for me. Exploring it, I've learned a great deal about myself. One thing that was painfully obvious was an inclination to react rather than respond to people, places and things. For me, fear is always the culprit for reacting vs responding. Granted, some situations do call for quick, trust my instincts actions but these instances are rare. If there is any gift from having at one time gone from crisis to crisis, it's the ability to almost instinctively know what to do in many emergency situations. I'm grateful to be experiencing many less of them today.

One of my shortcomings is worrying which is another of our topics. Maybe I should just live in the W's ;) Willingness is there and that's a good thing! My connection to my hp is so important while paused from taking an action. I use the Serenity Prayer and consider every line and how it applies to an important decision that I need to make. I may separate myself from others to have quiet time with my higher power, identify what I am truly feeling rather than either project my past on the present or should on myself about my feelings. In other words, I am feeling this way but... if I were "healthier" if I was like "normal people," I would be feeling this way or not feeling the way I am currently feeling. Acceptance of where I am, making decisions based on my higher power's timeline, asking for help from that hp, feedback from others in the program, a sponsor are all recovery focused tools that have helped me and continue to help me today.

Also, one stark reality has been how much like the active alcoholics in my life I can be in my actions when I am impulsive rather than practicing restraint and using THINK (thoughtful, honest, intelligent, necessary, kind) in consideration of choices and decision making. Of course I should never belittle, berate or feel somehow superior to the alcoholics in my life. They are their higher power's work in progress just as myself. No one wakes up one day and says I think I would like to be addicted to a substance and move from one impulsive action to the next to meet my needs. Under the influence of alcohol/drugs rational decision making is difficult and well... outcomes not so great. The same can be said for myself when if I don't wait/pause and instead go into full throttle reaction fueled by my emotions in the moment. Basically, in such a state; I'm drunk on feelings.

I'm grateful to face myself honestly concerning this. It's taken a few poor outcomes from reacting rather than responding to learn that pausing to consider my higher power's will for me is essential. I don't have to immediately act on feelings. I can ask for help from others who have been faced with a similar decision, research, gain perspective through conscious contact with my higher power and even turn to professionals or hire them for their expertise when faced with a situation for which I have no experience. I am not alone nor do I have to go it alone. I've found that these things have helped me to feel less fearful and more mindful in my choices, less reactionary.

-- Edited by tiredtonite on Tuesday 30th of August 2022 08:41:54 AM


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

Senior Member

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Posts: 111

Allowing myself to reach breaking point and then making a rash decision is a long-time habit of mine. I'm trying to work on not letting things get to that point, but pausing and reviewing my al-anon tools is a good strategy for managing those moments. Thanks for the reminder

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