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: 9/20/22 ODAT How do I Really Feel About Them?


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 864
Date:
9/20/22 ODAT How do I Really Feel About Them?


It is likely that we have witnessed irresponsible or irrational behavior executed by the alcoholic. The danger, suggests today's page, is that we allow ourselves to feel, hold and perhaps nurture contempt toward them. 

Alcoholics are not children who require our corrective measures, they are (in most cases) adults who have a serious illness. Furthermore, as 'children of god', every one of us (including alcoholics!) have special qualities and gifts that deserve respect. 

Reminder: For the sake of Serenity, mentally separate the person from the sickness. This allows us to stay in our lane and show them respect, and them to regain much needed dignity...mutual gain.

"The surest plan to make a Man is: Think him so." James R. Lowell
----------------

When Alanon helped me change first my thoughts, then my behavior toward the alcoholic, I was able to realize that I never felt good or at peace when I would chastise or badger them verbally, even when I felt it was justified at the time. 

One day when the behavior I observed was far from their sober persona, I saw them as similar to someone suffering some form of dementia...and for the first time, felt compassion. I felt sadness as I considered that this could be a glimpse into a real possibility: behavior associated with mental illness that would not get better. 

Did I show appreciation for them when they were sober, and while I still could? Could I show the same separation of person/sickness with alcohol as I would someone who had dementia? 

Change my perception = change my world, so grateful for the reminders   

 



__________________

Paul

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



Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 271
Date:

Thanks for the reading Paul and share. You've personally titled this reading with a question. In response to this reading,  my question would be, "How do I feel about myself?"

I've learned through Al-anon step work that my feelings about myself greatly influence my perception not only of myself but of others as well. If I haven't cleaned the mirror, my reflection of myself remains unclear.

In our readers, I've sometimes read that the alcoholic is someone who projects their feelings of self loathing onto those around them. Yet, Al-anon dailies are filled with readings on control, perfection and obsession as it related to ourselves. My own inventory reveals that those feelings often have come from feelings of inadequacy. In the past, those feelings caused me to seek people, places and things to feel whole.

I feel I'm in no place to see anyone else as "sick," and magnanimously forgive them because they are "ill." I realize that we don't choose our foo, but I do make choices of mates, friends and experiences. Those have certainly been a reflection of my own feelings of worth.

If I have grown in my recovery to love and accept myself as imperfect well and my life  as an ever changing evolving adventure guided by a loving hp, it becomes easier to to turn the finger inward and not place unreasonable demands on others to make me happy. I continue to lean on a loving higher power daily to keep emotional balance, to not expect from others what I can do for myself, to not see myself as somehow saner, superior as compared to others. I am not "cured." I'm grateful to have a program. I can turn my will over to my hp and seek help many times as needed in day. My daily prayer is one in which I ask my hp to keep helping me to be a good person to myself and to others. My first relationship is with that hp and my actions go outward from there.

 

 



__________________

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



~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 2486
Date:

Thank you Paul for your service and for all above ESH. It is a very important question that was asked: how do I feel about my A? I spent years feeling hurt, angry, disappointed, and resentment. If only, if only.....then things would be fine. I work daily to feel compassion for my A. Alanon has taught me a great many things. But here is where I get stuck: Am I sick too? Absolutely. But I engage in daily and weekly practices to be better and grow as a human being. My A does not engage in help for alcoholism. Help is available but not chosen. To accept this one part, takes an extra amount of patience, and letting go and letting God. For I cannot change anyone. Betty taught me: I can't, He can, I will let Him.

__________________

Lyne



~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 649
Date:

Thank you from me as well Paul for your service and to you, TT and Lyne for all the lovely ESH.

I too found in Al-Anon that looking inward daily, working the steps and following through in my relationship with

my HP, has given me the answers that allow me to grow and be happy regardless what the A in my life choses to do.

Building respect for AH was a difficult and long road, but am happy that I am on the right track for the sake of both

our serenities. Grateful member indeed!!

__________________

"Forgiveness doesn't excuse bad behavior, but it

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

Debbie



Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 349
Date:

Good Day Everyone. Thanks Paul for your service and all the shares. I was deeply moved by this post as it highlighted the importance of applying Al-Anon tools in all areas of my life. For over a year I've been nursing a resentment towards my husband over the mess he creates in the kitchen when making meals. At first I let it go because I was glad he stopped relying on me for all meal preparations. I would clean up (silently seething) asking myself how important is it?. Anyways, last week I asked him to hold my purse while I tried on a coat and noticed his hand had a slight tremor. It's a side effect of his psych meds. Thank goodness I never vocalized my annoyance over the "messes" . It also explains why he no longer performs minor repairs around the house and didn't mind paying for the service. I am so grateful I employed tools given by Al-Anon members to be compassionate and kind. Furthermore, I didn't comment on my observations or conclusions (I could be wrong). I am so grateful he is stable and safe. Thank you for the reminders to focus on my internal growth.

__________________


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 864
Date:

Wow...thank you TT, Lyne, Deb and Daf for taking the time to share the thoughtful, helpful comments above...so many good points...

While I tried to focus on the thought of Alcoholism as a disease rather than intentionally action, one of the key points I heard shared above was about keeping the focus on ourselves, a core principle of Alanon.

One of the first big realizations I had in Alanon was from C2C p. 17 - if someone looked at my behavior as I had tried to control alcohol in another, they could have concluded that I was the crazy one...coming to terms with my own illness, character defects, and the fact that I was in no position to judge or forgive another's behavior; that was the responsibility of god/higher power.

Different ways of seeing different aspects of my life, my challenges, and my interactions with the A and others...all improved and possible when I apply the ALanon lens to the situation. So grateful for the fellowship, thanks all

__________________

Paul

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



Veteran Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 32
Date:

I have lately been trying, and able, to see my AH with compassion (occasionallyI still fight resentment daily). He is someone who is spiraling and hurting and so deep in denial he doesnt see how he is deteriorating. I see it. He is losing mental capacity and has little motivation to do life unless I talk him into something fun. I feel so bad for him and want to help but cannot even talk to him about it in a kind way, as he gets so angry. It hurts to see someone you love sufferingI feel the same for my beloved pets when they are ill, but the difference is I can take action to help them. With my husband I cannot. I continue to feel very alone in this relationship and am losing hope for a good outcome. And losing hope for a happy rest of my life. Focusing on me and good parts of my life only takes me so far when I am also suffering.

__________________
Page 1 of 1  sorted by
 
Quick Reply

Please log in to post quick replies.