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Saturday, November 26, 2016
Passage 1

People in trouble look for help and often ask for it in the shape of advice from the more seasoned members who are all so willing to help them.
"My husband comes home drunk and turns on the TV and keeps us awake; what shall I do?" "He was arrested for fighting; what shall I do?" "I'm sick of sitting at home all the time; he never takes me anywhere; what shall I do?" The more experienced member realizes that we don't tell anybody what to do. People only accept and use the advice they're ready for. Helping the newcomer apply Al-Anon principles to all problems is a vital part of the learning process through which all of us grow. Then we will know how to make the decisions that are best for us, and have the courage to see them through.

Today's Reminder
When I am asked for advice, I know only what I would do if I were faced with the same problem, and not what would be right for another. Good advice in Al-Anon takes the form of gentle guidance into Al-Anon principles, so people can find the right answers for themselves.
"I cannot solve anyone else's problem. I can, however, show how problem-solving is done by using the Al-Anon program."

**Another comment, sometimes we don't even know what we would do if we were faced with the same problem.  We know what we THINK we'd do.  But, in actuality, it's often much different.  I just had to throw that out there.  I don't think I ever thought this is how I'd respond if someone cheated on me.  And if I didn't already have al anon tools, it may be different. I stopped, told him I wanted to talk about it in a couple days and read 3 or 4 books on being in this situation.  All of them said not to act rashly.  What?  You aren't supposed to storm out of the relationship and have it just be over?  That's kind of what I expected.  Next, they said to be VERY careful to who you speak with about it.  Only safe people, because if you change your mind and stay with him, it may be difficult for others to forgive and understand.  And I called therapists and got help.  If this had happened to a friend before me, I don't think I would have predicted I'd respond like this.

ANYWAYS, I love this part of al anon.  It's also shows someone respect.  To assume you know enough about their situation to know what's right for them, is arrogant.  It also doesn't take into account the person who actually has to live out their life.  And, it's odd, I am being so harsh.  BECAUSE, this, of course, is my issue.  And with hubby, even now I'm dictating what I need from him.  sigh.

Moving forward....

Passage 2 - nothing changes if nothing changes
Feeling that-I don't belong has been a problem all my life. This was especially true when I first came to Al-Anon. My attending seemed wrong because there was no alcohol in my household as a child-it was my grandparents who drank.  At that first meeting, I learned that alcoholism is a family disease. It affects not only the person who drinks, but those who care about him or her.  

Indeed, the effects of this disease are often passed from one generation to another. When I heard a description of some of those effects, I recognized a profile of myself. For the first time in my life I was with people who knew what I was going through. Today I see clearly that I have in fact been affected by the family disease of alcoholism.

Al-Anon offers me a way to do my part in breaking this family pattern. I can get off the merry-go round by choosing recovery.

 Today's Reminder
In Al-Anon I find people who understand as few others can. If I have been affected by the drinking of another, I need not doubt that I belong.
"No matter what the difficulty, no matter how unique we may feel, somewhere nearby are men and women with similar stories who have found help, comfort, and hope through recovery in Al-Anon." . . . In All Our Affairs

Passage 3
One thing is certain about my childhood. I learned first-hand the instability and chaos that rules a drinking home. I learned to trust no one, to stay silent at all costs, to stuff my feelings, never to stand up for myself, to take on more responsibility than I could handle, to love conditionally, and to tell white lies to cover up my home life. No wonder as an adult I perceived that close interpersonal relationships were like constantly moving targets. Usually I was the one who was moving because I lacked the skills to develop and maintain healthy adult relationships.

Thanks to Al-Anon I have learned that it's safe to trust again. First, I began to trust my Higher Power who loves me unconditionally-no matter what I say, do, or feel. I learned to trust the fellowship where many have experienced the same childhood traumas that I did. I'm also learning to trust the people in my life-my husband, friends, siblings, and even my parents. In spite of my unhealthy childhood, I forgive both of my parents.

Although it took me four decades to recognize my disease and find my way to Al-Anon, I have been strengthened and blessed by the miracles that have taken place in my life through this program. I owe this fellowship and God a huge debt of gratitude and love.

Thought for the Day
Trust is one of the first things to go in an alcoholic situation, but I can regain it through Al-Anon.
"If I'm willing to give others a second chance and trust them a little more each day, . . . faith in people may start to come back." Alateen-a day at a time, p. I 10


  1. I really need to work on passage 1. I want to be a sponsor but fear trying to fix someone or control their recovery.