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Tuesday, November 8, 2016
So........ Hubby is immersed in recovery.  He is, I think day 3 or 4 into 90 meetings in 90 days.  And he went to his meeting at 6am this morning and was reading the Big Book last night.

It's making me feel competitive about my own recovery.  haha!  Yes! I admit it.  Well, maybe not competitive.  But, uncomfortable.  I see that I can be doing more.  And this discomfort makes me want to do more, how positive! 

I started J on some sticker charts to help her learn boundaries and behavior.  It just amazes me how we learn boundaries from the very very beginning.  J has difficulty respecting people's physical boundaries.  ex: she invades their space to give hugs, high fives, wrestles and even pushes without their consent (her pushes are a failed attempt to play - she doesn't get it, yet).  

So, our rules are...

1) Always ask first.  ex: "Can I give you a high five?"
2) Listen to their words and body language (L doesn't talk, so it's a great opportunity to look at body language, which is more important than even words)
3) No is a complete answer. 

boundaries, boundaries, boundaries.  For my THREE year old.  I need the same instruction.  Here's an example for her mama.  I am sitting in the car with Hubby.  He is reading an article on the phone (something he does a lot of), but I want to chat about everything.  I have so many stories I feel like telling.  Instead of interrupting his reading, it would be a good idea to wait until he's obviously done.  I'm working on that...... But.

1) Always ask first...  ex: Is now a good time for me to tell you a story I think is funny?
2) Listen....   ex: does he say yes or no.  If he doesn't respond, it means no.
3)No is a complete answer.  ex: if he says not right now..... I need to sit on my darn story and respect him.

I don't have a right to get mad at someone because they don't want to hear my cute story.  This is something I didn't realize in my early 20s.  This is something my mom still doesn't realize.  Just, as I have the choice to read something instead of engaging with another person, so does my Hubby.  So, I now respect his no's with discomfort, but knowing that I am learning. 

And on the other side of that..........I have had trouble saying no.  If I am reading something and someone starts talking to me, it's difficult for me to say no.  I also have the right to say no thanks, not right now. 

And with a huge feeling of gratitude for my entry into Al Anon, let's progress to the passages...........

If I could make a clear distinction between self-love and love of self, it would be a giant step forward in changing my attitude toward the alcoholic. Self-love is the source of hostility and arrogance, the big ego around which everything must revolve. It makes me unable to see any point of view but my own. It is the mark of a mind which is closed to real feeling for others.

Love of self, on the other hand, carries out the Commandment: “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” We can love others, and help them, only when we are at peace with ourselves. When we appreciate our own dignity and value as human beings, we are better able to have compassion for others.

Self-love often wears a mask of false humility behind which we exaggerate our own importance, and justify the wrongs we do to others. True humility comes from love of self, which is the realization of ourselves as we really are.

“Resolve to be thyself and know that he who finds himself loses his misery.”

** It is so scary to recognize yourself as you truly are.  I think this last quote should be a prayer of mine, "Resolve to be thyself and know that he who finds himself loses his memory."

“Just for today…I will do somebody a good turn and not get found out; if anybody knows of it, it will not count.” What a terrific exercise! It helps me to break free of the habit of doing kinds or generous things in order to get something back. Only when I perform a loving act with no expectations will I reap the true reward of giving.

I am learning that giving doesn’t have to take away from me or anyone else – if there are no strings attached, everyone stands to benefit. Every good and loving gesture soothes my soul and contributes to a healthier world. These anonymous, positive actions are the building blocks of a flourishing spiritual well-being. My Self-Esteem grows because I can feel god about my actions. I am engaged in worthwhile pursuits.

Today’s Reminder
Today I will put unconditional love into action. When I give freely, without expecting anything in return, I always receive more than I give.

“I was created in love. For that reason nothing can express my beauty nor liberate me except love alone.“ Mechtild of Magdeburg

** So many of these passages are filled with such wisdom.  I feel lifted up just by reading this.  As I've realized that I have a tendency to overcommit and give too much, I have gotten selfish in my giving.  I am scared of taking on too much, again.  I love to give, however. 

Why am I so attracted to alcoholics? I dwelled on that question for more than five years. Then while listening to an adult child speaker at Al-Anon's First International Convention, I had an unexpected spiritual awakening. It occurred to me that my maternal grandfather had a problem with alcohol. He was a loner filled with anger and resentment. He made nasty home-made wines and drank too much.

I realized that my mother learned many behaviors characteristic of living with an alcoholic and that I learned them from her. We both acquired the unhealthy aspects of martyrdom, managing, manipulating, and mothering -- four qualities that go so well with alcoholism. The four Ms now made total sense and so did my attraction to alcoholics.

With the help of program literature, the Steps, a sponsor, and time, I began to learn the healthy aspects of the four Ms. Today I manage my own life, not the lives of others. I avoid martyrdom because it holds few assets for me. I have learned to manipulate a crochet hook rather than my husband. Most important, I nurture others but leave the mothering to their mothers.

Thought for the Day
What qualities of mine might cause me to be attracted to alcoholics?
"Our only concern should be our own conduct, our own improvement, our own lives." Alcoholism, the Family Disease, p. 20

**Wowza - what qualities of mine might cause me to be attracted to an alcoholic?  1) Just have to comment on how excited I am to find a new phrase.  I'll have to remember the 4 M's.  This is the first I have heard of it.  I can see it in my mom and I can see it in my former self.   2) It is so interesting to me because Hubby was attracted to me, moreso than I was attracted to him.  My lack of understanding warning signs and my difficulty with saying no, along with some physical attraction and desire for adventure, got us here.  But, I am SURE the dynamic that he needed some help and I could help him, appealed.  Also, Hubby was not an alcoholic until much later in our marriage.... which I often hear in al anon speakers.  The dynamic where I could feel in control, but seeing my superiority over his problems applies.  It is uncomfortable to admit, but in some aspects, they reaffirmed my ability to feel in control.  In others, they were true frustrations and woes.

Ok, off to a day of voting, library story time and play at the park.  I'm also going to try to respond to some of the fantastic comments that I get.


  1. Boundaries--such a simple concept yet not so simple to apply. It takes lots of practice. Your post has given me some good ideas. I love "no is a complete answer." This isn't one the hubby accepts.

    I love the quote at the end of passage 1, too. I would love to lose my misery! Btw, your following commentary has a typo that made me laugh. :)

    Passage 2: I've thought about doing this, anonymous giving. It really is the best way to ensure pure motives.

    Passage 3: Wow, those four M's apply to my family of origin and marriage, too. Yikes! Your second point in your commentary resonated with me as well. We may have different situations, but there are definitely similar patterns. So grateful to be on this journey with you!