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Friday, December 2, 2016
Writing again at night/morning.

I was a huge jerk to Hubby last night.  Not my finest detaching moments.  One of the slogans, "Say what you mean, but don't say it mean."  I didn't necessarily say anything MEAN, but I should add in there somewhere, you only have to say it once. 

The main point was that after therapy yesterday, he wanted to act like we were a happy couple, after spending 2 nights in the garage.  Yah............................ I kept wanting to tell him WHY we weren't a happy couple.... anyways.....  awareness is the first step.

I've struggled long and hard in Al-Anon to understand the idea of detachment with love. At first, it sounded like an oxymoron. Detachment was the opposite of love, I thought. It seemed like abandoning the people I loved because of their alcoholism. Was I supposed to just stop caring?
In Al-Anon I began to see that my way of caring often meant reacting and manipulating. I'd do something nice for someone because I wanted to be liked. I'd get so caught up in someone else's problems that I didn't have time or energy to seek solutions for my own difficulties. Sometimes I wanted to attach myself and feed off someone mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Then I wouldn't have to deal with the scariness of being a separate person who took risks. Despite these intellectual glimmerings about my motives, I felt frustrated that I didn't know how to translate them into positive behavior. I simply decided my problem was that I loved too much. I began to regard any act of helpfulness or kindness on my part as a slip.

After I told my sponsor about my new insight, he explained the goal was detachment, not amputation! To detach isn't to stop caring about others; it means I care equally as much for myself. It means I love myself enough to stay out of others' insanity. It means putting enough emotional distance between myself and another to see each of us as a separate individual. Being helpful and kind feels wonderful. It's only when I do this with the belief that I can fix, change, or control the other person that I need to question my motives.

Thought for the Day
Sometimes what I call "love" is really just control.
"Simply put, detachment means to separate ourselves emotionally and spiritually from other people. How Al-Anon Works for Families & Friends of Alcoholics. p. 84

Throughout this month, which brings us to the closing of another year, I will review the happenings of my life as though I were standing just a little way off trying to see myself as another person.
Have I made progress in my effort to correct my faulty attitudes? Have I let discouragement plunge me back into my old habit patterns? When something I did had consequences that made life difficult for me, did I try to blame someone else?

How has Al-Anon helped me to realize some of my potential as a person?

AS I look back over this year, I will consider calmly my actions and attitudes, just as though I were evaluating the progress of someone else. I will not make it an occasion for guilt and regret. I will blame no one else for anything that happened, for I have learned in Al-Anon that I am not a judge of others. This day, and the days to come, will be filled with opportunities to make more of myself.
“The purpose of my inventory is to get a clear picture of where I now stand, to recognize shortcomings that still need to be corrected, and not to use any self-deceiving means of justifying them.”

**I think this is a fantastic idea and yet horrifying.  I will need to prepare myself with self care before going here.  From 2015 to 2016, my life changed dramatically through Al Anon principles.  From 2016-2017, there has been a lot more back and forth.  But, there has been a lot of growth and a lot of good.  When I split from hubby in 2015, it was the "easy" decision.  I waited until it was easy.  He was so far gone into his addiction and bipolar, that there was no doubt that leaving was the right decision.  And when I wasn't with him, it was much easier to focus on myself.

Focusing on myself within the relationship has been more challenging and difficult.  Hubby getting healthier, but not entirely committed to recovery, has made things murkier and less black/white.  I am so so curious to see what 2017 will bring!

Al-Anon was the first place I’d been in a long time where people invited me back even after listening to my woes. I’m so grateful that they did, because Al-Anon was my last hope – Thought that I would kill myself if I didn’t do something about the alcoholism in my home. Later, when members of the group asked me to make coffee, I was happy to do anything to repay them for their love; yet no payment was required. They loved me whether I was involved in a service or not, even when I couldn’t love myself.

Al-Anon is the only thing in my life that I’ve been dedicated to, the only thing I’ve ever felt consistently good at. As I do service work, I see myself accomplishing things, giving, receiving, growing. I see my progress as I learn to learn, and as the lessons become part of me, I take them into all areas of my life.

Today I like to think that I get to take an active part in the growth of Al-Anon through service. I’m not doing Al-Anon a favor; Al-Anon is doing me one. It actually thrills me to remember that. I’m allowed to take part! You let me!

Today’s Reminder
Listening, hearing, thinking and reading about a spiritual awakening are fine, but if I really want this gift, there is something I co do about it: I can get involved.
“What we learn to do we learn by doing.“ Aristotle

**"learn to learn."  I do feel that is a lot of recovery.............. opening yourself up to learning.  Even just seeing something going poorly as a learning experience, "learning to learn."  I like it!


  1. Passage 1 did a great job of explaining loving detachment. "Even just seeing something going poorly as a learning experience." I can improve in that area!