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Wednesday, March 8, 2017
Gratitude List
1) birds chirping
2) al anon tools
3) the warmth of the sun
4) health, health, health
5) a clean and working car

PASSAGE 1 - Let it begin with me, loving detachment
One of my favorite Al-Anon pamphlets is A Guide for the Family of the Alcoholic. It discusses the "weapons" the alcoholic might use to relieve his or her anxiety or to create additional reasons to drink. These include the ability to provoke anger and to arouse anxiety.
The alcoholic in my life used to arouse my anger and anxiety by criticizing me and breaking plans and promises. He often created scenes in public and was generally inconsistent and unreliable. Before Al-Anon I allowed these behaviors--these weapons--to dictate how I felt and behaved. I took offense and had my feelings hurt. I reacted with angry self-defense or silent withdrawal into depression and self-contempt.
I learned that the word "take" in the phrase "to take offense" meant I had a choice. Why would I want to take offense and feel hurt and sad? Wouldn't I rather take joy and serenity from the tools of the program?
Eventually I stopped acting on my hurt feelings. Rather than displaying them to the alcoholic, I discussed them with my sponsor. I opted out of playing games, displaying defensive behavior, and feeling miserable. As long as I gave the alcoholic the power to hurt my feelings, he had control over my serenity. If I didn't give him permission to relieve his misery by attacking me, I didn't play into his illness. I performed an exercise in detachment, which led to serenity and greater self-esteem.
Thought for the Day
Detaching myself from a person with the flu protects me from catching the illness. Emotionally detaching from alcoholism increases the likelihood that I won't catch an overabundance of anger and anxiety.
"The only way love can be retained is by family members learning not to suffer when drinking is in progress and refusing to undo the consequences of drinking." A Guide for the Family of the Alcoholic, p.

MMMM.  Lots of food for thought here.  I have to look at the program in a new way to apply it to my mom.  I am taking offense a lot, instead of taking joy and serenity from the tools of the program.  I need to figure out how to interact with my mom with loving detachment.  I need to form some good boundaries.  She says many things that I perceive with extra emotional weight, based on our history.  

I think I'm going to try a physical God box again.  I've been looking at that and the visualizing the people who control my emotions supported and taken care of by God.  Walking on a beach with God's warmth shining down on them.  That works for my mom, as long as hubby.  Even if I am mad at her, picturing God taking care of it is very powerful.  


  1. I agree, lots of food for thought and people I need to use these tools with. I like your choice of visualization. It's very charitable.