Sunday, February 4, 2007


Al-Anon has lots of slogans that help you to focus on working the program. One of my favorites is, "How important is it?". When I think about the years that I spent worrying, being anxious and busting a gasket over insignificant crap, I know now that none of it was really important. In the grand scheme of life, there aren't a lot of things that are really worth personal turmoil. The amount of energy that I wasted on criticism both of self and others, resentment, and a lot of other baggage never enhanced my life or anyone elses. Instead, I think that I just made myself more miserable and did absolutely nothing to make things any better in my marriage.

In fact, I think that all the resentment about drinking built up until I felt utterly defeated. How many times do you beat your head against a wall before your brains turn to mush? Sounds like insanity which according to the popular AA definition is "Taking the same action over and over again expecting different results." Insanity around drinking is also the inability to learn from past mistakes. For the alcoholic, that means that getting drunk over and over doesn't make anything better. There's still the hangover in the morning and the same bloodshot eyes staring back from the mirror. For the person affecting by someone elses drinking, it means that recriminations, badgering, self-pity, and anger because of the alcoholic won't make the disease go away--ever. Instead, it's better to detach from the situation and do something to help yourself.

That's where the idea of accepting powerlessness over alcohol comes in (Step One in AA and Al-Anon) and where you have to decide what's really important and what's not. If you accept that you didn't cause it, can't control it, and can't cure it, then you've come a long way towards taking care of yourself.

At the meeting tonight, there was a lot of sharing on how to detach and to "live and let live". The bottom line is that you have to live your own life and stay out of the business of others. By doing that you can then get to the "let live" part where you allow others the dignity of making their own mistakes and finding their own way. Even if that way isn't your way, it's better to accept that others have their own ideas and personalities. After all, "how important is it?"


  1. Wow..this brings me back to how I felt in my first few meetings 18 months ago.

    I did put the focus on me more and more.

    ...gosh now I sound so self-centered and a bit conceited (but I'm not); I'm just working on a Healthy Ego. I do deserve a GOOD LIFE..

  2. This is an awesome post and I found it at the perfect time. This has really helped me on a bad day. Thank you.


Let me know what you think. I like reading what you have to say.