Friday, August 15, 2008

Is your chooser broken?

Today at a meeting we shared about the commonalities that seem to be consistent within the program. And one of the most common of the commonalities was that we choose to be involved with alcoholics/addicts.

I can look back over relationships in my past and know that during high school and college, I seemed to be attracted to people who were wounded in some fashion, mostly by alcohol. I felt most comfortable with the people who appeared to be different. Those were the ones that for some twist of fate, I would want to talk to, get to know, and end up with.

When I met my SO, I thought that she was exciting. Later, I found that she was a mess. But I didn't shy away from the mess, instead I wanted to clean it up. And I found out that was an exercise in frustration.

I've chosen friends who seemed insightful, only to find out that they are recovering alcoholics. All will seem fine at first but eventually some of the alcoholic behavior will come out--the irritability, the self-centeredness, the grandiosity.

So, I know now that my "chooser" was broken. I didn't make the best choices in lovers or friends. But at the same time, I'm learning that I don't have to buy into alcoholic behavior, nor do I have to continue having a bad chooser. Al-Anon is providing some much needed Bondo for my chooser. Maybe it's one thing that I can "fix" without bad consequences.


  1. We talked in meetings about another commonality--being perfectionists.
    I think we just want to help everyone. We have to learn the difference between extending a helping hand & fixing.

  2. Hey I always seem to be drawn to people who are "different" who stand out from the crowd.
    I cant begin to start where I have messed up in my life, it all started well, doing well at school got to University, got a lower second physics degree but even by the 2nd year at Uni I had started having panic attacts and problems with my sociability.
    It all just crumbled around me then until 4 years ago, from 21-35 is just one long decent down a steep slope into the gutter

  3. You just shared my story Syd- ACA, befriending "the wounded," dating alcoholics & addicts, marrying an alcoholic (except I chose to leave)..
    Learning to Trust my chooser in recovery has been a challenge, since my chooser always magnetically drew me to addicts, people I wanted to fix/help. I try to not judge myself harshly, but it's so scary to let anyone in at all, scarier still knowing my history. All I can do is accept that HP puts people in my path that I will learn from.

  4. Can't think of the name, but there is some illness which is chacterized by a deep-seated guilt, which says to me: "OK, Steve. Everything is going so GOOD now in your life. It's time to 'shake it up' a bit.

    "Begin to throw away those things you cherish, i.e., you wife, your cars, your bike, your house, your family, and, finally, your sobriety. THEN you can again relax, and start the game all over. How about it? Ready to DO it?"

    Maybe THAT'S why I have this sponsor-guy?

  5. I so agree - I attract broken pets and people - there is just something about the wounded that I think I can care for - help - see a true codie at heart. Have a great weekend Syd! happy boating! Cat

  6. We have good intentions with people who have addictions.Thankfully we learn our boundaries and detachment when need be.Our own journeys need compassion too..thankfully our chooser broken was fixed so we could help ourselves!!!!


  7. One of these days you're gonna convince me to attend more Al-Anon meetings.

  8. hmm.. crummy choices?
    Yep. been there. done that!
    well yeah. its easy to see in hindsight. not so easy at the time!
    oh well. you live and learn!
    i'm still at the mercy of my fallible judgement. thankfully i manage not to do too much harm by them. more by luck or ? god knows ? what, than anything.

  9. I would like my sons to chose some friends, male and female, that don't drink or do drugs but there seem to be none in the 20 age bracket.....or that is what they think anyway.

    When M got out of the hospital after his first manic break (2002), he got involved with a born again church and there was a great group of kids there. That's the place to go, I suppose.

  10. I'm not so sure I would say my chooser is broken if I feel compelled by and interested in people who are wounded and different. The question is how much will I intertwine my sense of self into their state of being.


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