Saturday, March 7, 2009

It it doesn't have my name on it....

I've heard this saying in several meetings: "If it doesn't have my name on it, then I won't pick it up." This is a great saying to remind me that I can only deal with things that are my business.

Since being in Al-Anon, I have lost the desire to pick up those things which do not belong to me. It is a very freeing feeling to go about life and not interject myself into the middle of what is going on in other's lives.

I know that I care when things happen to others. In fact, I've spent much of my life caring more about others than I really cared for myself. The difference now is that self-care has become a priority. I can so easily let my compassion for others take me into their world and out of mine. So I am mindful of that.

My wife has had a blow to her serenity lately because her sponsor is dying from lung cancer. This woman has been the back bone of one of the city's AA groups. My wife is dealing with this and has no desire to drink over it. She is planning to "take shifts", along with other AA members, at her sponsor's house as her sickness worsens. She lives alone and the AA community is rallying around. Bless them and bless this woman who has helped my wife through these last two and half years of sobriety.

Have a great Saturday. I'm working on the boat and then going for a long weekend sail. I'll check back when I get back on land and near a computer.


  1. A fine remember.
    I am sure you'll enjoy the water and everything its environs have to offer this weekend.

  2. I love this saying, I tend to forget this sometimes and I do pick up things that don't belong to me. I'm glad I have both programs to help me to hear what I need.

    Thanks for sharing this, my prayers are going up for your wife and your wife's sponsor.

  3. now that you mention it, i've also lost that urge to pick up others things. i do feel it now and again, but not nearly as much as i used to.

    have a good weekend on the boat syd, and i'm glad your wife, although you say not serene, doesn't need to drink over it. wow. good!

  4. Thanks for this post. It's hard sometimes to figure out what is or isn't my business. Your post also reminded me of something that has been a loose thread throughout my life-that family isn't just about dna. I love that your wife and her community are taking shifts to be with this wonderful woman.

  5. This is still a tough one for me. Thanks for the reminder.

  6. Great post. Making ME a priority was one of the hardest things I have had to learn to do. The guilt, the need to be liked, powerful emotions that left me on the outside of life.

  7. Thank you Syd. Great reminders always.

    As to your wife...(((HUG))) You know, I do a lot of Hospice work. I am not a nurse...I am just there, a support person who will change diapers, sheets, spoon feed them, play quiet music, pray, read aloud...anything they want or need. It is a life changing thing, a privilege, to help someone pass on. Despite the deep loss, it adds to the lives of those present. I will pray this for your wife. Bless her heart for being willing to be there. That takes a lot of courage.

  8. If it doesn't have my name on it, then I won't pick it up. I have never heard that line, but I like it.

  9. Syd.......thanks for this...

    I read your silver rule: "Don't do for others what they can do for themselves".

    Self-care is not selfish.

    I think you did too much (same as me) and super responsible (same as me)...

    And your reminder to yourself is a good one for me.

    I have to not worry about my grown children. It is their lives. I gave advise. I showed sure JOBS for them to be independent; and if they are not happy living with their dad (and the girl her boyfriend); at 23 and 25 they can't come home to be little children with their ISMS and ADDICTING personalities.

    I have to have make me a self-priority. Thanks for writing it simple and straight.........and with a clear conscious.

    ME too, I am not going to worry about others.........if it is draining and not productive.

    I'll always be loving and compassionate; but NOT to the point where I'm not taking care of myself and getting myself stress.....................when it is not my problem but theirs (even if it is for my own flesh and blood).

    Detach with LOVE.......... by loving them enough and myself to say NO without GUILT.

    And to not worry about others...... I needed that reminder today.

  10. You are right. God bless the AA community for what they are doing at this rough time for them.

    And all people have to be reminded that we can't solve the problems of the world and especially not by ourselves.

  11. Sorry to hear about your wife's sponsor. Luckily, I've never found it very compelling to get much involved in other people's business. Hope you have a great time on the boat. It is very nice up here finally. I even went for a bike ride down to the creek with the 6 year old this afternoon.

  12. powerless, sometimes it is so empowering sometimes not. My mom died of lung cancer and it was a long hard journey for me and I wouldn't have been able to do it without support. Prayers for you and your wife, may she not go long without a sponsor.

  13. The miracles of recovery are so deep and always so amazing to prayers to your wife and her sponsor.

    I love this phrase too and the idea that not all is mine to work with or deal with...

    Thank you for the reminder.

  14. So good to be reminded of this saying. Much thanks. My chemical and sexual addictions sometimes burn so prominently in my mind, that I forget how much I also struggle with codependency. I remember this whenever my wife tells me the things she gets out of AlAnon. I don't have to pick up stuff that isn't mine. Yeah, I like that.

  15. love this! needed this.
    thank you!


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