Tuesday, June 30, 2009

All is well

All went well yesterday afternoon. I wasn't even a bit sore. There is a bit of a bruise and that's all. Nonetheless, I went home afterwards and actually slept for 3 hours. When I woke up, I was ravenously hungry but only ate a bowl of soup and some crackers. But that seemed just right.

Thanks for all your thoughts and well wishes. I truly appreciate each and every one of you. One of the members of my home group called after the meeting to check up on me. I appreciated that as well. I also talked to my sponsor who I will see sometime this week at another meeting. He is home and getting back into the groove of things.

I'm sorry that I missed the meeting last night. It was on unacceptable behavior. I could write a book on that one topic. I won't do that but will write a post instead.

I put up with the unacceptable behavior of others and dished out my own unacceptable behavior in retaliation. I found it hard to change my attitudes and harder to draw a line in the sand that would be my boundaries.

I was on a merry-go-round. I kept going round and round with the alcoholic, and I kept getting what it was that I didn't want because I wasn't working at getting what I wanted. I wanted her to give me all the emotional stuff that I hadn't gotten at home and she couldn't. She was too sick, and I was also sick.

I was expecting normal things from within an alcoholic relationship that was abnormal. There was no way that I could get health from sickness, or get God to answer my selfish prayers to work a miracle on another. I was having problems with my own addiction to the alcoholic. Her drinking perpetuated her illness and my compulsion to make her stop or behave differently perpetuated mine.

The reality of it all was and still is, "If nothing changes....nothing changes." I found that I don't need permission to move my life in a direction of peace of mind and serenity. I don't need permission from the alcoholic or anyone else to change toward the better. I was in denial, or I minimized my pain by saying, "The devil I know is better than the devil I don't know." Yet ultimately I owed it to myself to have dignity and a sense of self-worth. But that won't happen if I had continued a posture of "submission to a degrading situation."

I like having a boat analogy (surprise!). I found that I was missing out on a lot of life by waiting around for others to change. I was waiting for their boat to sail back into port. And in reality I didn't know if they were even on a boat. So I began to change my own behavior and quit waiting around for others to join me. Luckily my wife decided that she wanted to make her own changes.

It's up to me to get rid of my unacceptable behavior. The alcoholic may or may not do so. She may miss the boat entirely. If you're living with the disease, you can make changes anytime you like. Now might be a good time.

"I will remember that knowing my boundaries does not mean forcing others to change; it means that I know my own limits and take care of myself by respecting them. The focus, today, is on me. " from Courage to Change.

"When will I realize that I need not permit the alcoholic's behavior to confuse my life and destroy my peace of mind? When will I learn that there is no compulsion, in law or ethics, that forces me to accept humiliation, uncertainty and despair? Have I perhaps accepted it because I have a subconscious desire for martyrdom? Do I secretly relish feeling sorry for myself and want sympathy from others?" from One Day at a Time


  1. good morning Syd, hope you are taking care of you still k

  2. I am glad all went well yesterday. Welcome back.. Do you find at times deep inside us we are afraid to change. Think we all get settled inside ourselves who we are, yet we know we do need some changes.

    I think you told me at one time, who we are and what we choose to be has been a process, one that has been processing for many years.

    I guess it's just as the saying goes..
    we need to be responsible for ourselves, what we can change, COURAGE to change, and not to allow the people or things we cannot change, stay in the past,

    I get confused when I am struggling.

  3. That's great that everything went well. Thanks for sharing your experience with us and those two wonderful quotes.

  4. I used to relish the sympathy and being the martyr. It used to fuel my life. Finally one day I looked at myself and thought,"Is this really what I want to be?" No! I want to be strong and a good example for my kids. I want to be an individual whose life is not ruled by another's actions. Slowly I am moving towards that and it feels great!

  5. My daily mantra now is today - its all about me - sounds selfish but seriously - its the only way for me to be healthy. It has worked onders with my husband and I - our relationship - we focus on ourselves together - our own time and then the kids are the icing on the cake, when we share with them.

    So glad things went well - take care and rest up.

  6. Great post. I could relate to all of it - being so driven in my need for the alcoholic to change, meanwhile, I "dished out my own unacceptable behavior."
    Take extra care of yourself, glad the surgery went well.

  7. "Now might be a good time."

    Love it!

  8. "I found that I don't need permission to move my life in a direction of peace of mind and serenity."

    I needed to read this today.

    Thanks Syd. And glad you are on the road to recovery!

  9. glad it went well. funny isnt it? i really appreciate kindness and good wishes from other bloggers too. i can only speak for myself but it feels as palpable as if they are 'there'. wherever 'there' is.. hehe
    but yeah its a nice feeling to know others are thinking of you.

    btw. my limited ! research seems to indicate that the best place to photograph orbs is in a place that has stayed the same for a long time. eg a tree that is 100's of years old, or a very old building. somewhere natural and undisturbed. Go at night. 11pm to 12 say. use a flash. try to hold the camera as still as you can, and hey presto! for some reason digital is better. probably because you can see if things are being picked up on the large display viewfinder.
    look out for repeating patterns. say groups of three for instance. or repeating shapes. there can be loads!! in natural settings. have fun finding em!
    shouldn't take you long to find some.

  10. "It's up to me to get rid of my unacceptable behavior."

    Yep! I have to cooperate with God's grace, His gift, or there IS no gift. And God cannot remove all my crap, until I first have become ENTIRELY ready. That's the part which is "up to me."

  11. I am a mental health counselor as well as a person who has had many alcoholics in my life....

    I love reading your blog. I keep thinking it has to be Charleston you speak of. We lived in South Carolina for 5 years. I didn't care for it, but loved the property we owned (still do) on Kiawah Island. It's my favorite place in the world. When serenity is nowhere to be seen for me,I envision that place where the ocean meets the river. I loved walking along the river side and having the dolphin follow me and tease me by jumping out of the water....Keep up your great blogging. When I encourage clients to attend Alanon, I sometimes lead them towards your blog. It's so authentic and gentle!

  12. It's nice when medical stuff goes well, that feeling of relief afterward. Glad you were feeling well enough to eat soup and crackers. Sounds perfect!

  13. oh gosh golly gee this was good. I'm going to share it with my sister. thankyou

  14. It's truly a miracle that we find our way. I'm glad that you're on the mend.

    I have also found myself in the Courage to Change quote, I recognize the wording,'desire for martyrdom'. That's pretty straight talk!

  15. Glad to hear from you and excellent thoughts.

    I find I'm a poor judge of acceptable/unacceptable (probably something to do with my spiritual malady and peculiar mental twist), but it's undeniable to me what God's will is (probably an upcoming article about this) - and, surprise surprise, when I'm doing God's will, I have a whole different life than when I don't.

    I think we're saying the same thing but from a different (AA/Al-anon?) perspective.

    Blessings and aloha...

  16. Good for you. Any kind of surgery is not "minor" on the first day.
    Like the One Day at a Time quote.

  17. I am glad you are well. Great post too.

  18. I agree with everyone else! Is that a copout or what? Courage to change is such good basic stuff and I have given away a copy or two in the last year. Both of your quoted statements are so appropriately correct for anyone, but especially for those of us that live in the "fix it" mode....

    Thank you Syd and continued improvement for you!

  19. Glad to hear the surgery went well.

  20. the scary part is when people reach the stage, where abnormal behaviour feels normal. i'm glad that's past for you. i'm glad you're home and all went well. i'm glad to have read your post!

  21. I'm glad your surgery went well and that you're on the mend. Thank you for a really good post, containing much food for thought.

  22. Oh Syd...You have such a wonderful way with words...you help me 'get it'!

  23. Syd,
    Wise words, dear friend. I am glad you are on the mend and that everything went well.

    You are loved.



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