Thursday, July 16, 2009

Alcoholic Thinking - and Our own Form of Insanity

When I was married to my first husband, I used to get involved in long, convoluted arguments with him, which would range over about 16 different topics, and always end up with me feeling awful, and the original topic being left unresolved.

He had the ability to draw me in every time - I'd get caught up in defending myself or trying to "correct" his thinking - I couldn't detach enough to realise what insanity it was to discuss anything with him while he was under the influence.

Al-Anon taught me to stop for a moment, and really think about what I was doing - was this going to lead to a resolution?
What was I trying to achieve with my part in the argument? How did I expect to get anywhere talking with a person who was so intoxicated that he was in blackout, and wouldn't remember seeing me when he came home, let alone remember an argument we'd had?

I have the choice to engage, or disengage, in all my daily encounters with other human beings. I can keep my core self protected from the opinions of others, so that I'm making choices based on my philosophy of life, and my morals, rather than to please (or impress) anyone else.

I can behave in a way that allows me to maintain my self-respect, without trampling other's boundaries.

I can stop to ask myself: Is this a mature and courteous way to behave, or am I giving myself permission to act childishly because I'm offended, or feel slighted?

(A program friend calls some of her past behavior "cringe-worthy.")

Is fear driving my response? What are my motives?

I tell my sponsees: If you wouldn't want to admit to the motives behind your choices in a situation, to a person you admire and respect, you might want to rethink them. It's a good touchstone.


  1. I like that touchstone....would you want to admit the motives behind your choices to a person you admire and respect?

    Good post for me.


  2. This was a beautiful post. I always look so forward to your post.