Tuesday, February 16, 2010

My Standards Of Behavior.

Garnet left a comment yesterday, which made me laugh out loud:
"Sometimes I have to remind myself that if everyone had to behave according to my standards, I'd be one lonely bunny."

I went about my day with that thought lodged firmly in the forefront of my mind, trying to do an honest inventory about it, and once I'd worked my way past the "I wish they'd just ___instead of ___," decided that I needed to find a meeting to attend. The only one last night was in a town a half hour's drive away, so off I went. And what was the topic?
Step 1 - "Admitted we were powerless over alcohol and our lives had become unmanageable."

Then this morning, I came here to my blog, and found the second comment on yesterday's post, about being loving when our alcoholic is stressed out and reacting to that stress.

(My Higher Power likes to pound the lesson home, because I'm  stubborn and a slow learner.)

Some days, I cringe to realise how judgemental I still am, and wonder if I'm ever going to be able to eradicate the judge inside my head? Or at least be able to lock her in a back room somewhere, so her voice is an unintelligible murmur, easier to ignore.

Driving back from the meeting last night, I was thinking about the way I choose to deal with "argument mode" by withdrawing, and how I don't feel good about it.  I know they're in that headspace because they are stressed, my withdrawing most likely adds to the stress, and how could I deal with it in such a way as to keep my sanity intact, without being unkind? It's a tightrope walk I don't do very well. I don't do at all well if I get defensive and take the arguing personally, as I did on the weekend.

That led to contemplation of why do I allow argument mode to bother me so much, anyway? Is it that I feel I'm being criticised or negated, or told that I am wrong, and my ego is offended? All of that, probably. So once again, we come around to ego, and who is driving this vehicle anyway, the rational me, or my ego?

Sometimes one, sometimes the other. My rational self is a good driver, focused upon arriving safely, and driving courteously. My ego is one of those hot-headed lunatics who zips in and out of lanes without signalling, and becomes infuriated at those who don't drive according to her standards. With my ego in the driver's seat, it's a wild ride, and I cannot enjoy the scenery of my daily life, because I'm bracing for the crash. I get out at my destination, and stoop to kiss the ground, for having once more, somehow, by the grace of God, safely arrived.

So, begin once more at the beginning, with Step 1. Admit my powerlessness, admit the unmanagability, admit my character defects, and taking my ego firmly but gently by the arm, lead her around to the passenger seat, make sure she fastens her seat belt, then get behind the wheel myself, take a deep breath, and start the car.
So it goes. One day at a time.


  1. I have learned a lot about my shortcomings and that being judgmental and argumentative are not good for relationships with others or for my serenity. I am finding that when these things spring to mind, I can pause and reflect before jumping in with my angry or judging words.

  2. I really liked your yesterday's and today's post. I have found that I sometimes I have to tell myself something I heard in an Al Anon meeting once... "he's not doing it TO me, he's just doing it" and it has helped me a lot. I also use that, "you might be right" comment to avoid arguing as well. Both have helped me tremendously to avoid getting drawn in to a usually ridiculous argument. Thanks for your posts. I am a big fan.

  3. Yep. and a good sense of humor. I loved your visualization about your ego. If I get too serious, I become a drama-queen and that is best left to RuPaul!