Friday, May 21, 2010

Old Habits And Their Peculiar Habit Of Rising Again.

My default mode is to assume the worst - of situations, of people, of machinery, of my Higher Power. It has taken much hard work to achieve a state of mind somewhat opposed to this, but let me be in HALT, or stressed out, and I will click over into that mode without realising.

There, I take everything personally - I could give the mentally ill a run for their money, with my paranoia regarding what this or that "means."  I can spend countless hours engaged in imaginary arguments, and attribute the worst of all possible motives to the most innocent of people. My thinking should be accompanied by spooky music, of the type one hears in old movies, when a dramatic plot twist is on the way.

That's why I'm grateful for the phone lists in Al-Anon, and the members who will take the time out of their day, to have a mini-meeting with those of us who are in need at the time. I never ever say no to a call of this kind - I remember all the times when I was dialing, in desperation, frustration, anger and pain, and within a short time, I'd be back on track, feeling calmed and safe.

I called someone today, and we probably only spoke for not quite ten minutes, but she said the one thing that was essential for me to hear: emphasised that taking it personally is a choice I needn't make. Before the call, I felt unsettled and irritated. After the call, I felt reminded.

MrSponsorPants wrote today about ego. If my ego had been given the reins, I wouldn't have felt able to make that call. And when I stop to consider, a lot of what brings on the state of mind required to take the alcoholic's words and deeds personally, is ego strutting and stomping about.

It's not about me, it just is. It isn't raining to piss me off, it's just raining. The alcoholic isn't behaving in this fashion in order to drive me insane, they are just being themselves, in the grip of their illness.


  1. This helps, immensely, because otherwise I get my feelings hurt. Knowing it isn't about me is very important...especially when I have the tendency to assume that it has to be about me...

    This is one of those things that I have learned in the program that I have been able to apply, happily, to a lot of people in my life.

    Even those who are not alcoholics.

  2. I occasionally feel self pity which I do my best to get out of. It isn't helpful to be so sensitive and then react to others negatively. You are right that it isn't about me.