Wednesday, July 20, 2011


I had the interesting experience recently, of speaking with a friend about a decision I'd made, and as we spoke, I began to doubt myself. I had to take some deep breaths, relax, and remind myelf that this had not been a spur-of-the-moment conclusion; my growth in Al-Anon has been ever propelling me in that direction.

It was a clear demonstration of the way I can still be persuaded to act against my own best interests, if I'm not paying attention.

There may be intervals in our lives when our decisions are going to be wildly unpopular, and people around us are not going to be able to grasp our reasons. We don't need to justify or explain, no matter how strongly another person pushes for an explanation or a "good reason." When we've been patient, given it deep thought,  had an open mind about our choices, and come to a conclusion that we know is right for us, we can let go of what another person thinks we should do instead.

They aren't inside our lives - they may never be able to comprehend what has gone into our decision. We may be puncturing a picture they've always had, of what our lives are, and that's what they are protesting - the dismantling of an impression they've carried, and from which, in some instances, they may have deriven comfort. We aren't responsible for that.

We need to do what is best for us. I pray for the strength to follow through on my decisions; for the willingness to listen to another point of view, but not to let it supersede my own.


  1. Before recovery I never even considered what was best for me. I thought that was selfish but really everyone will benefit if I take care of my own needs first. I will be stronger and more giving when I feel restored.

    Being used up by others even if I volunteer in the end only builds resentments against the people I am helping.

    Getting past the guilt of doing what is right for you feels un-natural but you know in your heart you need to save yourself.

  2. I like what I am told in Al-Anon about not worrying about others' opinions of me. I am not responsible for what they think. But I am responsible for my choices and actions. If a decision feels right after I inventory my motives, then I go forward.

  3. Wow. Direct is best, yet from experience most people will not respond positively. It makes them uncomfortable or say, That hurt my feelings. I have to be concerned for my best intrest and not surround myself with those who are selfish, all about themselves,react unhealthy, act unhealthy or live unhealthy. Thanks be to having an Al-anon background and history. I don’t know how I would have stood my ground if I was still the person who did not speak up calmly, but had outbursts, as I did for many many years, 80% of my life has been shut up and put up and then when it was unbearable I reacted with anger.Sounds like what I did in my relationships.
    Today, I pay attention to feelings I get that tell me this situation is not working. It is a result of being in the program and not beinging numb to unhealthy behaviors. Lately a theme has been reoccurring in my life--I have choices. I have choices as to what crap I will subject myself to.
    My experience this past month with being direct was met with much drama, denial and was quite the confirmation for me. I have worked in many food service jobs enough to know when one is managed or not managed effectively. I spoke up and told my present manager at a new job several issues that were big problems. She has put in charge her alcoholic friend and she forgets to order stock, goes off to socialize, does not train or communicate with new staff at all and has made a mess of several other things. I put in my 2-week notice. Others questioned why.
    My boundries were I will not be quite to this situation and if this is how it continues then I can go somewhere else. They have worked there for many years, complain about it everyday and return to work the next day to put up with the same chaos. Sounds like what I did in my relationships. It is a rural place and there are not many jobs available so they hang in there and suffer. You want to work with chaos, unorganization and lack of communication and be upset all the time, not for me, I know I have a choice. I have a choice to be happy at work and in relationships.
    This Alannon has taught me.