Thursday, March 8, 2012

Common Denominators - Quixotic & Querulous.

Great word, quixotic; my dictionary defines it as: "impulsive and often rashly unpredictable." and "querulous"  is defined as: "full of complaints; complaining." 

Both accurate descriptions of who I was when I was new to Al-Anon. I would be swept by an emotion - fear, or anger -  act whilst in the heat of emotion, without stopping to consider the potential outcomes, and then later, when faced with the results of my rash decisions, I would complain. To anyone and everyone. In detail, at great length, and with no understanding of the reality that I'd once again put myself into an untenable position.

It can be painful, lonely, or just uncomfortable to "sit with a feeling," and many of us in Al-Anon will do just about anything to avoid this. In this way we are akin to the alcoholics, who douse their feelings with the anesthetising effect of alcohol - we often use action of some sort to relieve or escape our feelings.

I have learned in 12-Step, to use actions which don't compound the problem. Instead of staying and provoking an argument, I will go for a long fast walk with the dogs, work in the garden, clean house, do something requiring a fair bit of physical effort - this works for me, calms me down, and allows me to vent my feelings harmlessly. I don't make decisions when I'm upset or annoyed, because I've learned that I don't have good judgement at those times. It may feel immensely satisfying to behave immaturely, but it doesn't last, and I don't want to be creating any more wreckage in my life. I want to behave with dignity, maturity and compassion.  This requires that I be willing to feel my feelings, and wait out my own emotional response.

I'm no longer a champion complainer, because in order to complain, I had to be willing to view myself as a victim. I don't see myself that way anymore. I know I have choices in some areas, and no control in many others; that knowledge simplifies my life.

Today, I love myself enough not to act foolishly in order to avoid my feelings. I love others enough not to subject them to hours of complaint.

1 comment:

  1. I have not been a complainer but I have acted foolishly! Something for me to be mindful of.