Endigar 817

From Courage to Change of March 25;

I came to Al-Anon confused about what was and was not my responsibility. Today, after lots of Step work, I believe I am responsible for the following: to be loyal to my values; to please myself first; to keep an open mind; to detach with love; to rid myself of anger and resentment; to express my ideas and feelings instead of stuffing them; to attend Al-Anon meetings and keep in touch with friends in the fellowship; to be realistic in my expectations; to make healthy choices; and to be grateful for my blessings.

I also have certain responsibilities to others: to extend a welcome to newcomers; to be of service; to recognize that others have a right to live their own lives; to listen, not just with my ears, but also with my heart; and to share my joy as well as my sorrow.

I am not responsible for my alcoholic loved one’s drinking, sobriety, job, cleanliness, diet, dental hygiene, or other choices. It is my responsibility to treat this person with courtesy, gentleness, and love. In this way we both can grow.

Today’s Reminder

Today, if I am tempted to interfere with something that is none of my business, I can turn my attention instead to some way in which I can take care of myself.

“I have a primary responsibility to myself; to make myself into the best person I can possibly be. Then, and only then, will I have something worthwhile to share.” ~ Living with Sobriety

END OF QUOTE—————————————

What can I share about that primary responsibility to myself? I find that fulfilling it seems to give loved ones, alcoholic or not, permission to do the same for themselves. Helping myself improve releases others from the prison of fear for my well-being. I quit being a soul-suck to those around me. My life proclaims manageability leading to satisfaction. When I say that I am not responsible for my addictive loved one’s responsibilities, it is more of a recognition of fact than a proclamation. I do not have the power to assume such a mantle. Their self-destructive free will gets in the way. No amount of gymnastic martyrdom will outrun the addictive progression and its consequences. In fact, the greatest gift an active alcoholic or addict can receive is consequences for their actions. The raw ore of consequence can be forged into personal responsibility and self awareness. My responsibility is to forge my own raw ore and through a successful example give others the freedom to do the same.

To balance, part of my self-responsibility is to develop the self-awareness to know when I need help and to ask for it from those who I know are invested in seeing me succeed and who do not have an ongoing battle with an active addiction. I build a trusted network of support. Only madness is produced in absolute isolation.

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