February 3, 2011

February 1: Change Begins With Me: Taking a Sabbatical

(Adapted for personal use from Courage to Change in Alanon.)

I thought that my having a very separate life from my personality-disordered family member would help them learn to stop abusing me. But no.  As I  made the changes necessary for me, my family member seemed to get worse in their dealings with me instead of better. 

That's when the child in me got worried that she had done something wrong, again.  Thankfully,   my program family helped me to see that I was powerless to cure my family member's illness. They encouraged me to follow my intuition and put myself first. 

Today I am learning to make choices simply because they  are good for me, not because of the effect they might have on others. "It may be true that, if I change my behavior, the behavior of those around me may also change, but there is no guarantee that it will change to my liking. "

Over the coming months, I plan to do my best to stop participating in the problems of my family system. I envision a sabbatical is already underway, where loving me is my first priority. Program tells me this is the right thing for me to  do, to help me feel better about myself. 

If my family member is unable to let go of their dysfunction and  to change for the "better," let that make me aware of how difficult it is for any of us to stop reacting as we have in the past. "But with our 12-step group support, I can be the one to break the pattern. I can choose to do what is right—for me."

“You have to count on living every single day in a way that you believe will make you feel good about your life." Jane Seymour


  1. @SMITTY,
    You wrote this one year ago. How do you feel today?

    I am the daughter of a dry drunk and relate to your post with the utmost familiarity.

    You are part of my program family. It's nice there.

    1. I am glad you stopped by, Kristin. How do I feel today? I feel a bit preoccupied with our upcoming move. It is a few months away yet, and time-traveling in my mind is a bit unsettling.

      As regards my mom and her emotional insobriety? Today I know she is doing her best, and compassion for her, starts with being kind to me, and setting good boundaries.

      I am not there yet (with the good boundaries)... I am still in the stern phase, but I can kindly hang up the phone and that action has less of a guilt aftertaste. I know that sometimes I draw the boundary prematurely because I simply don't know where my mom is coming from, and I forget to ask questions....



I welcome your thoughts. Keep me honest~