March 30, 2011

Focus, Putting ME first

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

When I first heard that ours is a program where we focus on ourselves , I was afraid I was being told that I needed to be cold and selfish. I wondered what others would think of me if I acted on those principles. Surely they would think me inconsiderate, thoughtless and uncaring.

I had spent years trying to remain considerate, thoughtful and caring towards my family members. Quite honestly, I was doing so out of an effort not to be like the dysfunctional people in my life.  My heart really was not in my endless efforts to do everything in a way as to seem generous and loving. I’d put my focus on other’s responses, rather than what was really the right thing to do. No wonder I was feeling resentful. 

I began to recover my personal power, when I let myself see that trying to please everyone else but me, was not working.  Nor was this kind of giving unconditional—it had all kinds of strings attached.   When I learned to pay more attention to myself and then doing what I thought to be best for everyone, I was free to give without strings attached, and practice true generosity of spirit.  

Today I believe firmly that program works when I keep the focus on myself, take time for meetings and put my recovery first.  It is only when I am fully myself, that I am truly able to treat others with love and respect.

“Selfish is caring for ourselves at others’ expense… Self-care is taking care of ourselves so we can be there for others.” Bill Crawford


  1. We talked about this topic today. It is a good one. I keep the focus on me so that I don't get swept into the whirlpool of despair around alcoholism.

  2. You know, I used to think I was only worthy of surrendering to that despair. I could not let my dry drunk hurt all by herself. I had to join in, or I would see myself as a traitor. Weird huh?


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