Al-Anon Lifer

Anonymous sharings from a long-time member of Al-Anon, which is a safe place to recover from the effects of alcoholism in a friend or relative...

Thursday, December 27, 2007


Even when the alcoholic is sober and you're surrounded by loving, mostly functional family, something happens that reminds you that you're not in charge, you're powerless. Such a thing happened to me last night when I took the dog out for her late evening potty break.

SHE WOULDN'T GO! Even though she's gone lots of time for me travelling in all kinds of weather and on all kinds of soil with or without grass, with or without weeds, including gravel. But for some reason, the dirt around my mother-in-law's brand new house and neighborhood is so sterile that my dog can't find one place suitable to leave her mark.

SO I GOT ANGRY WITH HER! So much so that I just about wrung her neck along with using a few choice four-letter words. I thought about throwing her in her crate in the car and letting her just try to keep warm, knowing full well she'd probably freeze with the temperature in the teens. Instead, I pulled her back into the house and asked my husband what to do. He told me what he had done earlier that day.

SO I DROVE HER TO SOME LAWN! That worked, but my dog didn't understand why she didn't get her snack. When I got back, I told my husband that had to be the dumbest thing I've ever had to do for our dog. I'd flown to another state to pick her up when we adopted her. I take her to daycare at least once a week. I've paid several vet bills nearing $1000 each. I let her sleep on my bed. I mix her wet food with her dry food, along with her medicine every night.

BUT THIS WAS CROSSING THE LINE! I was so riled up last night that it took me a good hour and a funny book to settle down. Plus I woke up this morning with one of my "anger hangovers" and have been in a bad mood all day. And my dog has no idea why I'm at a cozy coffee shop and she's shut up in her crate in the cold car. My behavior hasn't changed her behavior one bit. She'll continue to not want to go in the dirt and I'll have to drive her to suitable grass.

I AM POWERLESS OVER PEOPLE, PLACES, AND DOGS! But I'm not powerless over my attitude. Right now, on this sunny though cold and windy afternoon, I can enjoy my Chai tea and let go of my anger by blogging. It's almost as good as calling my sponsor or going to a meeting. I did tell my mother-in-law this morning what a dumb thing I had to do last night for the dog. She laughed and said that's a good story. Yes, it is, and it will be funnier as time goes by. In the meantime, in a few minutes, I need to take my dog to some lawn...

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