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...

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Having My Say Does Not Mean Having My Way

Yesterday on the road, I explained to my spouse why I often don't speak up for myself. It has to do with not getting my needs met most of my life, as well as the main people in my life being critical rather than nurturing. So he told me to speak up for myself.

But what happened next? When we got home and the house was not clean (at least not to my standards), I voiced my displeasure. I was criticized. Then when I told my daughter about my displeasure when she got home from work, I was criticized. I was told I was yelling when I wasn't. Certainly not compared to the way I used to yell.

In my opinion, I calmly told and showed my daughter what she could have done better. But to my spouse, I was going on and on when in fact it only took me about five minutes. Guess he's not ready to let me speak up for myself, at least not when he's tired and frustrated himself.

In the meantime, I'll continue to go elsewhere to get my needs met. As one of our pages in a daily reader says, I'll not go to the hardware store when I need a loaf of bread. What I really feel like doing today, though, is my old "fight or flight."

I need to remember that just because my spouse is sober, doesn't mean he's always going to behave. I can't expect that from him anymore than he should expect it from me. So today I will remember that he is still sick, have compassion for him, but not let him bully me. I will take care of myself and my needs today, as well as take care of my responsibilities around the house.

Certainly, if I could work my Al-Anon program for all those years when my spouse was drinking, I can get through this uncomfortable period while my spouse is sober. It is clear that drinking was not the problem, but the reason for the drinking which was and still is a "spiritual malady."

I have that, too, so today I will connect with my Greater Power and realize that having my say does not always mean having my way. I can still speak up for myself if I do it in a calm manner without criticizing others. I could have done better yesterday, but I'm not going to beat myself up today for not being perfect.

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At Thursday, March 06, 2008 8:22:00 AM, Blogger Syd said...

I've found that alcohol is just the symptom for a lot of other problems. And expecting an alcoholic to "behave" is like expecting pigs to fly. I'm powerless over them. I have to do what I need to do to take care of myself. And most of the time, I'm good at that. We're only human and the frustration of living with an alcoholic can trigger our own insanity. Stop by for a visit. I made a link to your site.

At Friday, March 14, 2008 2:38:00 PM, Blogger Wait. What? said...

I can relate to this so much so that it stings a bit.


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