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...

Friday, July 31, 2009

Comparing the Good and the Bad

My sponsor keeps reminding me to not compare myself to others, that God and I are the only ones who need to approve of me. So what happens when I don't think God or I approve of me? I can do something to change that, if only my attitude. Some days it is all I can do to just say that I'm okay just the way I am, just for today. I have to dismiss the voices around me that say you are what you do or accomplish, or something is wrong with you if you tend to keep to yourself...

But something else came to mind this week about comparison, and that is what I put up with in others because I compare them to those who are worse, saying it could be worse. This especially happens with my spouse because he is such a good guy. Even when he was still drinking, I didn't have much to complain about because he worked, he was responsible around the house, he didn't beat me or the children, he brought me flowers and candy...

And yet something was terribly wrong and I usually thought it was me, it had to be me. Now that he's sober, it definitely has to be me because he's practically perfect, right? Wrong. He's just the same good guy he was before, only sober. But if he's such a good guy, why does my gut keep telling me that something is still wrong? The answer came last night when I asked for a change in behavior and got yelled at.

Nobody sees this behavior but me, and it's really okay because after all, he is such a good guy, he could be so much worse... It's like I'm supposed to put up with it, tolerate it, thinking that my spouse is a saint compared to the horror stories I've heard in meetings. In other words, I don't even deserve the good guy I have when I'm not the greatest gal. This is how my comparing the good as well as the bad gets me into trouble.

If I had listened to all those voices telling me he isn't so bad, so what if he drinks and drives, I would have never found Al-Anon and gotten the help I needed. And he may never have gotten sober because I may have continued to accept unacceptable behavior. In reality, I am doing him a disservice by letting him think it is okay to yell at me. Today I will remember to listen to my gut and change what I can, even when it is the hard thing to do like speaking up for myself.


At Friday, July 31, 2009 5:37:00 PM, Blogger Al-anon again said...

Go with your gut feeling, so what if he is not like the other horror stories you have heard other people tell.
This is your life and you are the only one in those shoes living it.
Do what's right for you.

At Saturday, August 01, 2009 12:46:00 AM, Blogger Cheryl said...

This really resonated for me - I've done this all my life. We accept half a loaf, because it's better than no bread, right?
Not if it's so-thickly-covered-in-blue-fur-that-it-would-make-a-great-science-project, it isn't!
I try now to listen more to that prompting from my deepest self, the part of me that knows I don't deserve to be treated this way. "Because I don't like it" is reason enough.

At Tuesday, February 01, 2011 12:19:00 PM, Anonymous Still A Little Girl Sometimes said...

I recently had a rather similar experience. I kept telling myself to support and applaud my alcholic boyfriend's attempts at healthier behaviors regarding not villanizing his co-workers, but my gut kept telling me that he went way over to the other end of the spectrum in accepting his co-workers for who they were, since he ended up partying with them till 2 in the morning, all the while knowing that I might be upset. Everything just felt so out of balance, but I just don't yet have the intuitive sense of how to handle this.


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