Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. – Albert Einstein
We have choices, more choices than we let ourselves see.
We may feel trapped in our relationships, our jobs, our life. We may feel locked into behaviors such as caretaking or controlling.
Feeling trapped is a symptom of codependency. When we hear ourselves say, I have to take care of this person . . . I have to say yes . . . I have to try to control that person . . . I have to behave this way, think this way, feel this way . . . we can know we are choosing not to see choices.
That sense of being trapped is an illusion. We are not controlled by circumstances, our past, the expectations of others, or our unhealthy expectations for ourselves. We can choose what feels right for us, without guilt. We have options.
Recovery is not about behaving perfectly or according to anyone else's rules. More than anything else, recovery is about knowing we have choices and giving ourselves the freedom to choose.
Today, I will open my thinking and myself to the choices available to me. I will make choices that are good for me.
Without My Help
When I first came to Al-Anon, I was in what I now like to call my martyrdom stage. I was the smart one and the responsible one. I took care of the house, the children, and the bills. I also made sure we had money reserved for emergencies.
I could tell you all the ways my alcoholic husband was not like me. I could tell you everything he did incorrectly and I reminded him of them everyday. What I didn’t realize was how negatively I was affecting my children and our household. I was affecting our lives horribly, not the alcoholic—me, the perfect, self-sacrificing one. How blind I had become in my self-righteousness.
In terms of emotional and spiritual growth, Al-Anon, including my friends in the program and my first sponsor, is the most important thing that has ever happened in my life. Today I know that I am not the almighty. My Higher Power is. What a blessing for my family, and what a weight lifted from my shoulders. I can be happy today whether things go just as I’d like them to or not.
I’m happy again and my children are happier. Without my help, my husband is actually doing things differently. How about that? Thank you, God, for this program.
By Dianne U. April, 2003
Reprinted with permission of The Forum
Al-Anon Family Groups Incorporated, Virginia Beach, VA
Today's Hope is an Al-Anon themed site and is not affiliated with Al-Anon's World Service Office. The daily sharings contain a reading from Al-Anon's Conference Approved publication The Forum, an inspirational quote/saying and a recovery based reading/meditation. The intent of Today's Hope is to share experience, strength and hope. Please take what you like and leave the rest.