Facing Myself

Old 12-11-2008, 05:50 AM
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Facing Myself

I'm re-reading Co-Dependent No More and thinking a lot about how I'm dealing with the current situation with my brother. I have come to realize that, just as my brother has an addiction to alcohol, my addiction is to co-dependence. Even harder to admit - my desperate need to DO something (even if that something is to run away from the situation) has much more to do with trying to save MYSELF from pain than my brother. I don't want to experience the pain of seeing my brother's life fall apart again, my mother's anguish, the real possibility that my brother won't survive his disease.

Also like my brother, I indulge in "magical thinking." If I just do THIS (go to Al-Anon, see a therapist, get my anti-depressant meds adjusted), I will be rewarded by having these problems disappear. Intellectually, I know that ain't gonna happen. Emotionally, I grasp at these miracle cures ... just like my bro, who is looking for the pill that will fix the anxiety he blames for his drinking.

I think having these insights is useful, but also discouraging. I have to come to terms with the fact that no matter what I do, I WILL experience pain. There is NO external fix that is going to make it all better. I can only hope that by working through this hard, hard stuff I will eventually become a healthier person.
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Old 12-11-2008, 05:57 AM
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My wonderful angel sponsor used to tell me this all the time:

Don't just DO something, sit there!

I wanted to do something, ANYTHING, to make the pain go away. But, for a very long time, I thought I needed to fix or change him. It took awhile for me to grasp the fact that I was, indeed, powerless over him and his stuff and I could only change myself. It was a difficult concept. Why would I need to change?

ME? I was the one doing everything, keeping the peace, putting out the fires that were constantly popping up all over the place.

ME? I was the one that kept our family secret a SECRET. I kept the public face on, letting everyone believe that we were a very happy couple, great parents, stable home.

ME? I was the one holding it all together while he was out there twirling and spiraling out of control.

If I wasn't going to save him or change him, then who would? Because, I believed in my heart and soul, if he would just change and quit doing what he was doing, our world and our life would be wonderful once again.

After I found recovery, my own recovery in the rooms of Al Anon, I began to learn. I had to sit still with my feelings and actually FEEL them. I had to look at my life and find those things over which I was powerless (which was MOST things) and then work on the rest- my own stuff.

And you're right, once we work thru this hard, hard stuff we DO become healthier people.
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Old 12-11-2008, 09:44 AM
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If you do this long enough, Osakis, and really internalize it, then the fear of pain can be reduced to its proper place, which to me is: "When it comes, and it will, I will be strong enough to not only deal with it, but learn & grow from it. I won't like it, but I'll be fine and I'll come out with new muscles."

The logical acceptance of how your heart/mind is currently working comes first -- congrats on all the inner work you're doing right now. It's SUCH hard work!!
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Old 12-11-2008, 12:09 PM
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I just wanted to say that I can relate to the Magical Thinking. Me too, and in darker, more shadowy ways, too.
And the pain.
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