How Alanon will Change You If You Love an Alcoholic
Alanon Will Help You Learn to Take Care of Yourself and Become Physically and Mentally Healthy
Changing Your Attitude
Do you love an alcoholic or drug abuser? If so, you are almost certainly going through one of the most difficult experiences anyone will ever have to deal with in life. It doesn't matter if the person is a child, a parent, a spouse or someone unrelated that you care about. It can be so frustrating to watch someone do harm to themselves over and over again ... and nothing you can do or say can get them to stop.
If you are in this this situation, you may find a great deal of mental and emotional relief by going to an organization called Alanon. It is for people who care about alcoholics and drug addicts. However, be prepared for seeing things from an entirely different perspective. You are going to learn that you have to let go of the other person and let them deal with the insanity they are creating for themselves.
Instead of focusing on them, you are going to be taught to focus on yourself. If you want to regain peace and happiness, then you have to commit yourself to making yourself a better, and happier, person.
If you are a new member to Alanon, the last thing you want to hear is that you may be causing your own unhappiness. We have spent years feeling like a victim. We are convinced that the people who are drinking are the ones with the problem, not us! If only they would change their behavior, we think, then our life would become perfect.
However, the alcoholics, drug addicts and other toxic people in your life may completely disagree with you. They may be perfectly content with their lives, and they don’t understand why it is causing you so much stress.
We have to accept, eventually, that even if our loved ones do get sober, we are still not guaranteed a happy and problem-free life. There will be other issues that come up. Other people will continue to create chaos for us. Since we cannot prevent the problems that others cause, our best defense is to change the way we look at it; in other words, it is our attitudes that have to change, not their behavior.
The Serenity Prayer
Most 12-Step organizations, such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Alanon, use the Serenity Prayer as one of the foundations of their program. It is regularly recited at meetings around the world. If you are not familiar with this prayer, it consists of three simple lines. In it we appeal to the God of our understanding to grant us “the power to accept the things I cannot change,” “the courage to change the things I can,” and the “wisdom to know the difference.”
Change is the predominant theme of this prayer. When we ask for the power to know the difference between what we can and cannot change, one thing rapidly becomes evident. We cannot change others. We cannot change their attitudes or their behavior. The only person whose attitude and behavior you can change is yourself! This prayer is a constant reminder of that fact.
Read This Book in the Privacy of Your Home and Learn More about Alanon and the 12 Steps
Learn more about all the 12 Steps and how Al-anon can help you by reading this book. It has changed the lives of thousands of people who love an alcoholic spouse, child, parent or other friend or family member.
Accepting What You Cannot Change
In the first part of the Serenity Prayer, we ask God to grant us the power to accept the things we cannot change. Once you have been in Alanon for a while, you will begin to realize that you cannot change other people. If you try, it will only end up making you feel angry, unhappy and resentful. Once you accept that you are powerless over other people, you will begin to feel a new freedom. If you are powerless to change them, you also begin to realize that you also have no more responsibility to keep trying.
Create a New Life for Yourself
Once you have reached the point where you realize that you cannot change others, and that you don’t have to approve or feel responsible for their actions, you are free to find ways to enjoy your own life. Learn to have fun. Pursue a hobby that has always interested you. Build new friendships. Get exercise. There is a slogan in Alanon that goes “once we got busy, we got healthy.” Now that all your energy is no longer being directed at saving someone else, you can direct it at saving yourself! It truly is life changing!
Acceptance is Not Approval
One problem that many people have over the issue of acceptance is that they confuse it will approval. They fear that if they accept the misbehavior of another individual, they are indicating that they approve of that behavior. However, acceptance and approval are not the same thing. You may accept that your home has been destroyed in a flood. That does not mean you approve of it! The same is true for the behavior of other members of your family. You can accept that they are alcoholics or drug abusers, without approving of the choices they make. You can also decide to keep peace by keeping your opinions to yourself.
This Book is For People Who Have an Alcoholic Husband or Wife
This book was written specifically for people who have an alcoholic spouse. It can really change your relationship!
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