Friday, April 25, 2008

On-line Weekend Al-Anon Meeting on; Major Responsibilities

On-line Weekend Al-Anon Meeting on; Major Responsibilities

If you have found this website you are invited to join us in a weekend long, Al-Anon Meeting.

The on-line meeting starts Friday evening 4/25/08 and runs to Sunday 4/27/08 evening.

Note: To view this Post and the Comments at the same time, click on the link here ---> (click here). Or you can click on the title of this Post in order to get a better view of the Post and the Comments.

Here are some guidelines ---> Click for Guidelines. Bottom line; say what you want, when you want, as many times as you want, to whomever you want, about whatever you want. Cross-talk is allowed ("cross-talk" is talking to each other, not being "cross" to the other).

This is where we start:

Many of us started shouldering major responsibilities when we were very young. Having had to grow up quickly in an alcoholic or unstable home made us grown-ups faster than we would have liked. But because we had nothing else to compare it to, we did as we had to, and as we were expected.

Having to place the children in an area where they were needed, and put a lot of burden on a young child or children, perhaps made some parents feel guilty and remorseful. Not knowing how to deal with the guilt and the shame, or perhaps dealing with the chaos of an alcoholic, you as a child maybe were treated unaffectionately or you were made to feel unappreciated. This is probably because the main, stable parent was doing all he or she could at the time.

The chaos was too much for the parent. The burden of you the child, may have been stressful, but as children, children are well equipped to "adjust" their little selves to the chaos and pick up the slack around the house. Children are excellent at trying to adjust and cope.

As we grew older, and we no longer needed this skill of "picking up the slack" or "shouldering major responsibilities," this once productive skill set, an asset as a child, turned into a liability as an adult.

So, when we grew up, our little goal seeking mechanism, that is, our mind, or perhaps our subconscious, sought out new situations that provided a safe haven for our ability for shouldering major responsibilities could be put back into use. So, we looked for another person, that could bring us chaos, and allow us to "help" and become the major contributor to fixing the chaos.

What we soon learned, and felt, is our unhappiness of finding us in a situation similar to the one we grew up in. Soon, we become despondent. We become angry, at ourselves and our qualifier, for having to go through this all over again.

We have become great fixers. And we feel we are powerful enough to "fix anything."

But we need to find out, and realize, that we CANNOT fix everything. There are jobs too big for even us to handle.

This is the reading Al-Anon's; "Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions."
Others among us, having shouldered major responsibilities, may have found it difficult to let go and to admit powerlessness, over something in our live that we felt must be changed.

This is where I started to find serenity. When I realized I did not have to solve all the problems of the world or the house or the business I am in. That no matter what others problems are, they are really not mine to solve.

And that problems too big for me, are also not mine to solve. These are God's.

Added Later After Initial Post;
I am very, very grateful for Al-Anon. I didn't know how affected I was by my qualifier's drinking and how I had fallen into a caretaker role, insteading of just being, well, caring. I had lost myself. Not totally, but somewhere I was buried. Some may scoff at this, if they heard me say this. But I have, and had put on a great, "I am okay" front. I was dying on the inside. I was lonely, alone, and felt, well, I hate to admit it, "unloved." Now I am beginning to see, life is not supposed to be this way.

I am also grateful to the first steps, that I can get some help. And I don't have to solve every problem. What a relief when I can say, "Okay God, this one's for you to work on."

I was not a big believer in God or a Higher Power before Al-Anon. Wow, have I changed. I just feel a little guilty in saying that, "Because I needed God, I now believe in God." I think I need to rewrite what I just wrote, because this is a profound revelation for and to me;

"Because I needed God, I now believe in God."

I think I needed God's help before. I just didn't want to ask for help, because I would feel like a phoney, since I wasn't sure there was a God. But because my problems had become too big, I had no place else to go and no one else to turn to, who could actually help me. So, I read and reread Step 1 material by looking in the index of the back of the books "Courage to Change" and "Hope for Today." This has helped me quite a bit. And I am forever grateful.

And this is where we begin.

Please post your comments here.


Syd said...

Accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things that I can, and the wisdom to know the difference--that sums it up for me. I don't need to be all things to all people. I just spent about an hour on the phone trying to convince my cousin's wife that she doesn't need to be at the beck and call of my cousin who has a disability. She is losing who she is and isn't appreciated for what she does. She isn't in a 12 step program but her behavior is enabling. She is doing for him what he needs to do for himself. Thanks for the topic.

TraceyBaby said...

This is really an excellent post. Thank you.

I am working on realizing that I do "not have to solve all the problems of the world or the house or the business I am in. That no matter what others problems are, they are really not mine to solve."

And this brings me great hope and great relief from anxiety: "And that problems too big for me, are also not mine to solve. These are God's."

Joe said...

Alicia - please join us this weekend. There are many who can provide, hope, strength and courage.

See Alicia's request
the request

Or paste this into your browser;

tearlessnights said...


I almost don't know who I am if I am not carrying the weight of the world.

My therapist said a couple great things:
He said I can be responsible TO people but not FOR people. So yes, I can express a concern to my qualifier (or anyone else), because we are in a relationship... but I have to leave it at that.

He also said that perhaps I could treat my qualifier with respect and ASK if he would like to hear some feedback. Then it is up to him whether he would like to hear it or not.
On the other hand, it is MY prerogative to not want to be around people if they are behaving in a way that makes me feel uncomfortable or behave in ways I am not happy with.
Good stuff!

I am so used to shouldering the burden for everything, that I do not and cannot trust that anyone else can do it for me/with me. In fact, I probably, a little bit, try to do things to drive that other person to abandon me, to prove I was right. I am all alone. I'll do it myself. Yet I ACHE to walk (equally) WITH someone.

I have trouble giving myself over to truly loving because I am afraid of rejection and abandonment.
Do I even know how to truly RECEIVE love?
No, not really.
I hold myself back from receiving because I am afraid it will go away or let me down.

Ahhhh... it sounds SO nice to think of letting go and letting God and truly partnering with someone.

Anonymous said...

I kow personally for myself I lived in a very unhappy home. The chaos,the fights between my mom and her husband. It was always crazy. My mom did drink my stepdad. We grew up my sister and my brother having to take care of ourselves emotionally. Kids are supposed to I thought have that nurturing side from a parent that is always a given. My mom provided food clothing shelter the basic needs and bought us things but never addressed that love the emotional component we needed.
So we had survival skills and yes took on the major respnsibilities long before we became adult. The roles were definitely reversed. So i felt like at times i was my mom mother instead of her daughter. I reconize that and i have struggled with that heavy burden i put on myself. Actually it is like a big resntment to me when i feel i have to be this super responsible person for everyone else. I dont and the sooner i realize or have realized that i can only change me. That is a hard enough job on its own. Do i slip. Absolutely and i get right back on it and try again. i can only be responsible for myself.So when i get into the martyr or the situation to control my qualifier. I do my best to just take a step back. Sometimes i can and sometimes I cant. I know for my own sanity i have to do this for myself. He isnt my responsibility and never was So just like me I am a child of God and i relase him Like i said i slip but if it wasnt for this program I dont know where i would be. I needed Alanon a whole lot longer before this qualifier was in my life. I had many but i am learning to just accept the things i cant change. One day at a time

Anonymous said...

Responsible to, not responsible for.......

Wow.. What a message!

Interdependant, vs. Codependant.

Peace this Sunday.


maresie said...

I think some of where I got lost with the alcoholic was when he totally crashed with self destruction and absolutely gave up. I am living in a house with a room mate right now who is also crashing and normally I would be jumping right in to "save" him and feeling very good about it. These days I know where that leads to tremendous resentment. Nevertheless I do have to look at that where I got a tremendous amount of validation and what I felt was appreciation was when I did for others what they needed to do for themselves. The Alcoholic showed me great love and care when I was "rescuing" him, little at any other time, talk about being primed to rescue him. He would also set it up so that he had to be "rescued". I understand that desire to manipulate because I grew up in chaos and dysfunction. I also know where it leads to tremendous chaos, resentment and eventually disintegration.

I fine it very very very hard to stand by while my roommate grapples with depression and paralysis. Nevertheless I do because I've offered help and he's refused to. I'm used to pushing help on others, giving it without being asked and draining myself. That's my norm. The norm for me is to give beyond my means, beyond my energy and beyond my capability. I have stopped but its a hard stop as my self esteem was based on "helping" others and feeling useful in that way.