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Courage to Change:

When I first heard that the best way to help an alcoholic was to focus on myself, I thought Al-Anon was a heartless place where I would be forced to stop caring about my loved ones. I had decided never to return, but someone shared a thought that changed my mind. He said that although the desire to help another person can be well-motivated and compassionate, our old ways of “helping” don’t necessarily help. Al-Anon offers a new way to help.

I examined my version of helping the alcoholic. I saw that when I covered her bad checks or made excuses for her, I kept her from facing the consequences of her actions. I actually was depriving her of opportunities to want to change.

I also had to consider why I felt so desperate unless I was helping. When I took a look at my motives, I found that it was my anxiety I didn’t want to face.

Today’s Reminder:

Is the help I offer truly loving or do I have other motives? Am I trying to change another person or get them to do what I want? Talking it over with my Sponsor can offer perspective. My best hope for helping those I love really does begin when I focus on myself.

“In Al-Anon we learn:Not to create a crisis; Not to prevent a crisis if it is in the natural course of events.”
– Detachment

From the book “Courage to Change”. Copyright Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc. 1992