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Courage to Change:

I knew I was in trouble: I was ready to throw someone I loved very deeply out of my life forever because he had left unwashed dishes in the sink. I was obviously overreacting, yet I couldn’t calm down. I picked up the phone and called an Al-Anon friend.

After hearing me out, she mentioned that I seemed angry about more than dirty dishes. I certainly was. To me, those dishes were evidence of a whole pattern of disrespect. She said that she too grew annoyed and played martyr when faced with the same situation again and again, but whenever she tried to mend all the problems of a relationship in a single day, she failed — it just isn’t possible to do so. Instead, she tried to deal with one situation at a time.

I still don’t like dirty dishes, but I don’t have to interpret them as having a deeper meaning. I am learning to take things at face value. Sometimes dirty dishes are just dirty dishes.

Today’s Reminder:

Why do I allow myself to suffer, to blow small things out of proportion? I can break a situation down to a more manageable size by taking it one day at a time.

“The whole purpose of Al-Anon is to help us iron out the rough spots in our living, and that can be done only one day at a time.”
– One Day at a Time in Al-Anon

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