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One Day at a Time in Al-Anon:

An AA speaker at an Al-Anon meeting gave the members this unusual insight from the other side of the fence: “The non-alcoholic in the family doesn’t seem to realize that the alcoholic is in a terribly vulnerable position. He must be constantly on guard, because he knows, deep down inside, how much trouble he is bringing to the family. He knows he is wide open to criticism.

“But did it ever occur to you that your tantrums and harsh words are like whipping a sick dog? Remember, he’s lashing himself — all the time. If you apply more lashes, you’re inviting him to transfer some of his guilt to you. This can keep him from reaching his ‘bottom’ and realizing how much he needs help to find sobriety.”

Today’s Reminder:

I will try to understand how desperately the alcoholic suffers from guilt. I will not yield to the impulse to kick him when he is down. We both suffer in different ways from the alcoholism. I, who have God’s gift of sobriety, must be the one to realize his dissatisfaction with himself, no matter how defiant and defensive he may appear.

“If I were unfortunate enough to be an alcoholic, how would I hope to be treated by the person I live with? The Golden Rule is a useful tool in all our personal relationships.”

From the book “One Day at a Time in Al-Anon”. © Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc. 1973