Getting back into One Day at a Time is nothing like getting into a warm, welcoming bath (I’d say another Al-Anon day-by-day book, Courage to Change, is more like that).
Nope, this is more like sitting down with a friend who is all about the tough love. They have your best at heart but are not about mincing words.
I feel like I need some real talk as I refresh my programme while sheltering in place. And I know I need the unminced quality of ODAT when the rage starts blooming.
I’ve come across more than one tweet referring to people acting with defiance of the reality of the present moment. Sunbathing in the UK? Coughing on food in the supermarket? I’m sure these folks felt powerful, but it is the empty power of the victim turned perpetrator.
Oh, I have so much I want to say on the above topic, which I will do in some form when I’ve done my reading and assembled my knowledge. Suffice to say at this stage, it works the other way as well and ‘perpetrator as victim’ is an overarching theme of the last several years.
As ever, I must look in the mirror. No matter the cost, riding out an uncomfortable situation, a skill which I honed during my marriage to an active substance misuser became a well-used coping mechanism. Any fear at the beginning of this situation was triggered entirely from the feelings that came up after having taken the actions and done the work to stop living that way.
On a positive note, the awareness of my reactions allowed me to work out how to turn it from a defect of character into a cornerstone of character. And that’s how good old ODAT got dusted off and set down in plain sight: it was time to remind myself that help is always to hand.
Yesterday’s page is about detachment and that’s good advice for me: I choose to detach from the behaviour of others, keep the focus on myself, and stick to managing this situation one day at a time — while in turn feeling compassion for all those who are especially challenged at this time, the ones who have no distance from active substance misuse, from domestic violence, from food insecurity…