It hurts to see someone in pain. I very frequently see a fellow Al-Anon in such incredible pain from their resentments, and I’ve been struggling with whether to say anything or not, because the nugget of the pain is blaming the alcoholic for their choices.

I’ve been blessed with a sponsor who made sure I started off with a thorough understanding of the disease of alcoholism and what it does to the alcoholic, well and before anything it does to the friends and families of the alcoholic. All of it is terrible and horrible, but it’s important not to miss the most basic element, the physical and spiritual disease. Having this saves me from judgment and resentment that were misplaced before. It saves my peace and helps me heal my relationships.

It hurts to see someone in pain, getting by without that.

So I spoke with my sponsor about whether to say something or not. I don’t want to give advice, because that’s not what we do. We share our experience, strength, and hope. My sponsor said that saying, “It looks like …” is not giving advice. And speaking of what works for me is not giving advice. I knew already that whatever I say, I have to let go the results. Whether the other person uses what I share or not, it’s their decision, their life, their stuff. So I can share, but I have to let go the results.

Being mindful of this, I did share, in exactly that form. I shared that it looked like the person might not have accepted alcoholism as a disease, and that having a sponsor start me there was incredibly valuable to my serenity, to alleviating the pain.

Then I reminded myself to let go.

I’m still reminding myself to let go. The person did not welcome my sharing and told me that I was taking their inventory, when I should instead be taking my own. I wonder if this is the case. I’m not always sure that everyone who talks of taking someone else’s inventory is talking about the same thing. I do know that “let there be no gossip or criticism” is there for a reason, and I take that pretty seriously.

Have I criticized? Have I taken someone else’s inventory? I don’t think so, but I could be wrong. Deep inside, saying nothing at all feels wrong. Criticizing feels wrong as well. I could try to think my way around the issue, but my best thinking got me where I was before the program. I’m an Al-Anon! I’m here to help whether you like it or not! *grin*

I’m reminding myself to let go. Whether my words will ever be of use to the person to whom I gave them, that’s their business. I have put my words above so that they can be whatever use they’ll be to whoever encounters them. Or not. So now I can let go.

Let go already. 🙂

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