Tuesday, October 21, 2008


There is a great difference between reacting and responding. Someone once said(not sure who) that maturity is marked by the lack of reactivity. It means that you have stopped allowing others to pull your strings. You actually put the old brain in gear and think awhile before you answer.
This is a valuable thing to master in life. And imperative if you are struggling with someone who uses chemicals(alcohol is a chemical) to excess.
It is well known in recovery circles that the addict will create an argument as a set-up to reach for the bottle. Creating distance is necessary for the addict, who prefers isolation and being in the company of other addicts. So--be careful that you do not take the bait. It will not stop the addict from leaving the house or the fellowship, but at least you feel better about yourself and retain personal power.
Many a spouse has been left behind, feeling that they said something wrong that set off the addict. Then, in their guilt, the whole system deepens as they try to make it all better by walking on eggshells. Please. You are not in a relationship any longer, but now in case management.
Please remember that these addict behaviors are common and as much a part of the disease as a cough is to a cold. The addicts brain is again trying to protect it from the reality of what a mess they are in. It is an unconscious defense mechanism.
One Alanon presenter once suggested that there are some neutral responses to a coming argument: OH---OOOOHHHHH---YES---NO--MAYBE---REALLY?---WOW!

Warm regards,
Nan Reynolds