Kelli, Swetha, and Spencer talk about choices. In the past, we did not understand that we had choices. Much of the time, we felt that there was no choice. We may have thought that any decision must be black and white, good and bad, or that we must make a decision right away. Much of the time, we felt constrained by the decisions made by others, such as our parents. Spencer talks about making decisions such as what house to buy, where to go to school, with very little thought. He relates that, when he was early in Al-Anon, that he was told that he did not have to make a choice immediately, that he could wait. Swetha talks about feeling that any choice must be a permanent choice, that if she chose chocolate ice cream one day, she was committed to chocolate forever. When Kelli began to understand that she had choices, she found the idea scary.
We talk about the tools that we have now. Some of the slogans, such as “One day at a time”, or “How important is it?” are helpful. We have learned to ask for help, through prayer and meditation, by calling other people in the program. Swetha takes her inventory when she finds herself feeling resentful, feeling forced into a choice. We have also found that choices are possible in other dimensions; that we can choose to change our reactions or our attitudes, even when we are powerless to change our situation. We can choose to be resentful or we can choose acceptance.
Spencer was amazed to find that he could choose to do something different than the rest of his family wants to do. He has the power to choose to take care of his own well-being, no matter what the others in his life might want. We each share stories of our experience of making healthy choices. When we know we are heading into a potentially difficult situation, we can plan ahead, so we have a “menu” of choices that we can make to keep ourselves healthy and sane.
While Swetha was on vacation with her family, she was reading an Al-Anon book, Discovering Choices.
Our topic next week will be expectations. Call or email us with your experience, strength, and hope so we can share them; also send your questions, and we will try to address them.
Our musical selections are Islands by the Xx and Hold Your Head Up by Macklemore.