Dear Me,

Giving it a shot

December 31, 2012

Dear Me,

I probably know less about you than some people and more than the casual observer, but I do know a few things:

  • You love to solve problems, to teach, to talk about your experiences
  • You miss the ocean, lakes…water that moves, but you have found a great amount of serenity in this arid land you detested
  • You hate to lose, but you don’t need to always be right, which is why you enjoy personal growth
  • You value learning above almost anything and thus have enjoyed recovery work
  • You did not decide on impulse that you needed Al-Anon and resented any suggestion to that end. You can take your fingers out of your ears now.

So, sit yourself right down and listen. You are not going to go back to ‘helping’ people that pull you into their issues. You aren’t. I know this because what I didn’t list above is that you’re a hard-headed Irish-German woman who can shoot a frog on the swim and no way are you going to waste another day solving problems that aren’t yours. No way.

You will do the following, like it or not:

  • Starting with Step One, you will work the Al-Anon program, not taking solace in having done the work from the mirror side of AA. Nope.
  • This week, come up with a few one-liners that will become your ammo when you need help with that six-shooter mouth of yours. Something like “I need to hang up now, or let me know how it works out.” Drop “I have an idea for you,” from your repertoire.
  • Try to find an Al-Anon sponsor, at least a temporary one, so that you’re not even pretending to have all the answers.
  • Download Al-Anon speaker tapes from and listen to at least two a week.
  • Begin journaling this experience. Your emotions may be volleying a bit and no one else needs to get hit.

If I think of something else, I’ll send a second letter. Don’t forget to watch people’s faces. Good feedback for how your program is working that way. Their faces are a mirror of your program.

Happy recovery! Happy New Year!