The addiction maze.

800px-Longleat_mazeSometimes my own best interest includes the best interests of others.  But how do I know the best interest of another person?

Eyes wide open?  Or not?

Al-Anon’s CCC.  I didn’t Cause it.  I can’t Cure it.  I can’t Control it.

Can I help at all?  Can I live with myself if I don’t try?  Can I try to help and still take care of myself?  Can I accept the results of my effort?

I am aware that I’m rambling here.  Please bear with me.  This is how I make sense of things, and sometimes make profound decisions.  It’s a type of brainstorming, I suppose.  I think that’s usually a group activity but I am all I have right now.

F.E.A.R:  Face Everything And Respond.  I read this acronym recently on a blog called Almost Spring.  The post cited here is not about addiction, but divorce.  In my experience, both produce a great deal of fear.  The acronym grabbed my attention because I believe that fear may be the greatest motivator humans have at their disposal whether it’s divorce or addiction or clowns or the dark or…you get the picture.  Fear has often caused me to look the other way.  Or deny the obvious.  Or convince myself there’s nothing I can do that will make a difference.  Fear can pump the adrenalin and give one the strength to escape danger, perceived or otherwise, as it did eight-year-old me when my older brother told me someone was following us one night as we were walking home after dark.  It seems to me that adrenalin-producing fear is preferable to fear-induced lethargy.  As the acronym above suggests, face it and then decide how to respond.  Turning away and denying are responses, but are there better ones–for me?  now?  today?

Helping?  Or enabling?  According to most 12-step groups we are helping if we do something for someone that they are not capable of doing for themselves, and we are enabling if we do something for someone that they could, and should, be doing for themselves.  Sounds simple, straightforward enough.  But who am I to determine what another person can or cannot do for him/herself?

Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Do what you feel in your heart to be right–for you’ll be criticized anyway.  You’ll be damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.”

She did what she could…Mark 14:8

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