Anxiety is defined as “the strong wish to do a particular thing, especially if the wish is unnecessarily or unhealthily strong.” This certainly describes the way I feel and how I approach the addict in my life. I have an unhealthy wish to make him stop using. I want him to love me and treat me the way I want to be treated. Before Nar-Anon, I thought this was a necessary and normal thing, even though it dominated my thinking and resulted in extremely high levels of anxiety.

In Nar-Anon, I am learning that this way of thinking is not only unhealthy but also unnecessary. Control over others is not my job; it is an obsession. I am learning I can reduce my level of anxiety by releasing my unhealthy wish to control. No matter how good my intentions or how pure my desires, I need to understand and accept that it is not within my power, not my responsibility, and therefore, not a healthy thought.

So what can I do? I can establish healthy boundaries for myself. I can treat others, and myself, the way I wish to be treated. I can turn over the things that I cannot control; I can accept my Higher Power’s plan.

Thought for Today: When I feel anxiety, I need to examine my thoughts and wishes. Is my desire related to my own well-being or to someone else’s? If I see that my thoughts are related to control, I need to let go, trust in my Higher Power, and enjoy the day.

“As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.” ~ Henry David Thoreau