A modern robot is an amazing piece of work; it is extremely smart and sometimes is almost human. I wonder if a robot can think and feel, and if there is any difference between a robot and me. Of course there is. The robot does not have a heart and its computer is engineered to perform a specific set of analytical tasks. The whole point of its sophisticated circuitry is to make certain that the robot cannot transcend its programming, ever. Its existence is defined by its predictability. I am different; I am unpredictable. Unlike even the most fabulous contraption, I can choose to act differently than I did in the past. My quirky unpredictability sets me apart from machines – it makes me human, at least until I am confronted with the reality of having an addict in my life. Almost from the moment when I recognize that someone I love is undeniably an addict, I try to cope with the situation by saying and doing the same things over and over. I nag, I give instructions, I yell, I worry, I rescue again and again, turning into a robot. In fact, I use an especially revealing expression to indicate this transformation: I say the addict “pushes my buttons.”

Participating in Nar-Anon is an alternative to living in a robotic haze. I gain practical tips from the experience, strength and hope shared by my fellow members. I have learned it is fine to fully feel my feelings, as long as I remember that I have a choice about how I am going to translate my feelings into action. I can pause, I can consider my motivations, and I can estimate the effects of my behavior on me. I can choose to be mindful, and unpredictable. Slowly but surely, I am getting to be more and more unpredictable.

Thought for Today: Thanks to Nar-Anon, I am becoming human again. The buttons still get pushed, but they are not hooked up to the switches that spark the same automatic behaviors. Moreover, the situations I encounter in the rest of my life no longer evoke the same robotic reaction.

Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson