Before I joined Nar-Anon and learned about the slogan “Think,” I was at the beck and call of the addict. Whatever he asked: Fix the car, go to the store, lend him money, pay his lawyer, post his bail, visitations to hospitals and jails, I was there without a thought. I did not understand I had a choice. I felt victimized and resentful, and my life was out of control and unmanageable. I did not realize that I was reacting and being too sensitive to every situation.

At my Nar-Anon meetings, I am learning a better way to live. I hear others share how they have changed and how they react to their addicted loved ones. I now understand that I do not have to fix what the addict broke. It is not my job; it is not my responsibility; and this unhealthy behavior only results in unnecessary pain. I am learning that I could stop and think. Now I think before I act or speak. I stop for a moment, look at the situation and listen to what is being asked of me.

I am not helping the addict when I try to fix the problems he has created, but only enabling him. When I allow the addict to deal with his own problems and suffer the consequences of his actions, I find that these consequences may aid him to seek recovery. When I stop, think and choose my reactions, I remember the addict has choices too. I can put the focus on me and take care of myself. In doing so, I am taking control of my own life.

Thought for Today: I will not let someone else’s crisis overtake my thoughts or dictate my actions. I will think before I act, and when necessary choose detachment.

“We also often add to our pain and suffering by being overly sensitive, over-reacting to minor things, and sometimes taking things too personally.” ~ Dalai Lama