I knew I was in trouble; I was ready to throw someone I loved very deeply out of my life forever because he had left unwashed dishes in the sink. I was obviously overreacting, yet I couldn’t calm down. I picked up the phone and called an Al-Anon friend.
After hearing me out, she mentioned that I seemed angry about more than dirty dishes. I certainly was. To me, those dishes were evidence of a whole pattern of disrespect. She said that she too grew annoyed and played martyr when faced with the same situation again and again, but whenever she tried to mend all the problems of a relationship in a single day, she failed – it just isn’t possible to do so. Instead, she tried to deal with one situation at a time.
I still don’t like dirty dishes, but I don’t have to interpret them as having a deeper meaning. I am learning to take things at face value. Sometimes dirty dishes are just dirty dishes.
Why do I allow myself to suffer, to blow small things out of proportion> I can break a situation down to a more manageable size by taking it one day at a time.
“The whole purpose of Al-Anon is to help us iron out the rough spots in our living, and that can be done only one day at a time.”
Reading From: Courage To Change, pg. 27
Dealing with one thing at a time, one day at a time, one event at a time. Some events are tied to bigger things. Others are not they simply are just the event themselves. A relationship takes a lot of work. It is a constant give and take, learning and growing, establishing, maintaining, and implementing self boundaries and often refining them. A relationship, especially a dysfunctional one can not be fixed in a day. It requires commitment from both people. If one commits and the other does not, some things may improve but others will remain. This one thing I know, there are no PERFECT relationships, except the one with our Higher Power.
There are all things we don’t like to do. We are all capable of doing things we don’t want to do for a period of time. And that is part of life. Finding things to be grateful for in those things can be a challenge sometimes, but it can be done.
Today I will remember that the give and take of relationships sometimes means that there are things that I will need to do that I don’t “want” to. I will remember that no relationship is perfect except for the one with my Higher Power.