TDA Under the Microscope

by The Discovering Alcoholic on August 3, 2009

original pic by Milosz1 under creative commons license now at The Discovering Alcoholic

Introspection is a necessary part of a succesful recovery, so join me this evening- it’s time for a little TDA under the microscope.

I am a control freak. No where is this more obvious than my unease in riding when not driving; a trait particularly irritating to my wife if she is unfortunate enough to have me in the car as a passenger. It’s not that I pull a dad and start stomping the floorboard as if there were a passenger side brake or white knuckle the dashboard. No, with my wife the irritation is caused by something much more subtle… I can’t sleep when she is driving.

This behavior galls her because when I drive, she is out like a light before the garage door gets fully closed. She considers my inability to doze while she is driving as being an indication of a lack of trust. It’s not, or I guess I should say that it’s not that I don’t trust just her. No the sad and dangerous truth of the matter is the only time I am comfortable enough to sleep in a car is when I am driving! Planes? Oh, believe me, the long flights to Japan and Thailand have been red eye excruciating.

It’s human nature, not a trait unique to alcoholics (or codependents), but those of us that fall into one or both of these categories certainly have to be more careful how we deal the issue.

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An alcoholic should always be mindful of the serenity prayer, especially the letting go part; just as codependents should never forget that there is only one person in this world they have the power to keep safe and sane. Controlling behavior can also lead to compulsive behavior and be quite restraining as the comfort zone shrinks. These counterproductive habits and isolation do not exactly go hand in hand with treatment and recovery.

But this behavior, in moderation, can be used quite productively.

No doubt the alcoholic needs to learn to let go, but there is no doubt peace and contentment to be found when one has examnined a problem thoroughly, taken all available and appropriate steps, and knows in one’s heart that one has done all that can be done. Situational awareness and an ability to control access to kids, money, and property is not just smart for those struggling with codependency, it s down right necessary when dealing with the family alcoholic.

I guess I should say moderation is the key, but maybe that’s a poor choice of words on this site.

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