Actions, Consequences, Love and Support

With the understanding that addiction is a disease and the realization that we are powerless over it as well as over people's lives, we are ready to do something useful and constructive with our own.

Then, and only then can we be of any help to others.

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Actions, Consequences, Love and Support

Post by DianeB » Fri Nov 17, 2017 11:05 am

Actions - things we do, things we say....

have consequences. For every action there is an equal and opposite reactions.

In many cases, that is true. Before Nar-Anon, I never thought too terribly much
about actions and consequences. Of course, I understood the concepts, but really
didn't think about it.

If I was pissed, I said what I needed to say. Was it kind? Probably not so much.
But I felt I had the right to act or react according to my own rules of conduct.
If I was hurt and in fear, I struck our unkindly. Sort of like hoping to shake him
into sanity.
I didn't really think with a great deal of compassion or empathy. I felt entitled
to my own actions. I was in charge and had to maintain control. I had to fix,
rescue and save. I didn't think much about the ripple effect of consequences on
others. They would just have to deal with it.

Yet once I started on the path of the 12 steps, I began to see things a bit differently.

I began to weigh my actions against a larger picture. I found myself wanting. I found
that my words inflicted pain on some and didn't lead to my intention of motivation.

I learned about powerlessness. I learned about control. I learned about unconditional

I learned that everyone needs to feel loved. That my son (s) and family had a deep need
to know unconditional love. Not the
I love you dearly
not the I love you, but
but the
I love you no matter what, just where you stand today, warts and all

I am powerless to change my loved ones, but I know that I am powerful enough to
impact them with my actions. I can be powerful. I just cannot expect an outcome of
my choosing.

My action of turning away and tough love to my son was not productive. My action of saying NO to every
little thing was not productive. Of course I had my boundaries. I refuse to participate in his active addiction.
I won't tolerate bad, abusive behavior. I won't hand over the keys to the kingdom. But I know this for sure,
My action of reinforcing my love of him in the pit he was in was productive.
My actions of letting him know how loved he was, what faith I had in him, my belief in his success, they
My actions of a hot meal and hug were priceless.
My action of always standing next to him in his efforts to recover were productive.
My efforts to never say
I love you need to stop using, you need to get a job,
you need to go to NA, you need to work a program, you need to do this, you need to do that.
...well, that was not unconditional love.

I understand that I can't stop him, never could. Can't change him either. But I also understand the
importance of love and support.

For me that meant doing what was right for me, those actions that were from the deep well of love, not meant
to punish or change, but rather to accept him as he was.

Did my actions cause him to change? Nope -- that was on him. Did my actions of unqualified love and support
help him along the way. Yeah, I am pretty sure they did. The consequences of loving actions have far sweeping
and long lasting effects. Those based on control, fear and punishment are doomed to fail.

So many posts I have seen on the impact of doing kind and loving things for our loved ones brought up so many
memories for me of the insane methods (and sometimes mean and ill intentioned) I tried to force his change.
They also brought up the peace and serenity I felt when I learned to just love him, no matter what and just do
the right thing.

It is never wrong to love, to be kind, to support. I always want my son to know there is at least one person
in this world on his side.

Take what you want and leave the rest.

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Re: Actions, Consequences, Love and Support

Post by sewanee » Fri Nov 17, 2017 11:36 am

What you wrote resonates with me. Thank you for your share.

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Re: Actions, Consequences, Love and Support

Post by DeanW » Fri Nov 17, 2017 11:44 am

I think about the words you just posted every day. I fear that my well meaning behavior may be harsh. The love I feel for my daughter is most definitely unconditional. But, does she feel that unconditional love? I think her sons feel it - but, does she? You've definitely given me food for thought today. Actions do have consequences on all our sides. Thank you for sharing...

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Re: Actions, Consequences, Love and Support

Post by belkar1 » Fri Nov 17, 2017 3:35 pm

Thank You just what I needed today.


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Re: Actions, Consequences, Love and Support

Post by simplemom » Fri Nov 17, 2017 5:05 pm

Thank you, Diane for your post. Your words, as usual are spot on!

I have found the key to working this program is to keep an open mind. I came in here looking for someone to tell me how to get my son out of the family house. I did not get that….thanks to the dedicated volunteers, such as yourself, that patiently showed me how to work this program. I learned how to set boundaries (and change them…it’s ok to do this!!!) And not to beat myself up. I learned to forgive not only myself but my addict as well. People such as yourself, gently guided me to look at my motives in all things addict. I learned to stop fixing, stop worrying, and stop my inner brain chatter that kept me on that crazy train that I was all too eager to embark on!

I saw the ‘light’ when I came to believe in a HP. It wasn’t of the catholic kind! Thanks to the guidance I received from this forum and other venues, I took the time to explore my own beliefs and not take personally the actions of my son.

I cannot express the gratitude I feel for this forum and the people that make it a success. The wisdom I have attained has helped me to continually move forward in my life, no matter what my son decides to do. Keeping that open mind has brought me an inner peace.

My son knows that I am on his side whether or not he chooses to live a life of clean and sober. JFT, he is clean and sober. He does not work on his ‘recovery’…he hates the 12 steps. Working this program has given me a new vocabulary and my son understands me. It is hard some days. To witness the homelessness, the effects on health drug use brings, the change in character, the awful decisions that are made, the infighting among family members, etc. It is in my belief in a HP , keeping the faith, to keep enmeshment of my son out of my head and to enjoy my day…to have the strength and courage to say that complete sentence, NO, to requests that are of his responsibility, not mine that are my foundation to a more balanced life. Hard work for sure and WORTH IT!

I know how hard it can be to be loving, supportive and kind to the beast of addiction found in our loved ones. Diane, I keep at it. It is my journey. My prayers for you, your son and family. They are surrounded in love having you there and a loving community.

Karen (simplemom)
"I am not afraid of storms, I am learning to sail my own ship."
Louise May Alcott

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Re: Actions, Consequences, Love and Support

Post by Jade11 » Fri Nov 17, 2017 5:31 pm

This rings so true for me. I had so many little ah-ha moments just now!
I can be powerful. I just cannot expect an outcome of
my choosing.
This is an amazing truth.
My AH is in early recovery after a third visit to rehab. The first time he went I was deathly afraid of "making" him relapse. I thought love was like walking on thin ice. Then the second time I thought I learned a lesson. I was unrelenting. Because obviously love is making our ALO's toe the line to sobriety?! Not. I was trying to control the outcomes.
Today I want to learn a third option. Just love him, let him know I'm here. Then let go and get on with my life. It's not easy but I'm taking it slow.
Thank you for sharing and inspiring.

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Re: Actions, Consequences, Love and Support

Post by loveandrespect » Fri Nov 17, 2017 7:30 pm

Thank you DianeB and Simplemom for posting your words. This is my first time on the Forum and your words really struck a chord within me. This year has been the year from hell for me and my family. Things blew up in February when we discovered that my AS and his AW were both addicts. They have hidden it from everyone for 10 years. How dumb we all were. We all thought it was marital issues and poor management of their finances. My story is pretty similar to everyone elses on this forum. My son ended doing time in prison (1st time) for a short while, got clean, and has now relapsed. His AW also cleaned up her act in fear of losing their children, yes they have 3 children!! I suspect she may have also relapsed, they are clever at hiding their lifestyle. My son has always managed to hold down a job. The only time I heard from him is when he was short of money, and of course unknowingly I always helped out. 2 weeks ago I got a call for help, I refused for the first time ever. The manipulation card was tabled "its not for me, its for your grandson, he wants to go to school camp". I managed to stay strong. I was absolutely "gutted" and cried silently for days. I have tried to contact my son since then and he does not return my calls or messages. All I have been offering is love and support. I stay in contact with his wife as much as possible, she is not great at returning calls or messages either. I do have a good relationship with them but they tend to isolate themselves when they are struggling. My main focus now is to lookout for the grandchildren. How I am going to do that I am not sure, as they do not live in the same area as me. This forum it has helped me put things into perspective as to what I must do to stay sane and how to approach them with a better mentality and understanding of their problems. Its tough - I can't seem to get them out of my head. Each day as it comes I guess. Thanks for listening.

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Re: Actions, Consequences, Love and Support

Post by lbogie » Fri Nov 17, 2017 11:34 pm

Thank you for sharing Diane!
Your words have always been an inspiration to me. "....those who came before us"....

You are a "peach" :)
Hugs, Lois
“It takes ten times as long to put yourself back together as it does to fall apart.”

― Suzanne Collins, Mockingjay

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Re: Actions, Consequences, Love and Support

Post by flash » Sat Nov 18, 2017 8:03 am

Beautifully said.

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Re: Actions, Consequences, Love and Support

Post by NeoMom » Sun Nov 19, 2017 8:03 pm

Thank you for sharing....

I took a lot from what you wrote.

"Embrace the glorious mess that you are" E.Gilbert

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Re: Actions, Consequences, Love and Support

Post by vscook » Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:10 pm

Thank you for sharing Diane. Your shares are always so helpful.
Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift, that's why it's called the present.

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Re: Actions, Consequences, Love and Support

Post by slm219 » Mon Nov 20, 2017 11:09 am

I took it all....thanks Diane. I always always take away something after reading your posts.
Even a small star shines in the darkness.

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Re: Actions, Consequences, Love and Support

Post by belkar1 » Tue Nov 21, 2017 4:44 pm


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Re: Actions, Consequences, Love and Support

Post by hopefulNE » Wed Nov 22, 2017 1:16 am

Diane B,
Beautiful and true.
"Keep Calm and Carry On" - British Ministry of Information, WWII

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Re: Actions, Consequences, Love and Support

Post by Daughter of the King » Thu Nov 23, 2017 2:49 am

Ouch!!! I hate thinking of the pain I inflicted on an other, addict or not! My justified actions or recactions.....Ouch! again!
Let it begin with me!
Ill keep the focus on me, being the best and loving person I can be in word( encouragement) and action( hug, not money) being true to my HP and myself! Addiction is not an easy path and everyone has to follow their own course and hopefully the 12 steps are a part of it! I know it has impacted my life to live a more heathy physical, spiritual and emotional life. I am still learning and growing thank God! That means I am still ALIVE!!!
Thank you Diane for your words of encouragement!

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