Daily Life

You're Not Responsible

By: DL

"... you're not responsible for how she feels. You are only responsible for your reaction."

I received this reminder from a good friend of mine today. I was in the middle of a huge and separate text conversation (which I would label as an "argument," though the other party would probably disagree). The "conversation" initially started out on a simple comment about having faith, to which I replied that a certain anonymous group was helping me rediscover.

This blossomed into a deep-rooted weed — you know, the kind you can't just cut the top layer off of to get it to go away. Every time I thought I'd removed it, it sprang back up.

Who uses a backhoe to remove a deeply rooted thistle from their flower garden? Why, an alcoholic, of course! Who cares about what else is below, just get that damn weed OUT OF THERE!


The fact is that the argument wasn’t even that important, but things may have been said that upset the other party. I was beginning to feel “mean” and like I shouldn’t have said anything at all.

During this text conversation, my good friend sent me a separate text asking how my weekend went. I was so wrapped up in my first text, that I started going off about it — I was now ruining both conversations.

(Ever had a day when you should have just shut your phones off?)

I started complaining about everything and (as usual) she was the better friend, and listened. I began explaining the conversation, explaining my point, explaining their point, and I explained and explained. Then, I explained that I may have unintentionally upset the other person!

I don’t handle guilt well (who does?). She must have realized I was starting to feel bad about what I'd said to the other party, because shortly she sent this:

"... you're not responsible for how she feels. You are only responsible for your reaction."


<sigh> She’s right.

I didn’t say anything wrong to this other person. I had merely stated my opinion on “faith,” what I thought about my old belief system, and where I was rediscovering it from. If their feelings were hurt, it was unintentional; but the fact of the matter is, that’s how I feel. I didn’t come unglued and tell them to go to Hell, I simply explained my position on how I was getting faith back by removing my old thoughts and feelings surrounding it; the soil had been poisoned for far too long, it had to go.

Besides, that was an old flowerbed full of weeds, it was simply time to have it dug out. Others may not like the idea of losing the flower garden they've helped create, but it’s not their garden; they don't have to live with it, and they don't have to like it.

And for those of you that really must know — nah, never mind. I’m also learning that I don’t have to explain EVERYTHING — *especially* when you’re happily texting me about how glad you are over an important milestone in your recovery.



Drunkless Life

By: DL