If you have found this website you are invited to join us in a weekend long, Al-Anon Meeting. The on-line meeting starts Friday evening 2/29/08 and runs to Sunday 3/2/08 evening.
A Note: To view this post and the comments at the same time, click on the link here (click here) in order to get a better view.
Our host for this weekend is Catherine. Catherine is one of our regular visitors to this blog and provides a lot of good comments. She is encouraging and hopeful.
This is where we start. Catherine has posted the message below. These are Catherine's words which start our meeting on:
"Our Finances & Money"
A few months ago I volunteered to cover the costs of our kids’ daycare because I make more money than my alcoholic. Two months later, the price went up; three months after that I lost my job. And yet I still kept paying the entire bill – out of my savings – for another FIVE months.
One of my past boyfriends borrowed money from me every week until, after five years, he owed me $10,000. Ten. Thousand. Dollars. Embarrassing!
So, in terms of my financial expertise, you can see that I have none. However, I do have these “credentials”: * I am in a co-dependent relationship with an alcoholic * I have used money to enable his behavior and to try and control him (and others) * I have faith that my money issues can change by working the program
Everyone has emotional issues with money, and I think people have a hard time discussing them (I didn’t even tell my accountant the stories I just told you). I find that even trying to identify my issues is tough. I started by doing a little free association in my notebook around money, emotions and AlAnon concepts. Here are my top five things to think about:
5) The past is gone. In terms of money, it’s very black and white. Spent money just ain’t coming back. When I can accept that, I can move forward to reconstruct my financial life with peace and freedom from anger or resentment.
4) Use the mirror, not the magnifying glass. This vivid AlAnon metaphor helps me to face the truth about my financial situation and to examine how my emotions took me down that road. In my case, the reasons I use to explain my money problems, “I’m bad at math,” or “it’s boring,” or “it’s for the kids,” are not reasons, they’re excuses. And they’re not even true; it’s denial! I am in denial about my finances because the reality proves that I’m a mess. I have to keep using the mirror to catch this evasive thinking or seriously, I won’t retire.
3) One day at a time. I wish there were some formula or instruction booklet to get me out of this situation, but there isn’t. I have to think about financial enabling and financial detachment each day and work toward recovery.
2) Don’t do for someone what they can do for themselves. What a simple, little sentence that is, but financial detachment for me in daily life has been a huge challenge. I have worked really, really hard for my money and I deserve to benefit from that. So why do I cover for someone else? Because I feel sorry for him, because I have guilt and other negative feelings about myself, because writing a check is a great way to avoid confrontation. But when I cover for him financially I enable him to dodge his responsibilities. (And I free up his resources so he can spend them on alcohol.) So my challenge is to step away and put him in the position to shoulder his own costs.
1) Put myself first. Whose money is it anyway? (Suze Orman offers specific strategies on her show and in her writing.)
I have a lot of learning to do, so I welcome your shares and thoughts. Thanks for listening.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This is where we begin our program and your comments for this weekend's meeting. Please comment on the subject or if you have a burning desire or issue, please comment and ask for help.