Getting Rid Of Emotional Clutter-Associating With An Alcoholic

emotional clutter
I am inspired to write today as I recall an expression I heard in an Al-anon meeting.

“I’m responsible to keep my side of the street clean. What an alcoholic decides to do with what is on their side of the street is their business.”

This is simply an illustration of how we can clean the negative,  emotional – clutter out of our lives without being affected by how the alcoholic reacts to our decision to do so.

For example, suppose that you said something terrible to the alcoholic during a heated argument. Afterward,  you were filled with remorse, guilt and shame as a direct result of the very thing you had said to them. It was something that just would have cut them to the heart. Perhaps a comment that you really didn’t mean, but in anger you blasted them with it.

Now your side of the street is cluttered with emotional garbage. Guilt and shame can become burdensome to have in our lives.

In order to rid ourselves of these negative emotions, we decide to make an amend. Here’s the IMPORTANT part, you are doing this to clean up things in your life.

However,  the alcoholic decides to “react” to your apology is on “their side of the street.”

Having this type of attitude can really protect against feeling rejected by an alcoholic.

When making an amend for our poor behavior, we must not have any expectations of how the other person is going to react. We are simply getting rid of the trash in our lives. What the alcoholic decides to do with our amend is on their side of the highway. If they want to Waller in the junk, let them.

This is a great lesson in learning how to not react to an alcoholic. We just do our part and leave the results of the outcome alone.

Once we have cleared the air, we can once again enjoy peace and serenity in our lives, knowing that we did the next right thing. Getting rid of the emotional junk is a guaranteed pathway to being a happier person.

To take it a step further, when we learn how to say what we mean- without saying it mean, then we will have fewer  things to throw out of lives; we will have less guilt and shame to deal with.

The chances are good that the alcoholic will get angry when the amend is made. That’s just what they do. In any case, what you are doing has everything to do with you and little to do with them. This sort of thing is all about learning how to care for yourself  and to not be effected by another persons opinions of you. You are just clearing the emotional clutter from your live.

Finally, remember that you can start your day over as many times as needed in a twenty four hour period. It’s important to get the garbage out when it starts stinking up the kitchen.  Keep your mind and heart clear of negative-clutter today. If you do, I promise you will experience a freedom that leads to peace within.


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