Quick and Easy Tool for When we are in Crisis


one day at a time
Several of us have been in crisis lately.

When our minds and hearts are full and clogged up, it's really hard to focus and settle down and let anything good sink in.

When you're in the FOG, like RE says, like this, a really good tool are the slogans of Al-Anon.

A bit of history: When I first went to AlAnon some 8 or 9 years ago, I was very impatient for THE ANSWER to fixing my alcoholic husband. I didn't want to fool around with a bunch of stuff. I just wanted someone to tell me what to do to make him stop drinking. (Ha! That is so funny...sad funny...now). Tell me, and I'll be out of here. Because NOT ONE SINGLE THING I HAD TRIED did any good whatsoever. He was miserable and I was miserable. I had never been so miserable (so sick and tired) in my entire life.

One of the first ideas I heard there was The Slogans. I immediately dismissed them as too simplistic and ridiculous for this complex problem I was facing. I needed big answers, not a bunch of short little words.

Wow, how wrong I was. But it took a long, long time for me to see it.

So today, when I'm in the FOG, and I'm just a mess, one of my tools are The Slogans.

Here are some of them:

*Keep it Simple.

We junk everything up with a lot of "complex" thinking. What to do, what not to do, what to say, what not to say. We have to do everything right, any mistake we make may be the fatal one, what else can we try...on and on and on. We need to keep things simple. We need to focus on the right now, the today. What is right in front of us. What is the next right thing we need to do. What is on our side of the street---not their side of the street. We need to mind our own business and leave our adult children to mind their own business.

*Let Go, and Let God.

If your faith/spirituality/belief system is something you rely on, this is a great reminder and a great comfort. Our Higher Power loves our children more than we do. He is right there, walking alongside them, waiting, ready. He knows it all. Visualizing yourself actually putting your adult child into your HIgher Power's strong arms is a powerful image.

*No is a Complete Sentence.

We need to quit talking so much. We need to quit explaining. We need to keep it simple. We need to just say No. No is very clear. It doesn't get mucked up with a lot of words that lead us into bad territory. Will you give me money/pay for _____? No.
Can I wash my clothes are your house? No.
Can I take a shower at your house? No.
Will you give me a ride to work? No.

No is clean and strong and without baggage. No is no.

*One Day at a Time.

This is all we have to live---this day. We have no idea if any of us will be here tomorrow. We just have today. So let's make it as good as we can make it, for us. We deserve it. We deserve this one good day. We are Keeping it Simple when we just focus on Today.

*Easy does it.

Take a breath. Take a break. Quit thinking and moving so fast. Slow down. There is plenty of time. Nothing has to happen right now, unless somebody is bleeding out. We need time and space and distance. let's figure out how to claim those things. We need to go along easier. We make things harder than they have to be.

*First Things First.

What is right in front of me, that I need to do next? My own business, not somebody else's. What are my responsibilities for today? What are my pleasures for today? Let me get to them. I need to stay busy on my own life. First things first. There will be time for other things much much later, and often, we find that those other things resolve themselves while we are minding our own business and doing first things first.

*Just for Today.

I can't totally break from my son or daughter. I can't let the phone go to voice mail when they call. I can't not give them money. I can't allow them to _________________. I have to step in. Well, I can do just about anything for ONE DAY. So Just for Today, I will practice some new behaviors. My old behaviors with difficult child have not worked, right? Nothing has worked. So Just for Today, I will try something new.

*How Important Is It?

Oh, this is a very good one. When we are in the FOG and in the trenches with difficult child, we tend to overfocus on every single thing. We are obsessed. After all, this is our CHILD who is in SERIOUS TROUBLE and who is living a very DANGEROUS LIFE. This---everything---is an emergency.

But it's not. Think back on how long you have been living this frantic life? Years, for most of us. We have spent way way too much time worrying and obsessing over them...and they are still alive and out there and have the energy to make even more trouble, usually.

The next time their name enters our mind and we start doing what we have always done, stop the thinking with this: How important is it?

*Live and Let Live.

Ah. This is a very good one. We need to live our own lives and let other people live theirs. We, we great fixers, controllers, managers, believe we know what is best for other people. We are dead wrong there. We need to get more humble. We need to realize that every person's life journey is their own, and we are not invited to go along on it. We did our jobs, we raised our kids, and now, we have to let them go. We need to get back to our own lives, and let them get to theirs---without our interference. Stand back. Stand down. Get out of the way.

Please take some time and think and study and meditate on these slogans. You will find a world of wisdom here, from these small, short, slogans. They are like gold to me now.


Well-Known Member
No is a Complete Sentence.
Yes, that's great isn't it? I posted an extract from the book 'The Warrior of Light' a while ago, which was all about saying "no". Here it is:

"The warrior knows that the most important words in all languages are the small words:
Yes. Love. God.
They are words that are easy enough to say and which fill vast empty spaces.
There is, however, one word - another small word - that many people have great difficulty in saying:
Someone who never says 'no' thinks of himself as generous, understanding, polite, because 'no' is thought of as being nasty, selfish, unspiritual.
The warrior does not fall into this trap. There are times when, in saying 'yes' to another, he is actually saying 'no' to himself.
That is why he never says 'yes' with his lips if, in his heart he is saying 'no'. "

Live and Let Live.
That's my favourite slogan.

Thanks COM!


one day at a time
I love that piece on No, Lucy. It IS a hard word to just say. We're so "nice" we want to muck it up and soften it so much, no wonder people don't know what we mean.