Felix Scardino, LCSW, a friend of mine wrote: Take care of yourself while you try to understand that you cannot support another person unless you keep your own footing. The following analogy helps me: It will not serve either of us if I jump into quicksand with a person to save him. I’ll best help the person if I stand strong and throw him or her a rope. To care for myself I might need to take a break from listening or even choose not to be with another if their problems overwhelm me.

My reflection: It took me fourteen-years to learn how to live this advice. At my first Al-Anon meeting, I heard these words, but they made no sense to me. How could I take care of myself when my son was dying? In time, I learned how to Stay Close, but out of the chaos.

Today’s Promise to consider: Many of us have thrown ourselves into the fire as we try to help our addicted loved ones. When we lose ourselves, we are of no help to our families, our children, or ourselves. Today, I’ll take care of myself so that I am able to take care of others.


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Pat NicholsTinaLeighRichard Recent comment authors
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As always, great advice …


Oh, this is such sage advice! I am reminded of it every time I fly when the flight attendant says, “If and when oxygen masks drop from the ceiling, fasten your own before assisting others.” What a great metaphor for life! It’s not instinctive, but with practice, it really can save one’s sanity. ❤️


years ago in the midst of my son’s first relapse I was reeling. I had no understanding of addiction and thought the chaos was behind us. His relapse hit me like a freight train. We had put him out but had helped him get into a sober living house. One day he called me and asked me to meet him for coffee. When we met he said I’m using and I don’t know what to do (he had been kicked out of the house). It was beyond devastating to have no answer for him other than “go to a meeting”.… Read more »

Pat Nichols

We have to throw ourselves into the fire, that is our nature. However, at some point the pain gets too great and this creates our personal path to our own recovery. We reach out to others and ask for help! We learn to pour out all of our knowledge and pour in the knowledge of recovery. This can be a long and difficult journey but it eventually leads us to a renewed sense of peace and serenity. Prayers for all who are suffering. Trust the God of your understanding, there is hope.