Thought for today! Stay cool and calm and supportive

Again thanks to @Natnat my dear friend Natalie! :heart:

You can think. You can feel. You can solve your problems. You can take care of yourself.

Those words have often benefited me more than the most profound and elaborate advice.

How easy it is to fall into the trap of doubting ourselves and others.

When someone tells us about a problem, what is our reaction? Do we believe we need to solve it for the person? Do we believe that that person’s future rests on our ability to advise him or her? That’s standing on shaky ground—not the stuff of which recovery is made.

When someone is struggling through a feeling, or a morass of feelings, what is our reaction? That the person will never survive that experience? That it’s not okay for someone to feel? That he or she will never get through this intact?

When a person is faced with the task of assuming responsibility for their life and behaviors, what is our response? That the person can’t do that? I must do it myself to save him or her from dissipating into ashes? From crumbling? From failing?

What is our reaction to ourselves when we encounter a problem, a feeling, or when we face the prospect of assuming responsibility for ourselves?

Do we believe in ourselves and others? Do we give power to people—including ourselves—and their abilities? Or do we give the power to the problem, the feeling, or the irresponsibility?

We can learn to check ourselves out. We can learn to think, and consider our response, before we respond. “I’m sorry you’re having that problem. I know you can figure out a solution. Sounds like you’ve got some feelings going on. I know you’ll work through them and come out on the other side.”

Each of us is responsible for ourselves. That does not mean we don’t care. It does not mean a cold, calculated withdrawal of our support from others. It means we learn to love and support people in ways that work. It means we learn to love and support ourselves in ways that work. It means that we connect with friends who love and support us in ways that work.

To believe in people, to believe in each person’s inherent ability to think, feel, solve problems, and take care of themselves is a great gift we can give and receive from others.

Today, I will strive to give and receive support that is pure and empowering. I will work at believing in myself and others—and our mutual abilities to be competent at dealing with feelings, solving problems, and taking responsibility for ourselves.


Well said, sir! I used to have the hardest time being a people pleaser and “fixer.” It caused me a lot of grief along the way and as a highly sensitive person I took on others’ emotions on top of it. Thus the drinking to numb.

I’ve had to work on practicing how to express empathy with a problem-solving bent, with the intention to help people reach their own conclusions, because it’s rare that anyone truly changes because someone else told them to or did things for them.

I highly recommend researching Motivational Interviewing techniques for people who lean toward wanting to help people through difficulty, especially when it comes to behavioral disfunction or emotional distress. Thanks so much for this post.


You said it, Geoff! :+1: I know I’ve struggled with that too. Still early in the sobriety journey but I’m finding it’s liberating to say, I am good enough, this person is good enough, and each of us is capable of growing through this.


Yes there is only so much that we can do for people without it starting to drain our own energy.
A good maxim nicked from the first responders I guess. Always make sure you are safe!
When I was younger I always found people would come to me for advice, I must have had an aura or something.
I think addiction closed that door.


Geoff you’ve still got the aura but it’s coming from a different place now:


Great post!! I am definitely that person (as is evidenced here!!). One of the things I work on. Thanks!!

I love this post!! I need to share this with my husband. He needs to apply all of this in his every day life when he’s trying to “fix” everyone. Thank you Geoff!!