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Al-Anon Forum Magazine Featured Article

Pillow Toss
"... I couldnít leave the house with my bed unmade."
In my very early Al-Anon days I had a lot of trouble with perfectionism. I still do at times, but now I know that Iím striving for progress, not perfection. My husband, who brought this character defect to light for me, is a recovering alcoholic. We got back together after several years of divorce. We have worked very hard on communicating with each other, instead of stuffing our feelings.
As I was getting ready for work one morning, I was in my usual rushóbut I knew I couldnít leave the house with my bed unmade. Since I was in such a rush, my husband offered to help me make the bed. I accepted his help, but my mind kept telling me, "He doesnít do it right, especially when it comes to placing the toss pillows correctly."
My husband was working on his side of the bed when I left the bedroom. When I came back into the room, I noticed the toss pillows were not the way I liked them. I immediately rearranged them to my satisfaction. I stepped into the bathroom and when I came out, there were all of the toss pillows lined up along the foot of the bed.
I stopped in my tracks, looked at the pillows, and immediately started laughing. My husband peeked around the comer and smiled. I knew at that moment he was trying to help me understand that my old perfectionism was showing, but he never said a word.
I still remember this situation whenever my perfectionism tries to make a comeback. Yes, I left the pillows aloneóand today I donít relegate someone elseís kindness to second place behind my old character defect. I keep coming back to Al-Anon to remind me that my focus needs to be on myself and not on what someone else is or isnít doing.
Sue V. - Florida
Alcoholism is a family disease. Those of us who live with, or have have lived with, this disease as children or adults sometimes have problems which the Al-Anon program can help us to resolve. If you have answered yes to some of all of the above questions, Al-Anon may be of help to you. You can contact Al-Anon by checking your local telephone directory, or from the Resources page. Phone numbers and Contact Information for the Austin Area are listed on the Contact Page of this website.
These articles were reproduced with permission from 'The Forum', the monthly inspirational newsletter of Al-Anon. Al-Anon World Headquarters, Inc. is located in Virginia Beach, VA. See www.Al-Anon.org for more information.