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Women seek professional help to learn MORE. . .
. . .they need to learn to do LESS.



Are you too much
in the MIDDLE of life?

Mid-life is neither a chronological age

nor a phase of life…


it simply means being in the middle of life…

too much life. 


Too many responsibilities. 


Too many irons in the fire,

pains in the rear,

and worries on the brain.

Doctor Flamingo on the Details:


Learning that less is more can be a fabulous discovery.  You’ve run through your entire repertoire of mothering, smothering, nudging, and nagging...all to no avail.   You assume that a professional counselor can offer new suggestions about how to fit 36 hours of caregiving into a 24-hour day or get your drunken husband off to an AA meeting.  Hearing that you need to do less or, God forbid, nothing at all, seems like heresy. 


Some examples of doing less? 

v     Stay at the nursing home with Mom one hour instead of ten, two days a week instead of seven. 


v     Pick up those AA pamphlets you’ve left strewn around the house and use them to build a cozy fire to roast marshmallows over. 


v     Learn that NO is a complete sentence.  It’s NO…period.  No explanation…no apology. 


v     Cook on only five of the seven days of the week. 


v     Do only your own laundry (and that of children under five).  


v     Allow anyone over sixteen (unless officially disabled) to make and keep their own doctor appointments, do their own homework, make their own beds or not if the case may be, balance their own checkbook, and pick up their own dirty socks (you have the right to remove any said socks to the dumpster should they be left in your territory overnight!). 


v     Keep a list of the day’s tasks on the corner of your desk and when asked to do more, point to the list and ask the ASKER to eliminate one of the scheduled tasks and replace it with his!  That stops them in their tracks! 


v     Do nothing at all.  NO RESPONSE is a PERFECTLY GOOD RESPONSE.  


I’ve watched women grab the arms of their chairs and white-knuckle it through the rest of the group session after such suggestions have been made.  What if they don’t LOVE ME ANYMORE?  What if I get FIRED? 


The purpose of getting support from Twelve Step programs, from therapists, or from online forums is it to deal with the fears that arise when you are making positive changes that may upset the applecart for others.


The MORE that comes back to you when you DO LESS is more time, more energy, more sincerity, and more self-respect.  And those on the receiving end get MORE too...more of you at your loving best, instead of the reluctant, resentful you...and MORE time to be at their best, an opportunity to step up to the plate, to learn new problem solving skills, and to receive the wonderful gift of knowing that YOU believe they are COMPETENT to run their own lives. 


Always being the one with the right answer or the best idea makes other people feel IMCOMPETENT.  There is a certain arrogance hidden deep down in the behavior of those who do too much...a difficult truth to face.   


Start marking CONSIDERED CHOICES.  Consider your own needs, energy level, and resources available.  Consider whether you are doing something for people who need to be doing those very things themselves. 


A book written many decades ago entitled PRAYER CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE, suggested that we all make ONE considered YES and ONE considered NO each day of our lives.  Try it!  You’ll like it!


Are you too much
in the MEDDLE of life?

How many bodies are you
trying to run with YOUR brain? 
How many people are on your
fix-it list? 
How often do you have
a better idea? 
How often do you feel you are
absolutely right?

Doctor Flamingo on the Details:


Question:  Why doesn't it work to run someone else's body with our brain? 


Answer:  Because there are NO neural connections between our brain and their body! 


Women mistakenly believe that if they SAY something just right, other people will HEAR the message and OBEY.  As if our words turn into magical fingers that reach across space and push their YES MA'AM RIGHT NOW button. 


If I had a dollar for every time a woman has started her sentence with "I TOLD HIM...", I'd be sipping a Mai Tai on a beach in Tahiti with a diamond on my pinky and flirting with the cabana boy!


Forget TELLING them...they don't listen.  YES...they do nod...but only to get us off their backs.  When they do DO what we say, it's because THEY want to...or because they are VERY AFRAID.  


Stepping out of someone's business, does not mean you do NOT care.  It means you have decided to Let Go and Let God, referring, of course, to your own higher power, even if that starts out being a doorknob! 


When we are able to Let Go and Let God miracles occur. 


This slogan from the Twelve Step programs (such as AA and Al Anon) reminds us that we have neither the ability nor the right to be someone else’s savior.  By stepping out of the picture, or at least to the side, we create a that can be filled with solutions from a higher and wiser source. 


Just picture for a moment your Higher Power, drumming His/Her fingers, patiently waiting for you to stop mucking around in your loved one's life so He/She can put His/Her plan for them into action.


Does all this sound familiar? 


Does the word CODEPENDENCY come to mind? 


The definition of CODEPENDENCY is when you are trying to fix someone else when you should be focusing on fixing yourself.


The antidote? 


MIND YOUR OWN the very best sense of that slogan. 


In other words...take very good care of your own business and stop meddling in the business of others. 


But the stakes are too high, you say.  What if he ends up in jail?  What if she makes a mess of her life?  What if he dies?  The risks are real.  But the answer is the same.  We cannot run their bodies with our brain.  If someone we love is determined to go down a path involving great risks, even fatal ones, we cannot stop the process even when we put every effort into it.  Calling 911 when a person is actively harming himself or others is the only exception.  But we all have heard of persons who has managed to harm themselves even when incarcerated or in a psychiatric facility!   


Sticking our version of a cushion under their little fannies as they fall, sometimes only prolongs their addiction, their irresponsibility, or their inability to care for themselves.  In Al-Anon people learn that they didn't cause it, they can't control it, and they can't cure it...but sometimes they contribute to it by engaging in codependent behavior.  This is called ENABLING.  When giving or doing for someone leads to them getting WORSE, then you have become an ENABLER and are keeping them from recovery.


Codependents Anonymous or Al Anon are the best places to seek support.  Look in your White Pages for their number or check the FAVORITE LINKS page of this site.   Also, check out the codependency book recommendations on this website.