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Post Info TOPIC: step 1 - Al-Anon Family Groups


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step 1 - Al-Anon Family Groups


hello folks....i might be outa order of the board steps others are on but i gotta start at the beginning. anyone wanna join in with me....feel free....

i am powerless over..............

other ppl in general and specifically, the alcoholics in my life.

 im as powerless over others as i am when i wake in the morning and look out the window to see what the weather is. i canot change a thunderstorm or blizzard into warm sunshine  on a whim. no amount of talking, begging, screaming, or crying will change the weather. the weather isnt phased in the least by my carrying on either. the weather continues to do its thing as it pleases.

if i cant change the weather, how can i expect to change others? gotta ask myself.....what is my motive for even trying to do that?....do i need to play god or guardian angel to other adults?....do i "expect" others to mirror my my personal values, standards, definitions of what fun, love, joy, proper behavior and speech, and use of time is? how can i expect sick ppl to meet my needs, live up to my standards? can i stop someone else's pain for them? can someone else stop my pain for me?  no. i have to step up to the plate for myself just like others do for themself.  and quite frankly, some ppl never do.

i have 3 alchies and each one sufferes the same illness.....the illness is not the alcohol...the alcohol is a symptom of deeper problems....in maturity, emotions, thinking deficits, spirituality, and life skills. each of the alchies is different.

my son who is now 26, started at 16. he was and still is a run away firetruck going down hill with no breaks. i rode that firetruck for a longgggggg time. a ride i wouldnt recommend to anyone. did alot of damage deep inside me. i did everything humanly possible and then some to "help" him. you can lead a horse to water over and over again. if they dont want to drink they wont. at this point, he would have to straighten himself out first before i would let him back in my life. that is his choice. i have accepted the fact he probably wont make it. i can and do pray. its his choice to kill himself slowly day by day. i finally realized i had a choice. i do not have to watch him do it. he knows where rehab is.  letting go can be long road. esp a kid.

if i put the shoe on the other foot......what do i do when someone else tries to change or manipulate me?  whow!  even if i know im wrong.....i dig in my heels.  pride. ego. we all got em! and some more than others.  we all wanna be right.  even if go along with it, there's the resentment underneath waiting to rear its head anytime.

if being right is causing debbi so much pain? am i sure being right is right for me? maybe i need to let some more things go and check my motives.  wind in my neck and look at what is the most important thing.....me. is the A drama right for me? no one else is gonna do it for me. life is short. in a blink today is yesterday.  

im finding the more time i put into trying to get in the head of someone else to understand em, make sense of things, figure out a plan that rotates around there addiction or change em , the less time i have to take care of me or meet my own goals in my day and life. my priorites in life get lost. who was i before this? what is the most important things of my day.....regulate A drama, obsess over A drama, wonder what an A is doing when not present? Stew over the messed the A creates and try to make things right? waste my time listening to A babbling and trying to decifer what the truth is in the lies? when i live in my expectations vs what is really happening, i get dissapointed.

one of my favorite sayings......

when i got one foot in the past and the other in the future......i pee all over today.

pls feel free to join in and share your perspectives on this line of thought!....im eager to hear what others have to say.............

 

 

 

 

 



-- Edited by John on Monday 5th of December 2011 06:52:41 AM

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RE: step one


Righty this is the first time I done this so here goes,

I am powerless over people

I am powerless over places and things

I am powerless over what others think of me

I am powerless over all thats gone before

I am powerless pretty much over everything sept myself (is that cheating) to just say that?



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Ev


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I am new to the whole concept of Al-anon but grateful that there is hope. I knew it was there but never took advantage of that. I know I am absolutely powerless against alcoholism and addiction because I have been out of control for so long. It seems like my life was always swirling around me at a horrific rate of speed and try as I might I could never get a hold of any bit of control. I felt powerless. I am glad to find out I don`t have to think very hard to accept I am powerless. It is actually a relief. I can quit striving to gain control and just let go. Whew!

I am powerless to change my AH (alcolholic husband) but I can choose to change myself and look for answers. I can choose to hold on to hope for me. I can choose to look after myself and take responsiblity for only those things that are mine to do. I always thought I had to fix everything; make it all better. What a huge joke that was!! I could no more make things better than I could create the world in six days.

I have always believed in a higher power. I just can`t figure out how I missed so much, believed so many lies, so many head games. After many years of dealing with alcoholism I am willing to admit that I also am sick. Prior to the alcoholism, I lived with an abusive step-father (he behaved very much like an alcoholic but he didn`t drink) and never learned how to set boundaries and stick to them. I became the parent person so my mother could be protected and I guess I have to start from that place. I can`t change my past but I can choose my future, one day at a time. I can choose to forgive myself.

I am ready to step out on courage and admit that I am powerless and I am going to examine what that means more deeply and post what I discover about me in my journey.

I wish there were a list of questions to help me work through the steps. I noticed there are lists to help you work through the steps for AA. Does anyone know if the same applies to Al-anon.

 I have lupus/fibromyalgia and a couple other secondary problems that keep me in the house for most of the time. I am so grateful to know I can work through my steps on-line instead of waiting until fall when I have more freedom. I hope there are people here to help lead the way. I am looking forward to the journey.



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I am powerless over men liking me. I cannot pretend who I am in order to please others, because I put myself at risk i being used by others. For this step to be worked properly for me, I first need to find who I am and what is it that I want for me.

I am powerless over leading my daughter´s life. I have to stop trying to find information on where she is leading her life in order to step in and try to influence on her. I have to step off her back. I need to accept her the way she is and stop worrying about her drinking and relationships. Love her unconditionally but with a responsible love. I cannot lead my life over pleasing her or fulfilling all her needs, she is not a baby anymore.

I am powerless over my business partner´s reactions. His chemistry of emotions is unknown to me, and I am not going to lead my life thinking how to act in order to make him react in such or such way. There is no way I can control that.

I am going to do what I thing is good for myself regardless of others´and his reactions.



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Hi there!
For now, I'd just like to say Thanks! Your post was exactly what I needed today. I'm new to the step board, but not the active board, and this was a great first reading.

Blessings.

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KLotus


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I'm am powerless over everyone and everything but my own reactions and thoughts.


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GreenEyed1980


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I AM powerless over alcohol, and can admit it after trying time after time my plan for controlled ingestion. I am also powerless over what people may look at me and think, may it be good, bad, or otherwise.



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I am powerless over the fact that I am an ACA. My life was unmanageable. I'm hoping by finishing step one and moving onto step two, I will be that much closer to health and sanity.


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step 1 - Al-Anon Family Groups


Hi All,

been i recovery for 4 years my partner is a sober A slipping and sliding we are seperated.

Step one I am completly powerless IT hurts so much I hate the disease of alcoholism and what it has done to myself and so many people I love.  My partner is fighting it today for his life.  He can not give me what I need from a partner and I am ashamed to say that I am angrey , and hurts.  I know its not his fault thanks to al anon but I am a fixer.  I have tried for 7 yeears to make this all better we love each other so much.  But I am powerless and my life is so unmanageable.

I walk around with a mask on trying to look in control he he but inside I am amess;  I want us to live to gether everything to be o.k I love him so so much.  But he is trying to beat this.  We cah not even tlk on the phone because we can not stay away and theb ycle starts He feels guilty everytime he hurts me lets me down because od the disease.  It destroys are ove.  My powerlessness is hurting me so badly.  THere is nothing I can do.  I love him so much but the disease is so strong.  Steo one is smacking me in the face and I hate it.  Sorry for the self pity.  I need to move on to step 2 and three.  I just keep thinking its not gods will for us to be togther and it hurts so much, but I have o trust that hp knows best.  Thanks for listening.  Hope this site picks up I will try and post more.

 

hugs tracy xxxxx



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jm


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RE: step 1


Hi all,

Just found this board i am on other boards...but definately on step one.

I am in recovery from alcohol and people. I had been sober for over 10 years and then about 5 months ago I had 1 joint.

As soon as Id had it I knew I didnt want it. The reason I took it was over my co-dependancy.

So I now feel like a total new comer. I have regretted this for ages but I now see that it happened for a reason.

I have gotten back into praying and reading the many recovery books that I have. I intend to do step one from the coda book today and carry on reading homecoming which is helping me a lot.

I never would have thought that I would be back at the beginning but atleast I realise it really is only just for today and that I am powerless over EVERYTHINGsmile 

Regards Jo



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jm


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step 1 - Al-Anon Family Groups


Hi MIPs I love the steps and know that recovery is in them so I will again participate.smile

  

I have worked many Step Ones in my time in the program The hardest part of this step has always been the" ADMITTING" You see my disease is very manipulative and although I know many things intelectually my disease can fool me into denying the reality of a situation and tell me that I have power over things and I can fix it, control it, manage it, and be happy .

In order for me to admit that I was powerless over alcoholism I had to hit a very huge emotional bottom. I had tried everything. My husband had been in 20 detoxs and 2 rehabs . As soon as he was discharged from the hospital he would start again.

Nagging, Pretending and Denial no longer worked. My life and the life of my family was spinning out of control and I could not figure out what to do. That is when I arrived at the doors of alanon. I knew I was powerless over alcohol but now what? Surrender to this enemy and be destroyed. Run, what. I knew that inside I was in trouble and that my life was unmanageable by me. Alanon offered simple tools the steps for me to recover the only thing that was mine, MYSELF

I Honestly could not take the First Step without immediately following it with the 2nd Step.

" Came to believe a Power greater than Myself Could Restore Me to Sanity."You see if I was powerless over people, places and things there was no hope for me,unless I had the 2nd step and a HP to lean on to believe that I could be restored to sanity.

The relief I felt with that first surrender was freedom. I will never forget the serenity that entered my being.

Each morning I remind myself that I am powerless over people , places and things , that there is a HP (and I am not it) and that I have turned my will over to HP for the day. I am truly grateful for this program and the tools that keep me sane.

Thanks for letting me share.



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-- Edited by hotrod on Monday 19th of August 2013 01:40:52 PM

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Betty


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I am working the steps with the Paths to Recovery and on step 1 are a bunch of questions -- I am studying them all again for a 2nd time...
I am powerless over alcohol. I am powerless and have NO control over anything except me and my thoughts and actions. I have no control over my husband's cheating, but I do have control over how I react to his cheating.

I chose to file for a divorce, the paperwork is now filed (filed the beginning of the month) then he went to jail, and we have to both go to court or he needs to sign the paperwork I sent to him in jail so that he does not have to go to court. I have no control over his signing or not signing the necessary paperwork.
I have no control over his girlfriend's accusations, threats, and harrassment. I chose to ignore her and her issues, as that is the only thing I have control over - my perceptions and responses.
I can let go and let my HP guide me to the correct action and perception for me.

I try and pray daily to my HP, and read my literature. Peace of Mind is slowly coming to me.

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jm


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Hi all sorry i didnt realise this was al anon.. i did not read the heading when i posted. I have tried to erase it a few times but it just comes up again. So sorry to have posted on the wrong topic.no

regards Jo



-- Edited by jm on Tuesday 29th of November 2011 12:55:43 AM

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jm


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I heard at a meeting recently that one way to work the Steps is to start EVERY day with 1,2,3 and then go from there. That IS the Serenity Prayer....shortened to "I can't, God can, I'll let Him."

The strange thing for me about this Step is how my understandings shift and deepen each time I reflect on it.

Yes, yes, I am powerless. Sometimes that is a serene place to be.

Today, winter is coming and I growl softly in my powerlessness.

Yesterday I was weeping with joy at my powerlessness.

Who can say what it will feel like tomorrow?

I am powerless over: my alcoholics (yes, with the "s"...I LOVE them THAT much! I have a whole collection!), my feelings, my coworkers, my social club, my recovery groups, my daughter, the seasons and the weather, the national debt and international conflicts and injustices. I COULD go on...and sometimes do.

When I struggle...and by that I mean, when I'm trying to plan, scheme and manipulate all the people and things I care about...and getting frustrated...and losing my ability to live sanely...

I sometimes just have to stop and list EVERYTHING I am powerless over. Read through it.
Take a breath (or two). Shed a tear (or two). And put that sucker into my God box.

Them I dust off my hands (or wash them) and do the very next, small, perhaps insignificant right thing I CAN do, and give myself credit for that much.

If I'm still a mess. I call my sponsor.

That's just how it works for me.

Jules

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Hi,

I'm glad to see that John and others are motivating people to particpate on this particular board.  In the past, I've come here and got a little discouraged due to low degree of activity.  But I hope this all changes, starting now  smile

I've only been attending  Al-Anon meetings since March 2011.  Prior to meetings, I did a lot of soul searching with a professional for many years.

A few weeks ago, I asked someone to sponsor me; however, she declined due to her circumstances.   I only go to one meeting room; so  I best attend others to search for a sponsor.

I'm looking forward to participating on this board to share and grow right along with you all.

 

Gail



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I am new to Al-Anon. Went to my first meeting yesterday so the steps are very new to me. It is very hard to admit that I am powerless. I still want to try to control my ABF's addiction somehow, but I know I CAN'T.  I am new to alcoholism.  Never been around it, never dealt with it until this past year. But he is in recovery now, day 24.  I am hopeful, but as I said in another post not so naive to believe this is the end of it.  I know this is a long hard road. I see how difficult it is for him just to make it through one more day.  

But what I do know is this... I have to prepare MYSELF for what comes with it. And I know Al-Anon will help me do that! So hopefully in time I will be able to completely admit that I am POWERLESS, that I have NO control over it. 



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Hi Everyone, There's a lot to say about Step 1! My particular lesson has been that thinking I have control (and trying to control!) is a way to avoid grief. As long as I think I can fix things then I don't have to face the truth of my situation: accepting that this is the way it is creates pain and grief. The funny thing is that once I accept reality, then I can move forward. Trying to change things, obsessing about things, keeps me stuck. Admitting and accepting means I can finally say: "OK, this is the way it is. Now what?" I could never get to the "now what?" because I was stuck in the "if only." The other hard part about Step 1 is that once I realize I can't control the other person (past, future, etc.), then the obvious next step is to focus on me: what kind of life do I want and how am I going to get there? The Steps help me with that! One day at a time.

-- Edited by Lynne on Tuesday 29th of November 2011 01:31:47 AM

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Works if you work it, sucks if you don't.


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Does anyone know who our Chairperson is?

Also, I am having trouble getting my hard returns to actually make new paragraphs while in the reply mode. Seems the rest of you managed to create new paragraphs.... Any ideas? Could it be that I'm posting from a mobile device? Oh well, in the meantime I'll just look long winded.... Well, this post using "quick reply" seemed to work. Thanks anyhow.

-- Edited by Lynne on Tuesday 29th of November 2011 01:41:00 AM

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Oh I am so excited this is here. I want to start back on the steps. I usually wind up doing the 123 waltz and need to find a sponsor. My husband is very active in AA and all of our friends are in the program as well. But I have not been working my own program and find myself feeling sort of left out lol. So I just found this and need to look around but look forward to going through the steps with other in alanon.



-- Edited by OldMom61 on Tuesday 29th of November 2011 04:01:04 AM

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OldMom


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I had to respond to your post from the other day and I apologize for not getting back to you sooner.  I am just rejoining this group after a couple years of not being active in the Alanon program.  I completely understand what you are feeling.  I was married to an alcoholic for over 13 years and have gone through the "masking" stage pretending everything is okay and carrying the load of the world on my shoulders so noone would know what actually went on inside our house at night when he would come home drunk.  Even on those days when he wouldnt drink, the withdrawals were so bad I am not sure which was worse the DT's and hallucinations or the drunken episodes with broken furniture, threats of injury and verbal abuse.  It is amazing what we put up with and justify it as being "ok" because we love these people and we want to "save" them, but my old sponsor told me a long time ago.  As codependents, or "fixers" are making their disease go on longer by "saving" them or "picking them up" every time they fall.  I have been divorced from the alcoholic since 2002 but I cannot sever the ties with him.  He is now dying of end stage renal failure and is on dialysis three times a week and as if I dont have enough to do I have volunteered to let him stay at my home because he wouldnt take care of himself if I didnt have something to do with it.  My point is this - we are powerless and yet we continue to "fix" or attempt to fix people that only they can fix.  Its a no-win situation for everyone.  I see my fifteen year old daughter who was raised with a drunk father who "never showed up" and was verbally abusive towards her mother (me).  She luckily has a severe aversion to drugs and alcohol and has turned into a very strong young lady.  I just want you to know that you are not alone and Alanon is a wonderful program.  Can you get to an Alanon meeting?  They are even better than online.  Write any time if you need to vent



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Melissa Luppino


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Hi, My name is Tracy, do we have a chairperson??? I would love to be a part of this ongoing online recovery community...bring on the literature and the chairperson. Or are we randomly sharing on Step one as worked in Alanon. thanks

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Greetings All,

I'm going to be posting a series of step studies-they come from Paths to Recovery: Al Anons Steps, Traditions and Concepts © 1997.

There are additional readings in the book, available online ( at http://www.al-anon.alateen.org) and at your local meetings. You can find local meetings there, too. Here are the questions we are guided to consider. My sponsor has me only answer the questions that make me uncomfortable. That works for me.

Please read through the step and questions, then share your experience, strength and hope as it pertains to each step.

Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over alcohol ~ that our lives had become unmanageable.

Do I accept that I cannot control another persons drinking? Another persons behavior?

How do I recognize that the alcoholic is an individual with habits, characteristics and ways of reacting to daily happenings that are different from mine?

Do I accept that alcoholism is a disease? How does that change how I deal with a drinker?

How have I tried to change others in my life? What were the consequences?

What means have I used to get what I want and need? What might work better to get my needs met?

How do I feel when the alcoholic refuses to be and do what I want? How do I respond?

What would happen if I stopped trying to change the alcoholic or anyone else?

How can I let go of others problems instead of trying to solve them?

Am I looking for a quick fix to my problems? Is there one?

In what situations do I feel excessive responsibility for other people?

In what situations do I feel shame or embarrassment for someone elses behavior?

What brought me to Al-Anon? What did I hope to gain at that time? How have my expectations changed?

Who has expressed concern about my behavior? My health? My children? Give examples.

How do I know when my life is unmanageable?

How have I sought approval and affirmation from others?

Do I say yes when I want to say no? What happens to my ability to manage my life when I do this?

Do I take care of others easily, but find it difficult to care for myself?

How do I feel when life is going smoothly? Do I continually anticipate problems? Do I feel more alive in the midst of a crisis?

How well do I take care of myself?

How do I feel when I am alone?

What is the difference between pity and love?

Am I attracted to alcoholics and other people who seem to need me to fix them? How have I tried to fix them?

Do I trust my own feelings? Do I know what they are?




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Someone commented about not believing that they were back at step one again.  I went to my first alanon meeting 38 years ago and have gone back over the years for various reasons (well actually the same reason just different person in my life)  And here I am again, step one.  I do not want to be powerless so I keep trying.  And how bad would it get if I wasn't always in control! :)  Step one is the hardest for me, maybe that is why it is first.  Glad to be back.smile



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Do I accept that I cannot control another persons drinking? Another persons behavior?cry
disbeliefnoI cannot control anyone else, drinking, behavior or other ways. I have tried so many times to help my husband with his alcoholism and each time I am left feeling badly. I always hope that he will find his way to sobriety (first) and then I hope that we can both work on our relationship, as our marriage has been destroyed, I do pray that we will become friends. confuseI lost interest in my husband. Why did I lose interest I think many reasons and no one reason at first it was the constant drunk ravings that I was cheating on him, and eventually I began to just ignore those I have never considered cheating on my husband. The constant worry if my husband would be drunk or just slightly drunk when it was time to go to bed, and how I felt like just a piece of meat to throw to the side when it is over. It could have been the mood swings, I never knew what to expect and it became scary.
yawnI cannot control anyone elses behavior; I can control how I react to their behaviors. I can let them know (politely) how I feel about them.

confuseHow do I recognize that the alcoholic is an individual with habits, characteristics, and ways of reacting to daily happenings that are different from mine?

hmmI know when my husband didnt feel like doing anything I got impatient. (I do know most of the time he was recovering from a drunk.) I need to understand that he has a different way to deal with things, as do many people. When he or anyone else,  does something that bothers me, I need to realize that they are not me, and they will have different ways to do things.  know when my husband didnt feel like doing anything I got impatient. (I do know most of the time he was recovering from a drunk.) I need to understand that he has a different way to deal with things, as do many people. When he or anyone else,  does something that bothers me, I need to realize that they are not me, and they will have different ways to do things.

 

 



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I primary utilize ACA groups, but I wanted to participate in the Al-Anon as well.  Since the steps vary just a little, could someone write the Al-Anon steps to start the step discussions so I can see how/if they are different?  Also, what are some of the questions to working the steps for al-anon? Thanks!

 



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The 12 Steps are the same, and are listed at the top of this board as a sticky message.  In Alanon, there is sometimes a dash or some other indicator of a pause within step 1.

 1.
We admitted we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives had become unmanageable.

When I started coming into the rooms I heard that the pause is for all the other things we are powerless over...people, places and things.  Lol!

It is a GENTLE program, really!

You can find the rest of the steps and other Alanon literature and resources at:

http://www.al-anon-alateen-msp.org/pages/12steps.html

Keep coming back!



-- Edited by Jules on Wednesday 30th of November 2011 07:49:47 PM

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I am so glad this step board is available now. Step 1 has been very difficult for me to interpret. My adult daughter is the adict in my life. She is taking care of her 3 young children by herself. I can rationalize that I am powerless over her and her addiction but the children is where my difficulty arises. The children's needs aren"t being met because of the addiction. I prayed long and hard as to the concern over the children and decided that the well being of the children does deserve action. HP takes it from here. Thanks for allowing me to share.

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Debbie K


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Do I accept that alcoholism is a disease? How does that change how I deal with a drinker?cry
I do accept that alcoholism is a disease and no one can control it, especially me.hmm I need to respect the drinkers choices and not try to push my beliefs on them.blankstare


How have I tried to change others in my life? blehWhat were the consequences?ashamed

I  tried to tell my husband get sober or lose his family (I did not want to lose my family and he often said he did not either). It did not help matters; in fact I may have made it worse.I really miss my husband right now. This disease has caused me to try and change everything to be perfect and hide the imperfections (my perceived imperfections) in my life and marriage. We have withdrew into our own little world. My husband has continued to drink, and found a new relationship that encourages this in him. I am very sad for him, but I am trying to move forward with my recovery.

confuseHow can I let go of others problems instead of trying to solve them?

winkI can let them know disbeliefI cannot solve their problems, that I support them in their quest to solve their own problem and step back out of their way.smile



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@mdkm

For me, when children are involved, prayer always is, too.  The individual circumstances with children are always complicated.

When it comes to Step 1, all I have to do is admit, own and recognize what I CANNOT do.  I cannot take a child from a parent without some pretty serious legal issues coming up.  I cannot control how a parent treats a child, except when/if it becomes a legal issue.  When that happens, I know what I can and cannot do.

It sometimes helps me that one of the alcoholics in my life when I was a child threatened the lives of my siblings, and another sexually abused me.   How does that help?  Well, as horrible as those things were, I made it, and my life is pretty wonderful, now.  I'm not giving advice, not suggesting you stop caring, or don't do what you know is right.  And I also cannot possibliy know what is right in your circumstances.

But, when the worst things were happening in my life as a kid, those around me were powerless to them - mostly because they didn't know about it!  If I could ask any adult what to do for a child of an alcoholic or addict, based on my life experience, it would be to get involved enough to know what is really going on, and listen, listen, listen to those children.

I also have been able to foster children who were in really uncomfortable situations.  By not offering any judgement or condemnation of their parents, but just actually offering a safe place, and honest love and concern for them, their parents were able to allow me to freely step in.



-- Edited by Jules on Thursday 1st of December 2011 07:59:59 PM

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I accept that I am powerless over people places and things. I recognize that when I find myself taking over care of others it is my passive way of trying to control them so they don't abandon me. I know that I need to love myself more and others maybe a little less. I am grateful that with age I seem to have found peace with my character defects and it's ok that I'm imperfect as long as I keep making progress.

One of the things I struggle with is in parenting a child (just turned 13) who has addiction issues (yes already, with food). I am not doing a stellar job in this area and resolve to try harder... at the same time try to accept that to a large extent I am powerless. Yes, I do bring the food into the house but with a true addict, they find ways. One day at a time. I am trying to teach him some of the principles and tools so that some day he can find his own recovery. Hopefully he will find it despite the fact that I been a far less than perfect parent.

Another sort of trap I find myself in with regard to step 1/2/3 is that I sometimes put too much into the category of "things I cannot change" and sort of give up on putting energy into those things that I should at least give the old college try lol.

I'm grateful this is here. Are we allowed to exchange emails?





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I remember when the first step really sank in for me. I had been running around crazily trying to find a way to get my AH sober and alienating myself from friends and family who were tired of my poor me. I was talking to the wrong people trying to be heard. They didn't understand why I was so crazy and angry at my sweet-natured AH.

The first step gave me unbelievable relief. I didn't have to be in charge anymore. I was supposed to let go and let others be responsible for themselves. I even realized that I had been terribly disrespectful of those in my life whom I had treated as incapable of running their own lives and learning their own lessons.

Of course I needed the next step to reassure me that all was not lost. But, I learned through practicing the first step to have faith in the process of recovery; my own and that of my AH and others.

That faith was a lesson I carry forward into my recovery and use daily.

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FYI: This is our second week with Step 1. I'm going to share a bit this week, and next week I'll start on Step 2. As far as I know, we don't have an official chairperson and I'm not sure how that happens, but I just LOVE this board coming to life.

I had to laugh last week...that WAS just last week, right? When I first came back to this site and read through my personal history. Three years ago I came to this board and had not even made it to the rooms for my own sake, yet. I was a MESS! There is nothing like a written record to be completely honest about where I was, and when.

So, just to discourage scanning my first couple of posts, I'll summarize the REALLY funny part. I came here and decided I'd SKIP steps 1-3 because my life was manageable (I was romancing suicide on a semi-regular basis over all that I didn't control)...and I didn't really need God. Lol!

I read this the morning after sharing at a meeting that the reason I started on Step 4 was because I tend to aim right for what scares me most. Ouch. Some denial, some self-deception, self-righteousness there. Ah. Completely caught doing the stuff that put me here. My best thinking GOT me here. Argh.

So today I am powerless. *sigh*

Today I am scared.

Today I know that all those feelings that lead me to act like an ass really come down to fear, pride, fear, self-righteousness, fear, arrogance, fear, fear, fear.

The difference about that fear today is that I know it, feel it. Yes, I still act a fool. Sometimes I catch myself doing it. Sometimes those who love me do. And it is O.K.

Fear is due to not being in control of SO much in my life. Both not being in control AND being afraid because of it are human.

The amazing part, the miracle is that it is O.K. That is because I am not alone. I have my Higher Power, a sponsor and the rest of the fellowship. That could not have happened without starting right at the beginning.

That's just me.

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My favorite part of step one is step 12...

That may sound odd, but, step 12 encourages me to "practice these principals in all of my affairs".

Therefore, each time I find myself up against something that I have to admit I am powerless over, I find myself back at step one for that particular reason.

I don't feel it as a step backwards; I view it as a new beginning in that particular area of my life. Another step forward.

Thank you for all of your shares. Each & every one of you is an inspiration in one way or another & I am very grateful to see this board active again.

Peace & love,
Desirae

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Although I started going to Al Anon meetings a year ago, I stopped after a few months without ever doing a step study. So really, I am new to this.

I cannot believe how hard this step is for me. Sometimes I feel like I am in Control Freaks Anonymous instead of Al Anon. I have realized over the past year that I have always been a very controlling person, and that is hard to admit (even to myself). Even when I'm trying not to be, I still am! I have made improvements and intellectually I know that I cannot control my husband's addiction. I keep telling myself, "It doesn't matter if I go to the movies or if I am at home. It doesn't matter if I spend all weekend in the house or fly to NYC to spend time with a friend. No matter where I am or what I am doing, if he wants to use, he will use."

And yet still I frequently convince myself that my presence makes a difference, especially when I look to the past. Any time that I would go out of town, something crazy would happen.

Okay, WOAH, full stop. I just had an epiphany writing that last sentence - THAT is detachment. Knowing that something crazy will probably happen and going out of town with a friend anyway, because it's good for me and I need it...and because I need to let him hit rock bottom and not try to control his drinking or smoking. My presence certainly does make a difference sometimes, but that is exactly WHY I can't constantly plan my days and time at home around him.

But I keep slipping up. I keep finding different ways to be present, to control him. At this point it's centered around the fact that my happiness is tied to his sobriety. If I have a good day, it's because he had a sober one. If I have a bad day, it's because he got drunk or high. I don't know how to unlink the two....and until I do, I will keep finding ways to control him because I want to feel happy and loved by him, and apparently at this point I can only feel that if he is sober. So you know, not a whole lot. :(

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I just LOVE how sharing makes me see, hear and acknowledge what I'm really thinking, saying, doing and why! *sigh!*

Not being in control. It helps to look at my track record when I was trying to control. The people I love used, were abusive, got hurt while I was doing my controlling thing full-time. Everything did not go right (some things did go right).

I've found that things sometimes go right, and sometimes don't seem to, whether I am busy at "making things happen" and worrying about past and future, or not.

The magic, the miracle is seeing and accepting that, and choosing to do differently today. I can focus on me, be here now and do the very next, little itty bitty right thing. There is a reason we call it stepwork! The Steps, and even each one is a BIG step, made up of a bunch of small and completely manageable ones and, for me, several missteps thrown in, just for variety.

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Thank you, Jules, for starting this again.

Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over alcohol ~ that our lives had become unmanageable.

Do I accept that I cannot control another persons drinking? Another persons behavior?

I know that I am powerless over anyone's drinking/addiction. And I refuse to take any kind of responsibility for someone else's "ism." However, when it comes to others' behavior, I have relapsed and continue to have many relapses. I am having difficulty with where control over me and control over my ALO begins and ends. I must be feeling like my life is unmanageable because I find myself despairing over my life.

 



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Hi all I love this idea so I am joining late.

I am powerless over alcohol ~my life had become unmanageable.

 I accept that I cannot control another persons drinking or another persons behavior.

I accept the A's in my life, just the way they are today.

I have tried to change others in my life and all I did was make things worse. The consequences were lots of drama and family chaos.

I have learned to meet my own needs and that my A's were unable to do it for me.

The A's rarely do what I want and I have Let go and Let God with them.

Life has become more serene when I stopped trying to fix and control what I couldn't.

I can let go of others problems instead of trying to solve them by staying on my side of the street and working my program.

I came to Al-Anon because my life was severly unmanageable. I hoped to be able to breath again when I found Al-anon and have been able to.

My friends have expressed concern about my health and children. They worried for us all living with my exAH and all the fighting and dysfunctions going on in that home.

I know my life is unmanageable when I start spinning and obsessing about things I can't control.

I sought approval and affirmation from everyone in my life, until I found Al-anon I didn't trust my own voice.
I have gotten better, but still say yes when I want to say no. I sell myself short when I do this.

I naturally take care of others, but find it difficult to care for myself.

I feel good now when life is going smoothly. I used to continually anticipate problems. I do feel more alive in the midst of a crisis, I think it's from growing up in chaos.

I have gotten better at taking care of myself, still needs work.

I feel fine when I am alone now.

There is a big difference between pity and love.

 I  am attracted to alcoholics and other people who seem to need me to fix them, so I choose to stay single so not to distract myself and start another unhealthy relationship until I know I am ready.

I do I trust my own feelings and I know what they are now after attending meetings for the last year.

I am so happy to be doing the steps with you all!






-- Edited by flopadopilus on Monday 12th of December 2011 06:10:21 PM

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FLOP,

"Recovery isn't winning, it's not playing" and "Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional"

F.E.A.R. = false evidence appearing real

INSANITY = doing the same thing over nad over again and expecting different results.



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Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over alcohol ~ that our lives had become unmanageable.


How do I recognize that the alcoholic is an individual with habits, characteristics and ways of reacting to daily happenings that are different from mine?

My alcoholic definitely has his own habits, characteristics and ways of reacting to daily happenings. I have begun to realize that my qualifier has had to learn a new set of social skills. And by socializing with people newly in recovery, I have begun to see that many of them are having to learn the same things.

The qualifier is so controlled by his/her god (alcohol) that everything is centered around that. He/she has no room for anyone else. Even when in recovery, that self-centered attitude is still very evident. And might always be.

I, otoh, am having to learn to be more self-focused. I have been so lost to myself that I am having to relearn what my passions are. I am having to relearn how to take care of myself. I am having to relearn that I am important to.



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Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over alcohol ~ that our lives had become unmanageable.

Do I accept that alcoholism is a disease? How does that change how I deal with a drinker?

I find I easily accept that alcoholism is a disease. I see that my dh comes from a family iwht the disease. Both his parents and his older brother have the illness. Our nephew has the illness as does our youngest child. I am grateful to know that it is a disease. This knowledge hepls me to have compassion for my loved ones while at the same time giving me the strength to do the necessary things for my life and his/theirs.



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Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over __________ ~ that our lives had become unmanageable.

I am powerless over alcohol. I am powerless over prescription meds. I am powerless over my boyfriend's decisions. I am powerless over my ex-husband's issues. I am powerless over other people's behaviors. I am powerless over all diseases. I am powerless over my addiction to ciggarette smoking.

My life had become unmanageable as I was sinking deeper into a depression, unaware why I just couldn't get happy and things kept going wrong. No matter how hard I tried to make things right, more disaster happened and it caused me more hurt and pain. I had no idea why things felt so bad and why I couldn't get happy. I didn't understand why my bf & I were becoming further apart instead of closer. That no matter what I did, he just seemed to be pushing me further away. Finally, a little light had been shed. He had opened up to me that he was struggling with prescription meds and that led me on a quest... to find out and earn all the knowledge that I am now so grateful to understand.

It led me take off my blinders and see that I was dealing with the disease of alcoholism. It opened up so many new doors for me. I realized that the life I had grown up thinking was "normal" is infact a life filled with "insanity" no matter how "normal" I tried to make it and has relieved me from years of feeling like I was foreign in this world of mine.

Now I see just how functional I am and how sick I was letting myself get by being sucked in from the alcoholism that surrounds me. I could see just how insidious the disease is because I felt "fine" in all other areas of my life. My job hadn't been suffering. I hadn't slacked on taking care of my kid and my adult responsibilities. It was just my intimate relationship that was sucking. The truth, I finally faced after taking off the rosey colored glasses was, that yes, I managed to go to work and perform well (but felt blah inside) and I was being a responsible parent in not neglecting my kiddo (but forced a fun/happy face on at times because I didn't want to show the heartbreak I was feeling), and I continued to manage to keep up on my responsibilities but I had lost my charisma, my spark, i felt like i wasn't fun and that everything around me (except for my kid) was blah. It was then that I knew I needed help. That I didn't want to continue down and admitted that I was depressed. I found the strength to own it by facing my child. He doesn't deserve his Mom to be a mess or feel emotionally unfulfilled because Mom's heart is broken. He has always come first in my world and I needed to make certain that I got out of this funk and make him first - genuinely - without bs-ing myself and the only way I could do that would be to find a way to make me happy again. And I had NO IDEA how to go about doing that. Finally I figured, let me go see what this al-anon thing is alll about.

It has led me to AA and now I'm about to go and check out ACOA. I am happy. I know I have a lot of work to do still, but I feel like more of me is resurfacing.

When I was still in the gutted phase, asking every question, unsure, miserable, scared, hurt, sad, not aware, uneducated, etc... I was driving to work one night and thought "Why can't he just quit?!?!?!" as I was putting a lit cigarette to my lips. My hand and lit cigarette became the most surreal moment of my beginning to understand. As I literally saw my addiction staring me in the face I understood and thought "Duh! That's why..." I had to face the reality that I am an addict - addicted to cigarettes and just like no one could tell me that I have to quit, or make me quit, or get me to quit, the same applies to his drinking and pilling. So I began to genuinely embrace that alcoholism cannot be cured soley by mentally deciding not to drink.

And so I learned that in order for him to get better, he first has to decide that he wants that for himself. Then if he does, he needs help physiologically, psychologically, and socially. I realized the only way I could offer help would fall under the social category and offer support if/when he is ready. Otherwise, it makes no difference in what I do, thus being powerless. Ironically, this is also where I learned that I could, in fact, make things worse. So I continued my quest for learning and growing, so that I could be a positive support if/when that time came. And I do not want to keep him sick.

I'm excited about doing the steps here because I am wanting to grow spiritually and want to continue ensuring that I am taking care of myself. I have to figure out how I can stand by him and be supportive without enabling him to drink. This is a very interwoven area of the disease because it is so complex and intertwined. The lines are very thin and can be easily crossed. So my goal is to decide exactly what my true boundaries are and if I am of better help to stay or better help to end it. But I guess that is why they say not to make any huge decisions for 6 months. It is so complicated and I am determined to stand by him, but I wonder about tough-love versus sitting on a shelf... So hopefully this journey will help me figure things out.

I love my bf - as he is.

I have and continue to grow in my awareness over alcoholism.

I have accepted and continue to grow in acceptance that alcoholism is a disease and the ways that this affects he and I, both as a couple and as individuals.

I accept that I am powerless over alcohol and drugs.

I accept that the man I know he is at the core, under this mess, may never resurface.

I have taken action to remove myself off the sinking ship, to learn as much as I can so I continue to grow and understand, and let go.

I accept that I cannot control his drinking or his fear of giving up drinking.

I accept that I cannot control his choices.

I accept that he loves me to the best of his ability right now.

I accept that he is very sick.

I accept that I own my feelings and actions.

I accept that I am responsible for my feelings and happiness.

I accept that he and I are in different physical worlds at the moment.

I accept that I have gotten off the merry-go-round, and am having fun in the rest of the park while he's continuing to stay on.

I accept that I am powerless over his addictions.

I accept that I am where I am supposed to be.

-- Edited by KeepingFaith on Saturday 17th of December 2011 08:55:54 PM

-- Edited by KeepingFaith on Saturday 17th of December 2011 09:03:51 PM



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