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Post Info TOPIC: ALANON STEP ONE 1-2-2018


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ALANON STEP ONE 1-2-2018


Step one . Al-Anon ;
"We admitted we were powerless over alcohol, that our lives had become unmanageable.

C2C reading page 32
it is hard to stop acting as I have the past. But with Al-Anon support I can be the one to break the pattern. I can choose to do what I think is right for me."
 
My share
When I first entered the rooms of Al-Anon, I felt very alone and lost. I was looking for answers to how  I could  stop feeling such pain and was willing to keep an open mind for any solution to  solving the  problems that the disease of alcoholism had caused in my life.
.
As I listened, at meetings I was struck by the fact that this step stared  out with the word." We"   wow I realized I was no longer alone.This  is an important concept in Al-Anon recovery. Once we acknowledge that someones drinking has affected our lives, we may want to point fingers of blame, but Al-Anon discourages this and suggests that we work the steps, keeping the focus on ourselves and look for our part to the problems .
 
I needed to learn  and accept that alcoholism was a disease over which I was powerless and that no amount of  tears , or arguing would change this fact.  This step also reminds us that we are not only powerless over the alcoholic,we are powerless over people places and things. Once we embrace this fact we are beginning to walk with  recovery.
 
I must admit that this was the hardest step for me to embrace because I felt as if it was surrendering to the disease, and if I admit" powerlessness" than the alcoholic would have all the power.
 
Fortunately I was wise enough to obtain a sponsor early on and she explained that as we move through the steps, we will discover that we place our belief and trust in a power greater than ourselves for guidance and solutions.
.
I had no problem admitting that my life was unmanageable because I could not concentrate, I continually thought about my husband's drinking and how to  fix it, I was extremely unhappy s and found no solutions.  On the outside my life looked perfect  nice home, a child  good school but my inner self was tormented.
 
Al-Anon offered me tools to live my life with courage, serenity and wisdom.  I needed to be willing  to embrace the steps, slogans meetings  and walk slowly through them one step at a time. I am eternally grateful to Al-Anon for this gift. I urge you to continue on this journey
 
 
 
Step one questions
 
Do I  accept that I cannot control another person, their behavior or the drinking?
 
How do I recognize that the alcoholic is an individual with habits and needs and ways of reacting in a different from mine?
 
Do I  accept that alcoholism is a disease?
 
How have I tried to change others in my life? What were the consequences?
 
What brought me into Al-Anon? How have my expectations change?
 
How do I know my life is unmanageable?

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

Am I attracted to alcoholics and other people who seem to need me to fix them?
 
What is the difference between pity and love?
 
Do I trust my own feelings? Do I know what they are?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 





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Betty


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Thank you for your share Betty!

My share:
I am newly back in Alanon. I'm only on step 5 and just in the past week-two weeks keep seeing so much DAILY that I couldn't see before! Even from my Step 1, only done a few days ago. This has already been a spiritual awakening to me. I forgot alcoholism was a disease.........how I forgot that I'll never know...most likely due to my trying to control the A's in my life......... It shows me how sneaky this disease is. Without a program, I got into blame, criticism, anger and my thinking...was so very messed up. I have a long ways to go but, also see that this program can keep me from EVER going to that dark, scary place again!

Without it, those old thoughts can sneak in and destroy not just my life but others lives too. Just by my words or body language! I became a not nice person to be around, whereas I used to be someone people just opened up to. I was the pushover with the soft heart until it got broke one time too many..

So much self hatred and anger filled me ......it leaked onto everyone around me. My actions and behavior may have caused them to drink more!


I don't want to do the program half way, half-hearted, I want myself back! This program is doing for me what I could not do. For others to see love and compassion in me again.....I feel compassion again now! Free of the anger and fear! Not the crazy, angry, fearful person I had become.......the scary person that had the A's tiptoeing around me. How odd that for over 50 YEARS.....I was ALWAYS the one who tiptoed around the A's.....it all got twisted around by trying to control the A's!

Step one questions
Do I accept that I cannot control another person, their behavior or the drinking?
***I do now. I know there will be slips BUT they won't last long or get out of control again as long as I work my program.

How do I recognize that the alcoholic is an individual with habits and needs and ways of reacting in a different from mine?
***The disease is there whether drinking or not. They didn't ask for it, just as I didn't ask to be dealing with it. I was in the habit of watching for the next relapse, the driving while under the influence, fear of affairs etc......they were simply doing what is "normal" for them to do at the time. Drink.

Do I accept that alcoholism is a disease?
*** Yes

How have I tried to change others in my life? What were the consequences?
*** Oh my, by making sure they didn't miss meetings, asking them about their program.....uhg. It hurt me and them, I got frustrated and later angry.

What brought me into Al-Anon? How have my expectations change?
***I was losing my mind, my HP led me here. I let go of the expectations. Just for today.

How do I know my life is unmanageable?
***There was no aspect of my life not out of control......it is only manageable by daily surrendering to God and letting go.

Do I take care of others easily but fin it difficult to care for myself?
*** No. I couldn't even take care of myself when things got too out of hand. I am taking care of myself today.

Am I attracted to alcoholics and other people who seem to need me to fix them?
***I sure was........not quite sure where to put this....not a need to fix, that messed me up but to help, yes. The right way. Working on this....

What is the difference between pity and love?
*** Pity cripples people, keeps them from growing and causes an unhealthy, very unhealthy reliance on another person......oh my a book could be written on this.........love is empathy. Huge difference.

Do I trust my own feelings? Do I know what they are?
*** I do today. Just a day ago was a very long period of years I did not. Yes I know what they are.

I am so grateful for this program! It brought tears to my eyes yesterday evening! There is hope, love and others who are going through what I am!



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Hello Tude I have worked many Step ones, in my time in program and each has uncovered many issues I had not previously been aware of .
I am pleased that you have returned to this step and are willing to work it once again. Your recovery and honesty are admirable. Thanks for sharing the journey.



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Betty


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Good morning Betty, Thank you for all your work here on the step board. It's time I start working too.
 
 
 
Step one questions
 
Do I  accept that I cannot control another person, their behavior or the drinking?
 
**Yes. When I first came to the group, and yes until recently I still looked for ways to get my AH to see what he has been doing. Failing miserably ever time. Why? Because I cannot controll his or anyone's actions, thoughts or behaviors. Things that I thought I was doing to "help" just drove the drinking into hidding, cover, and more lying. AH is like anyone else, they are going to do what they want to do.
 
How do I recognize that the alcoholic is an individual with habits and needs and ways of reacting in a different from mine?
 
**This one was a hard one for me. I was always one to think.....HP has given you a brain....use it! That means such different things to different people. I had faced many hardships in my yearly years, yet never turned to anything to cover, suppress any of that. I faced it head on, never denied of it. That worked for me. For others going back to moments of hurt, dealing with them or stress may just be too much for them to deal with. Even for someone who appeared to be so strong.
 
 
Do I  accept that alcoholism is a disease?
 
**At first I sure didn't, I'm learning every day how this is so true.
 
How have I tried to change others in my life? What were the consequences?
 
**yes. I was met with a wall of resistance. Leaving me to drained and angry
 
What brought me into Al-Anon? How have my expectations change?
 
**At first looking for answers. How to get my AH help. I can not help him in anyway. I have to fix me and what these thoughts have done to me
 
How do I know my life is unmanageable?
 
** AH has consummed my thoughts. Wasted to much engery on trying to find a way our for him.

Do I take care of others easily but fin it difficult to care for myself?
 
**Yes, as a parent and healthcare worker, it's just what I do. Care for those who can't care for themselves. I thought caring for myself was going to the doctor....keeping my health in check. It's far deeper than that. My mind and soul need more from me on daily basis. It's a struggle I'm learning what I need from myself

Am I attracted to alcoholics and other people who seem to need me to fix them?
 
**Alcoholics, but anyone who may need my support. Friends always say, "how come your so smart" or "you always know what to say you should be a councillor" I never seen it as trying to fix them, just as being a supportive friend and help them through a struggle. This I don't know if I can ever change or fix.
 
What is the difference between pity and love?
 
**Pity for me is feeling sorry for someone, looking down on the situation they are in. Love for me is the greatest gift one can give and recieve. It's unconditional.
 
Do I trust my own feelings? Do I know what they are?
 
**Most definately I do not trust my own feelings. My head at this moment today is too cluttered. I often find myself saying I don't know how I feel.


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Hello Curlyblue Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts on this important Step. You are on your way
Your clarity and honesty are impressive so please do keep on keeping on.



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Betty


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I entered the program at my sig other's request.  He is a recovering Alcoholic and I have never known him when he was actively drinking.  But boy is he difficult.  At the moment we are not together, and now I see that it is because of me trying to change him.  I believe "isms" would be the term to use?  So many replacement vices that replaced alcohol.  so many. I also see that he is not working the program and that maybe being in a relationship is not good for him right now.  That is a hard pill to swallow as I love him dearly and although we do not live together, our children have become attached to each one of us. 

 

I



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Hi Beanie Alanon is a recovery program for family members We notice that we tend to focus on others and neglect ourselves Like AA we hold face to face meetings in most communities I urge you to search out meetings and attend There is hope.

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Betty


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I have "dabbled" in Alanon off and on,mostly off,for a few years and this step has always been SO difficult for me.Logically,I know I am powerless but I have such a hard time accepting it and applying that knowledge in my life.

Since reading this post a couple of days ago I decided to behave as if I do completely accept it to see if it could make any slight difference for me before adding my reply.

I decided to apply powerlessness thinking to every aspect of my life,even the simple things.Every time my AH said or did anything that annoyed me or I disagreed with I would think to myself "I am powerless over his words","I am powerless over his actions",etc. instead of my usual reactions,which are to rant and rave,complain and argue with him.Holy cow,what a huge difference it has made,for ME.It has made me feel so much less stressed and tense.It makes me feel good about myself instead of loathing myself for how horrible I behave.

My AS popped in yesterday after a long bender.I SO wanted to lecture him(even though he's an adult),wanted to tell him how horrible he looked,tell him he needs to grow up,I even wanted to tell him what day of the week it was since he obviously had no clue.Instead I started thinking "I am powerless over his choices,I am powerless over any consequences he may have going to work like that",etc.When he left I felt good about his visit,I was calm and in a pretty good mood,so not like how I usually am.

 

So acting as if I accept powerlessness is working for me at the moment.Maybe if I keep it up acceptance will come later.I have been so out of control,my life has been so unmanageable,and this is really opening my eyes to the fact that most of it is my own doing by my reactions and controlling ways.

 

I think I will answer all the other questions some other time.I feel I need to really think about them awhile first.

 

 



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((SS)) good work practicing powerlessness with detachment helps

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Betty


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Thank you so much for posting this step study!  I look forward to learning!

I have been in Alanon since 2005, but have just half way worked my program.  I am so blessed that even working my program half way, I still have learned and benefited by it!  I do have a sponsor, we are going through the steps once again per my request. I attend meetings locally, most weeks, and do service work.  I just know myself, I could be much further along if I applied myself even more!  (do you hear any hints of perfectionism here?  haha!biggrin 

Question: How do I recognize that the A is an individual with habits and needs and ways of reacting that are different from mine?  I don't think I do this too well, as I expect my current A, my DH, to act like he did before I realized he was an alcoholic.  When we were dating and newly married, things were on such a high, and I had my rose colored glasses on, so I missed important clues. Today, it is plainly clear that he is an alcoholic.  He is still drinking, but hiding his drinking, and I am ignoring this fact.  The elephant in the room.  Waiting for the day that he has an epiphany and stops drinking, like he has told me so many times that he did for 20 years.

Do I accept alcoholism as a disease.  Yes and no.  See above.  I understand in my head, but not in my heart.  !!!Ding ding!  Lightbulb moment!!!  He won't stop drinking because he is an alcoholic.  He's sick.  He was able to do this over 20 years ago because he was not "as sick" then as he is now.  It's a progressive disease.

Do I take care of others easily but find it difficult to care for myself.  Of course!  I can plainly see what is wrong with others and how to fix it, but just can't see things in my own life.  I guess I'm too close to the situation.

Do I trust my own feelings?  Do I know what they are? No and Obviously not.  I have a hard time expressing my feelings.  still want to people please!hmm



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Great advice!  I think I will try this too!  Thanks for sharing!



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Hello Bunny thank you for your honesty and clarity I appreciate your sharing the journey. The progam helped me to overcome my perfectionism as well as a host of other defects. Keep on keeping on

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Betty


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Thanks for your share on Step One, Tude. So glad to see you on the Step Board as well as in meetings! It works if you work it!! And you are definitely working it!! Cudos to you!! 



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Lisa D.


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Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Step One, CurlyBlu. I too am a home health aide, and struggle with setting boundaries between "helping others who can't help themselves" and knowing when doing something for them is not healthy. I've got down the detachment with the alcoholic, it's the other people in my life that I need to work on.



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Lisa D.


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Beanie, glad you are here... what brought you to the alanon program is not as important as that you are working it for you. I too have an alcoholic that is suffering from the "isms" and although not currently drinking is suffering from dry drunk syndrome: still stuck in the 'isms' and thinking he's doing fine, because he is not drinking. All I can do is take care of me, set boundaries, and live ODAAT. Thanks for your share.



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Lisa D.


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Great work, Soggy Slippers!! I have found in my program that "acting as if" is a good alanon tool to use when we have trouble accepting anything. I also like the idea that you are taking these questions one at a time and pondering them... also good work! My third thought on your share is this: Progress Not Perfection. I too, have been in the alanon program for a few 24 hours and find myself struggling with certain concepts at times (like powerlessness); but as long as we are trying, then we are progressing. Keep up the good work!



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Lisa D.


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Bunny, like I told SoggySlippers, Progress Not Perfection. You are doing fine. You are working a program. That's a great place to start. I love your nickname, it is the same as a fellow alanoner in my f2f meetings! smile



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Lisa D.


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Step one . Al-Anon
"We admitted we were powerless over alcohol, that our lives had become unmanageable.


First I'd like to say thanks to hotrod for chairing this Step Study. Since I've been sponsoring a newbie recently, I've been doing a lot more reading on Step One. I thought maybe after 26 years in the program, it was time to revisit it myself. biggrin
 
Here's My story: After 4 alcoholic marriages, and several relationships that dealt with one kind of addiction or another, I most certainly admit that I am powerless over alcohol, and that it had caused my life to become unmanageable. When I first came into the program, I had just come out of my second failed alcoholic marriage. A good friend suggested I get into a 12-step program. Since she was an adult child of alcoholic parents, she went to ACOA. I am not the adult child of alcoholic parents, but tagged along anyway. It was here that I was introduced to the 12 steps and traditions. Shortly after starting in this program, I met and started dating a man that would become my third husband. He actually WAS the adult child of an alcoholic father, who just recently joined AA. So of course, since I was a "fixer" I quickly started dragging him to my ACOA meetings! LOL We commiserated and became very codependent on each other. At one point it was suggested to me that I get my own program, that is when I joined Al-anon. (October 1991) After all, it made sense... I was NOT the adult child of alcoholic parents, so it was hard for me to relate to what they shared in those meetings, but I most definitely could relate to being the wife of an alcoholic. I also started attending Codependents anonymous at that time. I admitted I was powerless over alcohol and that my life had most definitely become unmanageable. I got a sponsor, and started working the steps. This was the beginning of my journey.
 
 
 
Step one questions
 
Do I  accept that I cannot control another person, their behavior or the drinking? Yes.
 
How do I recognize that the alcoholic is an individual with habits and needs and ways of reacting in a different way from mine? Basically I try to love him unconditionally and accept him as he is. (Easier said than done, remember I've been in this program since September of 1990.) 
 
Do I  accept that alcoholism is a disease? Yes.
 
How have I tried to change others in my life? What were the consequences? before alanon I tried to get my first husband to quit drinking the usual way.. threaten to leave, throw out the alcohol, follow him to bars... none of this worked.
 
What brought me into Al-Anon? How have my expectations changed?
What brought me into alanon is discussed in my story above. My expectations have definitely changed in 26 years. I no longer expect him to change. If he wants to change for himself, that's great; if he doesn't I accept that. I just love him unconditionally. This too is easier said than done. The alcoholic that I currently have in my life is ex-AH number 4 that I haven't mentioned up to this point. He came on the heels of my ACOA #3 husband that I mentioned in my story above. I was married to husband #3 for 12 years and it was the hardest of my marriages in many ways and truly taught me that Alcoholism is a family disease. After a year of courtship, and 5 years of marriage to this man; along with weekly, sometimes bi-weekly f2f alanon meetings; I find out that my father-in-law, is not only an Alcoholic (going to AA) but sexually abused my husband from the time he was 3 till he hit puberty at 11. (so this made him a sex addict and a pedaphile, too) This came to the surface when our daughter was born. The next five years were spent dealing with the fallout, which eventually ended up in divorce. A month after the divorce I also found out that my ex-husband was a sex-addict himself with problems involving child porn. Our daughter had to be put on supervised visitation, due to this development. 
 
How do I know my life is unmanageable? The above should answer that question. LOL

Do I take care of others easily but find it difficult to care for myself?
Yes. I have always been a caregiver. I was born to older parents,(40 and 47) so was always around the elderly and learned to be a good caregiver (which is my current profession). They were not alcoholic, nor were my grandparents (to my knowledge) so it always puzzled me that I ended up marrying alcoholics right off the bat! LOL

Am I attracted to alcoholics and other people who seem to need me to fix them?
Yes. I have (as stated earlier) always been attracted to alcoholics, but I have also been attracted to others that 'need me to fix them'... like my sex addicted third husband, or my friends in high school who had alcoholic parents, or had issues of their own. In fact, a counselor in high school often called me in to help calm down one of my friends when he found out her mother had been sent to a Treatment Center and my friend was suicidal, herself.
 
What is the difference between pity and love? This is something that I still struggle with. I think I pitied my third husband, even before I knew about the sexual abuse by his alcoholic father (which lay buried in denial until our fifth year of marriage). I always knew that my feelings for him were different than my feelings for the alcoholics that I married. The feelings I had for the alcoholics that I married and were involved with always were out-of-control, the over-the-top butterflies in the stomach, "I can't live without you" feelings of love... or so I thought it was love. I had a boyfriend after my fourth marriage ended who told me that I didn't know what love was... that what I felt for these alcoholic husband's was not LOVE... it was something far more sinister. "Love is patient and kind, love is not envious. love does not boast, nor is it proud..." what they were portraying to me was NOT love. I'm still convinced that what I felt for them was love; but not sure what to do with that information, because I AM pretty sure they did not deserve it. But isn't that what true love is? Something that is freely given that we don't deserve? I'm still out to lunch on this one.
 
Do I trust my own feelings? Do I know what they are? Yes and no.
When it comes to relationships, not so much. I obviously have a history and not a good one at that. I'm hoping that working the steps again will help me with that.
 
 
 
 
 
 


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Lisa D.


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Do I accept that I cannot control another person, their behavior or the drinking? Not yet.I'm working on it though.

How do I recognize that the alcoholic is an individual with habits and needs and ways of reacting in a different from mine?Well I can recognize it just by being around them but allowing them to be who they are is a whole 'nother story and something I am working on.

Do I accept that alcoholism is a disease?Yes,I do.But...I don't like when it's used as an excuse.

How have I tried to change others in my life? What were the consequences?It would probably be easier to list the ways in which I haven't tried to change others.I don't think I have tried hypnotism or chaining them in the basement(kidding of course,I haven't gone that low yet).The consequences have NEVER been good when I have tried changing them and has caused even more problems for myself.

What brought me into Al-Anon? How have my expectations change?I came to Alanon out of despair and wanting to fix my qualifiers.Now I just want to help myself live a healthy,happy productive life despite what they are/are not doing.I want to learn to make myself happy instead of relying on others to make me happy.

How do I know my life is unmanageable?Because I feel miserable and completely out of control a good majority of the time.Because the slightest upsets push me over the edge.Because I stopped basic self care for quite awhile.But mainly because my life is not my own anymore.

Do I take care of others easily but fin it difficult to care for myself?Most definitely!

Am I attracted to alcoholics and other people who seem to need me to fix them?Yep,for sure,but I think it's on a subconscious level.

What is the difference between pity and love?I'm trying to figure that one out.

Do I trust my own feelings?Do I know what they are?Most of the time yes,I do trust them and yes I do know what they are.But then that all goes out the window when one of my qualifiers tells me I'm wrong about them.



-- Edited by SoggySlippers on Tuesday 9th of January 2018 12:50:58 AM

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Hello SS Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this important step. Your honesty is admirable and i am happy that you are embracing the recovery found in the Steps.

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Betty


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Good morning Betty, and everyone else, I am new to this forum. There are no words to tell you how grateful I am that I found this site this morning. I went to my first Al-anon meeting 31yrs ago. I cried at that first meeting and immediately new this is where I belong. Fast forward- I also am newly back to working this 12 step program, (due to many tragic events in my life), I, without truly realizing how much, fell back, got sucked in, hooked, whatever you choose to call it, back into the insanity that comes when I am not working my program and focusing on me and my recovery. I, for the last several years, had my focus more on other people in my life who I felt really had some issue's. Ha, Lol! forgetting, that I was just as sick,(if not sicker) then these people in my life who choose not to be involved in a 12 step recovery program. In any event, I am so grateful to have found this site. I, also am semi-disabled so getting to meetings can be a bit of a challenge at times. I also recently relocated to a new area, 2 1/2 hrs. from where I use to live. This area, is short on meetings, in comparison to a bigger city, from which I came. In any event, I have been praying and asking my H.P. to please help me find some online support/ recovery forum to be a part of. I've read some of the other member's entries, along with your's Betty and all I can say is Wow!!! and Thank-you all. I look forward to being a part of this forum, reading other people's entries, hearing their truth's, struggles, growth, is so validating and healing for me. Just knowing I am no longer without contact to people in recovery is a blessing. I can relate so much to what I have read just this morning. Again, Thank-you all from deep within my heart and soul for being a part of this forum. Hugs to all


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glady b


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Good Morning Betty and All,

I am working the Steps with my new sponsor :) but thought I'd post here as well.

Question 1- Do I accept that I can't control another person's drinking or behavior?

My thought on this is that I thought I had accepted that I can't control another person's drinking but in reality? I still worry, a lot, about my son's and husband's recovery. Will they relapse , won't they, what if they do .. In effect, that's worrying about someone's disease.

I also had to think long and hard about the second part of that question re: can't control another person's behavior. That stopped me cold ! lol I do admit that I still do like to exert control over others , they determine my self worth somehow. If they see things my way? Means I'm right and valued. If not? I must be wrong. No middle ground here. I have a history of flinging people away that reject me (or so i think, when they're not in agreement with me) . I later regret it and try and try to "right" the situation. Ugh ..what a lot of wasted effort ! I KNOW this is a defect.

How I'd envision things if I could ? That I will someday be able to stay on my side of street. Not react so negatively to people. Not put people on an impossible pedestal, thinking they must have the answers I'm looking for. I've done that with my husband , my parents and sometimes my kids. It's crazy and I know it .. until the next time I just KNOW I'm right and they're not ;)

Question 2-How do I recognize that the alcoholic is an individual with habits, etc.....

I really had to think about this one !

In doing so, it's dawned on me why I was having such trouble understanding the question.
Off the top of my head when I first read it , I thought.. well, of course he's an individual with his his own personality etc. But ! When thinking of expectations of his reaction to things ? I'm so immersed in me being right and of course, knowing what's best , that I couldn't / hadn't really thought about the fact that he ( both of the A's in my life" are very much their own people with rights to their opinions, reactions, thoughts etc.
I've been , for a very long time, somehow discounting what they feel , think and say.

Wow... have really never thought of myself of being this kind of "know it all" person ! *an aha moment !
I've always thought well of course you know better, what's right for them, you love them so my attitude can't be wrong ! I'm acting this way because I do love them. In saying that, for a very long time , I did have to make all the decisions, raise my children, run the house and at the end of my husband's active drinking years, I had to run our business as well.
It became habit , I suppose, to continue this mind set.

To give you some backstory, my husband has been in recovery for 21 years and my middle son has been in recovery for 2 1/2 years.

Have to tell you, I'm absolutely astounded that I still act and think that I do know best and can call the shots . lol

The things we learn about ourselves !

Best to All,
Anna



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Hello Anna I agree, working the Steps did reveal a whole new world of hidden motives for me. I appreciate your honesty and urge you to keep coming back and sharing the journey.

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Betty


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Do I accept that I cannot control another person, their behavior or the drinking?

Intellectually I do.
My behaviour over the years being married to my addict and also my behaviour towards my parents (heavy drinkers) shows that I still have a lot of expectations. I think expectations are a way of controlling or expecting a level of control. Letting go of control for me also means letting go of expectations and then developing a resentment when they are not met.

How do I recognize that the alcoholic is an individual with habits and needs and ways of reacting in a different from mine?

How do I do this? I got better at this towards the end. For a long time I didn't recognise this at all. I am still learning. We have an over functioner and underfunctioner relationship so I always just thought I was better at everything than him.
Now with my dad I still feel better than him. I feel too hurt to accept him as an equal individual with his own habits needs and ways of reacting. To me that would seem to endorse his behaviour. This is a hard one for me.

Do I accept that alcoholism is a disease?
Yes.
But this is also a hard one for me. I still think things like not enough will power.
I have ideas about addiction from pyschology that differ from what is in the big book. I am still working this out. At least I accept that it is in built - can't be "overpowered" and it's something that fundamentally makes alcoholics different. I cannot expect them to react and act as I do.

How have I tried to change others in my life? What were the consequences?
I could write a book. The story of my marriage is like "how not to change an addict in four years."
Rarely are my efforts met with anyting more than short term, faked success followed by something even worse than what I was trying to change.

What brought me into Al-Anon? How have my expectations change?
Desperation. I knew enough about Al Anon to know it wouldn't help me fix my husband. So I avoided it for a long time until I had tried everything to fix him.

How do I know my life is unmanageable?
It totally is. He's in rehab. I have to move. I am struggling to keep up with my daily work responsibilities and child care. I am not financially independent.

Do I take care of others easily but fin it difficult to care for myself?
Hell yeah! I notice that with my mother who is visiting now, I seem to find it more easy to listen to her pouring out her heart to me than to share my own world with her.
I think I have gotten better at this over time.
But I still think of others first.

Am I attracted to alcoholics and other people who seem to need me to fix them?
Yes. The funny thing is it's usually that I am attracted to them before I realise I need to fix them and then I feel disappointed and try to do the fixing to get back to what I was attracted to and what they "should" be.
It's weird. I have done this many times now already. I am an ACA and all my partners have had this kind of ..... something about them that was less than fully functional. Two have had substance abuse issues.


What is the difference between pity and love?

Great question. I guess pity is feeling sorry for someone and wishing the best for them - for me it's often from a selfish "I wish I didn't have to feel bad about this person's situation so I wish things would be better for them" kinda way.

Love is - well if I knew that I don't think I would be here. I think it has to be more about selflessness and giving and that means boundaries because without boundaries there is no ability to give to the other.

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

I am trying to get in touch with them. More and more I realise that I am getting better at this. I have usually intellectualised my experiences and cut off feelings. Now I am beginning to feel them. I still definitely don't trust them. I am getting better. Al Anon helps. Therapy helps. Reading helps.

THANKS FOR LISTENING

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Hi Annie Thanks for sharing our thoughts on the First Step. Recovery is a process so please do keep coming back.   I appreciate your clarity and honesty



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Betty


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I hope I'm not too late posting to this step. I have been teetering in and out of AlAnon, but I've made up my mind to commit to working the 12 steps. I have been so caught up in taking care of my A (my husband) and our daughter that I have neglected myself and in the process I am seeing now more than ever that I need help. My A has started working a program and I am happy for him, but I am going to remove myself from his disease and recovery process. Of course I hope he gets better, but that is not my decision to make or in my control. But I can make my own decisions and I am making the decision to get better. Do I accept that I cannot control another person, their behavior or their drinking? I have struggled with this for so long, but I am finally accepting this. I am learning that my A needs to make his own decisions, even when I thought I was controlling him it was just a mirage. I was not in control of him and was losing control of my own actions. Everything I did revolved around his disease. I am working on changing that. How do I recognize that the alcoholic is an individual with habits and needs and ways of reacting in a different from mine? I am still struggling with this. Of course I understand he is a different person from me, but oftentimes I think "if he just did xyz." But I have to remember that what works for me may not work for him. That what I want may be different from what he wants or needs. We are separating and I am moving with our daughter to live by my parents for some support and help. He will stay down here and work his program for awhile before moving by us. At first I was upset that he would not be by us. I was upset he would not be by our daughter or that I wouldn't be able to keep an eye on him. My anxiety about his behavior began ramping up. But I try to remind myself daily that while it would not be an ideal situation for me in his shoes he is a different person. And I cannot control his behavior. I am not responsible for his recovery. He needs to decide what is best for him and as someone who is separate from him I need to do the same for me. Do i accept that alcoholism is a disease? This is maybe the one thing that has been easiest for me in this step (though certainly not always easy). I do understand that it is a disease. I understand that it physically and chemically has altered his normal state. I attended a talk one time showing MRIs of addicts in various stages of recovery. The differences I could see finally drove home this idea for me. How have I tried to change others in my life? What were the consequences? I have tried more times than I could list, but the result is always negative. I cannot change what I cannot control and I cannot control others. The only thing these attempts do is hurt me in the long run. What brought me into Al-Anon? How have my expectations changed? I want to get better. I am finally focused on fixing me and not my A. I am understanding that I need help. I need to get better and I cannot do that when I am worried about my A. While we are obviously walking paths that right now are next to each other I need to focus on walking down my path. I cannot redirect him or help him on his and when I try I lose sight of mine. I need to focus on me. How do I know my life is unmanageable? I am not even myself anymore, I have lost sight of who that is. I anger quickly. I am not forgiving. I am not centered and thinking with a clear head. Of course there is the mess of finances, my marriage, etc. But most importantly is mentally I dont feel fresh, excited, happy, and clear. I need that back. Do i take care of others easily but find it difficult to take care of myself? Yes, all the time. I have neglected myself, but find myself caring for other people. Of course I have my daughter to care for, but even my parents came to visit. I am getting ready to move across the country, to possibly get a divorce and instead of focusing on that I am making them coffee, trying to make them food, cleaning profusely. Everything they came to help me with. Am I attracted to alcoholics and other people who seem to need me to fix them? Yes! I am and I am slowly beginning to realize it. I'm not sure why, but I certainly am. The majority of my relationships have been with addicts. What is the difference between pity and love? This question really struck a cord with me. Pity is feeling sorry for someone because of their situation. It is trying to mend something that is broken because you feel bad for the person. Love is hard for me to describe. It is caring deeply for someond, not because you feel like you should fix them, but because of the type of person they are. Because of the little things they find important or the convictions the hold. It is natural to want to help those you love, but in a way that strengthens them and lifts them up so they are independent. Not like pity which breeds dependence. Do I trust my own feelings? Do I know what they are? Yes and no. I trust them to a degree, but I often times question them. I think I have a hard time identifying them sometimes. For example I know I love my A. Before his drinking he was my match, but in a good way. He understood and shared my love for animals. He did small things that showed me just how special he was. But I realize at some point in time pity began to dominate that relationship. Pity over his disease, pity over his family, pity over certain situations. I know both feelings exist. But its hard to see where one ends and ghe other begins right now.

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Opps, I thought it was in paragraphs. Sorry!

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Welcome Gardening,   It is never too late to begin the Step Study. Thank you for sharing your ESH with such honesty and clarity. Remember "A journey of a thousand miles begins with the First Step" You are on your way Please do keep coming back and sharing this important journey



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Betty
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