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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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ALANON STEP ONE 1-2-2018


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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Hello, I'm a grateful member of 5yrs. Thanks very much for posting in this format so we can work the steps its truly wonderful.
I am quite isolated from face to face meetings at the moment so this is so very helpful 
 
 
Step one questions
 
 
Do I  accept that I cannot control another person, their behavior or the drinking?
 
-Mostly these days, yes. What I am seeing a finer line now with 'control' is with parenting my small children. To a degree I have to control them of course, but I do have to keep checking in with myself if I start to attempt to control things that are not important. Really tricky, as being a single mum of two toddlers, when I do 'control' them in ways that keep more serenity in our home (such as reminding them not to yell, and to just speak in a regular voice) it really has quite a positive outcome as when they are both yelling every single word they say for the entire day, i'm not able to be as kind and loving and positive as I usually am because I simply cant think straight. That's just one example. I guess it plays on my  mind because I am an alanonic, and an adult child. For people who were raised in a healthy environment, they probably just call it 'active parenting', and since my parents never actually parented me but just sort of left me to work everything out for myself, I want to give them a solid guidance. We call it control because when it's dealing with our issues with other adults its usually manipulation based, and I have done heaps of work around that and h ave a fair bit of recovery on board. I suppose that in having to control children and parent them responsibly all the while loving and caring for them it can trigger guilt in me, because it makes me feel like I am regressing after all the work I've done. I just need to keep an eye on not letting it tip over the balance, and just be intuitive with it I suppose.
 
 
How do I recognize that the alcoholic is an individual with habits and needs and ways of reacting in a different from mine?
 
A: By understanding that it is a disease and tuning in to the fact they are powerless over alcohol.
 
 
Do I  accept that alcoholism is a disease?
A: Yes.
 
How have I tried to change others in my life? What were the consequences?
A: In romantic relationships I tried to change them but it was unconscious. I would choose extremely emotionally unavailable partners then re-live my child hood trauma over and over by melting down when they would not love and comfort me when I was upset. The consequences were absolutely horrific. I have had to take full responsibility for it now that I can see what I did. I'm also not too hard on myself about it any more as it would just happen automatically I was completely powerless at the time. I can see that it was a human need to heal....coming from me as the very wounded human I once was.
 
What brought me into Al-Anon? How have my expectations change?
A: Realising how almost every friendship and relationship I had were with addicts of some kind, and the final straw was being in a new relationship with someone who knew I wasn't open to dating if there was a history of alcohol abuse. On our 6 month anniversary they then revealed they were an AA member. Alanon had to happen for me that's for sure.
 
How do I know my life is unmanageable?
A: It's not unmanageable any more. Life is wonderful. Elements of my life can become unmanageable at times if I slip or am triggered and I try to work through it best I can then move on.

Do I take care of others easily but fin it difficult to care for myself?
A: Not any more.

Am I attracted to alcoholics and other people who seem to need me to fix them?
A: Not any more thankfully. I was very attracted to addicts, and now that I am consciously quite turned off by them socially its interesting how they still try to befriend me. I crave genuine friendship and very very often....alarmingly often....find out after starting to get to know someone as a friend who seem lovely, that they want something from me. They don't want me to fix them, they just have ulterior motives of some kind or red flags start to appear revealing dysfunction that is unacceptable to  me. Its a big sigh from me, disappointment. I'm baffled as to how the magnet still pulls...and have to say goodbye to new friends when healthy friendship is something I want so badly. I'm working on this all the time.
 
What is the difference between pity and love?
A:I didn't really pity people who I loved before coming into the program. I was just always upset, feeling like I wanted more love and care from them. I have not pursued relationships with people I pitied. I have felt pity for people I have met and it just feels really sad to me. Love is something I move towards.
 
 
Do I trust my own feelings? Do I know what they are?
A: Nope. I was taught by my parents that my feelings were not valid, so it is very hard work for me to accept my feelings sometimes. I can do it, but it doesn't come naturally. I work at it until I have accepted myself and my feelings these days.
 
It feels great to have worked step 1 tonight. have a great night everyone.
Grace


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Hello Grace Thank you for participating and sharing your thoughts and inner feelings with such honesty. Your perceptions and lucidity clearly addressed the essence of this step.
I am pleased that you found us and ask that you please do keep coming back and sharing the journey

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Betty


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Thanks to everyone that has shared their thoughts on Step One. It really helped me to read through everyone's responses and to realize that we're all on this journey together, no matter where we are in our program, an ol'timer (like me) or a newcomer. Actually being an oldtimer of 26 years, I need to return to the steps and work them as much as the newcomer. That's especially where Steps 10, 11 and 12 come in, but we haven't got there yet, so I'll refrain from commenting on that. biggrin



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Lisa D.


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((Lisa)) I agree- one old timer to another That is the reason i cherish posting on this Board



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Betty


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

I'm having trouble with this question. Logically the answer should be to realize that we truly can't change anyone.
Where is that fine line between "trying to change another person" and speaking out against a certain behavior or attitude that I find intolerable?

Sure, drinking comes to mind. That was intolerable but I'm more thinking of an attitude in a significant other or one of my kids either toward me or that directly effects me. Isn't it our right to speak up?

This question really has me perplexed.
I'm looking forward to reading your commentary hoping for a fresh perspective.

Anna

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Hello Anna
AnnaJ wrote:

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

I would focus on myself, discover what i was doing tot hurt myselfa and  change myself 


I'm having trouble with this question. Logically the answer should be to realize that we truly can't change anyone.
Where is that fine line between "trying to change another person" and speaking out against a certain behavior or attitude that I find intolerable?

Speaking out against an action i find unacceptable  involves keeping the focus on myself, my feelings and not pointing the finger of blame on another 

Sure, drinking comes to mind. That was intolerable but I'm more thinking of an attitude in a significant other or one of my kids either toward me or that directly effects me. Isn't it our right to speak up?

This question really has me perplexed.
I'm looking forward to reading your commentary hoping for a fresh perspective.

Anna

The answers are different for each of us s I urge you to take what you need and leave the rest 


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Betty


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Hello!

A little about myself and how I got here:  I came out of a very abusive marriage of 29 years.  That marriage ended in early 2014 after a long separation of several years and LOTS of mental, emotional, physical, spiritual, and financial abuse.  I do know that my ExH did drink a lot and that he was a child of an AM, and that there were other Dry Drunks in his family.  None of them sought treatment or care through any sort of program and AA was a definite no-no topic of conversation in that family.  They were extremely negative and abusive people, and looking back now I can tell you that I was torn down emotionally, mentally, and spiritually from the get-go.  Ive no doubt that just trying to survive this period of my life and having no earthly clue what was going on, I developed coping mechanisms to make it through each day.  My own family, although they disagreed with how I was being treated, they never fully knew how abusive my home life had become simply because I lived in fear and lost the words to communicate that I was in any kind of trouble. Through the grace of my HP, He did for me what I couldnt do for myself, and delivered me from this awful existence when my ExH showed up one day with a small box truck and gathered a few of my possessions and through me onto the street, literally.  I was distraught in that moment as you can imagine, but I now see the beauty and grace in that moment.  Today, I am BLESSED beyond my wildest dreams.

A year later I met the most wonderful man.  We dated for nearly a year, got engaged, and got married this past April.  From the beginning he was very open about his Proud Membership in AA and shared with me all the details of his drinking days, through to his now 17 years of sobriety, soon to be 18 years.  I cannot begin to tell you the inspiration I felt for the courage he had to make that journey.  He comes from an entire family that are all heavy drinkers, some with the confirmed diagnosis of Alcoholism.  It surprised me to also hear his story because I had never grown up around this disease or really had much knowledge of it until we began talking. (It was also at this time that I acknowledged that much of the abuse I went through in my prior relationship/life was probably due to an Alcoholism issue).  He invited me to attend meetings with him and immediately I was lovingly accepted into this community with newfound groups of friends and AA mentors who loved us and wanted to continue supporting us.  Still, even though I have now heard his story MANY times over, and have spoken to many family members during my RAHs drinking career days it is always hard for me to marry the man I know today as my husband, to this other person that everyone else knew.  It became so easy for me to just chalk it up to the knowledge that alcoholism is a disease and Thank Goodness hes recovered now.  Oh, I was nieve, I know.  But by the Grace of God, still my RAH is a WONDERFULLY supportive and caring man.  I do recognize nuances of the disease in our daily lives, but fortunately, its something Im learning to work with and to understand.  I accept this amazing man and acknowledge all of his wonderful qualities and what he has brought into my life because the good far outweighs the bad.  

On the flip side, just after we became engaged, my RAHs AD showed up on the scene and I got to see this disease for all its worth.  That began my sanity level descent.  I did not know that I had PTSD from my earlier life abuse until we began dealing with Step-ADs disease.  The sometimes violent, and now her vindictive attitude towards me can send me into bouts of extreme fear, shut down, and now more recently Im experiencing panic attacks.  I am also a Diabetic and the stress is not doing well to keep my blood sugar control where it needs to be.  I finally hit bottom this past Christmas and awoke New Years Day to yet another Panic Attack and the thought crossed my mind that I HAVE to start taking care of myself, that I cannot control this situation with these 2 people in my life, that only my HP can take it on.  So, I became involved in Al Anon and absolutely cling to my ODAT BOOK as though it were my Bible.  I read every piece of Al Anon literature I can find, and I am willing to do what is necessary to take care of me, because quite frankly, at this stage my life depends upon it.  And my doctor has confirmed it.  So, I have to come first, and with the additional love and support of my RAH, he is in full agreement that I need to detach from this situation with his daughter, and he is actively doing the same through is own AA network.

STEP 1. QUESTIONS:

DO I ACCEPT THAT I CANNOT CONTROL ANOTHER PERSON, THEIR BEHAVIOR, OR DRINKING? - Knowing what I do now know about this disease and experiencing first hand both the person suffering full-on from this disease, and then a newly sober/dry drunk still affected by the stinkin thinkin of this disease, yes, I accept that I cannot control other people, their behaviors, or drinking, my AH included.  Which was a really hard one for me to accept at first because we are a team in this new marriage, and we have always been so spiritually connected.  When his AD showed up 2 years ago full-blown in this disease, and nursing her all the way through her recovery program, I saw nuances of this disease in my AH which caused me to go through all kinds of emotions that I didnt know I had.  I have gone the gamut of emotions until, after much prayer and meditation, I awoke to the realization that this disease is WAY BIGGER than me and I have no business in even thinking I can control my husband or my step-daughter.  Only my HP can.

HOW DO I RECOGNIZE THAT THE ALCOHOLIC IS AN INDIVIDUAL WITH HABITS AND NEEDS, AND WAYS OF REACTING THAT ARE DIFFERENT THAN MINE? - Again, this is through my personal experiences and observations of 2 family members these past 2 years.  Through LOTS of conversation with my RAH and attending MANY, MANY AA meetings I accept that I see life from a totally different perception than what other people have.  Through this process, Im ashamed to say that my HP has enlightened me to see how judgmental I truly am of other people and this is due to my perception and expectations I place on other people.  Through the Al Anon program, I am learning to have no expectations from anyone other than goals I set for myself.  And I am acutely aware that everyones perception is different from the other.

DO I ACCEPT ALCOHOLISM IS A DISEASE? - My heart and my head have connected on this fact when I began noticing the nuances of this disease in my beautiful husband who is nearing 18 years of sobriety.  Its sometimes in the ways (good and bad) that he deals with situations and issues.  I see him look to his mentors, sponsor, and this program, and constantly reminding himself to not let his emotions take control.  I also see his anger flare up in a split second, and then he tries to control the situation.  I used to run in and assist him with controlling situations until I began to realize this was a part of the disease that still remained intact in his body/persona.  I couldnt fix his problems for him, nor could I control how he was going to perceive things.  Offering him suggestions is another big no-no, so I had to let go and Let God intervene.  This was when I began to experience some peace.  YES, Alcoholism is a disease.

HOW HAVE I TRIED TO CHANGE OTHERS IN MY LIFE?  WHAT WERE THE CONSEQUENCES? - Mental Illness also plays a role in my personal life.  (My mother is bi-polar, and my 2 young-adult children are Autistic).  I have always been the arranger and protector over the people in my life that I told myself needed my assistance.  My aunt told me several years ago that I was holding on too tight to these loved ones and that I needed to loosen my grip.  Then the love of my life comes along and yet again, Im right back in there assisting him and his AD, who didnt want my help.  I will just say we were all miserable and chaotic - TONS of hurt feelings and stress.  For me personally, my physical health detoriated.  I cannot live other peoples lives for them and this has been a HUGE lesson learned on my part.  Today, I just take care of me because I have to at this point, or I wont be around for anyone else in my life.

WHAT BROUGHT ME INTO AL ANON?  HOW HAVE MY EXPECTATIONS CHANGED? - Initially, I came into Al Anon for my RAH back when we began dating.  But I didnt stick around long enough to really learn anything, simply because I didnt yet understand the disease, or what impact it would have on my life.  Now, my Step-AD, and my horrible resentment against her is what has brought me back to Al Anon.  In wanting to regain peace and sanity in my life, I need to gain a better understanding of my wants, and needs, and to also learn about my own character defects that are leading me to feel less peace, joy, and freedom. And because I want to learn how to unconditionally love my Sep-AD with compassion, and to release my resentments towards her, and the control I have given her over my personal feelings.

HOW DO I KNOW MY LIFE IS UNMANAGEABLE? - In trying to control everyone around me I have lost control over my own personal world/self.  My level of peace has been disrupted enough for my physical health to not be optimal, which now puts additional stress on my RAH, my children, and my family.

DO I TAKE CARE OF OTHERS EASILY BUT FIND IT DIFFICULT TO CARE FOR MYSELF? - Yes.  I used to think that being kind to myself was being selfish.  I even had family members suggest the same sentiment to me.  I felt guilty for the longest time thinking about taking care of myself.  But, this is not the case today.  I am learning to find my voice, and to speak up with my needs, no matter how fearful or potentially rejected I may feel.  And for the record, my RAH is my biggest supporter in that I need to take care of myself first and foremost.  (Most probably because this is the lesson he had to learn for himself in order to stay sober all these years).

AM I ATTRACTED TO ALCOHOLICS AND OTHER PEOPLE WHO SEEM TO NEED ME TO FIX THEM? - I can honestly say that I dont know that Im necessarily attracted to these kind of people or situations; they kind of find me.  But, I do notice that when these people/situations show up in my life, I was of the belief that I had to step up to the plate, take charge, and help them.  Now my HP is showing me that I should only be helping to the extent that Im not harming myself or them.  If I help someone and dont do it with a glad heart then I am doing no service to myself or them, and this is not what my HP wants from me.  This bit of knowledge has been a HUGE help in releasing the guilt I often feel/felt when Im no longer rushing in to save the day.  It doesnt mean that I dont care though.  I still have tons of empathy and compassion for people and/or situations like this.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PITY AND LOVE?  - Still working through this one in my head and with my HP.  But my answer to the previous question comes to mind.  

DO I TRUST MY OWN FEELINGS?  DO I KNOW WHAT THEY ARE?  -  No, I do not fully trust my own feelings.  I have learned to not act upon first impulses and to meditate over how Im feeling; dig deep to have a better understanding of what my true motivations are for what Im feeling.  I do recorganize and accept that part of my perceptions and reactions which create my feelings are based upon reactions and feelings that I developed when dealing with trauma in my past life.  So, Im having to get past the physical feelings of what these instances set off in me, and then work through my feelings, understand what my own triggers are.  No, sometimes I dont know what my feelings are, but between my RAH and a therapist, I am working through these situations.  Im learning to not let my feelings take over, aNd to not allow my brain go to that awful place of negativity which will then completely throw me into a very dark place of no peace.  Im a work in progress.  And I definitely have way more better days than bad.  I choose peace and happiness and Im starting to get better at what I allow to control my life just by focusing on myself.

 

Sorry so lengthy in my responses, but finally getting all of this out on paper has been an extreme help to me.

Blessings and Peace to you!

 

 



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Hello PeacefulLove (love your log on name as It says a great deal)
. Thank you so very much for sharing your ESH with such honesty and clarity. I appreciate your ability to acknowledge HP's actions within your life's journey and appreciate your sharing your difficult journey. I too have found hat HP works in mysterious ways. and seeing the gifts helps a great deal.

 
This disease is indeed a challenge and Step one provides the foundation for finding sanity and serenity going forward. Keep on showing up and sharing. I will be moving to Step 2 this week



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Betty


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ALANON STEP ONE( 1-2-2018)


Thank you for letting me share. I hope I am not too late to sharing on Step 1.

I am very new to Al Anon (less than 6 months) but am just starting to work the Steps. I am finding Step 1 to be very hard for me. My fear (which is a very powerful force in my life!) is that by accepting I am powerless, I am giving in to the disease and giving my AH and his drinking all the power...and thereby accepting that his drinking is ok. But on the flip side, I guess I've never really had any power since any attempts of stopping the drinking have been futile and have just resulted in my own insanity!

I pray for strength and courage to get through today with little fear and anxiety.

Thanks again for letting me share my answers to the Step 1 questions:

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

In theory, yes. In practice, no but I pray I will get there. I fear that by admitting, accepting and acting on the fact that I can not control the addiction that I am in sense giving in to the disease, condoning the behavior and giving all the power to the A. In the past, my need to exert control over drinking situations, made me feel less fearful. If I call, text, come pick him up, find him wherever he is, get him home safely, then nothing bad could happen and I would feel less calm. Now that Ive stopped most of these actions, realize how insane they were and that I never had any control at all. If something bad was going to happen, it was going to happen whether I called or not.

Ive also come to realize how many times, Ive begged my AH not to drink, have him promise me he wont, only to have him stroll in hours later, drunk. Obviously I have no control over his actions!

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

By realizing that 10 years of trying to control every situation has not resulted in the outcomes I would have liked.

** Do I accept that alcoholism is a disease?

Again, in theory, I do. But in practice, I dont always. I still take great offense when he chooses to drink instead of coming home to his family and feel that he should be able to just not make that choice. His disease seems to have progressed rather quickly in the past 6 months from monthly binges to daily drinking starting in the middle of the day. So Im learning about the progression of the disease as it is happening.

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

Always! I always seem to have all the answers and know what is best for everyone. And when you dont agree with me, I am relentless in trying to make you see the error of your ways (!) and change your mind to match my viewpoint. Oh my. I repeat myself constantly trying to get the person to change their mind or actions. It is always met with resistance and then ultimately a massive argument.

** What brought me into Al-Anon? How have my expectations change?

I came into Al-Anon when my AHs drinking was getting worse and worse and I was completely crazy. I think deep down I was hopeful that I would learn some tools to help him to stop drinking. But very quickly I realized that the focus was on me and my recovery.

** How do I know my life is unmanageable?

My every waking thoughts were (and still are) about his drinking. Was he drinking now? Will he come home tonight? What time? What will happen tomorrow? I live in a constant state of worry and anxiety and focus on what my A is doing versus what am I doing. Ive done insane things (which I thought were helping him) like pile small children in the car in the middle of the night to go look for him, pick him up, etc. Its just terrible to think of the measures Ive gone to and to think I thought these with sane choices! And of course...none of these things made any difference with his decision to drink or not.

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

Yes and no. I think being a mother, my job is taking care of others so that is something that comes naturally to me and is something Im used to doing. While I dont really take care of myself emotionally, I do physically take care of myself. I eat relatively well, I run often and get a decent amount of sleep.

** Am I attracted to alcoholics and other people who seem to need me to fix them?

This is really my first experience with trying to fix someone. But its been 10 years of fixing attempts!

** What is the difference between pity and love?

I associate pity with feeling sorry for someone who I deem below me or not as worthy as me. To have pity on someone, to me, has a negative connotation, as if I am chastising them for making such a poor decision or judging them for their choices and lifestyle. My love towards my A has, unfortunately, been tied up with my need to control and fix them. Lots of I love you but you need to X, I love you but this way is better, I love you when you are like X and not like Y. Im learning that loves needs to be with respect that another person has their own mind to make their own decisions.

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

I have too many feelings! And my feelings have feelings! But I dont trust my feelings of happiness and gratitude and peace. I like to trust my feelings of fear. They feed off each other and make me crazy!



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Guru

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Date:

Hello Holly Thank you for taking the time to reflect inwardly and share your inner thoughts with such clarity and honesty.
I too thought that if I accepted my powerlessness I would surrender to the alcoholic in control-- Not so said my sponsor As the next Step asks that we come to believe in a Higher Power. This is the power that is in control and once we own our powerlessness we can start focusing on ourselves and grow and change.
Keep coming back as you are not alone .

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Betty


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Posts: 3
Date:

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

I am beginning to accept that I cant control another person. This is easier to do with someone I dont care that much about (like a coworker) than a direct family member. I am better about trying to control my adult daughters or not to give them unsolicited feedback.  My 21 year old daughter is a recovering alcoholic (sober almost 1 year) and watching her recovery and attending Al Anon meetings has been helpful in how I interact with everyone in my life. Also, not to take on the feelings of someone else.

 

How do I recognize that the alcoholic is an individual with habits and needs and ways of reacting in a different from mine? I think its about acknowledging that everyone has their own perspective and that there are two sides to every situation and interaction. 

 

Do I  accept that alcoholism is a disease? I do BUT I think that an alcoholic can make a decision to get help and to treat the disease.  I dont think that someone else can force that decision on an alcoholic. 

 

How have I tried to change others in my life? What were the consequences? I used to but less so now.  For example, if my husband was upset about something (like a problem with his computer) I would try to help or take it away from him.  Often this led to a fight.  Now I just stay away when I see hes upset about something beyond my control. With my daughter, I didnt try to change her but we did take her out of college and made her come home when we felt her drinking had become dangerous.  This allowed her to make some changes in her life which started her road to recovery.

 

What brought me into Al-Anon? How have my expectations change? I first came to Al Anon at the suggestion of my daughter when she had been sober for about 2 months.  I thought it was going to help me to understand her process and her addiction.  Now I now that its for me and my own recovery. I now that if she is going to continue on her path of recovery it has to be her path. I do find the lines of parenting and trying to control a little bit fuzzy at times. I find that Al Anon has positively impacted all relationships in my life because Im staying in my lane.

 

How do I know my life is unmanageable?

I know it when I find myself worrying or obsessing over things that either arent in my control, arent mine to worry about, or that dont need to be worried about currently.  I still find myself doing it but am much more aware that I am doing it now.

 

Do I take care of others easily but fin it difficult to care for myself? I love to take care of others but am good at taking care of myself too.  

 

Am I attracted to alcoholics and other people who seem to need me to fix them? Yes and always have been.

 

What is the difference between pity and love? Love is letting someone grow and accomplish on their own and then I feel proud of them (how a feel about my daughters accomplishments this past year). Pity is feeling sorry for someone and wanting to make it better for them - it will not lead to growth.

 

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

 

Mostly - but there is the voice in my heart vs. the voice in my head. I think the voice in my heart represents my true feelings but I find myself listening to the voice in my head which is the more logical voice. 



__________________
Mimi


Guru

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Posts: 945
Date:

Hello Mimi Thank you for contributing your thoughts and experience to this powerful Step review . Love how you compared the "voice in your head" to your "Heart voice".
Thanks to program I have come to trust my heart voice even when my head voice seems more logical.
Please keep coming back

__________________
Betty
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