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Post Info TOPIC: Alanon Step 1


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RE: Alanon Step 1


Thank you for posting these questions... they are so helpful.

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

Yes.  I am only in control of myself and my reactions to whatever life throws at me.  

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

I have given him the freedom to handle things his own way.  It is never the way I would handle things, and that's ok.  

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

It is a disease borne from his anxiety and trauma.  He does say that he wants to stop.  But I like to think of this metaphor... If you're sick with a disease you still take the medicine the doctor gives you.  Sometimes you get better without medicine, sometimes you need the medicine to help you along.  While it is a disease, personal effort is still required.  He strongly refuses AA due to its connection to God and the higher power.  I struggle with his refusal of this because I don't feel like he's doing everything he can to help himself beat it.  

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

 I kicked my AH out of the house for relapsing, saying that I had set a boundary and he had broken it.  That he needed to leave until he had it under control.  Only then could he return.  What happened after that was just horror.  After spending days on a binge in a hotel room he stopped returning phone calls and his phone went dead.  The police were called and the hotel room opened for a wellness check.  He was passed out on the bed and blew a .400 when they checked him at the hospital.  I told him he needed to go back to rehab, he went begrudgingly and checked himself out less than a week later without telling me.  He just showed up at our home and pretended like nothing was wrong.  I tried to change him and the consequences were more work than if I had just let him be. 

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

I really haven't asked for anything.  It has resulted in a lot of anger and resentment.  I am working on this.  It is hard to tackle... Resentment that my kids have to go through this.  Resentment that we don't feel the same way about our kids.  There is nothing i wouldn't do for them... why doesn't he feel the same way?

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

I used to feel mad, angry, sad.  I started finding my own friends, doing my own things.  This has resulted in so much anger from AH.  He says I am distant.  He wants to come with him to therapy so we can all 3 of us talk about why I'm being distant.  

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

I did stop.  He's angry.  He says i am distant.  Maybe our relationship was just built the whole time on me taking care of him and trying to change him.  Without that, there is nothing?  I guess that means it's over. 

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

Be there and listen.  Act only if asked.  

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

No.  There is no quick fix.  I thought i had this step nailed down.  The world went crazy with corona-virus and i slipped back into this co-dependent control mode like it was yesterday. 

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

 I feel responsible for him because we work together for my families company.  I feel I have to help him because the success of the business in part depends on him.  It was a mistake to get this entwined....  

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

I feel shame when he doesn't show up to work and I have to answer the questions about where he is.  I feel shame when he doesn't show up to the kids school and extra-curricular functions. I'm sick of making excuses for him.  So i stopped.  Some people know the truth, the rest of the people don't need to know anything.  They can think what they want. 

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

I spent a lot of time in Al-Anon a few years ago and lost touch.  I hope to regain that perspective I had before.  It had helped so much.  

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

My mom. Friends.  His family. 

How do I know when my life is unmanageable?

My life is unmanageable when I don't have the mental energy to clean up the house.  I can't summon the energy to do anything but stare at the TV. I retreat into my own head.  

How have I sought approval and affirmation from others?

I don't seek approval from anyone but me now.

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

I used to do this all the time.  I work every day at this.  Held my own just yesterday in fact. 

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

Yes. Constantly. 

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

I feel like I can breathe.  I try to wallow in these moments to help them last longer.  They never last long enough...

How well do I take care of myself?

Not so good.  I'm working on it. 

How do I feel when I am alone?

Glorious.  I started insisting that my AH take the kids to school Friday's while I stay and work from home alone.  It is my favorite part of the week. He's not happy.... but I don't care anymore. 

What is the difference between pity and love?

Pity comes when you have separated yourself from the other.  Love comes from understanding and acceptance.  You can't accept someone and pity them at the same time.  

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

I don't know.  This is my only serious relationship ever.  But... probably. 

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

Now I do. I hear the little voice coming through now.  I used to stamp it down and pretend it wasn't there.  I listen to it now. 

 

Thank you for these questions smile



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