Last week things were pleasant and I hoped that they would continue. This week I’m beginning to answer questions with the help of Al-Anon’s 12 Step recovery program.
Then – 3/2/2004
“Journal question – Do I accept that I cannot control another person’s drinking? Another person’s behavior?
I do accept that I cannot control ‘Carl’s’ drinking but that doesn’t mean that I like it or that I’m at peace with it yet. His behavior still has an affect on me; if he’s upbeat I wonder what’s going on; if he’s down I wonder what I did now or what’s bothering him. I need to keep repeating the 3 C’s to myself:
I didn’t cause it
I can’t control it
I can’t cure it
Journal question – 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 think I still have a hard time removing myself from the equation. It’s hard to stop wondering why he’s in the mood he’s in and if it has to do with me; stop worrying about how he’s behaving and look at myself to see how I’m behaving. Am I being true to myself? Am I letting someone else affect my behavior, thoughts and feelings? It doesn’t mean that I do not have compassion for anyone; it should mean that I have no control over the good or bad that is going on with them.”
Now – 5/22/2011
It’s amazing how the universe sends you a message through various people and each time you ignore the message, someone else shows up to repeat it. People had mentioned that I should go to Al-Anon and my answer was “He should be going to meetings, not me. I don’t have a problem other than his problem.” So I fought the idea, assumed that I was smart enough to figure this all out on my own and ignored every suggestion. Then my therapist mentioned Al-Anon and my mother and a friend and……so eventually I went to my first meeting to shut everyone up. 7 years later I can say that the program saved my life.
Answering those questions in my journal was the beginning of learning to keep the focus on myself, the end of my role as a victim and the end of my belief that I could handle everything on my own. If I was answering a question about what I believed or thought or felt, I wasn’t totally focused on him….ah ha!
I was slowly admitting to myself that my life had become unmanageable and I was willing to take a look at what worked for other people in similar situations.
Next week – Is it really a disease?