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Once was not enough

Old 08-14-2011, 08:12 PM
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Once was not enough

Complacency & recent events have made me realize I really need to NOT feel like I've "been there, done that" with the steps...
Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over alcohol ~ that our lives had become unmanageable.
Although it has been a while, I can remember the moment, the feeling of when I finally accepted powerlessness, and began taking steps towards healing.
Do I accept that I cannot control another person’s drinking? Another person’s behavior?
OH YEAH. Hard lesson learned, and learned, and learned.....
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?
This is hard for me. I think I know the right thing, but have to remind myself that the right thing for me isn't necessarily the right thing for anyone else.
Do I accept that alcoholism is a disease? How does that change how I deal with a drinker?
I have resentment in this area, but what I'm trying hard to remember is: IT'S NOT ABOUT ME.
How have I tried to change others in my life? What were the consequences?
Utter Failure!! Time and time again.
What means have I used to get what I want and need? What might work better to get my needs met?
In the past, I used manipulation. Now I work to be honest everyday and in every thing I say.
How do I feel when the alcoholic refuses to be and do what I want? How do I respond?
Anger, ultimatums. I need to NOT do this.
What would happen if I stopped trying to change the alcoholic or anyone else?
I would have to give up feeling like I need to make everything right, and be able to let the person live life as the person sees fit. After writing this out, I realize I should say, I can give up feeling like I need to make everything right. (Right in my mind.)
How can I let go of others’ problems instead of trying to solve them?
Really need to revisit this one.
Am I looking for a quick fix to my problems? Is there one?
No and no. This takes time, and daily commitment.
In what situations do I feel excessive responsibility for other people?
I used to feel it for most people in my life. Now, it comes and goes, but I'm making progress because most of the time, I'm able to "let go" and let people be themselves.
In what situations do I feel shame or embarrassment for someone else’s behavior?
Need to think about this one more. I know I feel this more than I should...
What brought me to Al-Anon? What did I hope to gain at that time? How have my expectations changed?
Went to Al-Anon to find help for myself when my husband was caught up in addiction. I go now to maintain my sense of self, my serenity, and friendships I've made there.
Who has expressed concern about my behavior? My health? My children? Give examples.
N/A
How do I know when my life is unmanageable?
I can't calm myself down.
How have I sought approval and affirmation from others?
n/a
Do I say “yes” when I want to say “no”? What happens to my ability to manage my life when I do this?
I am at the will of others.
Do I take care of others easily, but find it difficult to care for myself?
How do I feel when life is going smoothly? Do I continually anticipate problems? Do I feel more alive in the midst of a crisis?
n/a
How well do I take care of myself?
Most of the time, yes.
What is the difference between pity and love?
Pity, for me, involves a feeling of feeling sorry for or better off than another. Love is ideally when people feel they both equally give and receive. Will think on this more.
Am I attracted to alcoholics and other people who seem to need me to fix them? How have I tried to fix them?
No. Tried to fix husband in the past. Crazy-making behavior.
Do I trust my own feelings? Do I know what they are?
Don't trust them but know what they are. I need to trust them, and act on them.
Questions from Paths To Recovery, Al-Anon’s Steps, Traditions and Concepts ©1997
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Old 08-17-2011, 09:09 AM
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I know for me the steps are worked on an ongoing basis, not something to go through and put aside.

I have learned to incorporate them into my every day life.
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Old 08-18-2011, 05:31 PM
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This reminds me of a frequent conversation I used to have with my sponsor. She would ask me what step I was currently working, and I would always answer "Step one and Step xx". It seems every day I am reminded of something or someone else over which I am truly 100% powerless.

It makes me cringe and smile at the same time.
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Old 09-18-2011, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by itisatruth View Post
Do I accept that alcoholism is a disease? How does that change how I deal with a drinker?
I have resentment in this area, but what I'm trying hard to remember is: IT'S NOT ABOUT ME.[/COLOR][/FONT][/SIZE]
Wow, thank you. This gave me a new way to look at this question.
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Old 10-10-2011, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by CatsPajamas View Post
This reminds me of a frequent conversation I used to have with my sponsor. She would ask me what step I was currently working, and I would always answer "Step one and Step xx". It seems every day I am reminded of something or someone else over which I am truly 100% powerless.

It makes me cringe and smile at the same time.
That's kind of how I felt too Cats. Thank you for helping to make more sense of it.

When I went through those Step 1 questions again, it began way back when I felt I wasn't taking my steps or my recovery very seriously. I kind of had those thoughts like....yeah, I remember that...but I'm in a MUCH better place now...I'm good.

Then life happened. Again. I had had the feeling that I wasn't moving forward for a while, yet did nothing to change it. We all get busy, you know. Then, my brother (and family) had a major crisis. Then, RAH decided to almost relapse. And throw all that in with I had just made some big changes/commitments in my career. I was completely, totally overwhelmed. All those old behaviors, all those old ways I used to try started popping up.

So, back to the basics. Going back to this step reminded me of what I can control and what I can't. Thankfully.
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