I'll start here

Old 09-12-2011, 08:51 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Northern Illinois
Posts: 19
I'll start here

I have been lurking and thinking and taking it all in. I thought a good place to start would be at the beginning so here I am. Thank you.

Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over alcohol ~ that our lives had become unmanageable.

Do I accept that I cannot control another personís drinking? Another personís behavior?
I do accept that I cannot control other peoples drinking or behavior. It is so frustrating because I am on the outside looking in but I am coming to the conclusion that if a behavior is modified for a moment the end result is frustration with me and leads to an argument.

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?
Oh there is no denying that our reactions and beliefs are very different. I sadly realize this each and every day.

Do I accept that alcoholism is a disease? How does that change how I deal with a drinker?
I am trying to accept it. It is extremely frustrating to deal with the drinker. Or drinkers as the way that he thinks is ridiculous and out of line.

How have I tried to change others in my life? What were the consequences?
ChangeÖthat might be strong. Encourage to see other ways and meet in the middle might be more of a correct statement. Regardless the consequences were the same a huge argument with more frustration than anything. Now I canít even discuss anything regarding parenting or basic manors without a ďyou are so controllingĒ I donít understand this as some of this is basic life skills such as it is polite to let everyone finish eating before leaving the dinner table. Letting loved ones know where you are if you are going to be late.

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 have used everything, nice words, mean words, threats, removing things. Yelling asking nice trying to work together. At this point my needs are absolutely not met whatsoever and I donít see a solution in site as every single thing revolves around him and not our family or myself.

How do I feel when the alcoholic refuses to be and do what I want? How do I respond?
Sadness, anger, hurt feelings. Withdrawn, tears, angry words.

What would happen if I stopped trying to change the alcoholic or anyone else?
Nothing would changeÖwhich is exactly what has changed thus far as well.

How can I let go of othersí problems instead of trying to solve them?
I need to just give it to God because I can barely handle my own problems without taking on someone elseís

Am I looking for a quick fix to my problems? Is there one?
If there is one things I have learned in life it is that there is no quick fix. That band-aid usually leads to something bigger later one.

In what situations do I feel excessive responsibility for other people?
Family situations or situations with friends. I feel responsible when the alcoholic is embarrassing or drinking excessively. I feel like I have to make excuses.

In what situations do I feel shame or embarrassment for someone elseís behavior?
Oh I sort of just answered this. Very recently though I went to a party at an old friends house. My husband must have been drinking all day as by 8 pm he was swaying and practically passed out. Instead of waiting for my daughter to come back with the car He ended up walking 4 miles home as I was unable to drive him at the very moment he asked. He was hovering on the food and just a mess. I was totally embarrassed and he didnít care in the least. A few days later he blew off my 92 year old grandmaís birthday party and I felt such shame that he couldnít be bothered to celebrate a milestone for someone near and dear to my heart. I am embarrassed and shamed every time I go to pay the bills and I am short yet again or open the cabinets and they are bare but his beer stock is full.

What brought me to Al-Anon? What did I hope to gain at that time? How have my expectations changed?
I grew up in an alcoholic home and have been being told to go to Al-Anon for years and years. I finally went with a dear friend who is going through a divorce. I really didnít know what to expect at all. I guess I was looking for hope and help in dealing with all of these people who surround me.

Who has expressed concern about my behavior? My health? My children? Give examples.
The better question would be who hasnít. Oh wait that would be my alcoholic but everyone else is very concerned with me not taking care of myself of my surroundings. I am in trouble at work, I am in financial ruins, sometimes I have nothing more to give to the kids as I am just emotionally spent. My friends would like me to have joy and I would just like to have some self respect.

How do I know when my life is unmanageable?
Every single area of my life is a total mess and I just donít even know where to start to fix it. I guess that is what I am looking for in Al-Anon, a starting place. I know I have to do all the work but it is nice to know that his behavior is not normal and I am not losing my mind and marriage isnít like this.

How have I sought approval and affirmation from others?
I actually donít do this very much. I am pretty much a non conformist so I am not looking for other peoples approval.

Do I say ďyesĒ when I want to say ďnoĒ? What happens to my ability to manage my life when I do this?
I try not to say yes unless I really can.

Do I take care of others easily, but find it difficult to care for myself?
Yes Ė I am a mess but I care for others with no problem
How do I feel when life is going smoothly?
You know I love it! My favorite quote that I made up isÖI worked really hard to make my life this boring. The problem is that my life is no longer like that and I miss it.
Do I continually anticipate problems?
Yes because there always seems to be several with loved ones.
Do I feel more alive in the midst of a crisis?
No I feel more stressed out and that paralyzes me and I canít do anything. It is a no win situation for me.

How well do I take care of myself?
Horribly, I have let myself get very overweight and even as I shovel the food in my mouth that I know is not good for me I keep doing it.

How do I feel when I am alone?
Sometimes lonely and sometimes at peace it depends.

What is the difference between pity and love?
I donít knowÖself respece

Am I attracted to alcoholics and other people who seem to need me to fix them? How have I tried to fix them?
I sure am. I didnít date for almost 6 years because I donít know how to have a normal relationship. I donít feel I deserve it nor have much to offer someone who isnít drunk or stoned, like I am not fun enough, pretty enough sexy enough interesting enough. I ran into an old friend and started dating. He did drink to much but I over looked it because he as such a good guy and I was so lonely. It was so nice to feel smart, sexy, beautiful, and loved. We married had a child and bam here I am alone and broke but at the same time married and strapped down with even more debt and more baggage then I ever could have imagined. I didnít date because I didnít trust myself. It turns out I was right I had worked so hard for my simple life with no drama only to thrust me and my girls right back into it when I should have been older and wiser.

Do I trust my own feelings? Do I know what they are?
No and no but I know they are a mess.
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Old 09-12-2011, 09:03 PM
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Thanks MeFirst, and welcome! It took some courage for you to post those responses. working thru the steps has been very helpful and healing for me, especially when i can do it in the company of others who are working them too - all of us on a path to our own discovery, recovery and healing.

Again, welcome. I'm usually sorry for the circumstances, but happy to meet another recovery friend!
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Old 09-18-2011, 01:32 PM
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Thanks for working through this here. A lot of your answers could've been written by me!
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