Starting over, taking step I

Old 09-16-2011, 12:00 PM
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Starting over, taking step I

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

Do I accept that I cannot control another personís drug use? Another personís behavior?
I do now, itís been a long road of disappointments, frustration and anger for me to get it through my head that no matter how good or how b*tchy I am, Iím not going to change anything.

How do I recognize that the drug addict is an individual with habits, characteristics and ways of reacting to daily happenings that are different from mine?
The addict in my life is not a responsible adult especially when it comes to managing money. I manage money better than he does; I probably would still manage money better than him even if he was not an active addict. Itís just not his strong point plus the pull of wanting drugs causes him to spend money foolishly.

Do I accept that drug use is a disease? How does that change how I deal with an addict?
I accept it is a mental disorder which can be classified as a disease. I donít believe it is comparable to the disease of cancer for example in which you can get just by being alive. In addiction, the addict had to make a decision to use drugs at one point in time. He or she was not born wanting drugs, (that might be different for babies born addicted due to the fact their mother was an active user during pregnancy). There are curable diseases and incurable diseases. Are you telling me that addiction is an incurable disease? Is an addict an addict before he or she takes their first hit, or smokes their first joint or before they pick up the pipe? Iím not trying to sound stupid but just trying to comprehend it all. Are some people just born with an addicted gene? I know people who are bi-polar, there is a chemical imbalance there. Is this the same with addiction?
How does it change how I deal with AH? I donít know, I am still trying to digest the first part of this question. Iím hoping when I fully understand the first part of the question, I can act or react accordingly.

How have I tried to change others in my life? What were the consequences?
You know, Iím trying to think back on all of my relationships and up until now, I cannot think of another instance where I tried to changed anyone. In past relationships, if I did not like what was going on, I bailed. With my kids, I pretty much let them be individuals. I tried to encourage my kids to play some kind of musical instrument. However, when they expressed that being in the band was not their bag, I did not push it. When they expressed an interest in something, I supported it. My daughter was in theater and my son was an athlete. I was all in. With my sister, we are total opposites, but we still get along and I admire her differences. In fact, I am a little jealous of some. However, just like with relationships with men, when my sister was tangled up in drugs, I bailed on her. I feel guilty for that. I just did not want to be around it and look at me now, married to an addict, same DOC, Karma is truly a b****. My sister is recovered and so is our relationship, I admire the fact that she is an overcomer.

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

Oh, I have cried, begged, threatened and been very angry. Same old tools of manipulation that most good codies use. The crying deal though, soemtimes I have broken down and just cried out of dispair and hurt however, I have used crying to manipulate too.
What might work better to get my needs met? You know, maybe just being direct. Maybe I should just ask and not assume the other person knows what I want. Maybe just communicating more would help. I not talking about the addiction here. Iím talking about just life besides drugs, you know work, home etcÖ

How do I feel when the addict refuses to be and do what I want? How do I respond?
I feel hurt, and not loved.
How do I respond? I poke out my bottom lip, theoretically. I get cold, b****y, roll my eyes a lot until I cannot stand it any more and than I bust out with trying to shame them. What I do is I punish them as you can see.

What would happen if I stopped trying to change the addict or anyone else?
Well in me, I am sure I would feel relief because it is frustrating to spend energy tring to change something you cannot. However, like drugs, itís a hard habit to break. I think my AH would be relieved, I donít think it would change his using habits one way or the other though.

How can I let go of othersí problems instead of trying to solve them?
If I knew the answer to that, I would not be here. I guess focusing on myself more and otherís less. Heck Iím not perfect. I really need to look in the mirror more often. I think it I start working on me and what brings me happiness, I will be able to let go better.

Am I looking for a quick fix to my problems? Is there one?
As much as I would LOVE there to be a quick fix, I am versed enough in the situation to know that there are no quick fixes. I mean I can give AH the boot and that would eliminate some problems quick but it would not fix me and I am broken.

In what situations do I feel excessive responsibility for other people?
I want everyone to be happy, my husband (not the addict, I what him to suffer), my kids, my parents and my employers. I feel it is my responsibility to be the glue and make everyone happy.

In what situations do I feel shame or embarrassment for someone elseís behavior?
I am embarrased that my husband is an active addict.

What brought me to Al-Anon? What did I hope to gain at that time? How have my expectations changed?
This is my second go round with Al-anon.naranon. The first time I went involved for about 3 months, I was pissed off. I was going in order to learn how to fix my addict. I was mad because I even had to be there. I wanted to show my addict, ďlook I got my big girl panties on; Iím being a responsible adult trying to deal with YOUR issuesĒ. Now I am here because I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. I want to be happy with myself. I want to be able to function no matter what my AH is doing or not doing. Iím tired of him being the focus of all my thoughts. Dang, I just want to be. All I want is to get a grip of the codependency I have seem to be engulfed in. I want to be able to have friends.

Who has expressed concern about my behavior? My health? My children? Give examples.
My therapist Ė he feels I need to try the program again and make a few friends.

How do I know when my life is unmanageable?
Because I spend the majority of my time stressing over AH to the point where my work has suffered, and like I said, I have isolated myself. Even I work, I donít really socialize anymore. I sit in my cubical and I rarely talk to anyone unless they talk to me first.

How have I sought approval and affirmation from others?
Oh man, I am big on needing affirmation. That is another part of my sickness. I am a big approval seeker. I usually seek approval by being the all around nice person and doing for others.

Do I say ďyesĒ when I want to say ďnoĒ? What happens to my ability to manage my life when I do this?
Yes, I do a lot of the time. When I do that, I am not managing my life, others are in control.

Do I take care of others easily, but find it difficult to care for myself?
Not really. I have no problem doing things for myself. I exercise and I always try to look nice. I mean economics keep me from ďshopping till I dropĒ besides, I am not a big shopper anyway.

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?
When life is going smoothly, I am happy. I donít like crisis or drama. In most things, I donít really anticipate problems. When it comes to AH, I usually anticipate the worst.

How well do I take care of myself?
Physically, I take care of myself very well. Mentally, I do not, that is why I am here.

How do I feel when I am alone?
Sometimes I feel relieved. However, I am not one to want to be alone for the rest of my life. Can I be happy with an afternoon to myself? You betcha, welcome it at times. Do I want to be alone for the rest of my life without a partner to share my life with. That is a no. Iím shy so sometimes I feel more comfortable alone when it comes to trying to make friends.

What is the difference between pity and love?
Well, true love is unconditional, like the love God has for me and I have for my children. However, pity is not love. Pity is feeling sorry for someone, loving someone is complex. Pity and compasion are two different things too.

Am I attracted to addicts and other people who seem to need me to fix them? How have I tried to fix them?
I am attracted to folks with issues, I have a deal on my cubical, ďWhat am I? Flypaper for freaks?!Ē However, this is the first time I have set out to fix someone. I first tried to fix my AH with love and trying to build up his self-esteem. I thought if I treated him with love and built up his self-esteem, it would make him realize he was too good to do that to himself. OMG, boy was I wrong, it donít work like that. So when that did not work after years of trying that, I resorted to making AH feel guilty and bad about himself for being such a drug addict. Thatís been going on a little over a year. That does not work either BTW. So, I give up on trying to fix him. I guess I had some god complex going on thinking that I could save someone. Iím not God and I am tired of trying to be a savor. I cannot save him from himself.

Do I trust my own feelings? Do I know what they are?
I can honestly say that I do not trust my own feelings right now. I have a mixed bag of feelings going on and they seem to change when the wind changes. There are some feelings about certain situations that I trust but when it comes to AH, I am all mixed up inside.
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Old 09-18-2011, 01:26 PM
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Thank you for sharing this.
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