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Step 1: Second time round

Old 12-11-2011, 07:55 AM
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Step 1: Second time round

Figured I'd do it again, since I feel like I'm back to Step 1. I will be truthful, writing the first thing that pops up in my head...right or wrong.

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

Do I accept that I cannot control another person’s drinking? Another person’s behavior?
Truthfully - only 80% of the time. I still believe that I can, at times, say/do something that will change things for another.

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?
The addict does not really care about consequences

Do I accept that alcoholism is a disease? How does that change how I deal with a drinker?
I believe drug abuse/alcoholism is a form of mental illness, because under it's influence, they are not capable of making sound choices. The addiction becomes tunnel vision, seeing nothing nor caring about what's going on elsewhere.
If I believe this, than I can no more talk a drug addict from changing than I can a person who is having a stroke to stop thier symptoms on their own.


How have I tried to change others in my life? What were the consequences?
By keeping them from falling down, so that I don't have to see it, deal with it, etc.
The consequences have been that I have totally lost myself, tired myself out and still have to be super responsible. I can hardly enjoy life anymore

What means have I used to get what I want and need? I let myself get to a point of despair, then cry/scream to others.
What might work better to get my needs met?Getting to a place where my needs get met first and allowing others to fall down.[/COLOR]

How do I feel when the alcoholic refuses to be and do what I want? How do I respond?
I get very, very frustrated and try to put a square peg into a round hole.

What would happen if I stopped trying to change the alcoholic or anyone else?
I'm afraid that that person would die

How can I let go of others’ problems instead of trying to solve them?
By concentrating on my own world instead of theirs.

Am I looking for a quick fix to my problems? Is there one?
I have tried quick fixes and there are none! I'm living proof! For instance, I have bought cars for my adult children, helped with bills, etc, etc. They are deeper in debt, are unemployed and nothing has changed, except more money is coming out of my pocket.

In what situations do I feel excessive responsibility for other people?
If any of my 4 AC have any problems, I feel like I need to help them because I have somehow failed as a Mother. Sometimes, they do not even have to ask for myself. I just give it to them on a silver platter. I have recently stopped myself from doing this when it pops out into my head.
Also, if a friend or coworker is having an issue, I try my best to figure out how I can help them, pushing aside what I want/need. (although I am aware of this and have curtailed it)


In what situations do I feel shame or embarrassment for someone else’s behavior?
Any behavior "out of the norm", such as being arrested.

What brought me to Al-Anon? Desperation!
What did I hope to gain at that time? Serenity and stopping the maddness. I had been to Al-anon yrs back and I did not use the tools or focus on myself Everything was still focused on my addicted spouse at that time.
How have my expectations changed? My expectations are still the same. I still want serenity and to let go of the maddness, even in the mist of it.

Who has expressed concern about my behavior?
Past job...I couldn't seem to keep it together to concentrate. I quit that job b/f I was fired

My health?
My older brother, sister b/c I smoke and they can see the stress I live under day by day.

My children?
Family, again. They see me trying to keep my ACs above board. I've been doing this for 10 yrs and it has only gotten worse. What's so funny is that my ACs will still tell me to live my life and be happy. Give examples.

How do I know when my life is unmanageable?
When I cannot sleep and feel hopeless

How have I sought approval and affirmation from others?
Constantly!! I'm a wonderful employee b/c I will give 150% to make sure I get strokes. However, I realize I get burned out quickly and feel like a failure.

Do I say “yes” when I want to say “no”? Definitely!!
What happens to my ability to manage my life when I do this?
I lose credibility with myself. I no longer trust and believe that I know what it is that I want in life. I feel like a piece of driftwood, bobbing up and down until I either bump into something or the flow takes me to a new place. I don't feel like I'm the master of my ship, in other words. My life feels controlled and motivated by those "outside" things (circumstances, other people's choices, etc).

Do I take care of others easily, but find it difficult to care for myself?
It is nothing for me to cancel a hair appt b/c someone else needs me or I am too tired to make the appt.
How do I feel when life is going smoothly?
LIke I am lying in green pastures on a beautiful spring day...so calm and peaceful. I also feel like everything is right with the universe.
Do I continually anticipate problems? I have a big radar in my brain.
Do I feel more alive in the midst of a crisis? I have actually realized that crisis mode was the norm for me and I felt depressed if nothing was going on. I used to work in an ER and loved it. I know I'm either a little better or wiser, because I now try to avoid crisis situations.

How well do I take care of myself? Again, I don't do a great job of it. However, I do give thought to it more and more. NOw to just put it into action.

How do I feel when I am alone? Well, I do realize that I like being alone, because isolation becomes a safe harbor for me. No one can hurt me, I don't have to "see" anything, and I don't have to "act" like I have it together when I don't.

What is the difference between pity and love?

This one's muddled for me...but here goes
Pity is feeling sorry for someone else's lot in life from a distance. Love is caring about another's well being on a personal level.


Am I attracted to alcoholics and other people who seem to need me to fix them? I have been around nothing but needy people and I do realize why...gives me self worth.

How have I tried to fix them? By being constantly there for them in every aspect and then expect them to "walk a straight line". It's almost like I would say to them "give me your life, I'll live it, fix it, and give it back to you. But, you better not mess it up again". It sounds crazy, but that's how I truly think at times.

Do I trust my own feelings? Just beginning to step back and ask what I'm feeling, first.
Do I know what they are? I'm trying to sort through that. I know that I have been trying to understand everyone else, that I've lost myself in the process. Also, I've been told lies that I believed, so I still doubt myself.

Questions from Paths To Recovery, Al-Anon’s Steps, Traditions and Concepts ©1997
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Old 12-11-2011, 12:31 PM
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this is so on target for me as well. Almost everything was what I was thinking but didn't know how to say. wow. I think it might actually give me a lot to think about. Maybe help me start the process.
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