Step One: Resistance

Old 01-08-2012, 08:43 PM
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Step One: Resistance

Well, I'm an adult child of an alcoholic, just ending a relationship with someone who was an alcoholic in denial, and my sister just told me she's an alcoholic. I've gone to two Al-Anon meetings, and will continue to go, but am hoping to work out some of my resistance here.. Here Goes:

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

I'm not sure I want to admit my life is unmanageable.. I just feel crazy, emotional, and like it is out of control, but I long to be strong enough to manage it all. I hesitate with the powerless over alcohol. This means there is nothing I can do to control a situation? It makes me so sad and angry to really surrender to that thought.

Do I accept that I cannot control another person’s drinking? Another person’s behavior?

I understand that I cannot control another person's behavior. I do intellectually understand, but accepting that there is nothing I can do. Well, is there something? I know I cannot control the drinking. I struggle with the behavior.

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, I recognize that there are many differences, but I've got to be honest it makes me wonder if the fact that I drink makes me an alcoholic? Sometimes I react to a rough day with a glass of wine. I know it is a disease and that I have control (intellectually.)

Do I accept that alcoholism is a disease? How does that change how I deal with a drinker?

Yes, I accept that alcoholism is a disease. I don't know the how to deal with a drinker answer yet. I know my compassion and empathy are increased, but I do not know how to be supportive in a way that also enables me to feel grounded and stable.

How have I tried to change others in my life? What were the consequences?

Well, how have I not tried to change others? the consequences have ranged from bad to worse when I have tried to change someone else, but I have had positive experiences helping others change themselves.

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

I used to be the queen of passive aggressive island. These days I am asking for my needs to be met honestly and humbly. It works to accept help when it comes my way, even when I may not welcome it.

How do I feel when the alcoholic refuses to be and do what I want? How do I respond?

I feel frustrated, angry, out of control. I respond by feeling crazy, overwhelmed, powerless and losing my spiritual grounding.

What would happen if I stopped trying to change the alcoholic or anyone else?

I might have two feet on the ground instead os half of a toe. I might actually be available to be supportive in a way that is conducive for me. I might learn and grow as a person.

How can I let go of others’ problems instead of trying to solve them?

I can hand them over to my higher power and trust, even though this is not easy.

Am I looking for a quick fix to my problems? Is there one?

Yes, I'm looking for a quick fix. I'll sell my house, move across the country and care for my sister. She'll be all better and so will I. I wish it were that easy. No, there is no quick fix and I don't have peace with that yet.

In what situations do I feel excessive responsibility for other people?

In my work as a teacher, I feel excessively responsible for my student's external needs that I have no control over.

In what situations do I feel shame or embarrassment for someone else’s behavior?

I feel shame about my sister's problem and the places it takes her.

What brought me to Al-Anon? What did I hope to gain at that time? How have my expectations changed?

I want to become better person and be able to stay grounded show that my love is present and not hidden behind my own craziness. I hope to gain an understanding of the program, myself, healthy patterns, and to grow.

Who has expressed concern about my behavior? My health? My children? Give examples.

My therapists have told me for years to go to Al-Anon.

How do I know when my life is unmanageable?

I don't have emotional regulation. I feel stressed and lose interest in and ability to care for myself.

How have I sought approval and affirmation from others?

autobiography withheld. I have and do, professionally.

Do I say “yes” when I want to say “no”? What happens to my ability to manage my life when I do this?

I have gotten better at this. I still do sometimes.

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?

I caretake easily. I care for myself easily (when I'm grounded). I LOVE when my life is going smoothly. I do anticipate, problem solve and respond proactively to problems (or perhaps this is my guise of control). I do well in crises.

How well do I take care of myself?

I'm good at self-care 70% of the time.

How do I feel when I am alone?

I feel calm, capable, and can feel like I ought be doing more.

What is the difference between pity and love?

Love is acceptance, nonjudgement, and appreciation. Pity I think holds less appreciation and more tolerance

Am I attracted to alcoholics and other people who seem to need me to fix them? How have I tried to fix them?

Yes, I have tried to control their drinking.

Do I trust my own feelings? Do I know what they are?

No, I do not. I have excellent intuition that I rarely let guide me, but I am getting better at this. Hence I am here, now.

Thanks for reading and I welcome feedback.

Questions from Paths To Recovery, Al-Anon’s Steps, Traditions and Concepts ©1997
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Tuffgirl (01-10-2012)
Old 01-10-2012, 02:05 PM
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Welcome to SR, sky.

How did you feel after answering these questions?

I know when I worked through step 1...the thought that my life was unmanageable was easy to accept because I could feel it. To me, feeling crazy is unmanageable. And part of that craziness came from not being able to accept that I had any control over this disease.

Step one for me was the admittance that I was in over my head, I needed to let go of my alcoholic loved one, and I needed to seek support and guidance from people who have been down this road before.

Join us over in the Friends & Family of Alcoholics forum. Lots of great people, resources, and laughs there. It's where I found my sanity again.
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