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Al-Anon – Controlling Situations We Can’t

More Al-Anon Step One Work

“We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.”

With nearly all step work, whether or not it is Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Al-Anon, or another helpful 12-step group, the work is often times more than just a one time sitting; even the first time through. Often times, a lot of issues come up that need to be addressed.

In my last blog post, I admitted that I was powerless over alcohol, and that my life had become unmanageable. I think the hardest part was the transition that I didn’t need to be actively drinking in order for alcohol to rule my days and nights. In that same post I listed a number of questions to ask and then answer. If you’d like to see that blog, go here.

I think there are advantages of being a recovery alcoholic going to Al-Anon Meetings, as I am sure there are disadvantages – some of my experiences are even both. I think it’s an advantage that I understand alcoholism to be a disease. I learned that a long time ago when I first got sober. I think this can also be a disadvantage, as I might be quick to jump on someone who drinks to what I believe an alcoholic does. After all, I know what alcoholism looks like. Right?

Wrong, NO, I don’t. I know what alcoholism looks like in me, and I know what alcoholism looks like when someone comes to me for help. It’s not for me to judge other people and their drinking, as I am only responsible for how I react to someone else’s drinking. I can pour out my spouse’s liquor, nag, plead, punish, and even alienate, but who really loses out in a situation like that? Aren’t I the one who is spending my time trying (helplessly) to control what someone else is doing?

Think about that. It’s a lot of work to control the outcome of every situation that comes into contact with me. The only thing I can control, and sometimes I forget this, is how I come into contact with situations; how I react to those situations. When I came to this realization, a lot more realization suddenly rained down upon me. Mainly how I was trying to get my spouse to admit to alcoholism. How everything would be better if the drinking would just stop. NOW!

What I failed to look at was my own connection with alcohol, and how I was operating from a place of fear. Fear can be such a motivator and de-motivator sometimes. I was afraid if I opened the refrigerator one more time and saw a six pack of beer, a bottle of vodka or wine I would suddenly decide to drink. For those not in the know, relapse doesn’t work that way. Relapse happens long before that first drink. One of the ways it happens is by trying to control the outcome of every situation that comes into contact with me.

That’s exhausting.

Recovery Rob BIO

Recovery Rob is a 47-year-old man who has more than nineteen years of sobriety, whose drugs of choice at one time were alcohol and drugs, and he has worked in and around the field of addiction for more than 20 years. Recovery Rob is a professional writer who has published two novels and is currently working on his third. He has been writing and working as Pat Moore Foundation’s premiere blogger and content writer, which helps keeps Pat Moore Foundation’s addiction and recovery blog top-rated.



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