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Looking into Step 3 of Al-Anon

Continued from: Al-Anon – Working Step Two

Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

I think this step has been a bit unclear for me so far, well, at least through Al-Anon. In AA I think I know it, but Al-Anon, it’s become more of a challenge. Even as I type the words I find my ego clawing up to the top to tell me to not type that. The fact is this: I don’t know everything there is to know about any 12-Step Program. I am constantly surprising myself. What also plays into this is that most excerpts I read in Al-Anon, and most people I listen to in Al-Anon are not recovering alcoholics, but mostly people who live with active or recovering alcoholics/addicts. Maybe my ego tries to rear its ugly head by telling me I ‘at least know more than them.” Wrong.

That being said, I think Step 3 of Al-Anon comes clearer if I review Step 1 again (that I am powerless over alcohol, and it doesn’t matter if it is me or someone else drinking).

From time to time my life can be consumed with drinking, not my own drinking but others’ drinking around me. I think maybe an example here would be good. Last Saturday, I met up with my spouse and few old work associates. The three of them had been together earlier; they’d been site-seeing. I’d just gotten back from a long road trip, and was a bit tired, but it was supper time and they were going out to eat. I opted to join them, and explained how I needed to first bring my bags back to the house, shower, and then I’d meet up with them in about 20 minutes. They said they’d have a drink at the bar and grab a table when I arrived; completely normal as far as I was concerned. I rushed and made it in the 20 minutes I’d said, but only to discover we needed to find another restaurant. Apparently the dining establishment didn’t have a full bar.

At first, my mind said, “Um….I thought we were eating?” and secondly my mind said, “Keep your mouth shut.” Of course they hadn’t found another place, and I was really hungry. I got on the phone and found a place with a full bar and we went to there. If I am being honest, and I always need to be I would tell you right here and now that my mind did NOT shut off about the alcohol. Why couldn’t they get though dinner without a “full bar drink?” Do they have a problem with alcohol? It took a while but eventually it went away, but not until we were halfway done with dinner.

One of the many things I am re-learning is that it’s okay to have the thoughts, but it’s what I do with my thoughts that matters. I say the Serenity Prayer often, and am constantly turning my will over to my higher power. It is what it is. People drink, and it’s alright for them to be particular about their alcohol. I can’t control it…it is not my will.

It’s just not easy sometimes, and I am working on this and I ask for guidance every day.

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. Having just recently launched his own website,, he hopes to reach out and continue to help others who work through their process of addiction and recovery. 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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