Monday, June 15, 2009

Step One.

"Admitted we were powerless over alcohol,and our lives had become unmanageable."

Step One is surrender. My dictionary defines surrender as: "to yield, to deliver up."

When this was explained to me, as a newcomer to Al-Anon, I felt an immediate, furious resistance. Why should I surrender? My entire focus was upon making the alcoholic, my ex-husband, surrender. After all, I had right on my side; he was causing anguish to all who loved him: he was destroying his health and sanity: he was ruining his business...all true, all irrelevant to my recovery.

Al-Anon is for us, and until we can shift our focus from the doings of the alcoholic to our own small arena, we may not be able to see just why we need to take Step One. I came to it only when I was so exhausted from all my other efforts, and their obvious futility, that yielding began to seem less an abandonment of responsibility, and more a relief from the stress and obsession which consumed my every waking hour.

I don't live with active drinking anymore, I've got a new and different set of life-problems. I use Step One when I am feeling overwhelmed by life. I use it when I can't find my balance, because I'm unable to extricate myself from whatever circular thought pattern in which I happen to be entangled.

When I awoke this morning, and was putting on the coffee and feeding the dogs, I realised I needed to take Step One again, to deal with the stresses of death and illness of those I love.

I am powerless over all of it. What can I do? I can extend a loving hand of support, I can speak of my feelings, I can offer to help out with the daily round - but I can't change the fact of the illnesses, not with all the wanting of my heart can I change the facts.

I work Step One to regain my centre, my balance, my serenity.


  1. Cheryl,
    I say amen to your blog. It was put so perfectly. Thanks for reminding me that I sometimes need to remember to take Step 1 when situations seem's usually because they are just that.

  2. I like to revisit Step Three more than I like to revisit Step One. I took the step of surrender and now I trust in my HP.