I've added "anxiety" to the list of topics, and attached it to several posts, because anxiety seems to be a common denominator in Al-Anon. From today's reading in Courage to Change, page 306:
"Likewise, when my thoughts race out of control, I need to stop. I may do this by breathing deeply and looking at my surroundings. It can help to repleace the obsessive thoughts with something positive, such as an Al-Anon slogan, the Serenity Prayer, or another comforting topic that has nothing to do with my problem."
I learned how to head off panic attacks with the help of a kindly intern at a hospital, years before Al-Anon, but it wasn't until I got into program that I learned how to quiet the mental turmoil. A popular AA speaker in the States uses the phrase "ravaged by thought." An excellent description of what we do to ourselves. If I don't want to be ravaged by thought, I must be willing to let go of my worries, and not be chewing them over like a cow with its cud, all the while running like a madwoman on the gerbil wheel inside my head.
I need Awareness of what's going on in my internal dialogue, Acceptance of what it is that I can and cannot do, and then I must take Action by using the program tools I've been taught. It's up to me, in the end, because nobody can surrender or let go for me, I must be willing to do it myself.