Saturday, January 9, 2010


I once was the sort of person who made snap judgements, then hasty decsions based upon those judgements. I'd spend 2 hours in a fabric store, finding the perfect material to make myself an article of clothing, yet major, life-altering choices were often made while I was in the grip of confusion, despair, or panic.

I could project entire conversations with the alcoholic inside my head, complete with my witty and slicing comments, (the kind I never make in real life because I can't think of them quickly enough) but I couldn't project myself far enough into the future to be able to discern the possible end results of a choice made today.

Because I felt as though I had few or no choices, I would flail about, trying to get my needs and wants met. More often than not, I was merrily leaping from the frying pan into the fire. And then I could spend my time roasting away in the flames, wishing I'd looked over the rim of the pan before I threw myself out.

A marvellous outcome of practising the Twelve Steps is that I don't do that anymore. I took Step Three:

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

I don't make choices based upon panic, resentment, anger, or frustration nowadays. I think about them for a while first, then I talk to my sponsor, and reason things out with her. If she can't help me with that particular area, I go to another Al-Anon member, and reason things out with them. I pray for guidance. I pray for more guidance. I pray for a sign to let me know I'm on the right track.

Sometimes, I must let go of it, accept it isn't happening on my time, but God's, and practise patience (not a trait I'm oversupplied with, unfortunately.) I used to hate waiting, because I just could not let go; I obsessed. I'm getting much better at letting go, because I've had many experiences demonstrating that my Higher Power has a plan I am unable to perceive at this stage of the process. Time and again, my chosen path will be completely blocked off - I can try going around either side, only to discover them both solidly sealed off to me.

That's an indication to me that I'm not heading in the right direction. I need to stop, sit down, take a break, look around, and see if I can see another avenue opening. Maybe I'm meant to just wait and think for a while; I've learned that isn't the waste of time I used to consider it. I don't have that force of desperation driving me to do something, anything, just to be in motion. I'm not treading water frantically, because I fear if I stop for a second I will drown; I'm floating - my faith makes me buoyant.


  1. Your post today is from your heart and your experience and is so full of the good stuff of Alanon that I just want to type it on my brain for future use. Yes, I had to touch the fire many times because I wouldn't take your word for it that it was hot and would burn me. I'm glad there is room in Alanon for hard-headed, slow learners like me. I keep coming back and it gets better and better each 24. All I can add today to your share is Amen, sister :-D


  2. You'd worked hard to move past your fear to a place of trust and faith. Well done.

  3. This is great. I was doing a search for Al-Anon decision making processes. I'd like to make some kind of flowchart or something visual to help me remember my new tools. Thanks for sharing this!