Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Step One.

"Admitted we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives had become unmanageable."

When I forget this, I will be reminded, either in a slight and gentle nudge by the universe, my Higher Power, life, or in a smackdown which effectively flattens me. I will find myself sitting on the mat again, wondering where that blow came from, it happened so quickly, I didn't even see it coming. I took my eye off the ball, I was hitching up my trousers instead of paying attention, I got lazy, I didn't feel like carrying my end of the load, whatever the reason or the excuse, it happens. I lose my focus, and when I do, I lose my serenity.

I'm not suggesting that it's easy, to keep our focus when the alcoholic is acting out, either in drunkenness, or in sobriety, but it's vital for our equilibrium.

From the Al-Anon ODAT, page 116:

"...although many of us feel we should be able to correct a situation which is causing us so much suffering."

That's where I get into trouble, I feel as though I "should be able."
I'm an intelligent, capable adult, I've managed other areas of my life successfully, I've accomplished this, I've mastered that, why can't I do this one thing? Why? WHY?

"Why" is irrelevant. I could be given a satisfying reason, and within a very short time, I'd be back, asking for another. Reasons do not solve my problem; reasons do not give me serenity.

Surrender allows the peace of my Higher Power to flood my heart and mind. There have been many days when I've suddenly come to my senses to realise that what has felt like trying vainly to hold the door of myself closed against a massive wall of water, is in truth, my having turned my face away in denial, from a truth I already know so well - that I am powerless.


  1. Another excellent post!! I am a firstborn and am highly responsible and I always feel like I should somehow be able to handle/manage/cope better when it comes to my husband's addiction. Powerlessness is not a feeling most people enjoy...but, in Al-Anon it is freeing to realize ( and re-realize!!!) that when it comes to another's addictions and compulsions and choices, we are definitely powerless! Denial is common in the spouses of all chronic and devastating diseases ~ we unconsciously deny that which brings us the most pain...that which we hate, or are not ready to admit.

    We can, however, make choices and decisions about our boundaries, and our reactions, so that as you so aptly describe, we can maintain our equilibrium during stressful times. That massive wall of water weighs a ton, and it's such a relief to stand aside and let it rage on through!


  2. the 'should be ables' got me, too. Thanks for this...it helps me explain some things that have been stuck in my heart for a while.

    I would like to link this in an upcoming post, if that is okay with you....(?)

  3. I had a day like that yesterday. I kept wondering why I was having one of "those" days. You know, the kind where I was feeling old feeling, hearing old tapes, the committee in full session in my head. I got thru the day, not like I wanted, but I got thru it and found some gratitude at the end of the day. It is tiring for me to be on that treadmill of why's, shouldas, couldas, buts, and what ifs. Yep, powerlessness is where I need to start today. :-D


  4. I used to think that because I was so intelligent and capable that I could get others to do as I thought they should. What an ego! I am relieved to not have to figure out someone else's life for them.