Discussion Topic

Step 1 - Questions 12 - 13

Posted on 01/11/12, 09:45 am
12. What brought me into Al Anon? What did I hope to gain at that time? How have my expectations changed?

13. Who has expressed concern about my behavior? My health? My children? Give examples.
Showing 7 Replies
  • Reply #1 01/11/12  2:08pm
    Actually I have thought about Al-Anon for years. My mom was an abusive alcoholic. I just don't know why I didn't take the First Step back then and learn more about the fact that it's not ME. I have to say that bean22 got me thinking about it more and more. (Thank you). I have not actually gone to a meeting yet, but I did just the other day look up info on meetings in my area. Next step is actually going. Until then I do read alot of info on this site.

    I hope to begin to understand that there are many others in the same situation that have learned acceptance and forgiveness. As I don't have a support system, I hope to gain support and maybe friendships. I can't say my expectations have actually changed since I have not actually gone to a physical meeting.

    My son has expressed concerns about the company I do and/or have kept with the alcoholic in my life. He knows I have health issues, and knows how I've been hurt. The stress of being in this situation does affect my health as far as my blood sugars, etc. I would become some upset and frustrated at times that I would just start screaming, pleading, etc., which would lead to me shaking and just not feeling well. As far as my son, there have been numerous occassions when I have called him over just because I could not deal with the situation, which in turn has caused him much stress.
  • Reply #2 01/12/12  7:08am
    Gee, thanks Donna! I have finished part A of question 12.

    We admitted that our lives were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.

    12. What brought me into Al-Anon? What did I hope to gain at that time? How have my expectations changed?

    Confusion brought me to al anon. Also, so that I don’t continue my un-relentless trend of beating myself up at all times in all ways: I had NEVER heard of Al Anon. I knew of AA but had NO IDEA Al Anon existed or what it was. While I am $disgusted$ with how I allowed 3 years$ on questionably productive couple’s therapy to continue… I am eternally grateful that the therapist clued me in to Al Anon as we parted ways. (Once my husband was told by the therapist he needed at a minimum Outpatient care for Alcoholism-when the manipulative gig was up he no longer wished to attend therapy. He now never talks of our time in therapy.)

    My husband’s view of therapy was to treat it as a courtroom to prove I was crazy and have me on medication. Probably and I doubt he was aware of it but so I would be more malleable to his needs. Yes, in some ways I was crazy with codependency, raw honesty (I had no idea my husband would go into therapy less than honest) and hormones (I was pregnant with my 2nd). Even though my husband was VERY much a solid functioning alcoholic at the time and the therapist was charmed by him his problems and cycles of destruction and abuse started to become increasing apparent and worthy of deeper probing. No one could side step it any longer.

    What did I hope to gain at that time?
    I wanted my husband to stop drinking and become present in the marriage, emotionally, physically, spiritually and financially. I had very good reasonable intentions. I was angry but I now realize that it was misplaced. I should have used that anger to constructively make decisions I needed to make for my children’s safety and mental health.

    How have my expectations changed?

    Wow, my expectations are unexpectedly upside down! What came out of my gentle Al Anon meat grinder???

    I now expect to improve my conscious and unconscious contact with GOD. GO freakin’ figure.

    Yes, MY contact with god. Not even the alcoholic’s contact with god. My contact.

    NOT how I can improve my life by checking off on my busy list actions X, Y & Z (although admittedly one can never take enough positive actions through, good decisions, clarity, solid steps, principles and traditions). But you know why I mean. I have a long way to go but already I am now living in 3D with my new spiritual life. And although my alcoholic affects me greatly it’s no longer the primary issue. That central bondage of hopeful expectation is released. And yes, things are very bad around me and about to get worse but I’m really excited about my future.

  • Reply #3 01/13/12  1:27am
    I came to alanon--I believe as an answer to a prayer to learn to forgive my EX for years of lies, betrayal and deception. I really had little expectations other than knowing that ''it can't get worse'' than what it was.At that time, I was pretty low--I guess at my own bottom.

    I remember in the beginning my focus was all on him. I am not sure when the shift changed. I remember in the first meeting, the person said something to me about alanon helped her see her own selfishness. My reaction was that it would be awfully hard after years of mopping up after him, sacrifices, trying to make sense out of lies and deception to see MY SELFISHNESS.

    However, it really was not long before the miracle started and I started to really see my own sickness and also saw a path to a much better life.

    As to who has expressed concern......I remember a friend (who has been in recovery as a double dipper for decades) one time said to me, when I told her about my EX's first affair ''I will listen to you and I will be sympathetic this time and listen to you talk about him. Your husband craps on you again and I am going to talk about you.'' I had no idea what she meant by husband taking another crap on me (not really understanding that I could walk away from unacceptable behaviour) or why we would talk about me when he was the one cheating!!!! Incidentally she is the one who first suggested alanon to me. Now I realise that for some years she saw a much larger problem, but with wisdom perhaps knew a moment may (or may not) present itself for me to open my mind.

    I reflect back on many instances where I perhaps had opportunities for enlightenment and remained closed.

    Because I have been in a period of focussed recovery, people are no longer really expressing concern, but rather genuinely sharing in my good progress and joy. A former colleague recently responded to my holiday greeting and pic of myself with my children. I have lost a good 50 lbs. She said you are slim and look 10 years younger. What is the secret? That recognition felt good. I just told her ''I have really worked on me and am feeling pretty good about myself and life in general--I guess the inside is showing up on the outside!''
  • Reply #4 01/13/12  6:58pm
    We admitted that our lives were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.

    13. Who has expressed concern about my behavior? My health? My children? Give examples.

    you know this question is very difficult to answer because no one expressed concern until the bitter end just in the last few months. My In-laws are in complete denial and as I began to tell family and friends everyone was shocked. We must have painted on hell of a picture. I suppose it takes a lot of isolation and dysfunctional emotional maintenance to contain such a mess!
  • Reply #5 01/15/12  11:06am
    Alcoholism is a family disease that affects the immediate family but sends its dysfunctional systems out to other family members and becomes a generational issue.
  • Reply #6 01/23/12  1:00pm
    12. What brought me? Suggestions from friends and DS friends who know that we need to nurture our own selves before we can enjoy a fulfilling and productive life.

    13. Who has expressed concern about my behavior? For the most part, I function as though nothing is wrong (at least in my own eyes). Although I'm not sure I've had anyone concerned about my behavior, per se, but possibly the behavior of internalizing too much stress over it all.
  • Reply #7 01/23/12  1:16pm
    12. I can to Al Anon at the suggestion of a therapist at my son's first rehab. I went thinking I would get a blueprint of how to change my son and get him to stop drinking and destroying his life. That was many years ago. I learned slowly that the program was for me to heal from many issues that I carried within me. Control, relentless comparisons with other people, fear, anger and resentment.

    13. Actually the only people who showed concern were therapists because I put on a happy and together mask when I was in public. I functioned very well, thank you very much. I wasn't showing the real me with my real feelings. I've learned to do that in program.


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