Step one is an accepting step. Admitting we are powerless over the substance abuse, admitting our lives had become unmanageable. For me, this step was initially true for only the 2nd part. I could admit my life was a mess but I was not convinced I was powerless over the addict. I still believed I caused it due to some parenting mistake. I still felt deeply responsible for it and I just hadn’t figured out what to do to make it right. Everything up to that point I was doing wrong, OBVIOUSLY! I was desperate for answers from others with experience. If I could get the answer by 12:00 Sunday, I would be on my way, thank you very much.
Seriously, the thought of having to go to repeated Al-Anon meetings to find the answers was not in my game plan. HAVING to go at all was just another feather in my “resentment” cap! Fortunately for me, I had to attend 2 meetings a week for 6 months in order to stay “qualified” for a CODA parent counseling course with Kaiser. What else would it have taken? I was head strong against anything that said “I was not in control” and paralyzed with fear of what the future held for my sons.
Fortunately, I was willing. Fortunately I was able to keep quiet and listen for the duration of each meeting. Fortunately, the Al-Anon family accepted me and understood where I was at. Fortunately, people spoke and they told my story. Fortunately, people show up to meetings! So many things to be grateful for and looking back, I am grateful for having Al-Anon to help me – I could not have survived alone in this disease with what lay ahead. As the progressive disease took its course, I was with friends, I had tools and I had others who understood.