Grace and Step 1

We must start at the very beginning...it's a very good place to start ( insert Julie Andrews singing voice!)

We must start at the very beginning…it’s a very good place to start ( insert Julie Andrews singing voice!)

I am engaging in a process called, “working the steps.” And, yes, there happen to be twelve of them! { DISCLAIMER: This is my personal journey through the Steps.  It is in no way offering professional opinion or direction.  Please see my post on Addiction for links to help for you or a family member}

Right now I am at Step One, which is probably the most important of all the steps.  I have to admit to myself that I am powerless over the alcoholic in my life. I am actually many, many years away from being knee-deep in the muck of my husband’s disease, but I recently got humble and got myself some much-needed help.

When you are in the trenches of alcoholism/addiction, this is THE hardest thing to admit to yourself because you believe( because you are repeatedly told) that you are a huge cause of the problem – ” I wouldn’t drink if you [ insert any lie here: (1)folded his laundry right, (2)cooked all his meals just right, (3) didn’t have so many opinions, (4) had sex so many times a week, (5)kept the baby from crying, (6) didn’t spend so much money, (7) kept the house cleaner, etc.].”

When you are out of the trenches, it is STILL the HARDEST thing to admit to yourself, especially if you are an anxiety-prone, control-freak, type-A personality, like myself. What do you mean I didn’t cause it, I can’t control it , and I can’t cure it?!  Of course I can, I was the WHY – wasn’t I ?!

NO.

He drank because he chose to.

He drank because he was genetically predisposed to this disease.

He drank because of his own personal demons that had nothing to with me.

Oh, so I was just the scapegoat?

YEP.

So why do I feel so awful inside – like I am going to burst at the seams with anxiety, panic, anger and even overwhelming feelings of sadness?

Because you are still hanging on to all the bitterness and lies, and you haven’t let it go. Your body and mind are still living like it’s the past.  It became such a habit, and now you need to break it.

You need to admit to yourself and to God that you are powerless over the alcoholic in your life.  (You can actually insert any issue that is causing  you pain and confusion for “alcoholic.)

You didn’t cause it.

You can’t control it.

You can’t cure it.

I am not that powerful. But, there is someone who is bigger, stronger and more powerful than any of us.  Someone who can help me lift this burden from my heart and help me live again.  Someone who gave us the very gift of grace and new life.

God.

the amazing gift of grace

the amazing gift of grace

Admitting that I am powerless over the alcoholic/addict in my life brings me a sense of release & hope.  I can control myself, and I need to expect that he will do the same.  I can choose my attitude, I can choose my actions and reactions, I can choose to love with detachment, I can choose to walk away from the situation and not get sucked in to the chaos , and, I can choose to rest in God.

Friends, I am powerless over the alcoholic in my life.  I can’t go on this journey alone. I need God, and  supportive friends and acquaintances who have been where I have, and who are unfortunately going through it now.  I need help, and I am no longer too proud to admit it.

If you are reading this and you are involved with a person who struggles with alcoholism/addiction, take that first step – go to an Al-Anon meeting in your area, seek wise counsel in your pastor or therapist, reach out –  YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

Keep coming back…

Do you have something that you need to admit that you’re powerless over?  This is a safe place, let’s encourage one another…

8 thoughts on “Grace and Step 1

  1. Wow. Thanks for being real. I can feel your pain in believing the lies. We all believe lies about a lot of things in life. It take courage to stand up to those lies. Bless you and I hope that you seek Him to help heal your pain.

  2. I spent an hour at the hospital last night with a dear friend’s family as they waited for everyone to arrive so they could take their son, 34, off life support. He was an alcoholic and his liver began failing while he was in rehab. I don’t want to describe the details, but rest assured it is one of the worst ways to die and it was excruciating on his parents, wife and 2 little girls. I hope he is at peace now, and I hope his wife will attend meetings and receive counseling. I cannot being to describe the suffering for his family, nor my own as my family struggles with addiction. Alcohol is very overt in its application, but other things, like opiates, are less destructive physically and no less destruction emotionally. I think addiction is the single most important disease for us to discuss and research on the planet. Thank you for your own work and words.

    • I replied too quickly. I am SO very sorry to hear about your friend’s family. What a devastating thing to endure. I, too, hope she knows that it’s still good to seek help now, when she’s ready as the codependent seeds have already taken root and they need to be dug up. Much love….

  3. First, I love Julie Andrews and the Sound of Music is in my top 3 favorite musicals of all time 🙂
    Second, you are so incredibly brave and pretty inspiring as you have so candidly shared the journey you are on. Thank you for being so courageous. Your courage will breathe courage into the hearts of others. Blessings to you!

  4. Pingback: Voice – where are you?! | See the Shine * Be the Shine

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