The first step in the AL-ANON program is this:
We admit we were powerless over alcohol — that our lives had become unmanageable.
Personally I appreciate that we start this sentence with we. It really shows that we are not alone in this process or even in the position we find ourselves in. I think this is the second hardest thing to do, just repeating this sentences together as a group and slowly letting the words sink in meeting after meeting. What was the first most difficult thing for me? Well, getting to the meeting.
I felt ill all that day knowing it was meeting night. I was ok as i left the house but i started crying hysterically as soon as i put the key in the ignition! I put the car in reverse and pulled out of the parking lot. I couldn’t see where I was driving through all my tears. I was nervous and felt so empty and alone. Disappointed was this really my life? Was i on my way to a “meeting” for real? Incomprehensible! Never never never had I believed it if you would have told a younger version of me that this was to be my future! I considered just pulling off on the side of the road, crying for and hour and then driving home. Who would know? Everything is anonymous i didn’t have to tell anyone what i had heard or said there. Thank goodness for the short prayer i uttered, i needed strength just to get there! I eventually calmed down when i arrived at the building.
I’ll tell you the only thing i remember about the first six months of meetings is looking forward to my wednesday nights. MY wednesday night because i knew this was going to be the only way to start changing things in my life. I of course thought I would learn lots of great tricks to “help” , “change”, “save”, “heal” the closest addict in my life. I spent the week keeping a tally of the stupid, horrible, selfish things he did during the week so i could tell the others in the group, through my tears, all about the terrible things i was trying to survive. I cried and cried and cried. They listened and shared their experiences, but no advice or opinions about my situation. I was waiting for advice. Some direction. Or, honestly I just wanted someone to tell me what to do, give me a step by step plan to save myself. You know what my favorite meeting leader said?
“One day at a time, take it one day at a time”
I hated that! I didn’t understand it! I couldn’t do things one day at a time I had three children the oldest being just five! No relatives from my side of the family anywhere close. No friends anymore. No job. No nothing. Just problems and three”little people” along for the ride.
I started working through step one as I will continue to do many times in my life.
I realized i could live in the moment and actually find some joy therein! I could laugh and be silly with my children if even just for a few minuets EVEN if the day had been chaos. I didn’t have to worry about the bills to be paid at the end of the month I could think instead what steps can I take TODAY? Is there a job i can apply for today?
It was so hard my thoughts were chaotic and erratic. I was so scared about everything! I had such angst and stress attacks, couldn’t sleep or eat by this point. So” one day at a time” was seriously almost impossible for me.