Tag Archives: Powerlessness

I Became Willing To Surrender

I didn’t realize how deeply I was affected by alcoholism until I went to Al‑Anon. When I was living in it, around it and next to it, I simply became a part of it and I became an expert at my own role. My role? Let’s fix it before anyone finds out! The trouble was, nothing remained fixed. My frustration and resentment were covered up with denial and determination, accented with my need to control.

One of the first things I learned in Al‑Anon was that I was powerless, and, if anything, I was controlled by the alcoholic. After months of struggling with the First Step, I finally accepted how unmanageable my life had become. When I finally admitted I was powerless and my life had become unmanageable, what followed was a sense of freedom. I no longer felt responsible for the alcoholic.

It was only then that I became aware of not only how stubborn I was, but how strong-willed I had become. Me, surrender? No way was I giving up, because that meant I had failed. I would rather die trying!

I can laugh about that now, because my journey became an endless battle of letting go and taking it back. When I finally did surrender, not only to my powerlessness, but to the Al‑Anon program and my Higher Power, life became much easier.

The freedom that followed gave me the ability to finally let go of what I was not responsible for and move forward to a life of discovering who I was. No longer does my past dictate who I am, but I allow it to be a part of who I am becoming.

Today, I owe everything I am or hope to be to the God of my understanding. He works through Al‑Anon and all those He puts in my life. I am slowly giving the alcoholics in my life their dignity and the right to live as they choose. I’m learning to respect their feelings, their rights and their decisions along with my own. I believe today that God has a plan for each of us, and no one has the right to interfere—least of all me!

By Anne F., Ontario
The Forum, June 2017

 Reprinted with permission of The Forum, Al‑Anon Family Group Hdqts., Inc., Virginia Beach, VA.

I came for a quick fix and found a way of life

As I look back, when I walked through the doors of Al‑Anon, I had planned to stay long enough to find out how to get the miracle of sobriety in my home. I’m still there!

I was broken spiritually, emotionally, and physically. I had given up on everything and everyone. A friend dragged me to Al‑Anon, but I was sure it was hopeless.

After my first meeting, I was still very angry. How could all those people be happy and smiling? Their homes could not be as bad as mine. Fortunately, I wanted to laugh and smile too. A member, who later became my Sponsor, took an interest in me as a newcomer, and I kept coming back.

The slogans and all the tools annoyed me, and I didn’t share. I thought I didn’t need Step One because I was surely in control. I didn’t need Step Two because there was no way I had done anything wrong. Did I ever have a closed mind! But for some unknown reason, I kept going.

One night, I went with a group of women to another group’s anniversary. They had an Al‑Anon and A.A. speaker. My Higher Power moved me that night. Everything I heard there and all that had been shared in meetings made sense. I finally understood powerlessness, and I surrendered.

I started taking care of myself and gave the alcoholic a choice to get help or to go his own way.

I worked the program every day, especially the Steps and Traditions. It became easier. Five years later, we got the miracle of sobriety in our home, and we both work our programs today. But the real miracle was finding me. In Al‑Anon, I learned how to change my life and really live.

By Bertie P., Florida
The Forum, March 2017

Reprinted with permission of The Forum, Al‑Anon Family Group Hdqts., Inc., Virginia Beach, VA.