I went to a meeting last night where the topic was One Day at a Time. Because I was on the other side of town, I couldn't make my meeting so went to a nearby AA meeting. It was interesting to hear the alcoholics' perspective since I've heard so much about ODAT in Al-Anon.
What I heard about self-pity, fears, and expectations were identical to sharings of Al-Anon without alcohol being in the mix. One person talked about escaping through alcohol because of not wanting to face fears. Once the alcohol was eliminated, then there were other means of escape through daydreaming, sleeping, reading, etc. but the fears were still hidden there beneath the surface. I guess that I'm making progress because the idea of forgiving the past and not worrying about the future seems to be what I'm living at the moment. I'm sure that I also escape by keeping busy and going places where I can meditate and think. I don't feel overcome by fear though or in a state of paralysis because of it.
I think that by living in the day, I'm able to feel much happier and nearly worry free. Listening to the alcoholics talk about their fears made me realize that we have all experienced the same kinds of pain. I just chose not to drink but rather to perfect myself to suit the needs of others. I'm learning not to do that anymore but to spend time doing those things that I need.
This recovery process can have some profound effects on those around you though. My alcoholic spouse is still sober but not being very active in attending meetings or working the steps. I get a lot of guilt tossed my way because I choose to work my program, go to a lot of meetings, and take time for myself. The "dry drunk" behavior is one that is loaded with anger and fear. After talks with my sponsor, I'm learning to detach and not buy into the alcoholic's thinking.