Thursday, March 1, 2007

Working with others

There is a chapter in the Big Book of AA that addresses working with those who drink, basically with the idea of practicing the Twelfth Step. From reading this chapter, I've thought about some of the co-dependence issues that face spouses and parents of the alcoholic or addict.

What the BB says is that we don't waste time trying to persuade people to stop their destructive behavior if they don't want to stop. This is where detachment with love is necessary. We have to practice our Step One in Al-Anon to realize that we are powerless and that no amount of pleading, manipulating, or insanity on our part can cure the person who is deciding to drink or take drugs.

What the BB instead says is that when the binge ends or a lucid interval occurs, a family member, sponsor or friend needs to ask the individual if they want to quit for good and if they would go to any extreme to do so. If the answer is yes, then the individual should talk to someone who has recovered and who is trying to help others, as part of their own recovery.

This seems like such good advice because it won't work if we force ourselves and our pleadings on another. It hasn't worked before or in as many times as we've tried it. If the individual who has the problem doesn't want to stop, then nothing we can say or do will make the individual stop. It seems that we all need to recall these things when there is a slip or we are dealing with people we love who can't seem to quit. They probably haven't gotten to the bottom yet or realized the seriousness of what they are doing.

Similarly, in Al-Anon, we have to be beaten down by the disease to such a point that we are ready to admit our powerlessness and to turn things over to our HP. If we are still thinking that we can "fix" things, then we aren't ready to make the changes necessary to take care of ourselves.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, I haven't read all of your blogs yet, but they seem really helpful. I have been in AlAnon for about a month now, and it's good, but there are always bad days. It's really hard to go to meetings when your qualifier isn't even in your life anymore, sigh. I just don't know what to do except keep going to meetings, trying to let go (which i havent yet) and keeping in constant communication with my sponsor. ...i'm happy that you posted this stuff though. thanks!


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