One of the big things that people desperately want when they come to Al-Anon is for the alcoholic to get sober. And that truly is a big thing. But what isn't immediately realized is that getting sober doesn't mean that there is an end to alcoholic behavior and thinking.
Trusting and believing that sobriety is going to solve the spiritual sickness is naive. I can remember wondering how terribly disappointed I was that the "isms" of the disease were still present. How naive was I to think that being restless, irritable, and discontent was going to be replaced permanently with being happy, joyous, and free? That comes for each of us with step work, service, and God's grace.
Trusting is often a big issue in a relationship with an alcoholic. I've heard lots of sharings from people who tried over and over to trust people who were untrustworthy. They wanted to believe the lies and promises about not drinking. And they wanted to believe that sobriety was going to make everything okay. My denial and naivete kept me from the realization that people frequently are going to fail me, lie to me, abandon me, and not be trustworthy.
I think that I definitely prefer to trust others. I am not suspicious by nature. And I have also preferred to believe what I have been told. I think some part of me was hoping that I wouldn't have to be on guard. I was hoping that others could be a substitute for a Higher Power. And that they would make me feel okay about myself--that they would make things right for me. That was dysfunctional thinking both before and in early recovery.
I've come to realize after more time in recovery that trust is something that is earned and has to be mutual. Even in Al-Anon, there are people who I know that I can trust and then there are those who I don't reveal much to. People do the best that they can, but because they are human, they have their failings. If they could do better, they would.
Ultimately, it is trusting in the process of recovery, trusting in my Higher Power, and trusting in my sponsor that have proved solid. I know that by trusting the process of working the steps, I can recover. I no longer have to control, obsess, or be filled with fear.
I know that by trusting in my Higher Power, I'll find my way. I've learned to trust that things will be revealed to me in God's time, not mine. I know that making another person my Higher Power is not going to work.
And I know that working with my sponsor has been an example of trust on my part. Revealing things about myself that I've never told another is an act of trust.
All of this has helped to rebuild my trust in myself and through that to open myself up to a renewed trust in others. I would say that I'm not trusting others to solve my problems but am trusting that there is some goodness within them. This means that I accept the possibility of disappointment, and grasp the good that loving another person gives me.