Dec 28 2012

Using Step One

Published by at 12:05 pm under Using the Steps

“We admitted we were powerless over alcohol–that our lives had become unmanageable.”

Welcome to Using Al-Anon’s Twelve Steps in Our Personal Lives. This is a series of podcasts to discuss how Al-Anon members use the basic principles of Al-Anon.

Today we’re going to ask Al-Anon members how they used Step One to help them overcome the impacts of a loved one’s drinking.

How to locate an Al-Anon meeting


The following tags are aids to navigation for other podcasts in this series.


109 comments on “Using Step One”

  1. gigi says:

    I have been going to Al anon since Christmas time. I have been living with an alcoholic for 10 years. Before we started a family together we had been together in our twenties. I was brought up by alcoholic parents. My childhood was extreme emotionally. My siblings and me would protect one another from the madness but all of us have been affected. Our formative years were in alcoholism.
    Now in my 40’s and having had found al anon, I realise that my life has had patterns of alcoholism. I have always kept my distance when making new relationships with people. I have always been guarded, judgemental of others and unable to trust. I have gone into relationships with immature behaviours that only now from starting with step 1 have I been able to begin to learn about what makes me who I am.
    I have two beautiful boys who I want to protect and ensure that they are not subjected to what I was as a child. I want them to have healthy loving relationships when there older and I want them to know who they are as individuals.
    For so long my life has been secret and I have lived lonely. With al anon I know that I have started a new life and I need to start with me first. I cannot change anyone, and I am powerless over the boys father. He has to find his own serenity. He hasn’t drunk for sometime now and has been to meetings but the personality traits the isms are very much there. I love him more than he will ever know. But I need and want to feel loved and I want to feel safe. Not just for me but for my amazing boys. We don’t live together anymore, but he still is very much present in our lives. After a time of being together he begins to slip back into negative character. He becomes irritable, so do I, he becomes snappy, so do I. I am happy to say that I recognise this now as before I didn’t. I just knew that I didn’t like myself much. I know that I want and deserve more than this behaviour. Life is so short and negativity for what is wasting a moment that could be light and fun, happy and peaceful. I need to feel and get stronger and to do this I need to practice the steps and look after me first with detachment.
    Thank-you to all who have shared. keep coming back. Thank-you for helping me.

  2. Alex says:

    I’m new to AlAnon and am an adult child of alcoholic parents. They were high functioning individuals but found it difficult to deal with their problems. So far, I have about 40 years of “cut and run” behaviour and often wondered why I couldn’t keep a relationship for more than 2 or 3 years. After 10 years in my current relationship, I have been close to packing my bags and running several times, but I really want to face issues and learn how to express my thoughts and feelings coherently to people who upset me. My self-confidence is easily shattered with dumb, negative thoughts and from what I see in AlAnon there are other people like me who might just feel the same sometimes. I am looking forward to finding out who I am so I can enjoy the rest of my life.

  3. Mimi says:

    I have been around all the tables since 1970, and I am always happy to see and hear the steps
    in this podcast.

    Only been married for 6 months and all brakes are off for the addict. I now remember exactly what I have forgotten. And that is very humbling….And quiet..

    Thank you so much for this pod. I could listen all day. And I might


  4. Anna B. says:

    It’s January 3, 2017 and the beginning of new year filled with hope, recovery, and working this blessed Al-anon Program.

    I have been in recovery since 1980 and I am regularly humbled by the effects of this disease on me and my family. I couldn’t understand back in the beginning why “they” said that you never graduate from this program, and that recovery is a life long commitment and a decision. Here I am today, 37 years into the program, and I can say that I have come understand why I was told this truth in the beginning. My recovery is still a decision and a life long commitment that I make one day at a time.

    There have been, and continue to be, so many situations and circumstances in my life that I am completely powerless to control and to change. Even though I have been in this fellowship for many years, each time a new stressful and disturbing situation arises, I once again am faced with a decision. Do I acknowledge my powerlessness over people, places and things, or do I attempt to control and change what only God can do, if He chooses. Who knows best anyway, me or Him? Eventually, by the Grace of God, I choose to return to Step 1. That’s when my healing begins again…

    My life, like most, has been a journey that has presented me with many challenges and decisions. For me, today, I choose to let it begin with Step 1.

  5. Lola says:

    I grew up with father being an alcoholic. Me and my mom did go to AL onon meetings a couple’s of times but our home was to dangerous to live with the alcoholic so we had to move to a domestic violence shelter and many more. Well somewhere in my teenage years we stopped going and now after ending up dating an alcoholic in my adult life, I went back to AL onon after his relapsed, I promised myself growing up I would never date and alcoholic because of the hell I saw my mother lived. And now here I am. I walked into the meeting thinking after listening to a speaker online that this is all I know, that living in chaos is what I know . And this broke my heart in a million pieces. To be honest I have never tried to understand the disease because it was easier to hate and judge my father. I have no contact with him for many years. And now I want to understand his disease and heal myself. I going back to AL anon because I need help I don’t even know where to start. And especially with my relationship with the person I’m dating.

  6. leslie says:

    I was born into an alcoholic family, I married an alcoholic, was divorced and now my son is an alcoholic, but not in recovery. I’ve been in and out of counseling my entire adult life but never to alanon. I went last night, accidentally going to a men’s meeting, but I did bring the brochures home and read them. It struck me that this is where I need to be, taking care of myself, learning not to get sucked into the disease. I am powerless over alcohol and all I can do right now is
    learn and take care of how I respond to the disease.

  7. Hope says:

    I have no power over alcohol and the effects it is having on my husband. I try and try and try, like a fool. I know I have no power, but I’ll give it one more shot. Maybe if I leave him. But I don’t want to leave him. I love him and he is ill. I can’t leave him like this. He has left his entire family behind because of their dysfunction. He has been told how horrible he is his whole life. His Mother set him up for a lifetime of guilt and shame. I need to work on keeping my inner light shining, in spite of his illness. I know I can do it. This writing may help. I know it will get worse before, or IF it gets better. He has to hit his own bottom before he will act. He quit once for 9 months, when his symptoms became so bad. He was having abdominal pain, rash, bed-wetting, along with multiple other symptoms. Since he cut back, the symptoms have improved, but I know they will return, when his drinking increases again. He wants to quit, but he has not been able to get back on the wagon, so to speak. Occasionally, I will blow up and then I feel bad afterwards because I know I just make him feel more shame – which just feeds the monster. LOVE is the only possible answer I have, but it is a son-of-a-bitch to maintain it every day, when you just get frustrated and fed up. Alone. I want my guy back. He is here every morning. This morning he said he was going to quit- He said he was not giving up. I ran to town to vote. Returned in 45 minutes. He was drunk. That is where he is at. He is sleeping right now. I am grateful for my loving family and friends. I am thankful for GOD’s love. Take it God!

  8. Elizabeth says:

    I was raised to believe that the only reason I was allowed to exist was to take care of others (my mother and father….and the rest of the children). My life has been one of taking care of others. Caring for animals. Taking on causes. I am highly educated and very capable. That has helped me continue to take care of everyone and every cause that hits my doorstep. I have no idea who I am and I’m nearly 70 years old!
    My Mother blamed me for everything that went wrong. When I was sexually abused by my older brother for years, I felt I couldn’t tell her because she would blame me, and I couldn’t tell my father because he was an extremely violent man who was capable of seriously injuring my brother.
    I feel caught between hope that I could change and let go of this overwhelming sense of responsibility and just riding out the time left in my life. I have panic disorder and spend many sleepless nights, awakened by panic and anxiety.
    My husband of 30+ years is highly functioning alcoholic. We are in the .01% economic group. I have the ability to have, financially, most anything I want and yet I have a great fear of spending money because of fear of my husband yelling at me (like my dad used to do). My son is married to a woman who is verbally abusive to my 2 grandchildren and to him. It breaks my heart to hear her berate two very young children and see my son cower.
    I am “here” in this forum because I realize that I “should” let go of a sense of responsibility for all this. That I am POWERLESS. I need to keep that word in front of me, though I feel like it is hopeless and that at this stage of my life, it doesn’t really matter any more.
    I will keep coming back to this forum. Thank you.

  9. Jojo says:

    Wow these stories are really helping me come to terms with i have no power over alcohol. My partner is an alcoholic even after slapping me after id had surgery to have our daughter and name calling and telling me how worthless i am etc etc, i have come to realise i dont have control over alcohol but i do have the control of when to say enough is enough. Me and my children dont deserve this….. but i always go back!!!!! Whyyyyyyy???!!!! Hes never going to change and i cant accept this for some unknown reason. Great site i wish id found this sooner 🙁

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