An Online Al-Anon Email Meeting 

Empowering Feeling

For me the old "How many ways do I love thee" was replaced with "How many ways can I obsess about you."

I obsessed about how he (the alcoholic) saw me, rather than how I saw myself. I obsessed about what he was doing, instead of what I was doing. I obsessed about where he was at 2:00 in the morning, instead of sleeping. I obsessed about why he didn't give me a gift on our anniversary, instead of letting him know I expected one.

I obsessed over trying to be something I wasn't to please him, instead of being myself. I obsessed about how much he drank, what he drank, where he hid his bottles, and did everything under the sun to try to get him to stop. In all this obsession, I lost myself completely.

Definitely Unmanageable

And then when I couldn't obsess on the alcoholic any longer and my life was definitely unmanageable, I went to an Al-Anon meeting. Here I learned that obsession on things and people I was powerless over was futile. Time to focus on myself instead. And that is just what I began to do.

Oh - my obsessions didn't end right there. Oh no! I had to learn the hard way about obsessing about me now. It seems I did a 180 and turned my obsessive ways in on myself. Only not in a healthy way. In a "how could I have been so stupid?" way. And I beat myself up for this and I beat myself up for that.

Then I got a sponsor. She helped me to stop obsessing and to accept myself just as I am - right where I am. I learned in Al-Anon that we are all right where we are supposed to be at any given time.

Using the Al-Anon Tools

Gee, I liked that. It helped me to stop comparing myself to the old timers and the newcomers who seemed to grasp the program faster than me. I was learning not to obsess. It felt good. I could relax. So this is what serenity is going to feel like?

I still find myself obsessing from time to time, but not for long. When something consumes my thoughts for longer than necessary, I know I need to pay attention and regroup. Take in a meeting, talk to my sponsor, go online to Key, talk to Al-Anon friends, read CAL (Conference Approved Literature), and pray about it. Then I can make some kind of sense out of it and put things in proper perspective.

Wow - using the Al-Anon tools this way is a very empowering feeling. I feel in control and my life is manageable. Yay!

Barb from Ocean Shores

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