Copyright © Living with Confidence
Design by Dzignine
Friday, November 11, 2016

Step 1/Powerlessness Day 1 /Ability to Control Other Person's Opinions and Actions

I decided to move this to a new post...

REMINDER: I am trusting my higher power, that everything in my life is exactly as it should be, right now. 

TOPIC FOR THE WEEK: Powerlessness
*My sponsor suggested we start again at Step 1.  I have a book that I bought accidentally when I first was trying to buy the Blueprint for Progress, and that is actually the book she recommended.  When I first bought it by accident, my sponsor, at the time, told me that she found things like that "are rarely accidents" and wondered why that was the right book for me.  So fun that is the very book recommended! 

ANYWAYS, the book is trying to lead me through my realization over the fact that I am powerlessness over the alcoholic.  I just feel that I have done that again and again and I feel completely powerless over alcohol and what my husband does with it.  I know without a doubt in my head and heart that I'm not going to get him sober.  That's something he has to do for himself with help from higher power.  I don't feel it therapeutic to rehash it.  It feels very dry and unemotional.

But my life, in itself, is dripping with friction over being powerless.  A lot of it has to do with perfection, but that didn't strike a chord for today.  I searched for a list of things other people had mentioned being powerless over.  I'll post that here.  The first 12 were compiled on an al anon forum by blender_girl.  After 12, I added some of my own and in parenthesis, some of my own

 1.  Other people's behavior (like my kids, my moms, obviously Hubby's)
2.  Other people's choices (like when J disobeys)
3.  Other people's feelings
4.  Other people's beliefs
5.  The weather (ok, that's an easy, obvious one)
6.  The economy (see item 2)
7.  Alcohol (see items 1 and 2)
8.  What other people say to me and how they say it (see item 1)
9.  Other people's reactions to my behavior (see items 1 and 3)
10.  The past - I can't change it
11.  The future - I can't predict it
12.  The election
13.  My health

I think I could add more, but one of those just JUMPED out at me. 
"Other people's reactions to my behavior"

Through the process of taking my focus off of my husband and focusing on me, I've seen my weaknesses and my self esteem has taken a dip.  This has impacted my social anxiety in some settings and I find I put on a facade in order to get people to like me.  I can't always take down the facade though, even though I want to.  So, I'm going to work through some of the workbook on topic.  Maybe 15 minutes worth, because I'm getting short on time and we have some fun things planned for today.

ok...  The book is Reaching for Personal Freedom.

"We admitted that we were powerless over WHETHER OTHER PEOPLE RESPOND WELL TO MY BEHAVIOR - and that our lives had become unmanageable."

Why is it difficult to admit my powerlessness?
I think it is very scary to admit that people will see my faults and I will be vulnerable to them.  I think a lie that I have told myself is that "people will not like you if you are not perfect."  "People will not like you if you are not 'together'"  This lie is way down deep.  In my rational brain, I don't even care if everyone likes me..... and yet.......  I do seem to.  So, coming to terms with the fact that I can't make them like or respect me.  Respect may be an even bigger issue than "like" actually.  Or that they won't see me as competent. So, back to the question.  It's difficult to admit my powerlessness because I am scared to let people see me as I really am.... because I don't even know who I really am.  If I am not competent, then who am I?

How do the effects of the disease of alcoholism make my life unmanageable? (I'm keeping this question the same)
The disease of alcoholism amplified this issue because my life was no longer together anymore.  I didn't have the perfect spouse (who I had included in my identity).  I had to focus on me and see all my faults.  And then without the support of a spouse and with my sickness during the pregnancy and with me obsessing over him and not me, things got disorganized and fell apart.  I no longer could do "above and beyond" in everything.  This was fine in the beginning, but as it extended over a longer period of time, a lot of friction developed.  This did not match my identity of myself.  Also, there is emotional energy involved in seeing a loved one struggle and then working on your own struggle to understand you can't do anything about it.   
What keeps me holding on to the illusion that I have the power to change someone else?
Fear.  I want to control what other people think of me because I am scared.  And because I'm scared of not knowing me anymore.  I want to release this to God.  I'm grateful for the awareness this simple exercise is bringing.
"I am completely powerless over many things, but I am not powerless over me.  I am responsible for my actions, but not for anyone else's thoughts or behavior.  Step One puts the focus back on me, not on the alcoholic.  My attempts to control others makes my life crazy, but by letting go, I can become free.  Those around me find freedom to make their own mistakes and face their own consequences."
In what ways does denial hamper my ability to let go of people, places and situations?
If I am not aware of a delusion, I certainly can't let it go.  The first step is awareness (the opposite of denial).  I believe that God lifts our denial by bringing stories and experiences to our awareness as we are ready for them.
How does Step One change my perspective about SOCIAL ANXIETY (changed from the disease of alcoholism)?
I am powerless over other's reactions to me and it makes MY life and behavior unmanageable (me creating the facade).  I have been aware and annoyed with how I act around other mamas sometimes, but I hadn't thought of this fakeness which emerges as an attempt of mine to control.  Realizing that I have no power over it, regardless of how I act gets me out of that denial and helps me confront the issue.  And realizing the unmanageable aspect..... real vulnerable relationships. That community is imperative.  That is what I'm trying to create, but this farce gets in the way of it and just makes me unhappy with myself.

How do I determine I am powerless over someone else's behavior?


  1. I can relate to this type of powerlessness too. I'm glad you have this book and sponsor to help you through it!