So, after all this time I’m still having trouble not obsessing over an alcoholic. Maybe I shouldn’t read so much AA literature. It might be giving me the “if only”s. Well, I am acquiring the “if only”s via whatever source they come. I very much regret that my former life partner is still living in a seething ball of resentment and self-will, and that there is nothing at all I can do about it.

I tend to think, Oh if I send that book or this T-shirt or that medallion it would be the thing to prompt the other person into seriously working the steps, into genuinely becoming open minded. If I just say the right thing in an email or a greeting card, if I just nudge them just the right way …
That person has all the tools of the program they’ll ever need; if they don’t pick them up, that’s entirely between them and their HP. I know that. My brainmeats know that. More mysterious parts have yet to wake up to that.
I have a set of prayer beads I made myself that reflect my own spiritual and religious views. Most of my prayers are, “Thy will, not mine, be done,” and “God, grant me knowledge of Thy will for me and the power to carry that out.” Maybe for the time being I need a prayer to commend the person to their HP and move my focus back to me. Maybe I need also a prayer for freedom from obsession.
Think it’ll help?
By the way, I reached the end of Alcoholics Anonymous (The Big Book) tonight. Spoiler: they all lived happily ever after.

I am just so grateful for my sponsor. When looking for a sponsor, I looked for someone unconventional, like myself. I looked for someone I thought might not judge me for being a weird person with an unusual family. This turned out to be the case entirely, and she understands me in even more ways than I thought she would, but that’s only one of the big benefits.

My sponsor, as it turned out, was herself sponsored in such a way as to have a firm foundation in the AA program. We began studying the steps with a thorough study of Alcoholics Anonymous, the book. I’m talkin’ The Big Book. I thought this was incredibly odd at the time, maybe even heretical. Isn’t this supposed to be Al-Anon?

But the thing is, in order to take the first step and know completely my powerlessness, I need to know alcoholism. Completely. I need to know it as deeply as I can without being an alcoholic myself. Coming to understand the deadly effect of the disease on its acute sufferer is instrumental to understanding the chronic family disease of alcoholism, how the illness spreads, harming everyone and distorting everything. Until I could put myself in their shoes, I couldn’t really understand the scope of my own powerlessness. And of the beautiful but fragile humanity of all us sufferers.

I feel this approach makes me a kinder and more serene person than I might have been otherwise. This approach helps me use part of the Fourth Step Prayer, when confronted with some behavior that tempts me to judge someone:

This is a sick man, how can I be helpful to him? God save me from anger. Thy will be done. Alcoholics Anonymous, p75

I also feel a special kinship with AA people as I am working the steps, knowing that I am working them in almost identical fashion that they do. Because the disease manifests differently, my Fourth Step may take a different shape, and my sponsorship family may do these things much, much more slowly (I’m about 70% through the Fourth Step, and I had my second year anniversary this summer.) but the basics are very much the same.

The people I find challenging to deal with today are not alcoholics, but the things I am learning now help me incredibly in interacting with them. Again, a thing to be hugely grateful for.