April 7, 2013

First Thing's First

So as I said before,  I'm doing 12 Step work to help work through issues that have arisen due to living with a partner with ADHD.

The work focuses completely on myself, and though I may make mention of the other party, it is only for context purposes.

I'm sharing this here because it helps.  Traditionally one would share these kind of things with a sponsor, but since I have yet to find a 12 Step group for ADHD, you will have to help me out.

The book, 'Paths To Recovery (Al-Anon's Steps, Traditions, and Concepts)' asks various questions which are aimed at helping you understand and work through the first step.

The first step is, We admitted we were powerless over people, places, and things, and that our lives had become unmanageable.

For me,  it would be We admitted we were powerless over ADHD and that our lives had become unmanageable.

So here's the first question: 

Q: Do I accept that I cannot control another person's behaviour?

A: No matter how much I want it, how much I express my desire for him to change things, I could go blue in the face and it would not change the fact that he has ADD. It’s not his fault that he has it, and only he is able to improve his situation – it is out of my hands.

Trying to control or manage his ADD makes me miserable, makes me someone I don’t want to be, makes me tired, makes me neglect my own needs, and accomplishes nothing.

It’s pointless trying to change things that you are powerless to change so the focus should be on what you CAN change.

Admitting powerlessness means no longer struggling, saving that energy to change the things I can.  Fighting never solves anything.  Trying to constantly control anything makes you very sick.

I’m responsible for myself – no one else.  It may be uncomfortable or feel unnatural at first to let go when my instinct is to control or take responsibility of some kind for his inappropriate behaviour, but if I do not, I will stay in the controlling role and not let him deal with his own stuff.

I’m in my right to be bothered by behaviour and set boundaries but I have no right to try to control them and that wouldn’t work, it would just make me behave inappropriately as well.

I accept that I can’t control another person’s behaviour but like all things that require acceptance, I need to accept it over and over again.  It is not a one-time process. 

My initial instinct will usually be to control things but if I continue to accept that I can’t, it will keep getting easier.  If I was able to control it, I would have by  now – either that or I must believe I’m a pretty big failure – and I know that’s not true.

<3 M
Search & Win

1 comment:

  1. As you know, my experience with Al-Anon has given me the insight to the problem of alcoholism from both sides... because, like you, I tend to see myself as the 'alcoholic' in our relationship because of my ADD. So for me working the steps helps me to see both how I`m affected by my alcoholic parents and my ADD as well as how I affect others through my behaviour. it also makes it twice as hard to wade through because I see from both sides of the fence. But It is still worthwhile.


Thanks for reading <3