I ONLY HAVE CONTROL
over my own life
PREVIOUS: Dis-comfort & Comfort #3a
BENEFITS of Healthy Dis-comfort (cont.)
— Healthy things that can make us UN-Comfortable (cont.)
One of the big dis-comforts in Recovery is letting go of trying to control PPT & shift to being in control of oneself.
The intensity of our need to be controlling is in direct proportion to how much anxiety we carry, which is caused by sitting on our backlog of pain instead of getting it out safely.
The Q is “Where is your Locus of Control?” ACoAs have been trained to only focus externally on others. So as ‘adult’s till run by the WICs we do not want to be our own motivator – because that would mean giving up the illusion that our family – or someone – will eventually take care of us. (CHART )
BUT – the only way to Heal & Grow is to gradually change from an External (Reactive) to an Internal (Proactive) source of Being. (MORE….)
Useful guidelines: Just as we originally learned the toxic rules, now we need new healthy rules to guide us. The more familiar 3 Cs of Al-anon are about ‘letting go’:
I didn’t cause it / I can’t control it / I can’t change it.
These concepts mainly apply to our dealings with others – their addictions, their damage, their distress. They imply that we mind our own business (“Keep the focus on yourself”) and work on self-care. Following thru on these ideas can be a daily challenge for co-dependents who are used to taking on the responsibility for other people’s needs, self-destructiveness & suffering.
But they can also apply to some things for ourselves:
✱ I did NOT cause my damage (damaged NOT defective). Yes – we have lived out the toxic training, which is inescapable without recovery. We are responsible for changing but not for the source – without blaming ourselves for our imperfections & pain,
✱ I can’t control the process of recovery. Healing our heart & mind is a slow & difficult process, requiring patience & perseverance. Also, we can’t control how others react to changes in us as we heal.
✱ I can’t change the time & opportunities lost to the disease, (If only I had known this before, if only I’d left home sooner, if only… if only….). Recriminations are a waste of time & energy. Mourn the loss & focus on self-esteeming acts today.
➤”I can change” seems daunting if not impossible to many ACoAs because the WIC is going by a whole life-time of actual experiences, both as children & as adults – acting out our damage. Also, if we are convinced that how we’ve always been is our real personality (see part 1) then there is nothing to change.
BUT, what many recovering ACoAs have found is that when we finally find Program, doctors, therapists, ministers, mentors …. who recognize our suffering & offer genuinely helpful solutions, we actually can get relief & have a chance for a better life.
➤ “I can Cope” feels impossible – to the WIC. But this is not true for our Healthy Adult. As children we were put in daily impossible situation & expected to handle everything as if we were already grown up, and demanded that we ‘fix’ the things that were wrong with the adults – which was absolutely impossible. BUT with Recovery today we can indeed cope with many things “that used to baffle us”.
NEXT: Comfort/Discomfort #5a