Alcoholism, addiction, self-improvement
12 reasons why when my boyfriend cheated on me, I joined Alcoholics Anonymous
Trigger Warning: Alcoholism and addiction
Disclaimer: I did not strictly adhere to the 12 steps
When I discovered my boyfriend had got his ex-girlfriend pregnant behind my back, I did not out him as a cheater straight away. I listened for several weeks as I was told I had to keep his secret, or I was preventing him from becoming a better person. While trying (and failing) to deal with my own very uncomplicated feelings on the subject, it was not until much later that I realised some feelings are combustible. They cannot easily be contained. If I had only realised that then, it would have more than likely gone a lot easier for me than it did.
Let us re-write my opening. When I discovered my boyfriend had got his ex-girlfriend pregnant behind my back, I did not out him straight away. I drank an entire bottle of wine first, then messaged the ex-girlfriend on Facebook telling her the truth. How I ended up feeling so guilty about my actions (or reactions) that I sought shelter from the storm within Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is beyond me, but that was exactly what I did. AA helped me in a few unexpected ways, many of them unrelated to alcohol.
Utilising my interpretation of the 12 steps, which will probably be seen as blasphemy by devotees of the programme, here are the 12 ways AA focused my mind, and in some instances shifted my thinking.
If the first step was admitting I was powerless over alcohol — and that my life had become unmanageable, then with hindsight, I was unconvinced I was powerless over alcohol. I was, however, powerless over my own mind, other people, and motivated by fear in almost all my actions, and my reactions. Fear of losing my mind and never recovering, fear of losing my relationship, fear of losing my job, fear of losing my home, fear of never having enough income to survive on a basic human level.