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      -- Concept Four

A New Set Of Choices

I came into Al-Anon years ago with a few "Cs" of my own: confusion, contempt, control, conflict, crises, comparing, complaining, criticism, conclusions to name a few.

Those ol' hardline Al-Anon's laid out Al-Anon's Three "Cs" for me and I balked. Ok, so what else is new? I did not understand so I argued only they called it 'contempt prior to investigation' and smiled that Al-Anon smile at me while assuring me that one day I would understand.

A New Set of C's

To realize that I did not Cause alcoholism was a vast relief to me and relief of the burden was what I desparately needed at that point. To believe as I did that I was even partly responsible for another person's alcoholism showed a lack of knowledge of the disease of alcoholism on my part.

To realize that I did not Control an alcoholic situation -- that there was only an illusion of control -- showed again that I did not know much about this cunning, powerful, baffling disease. Who would control it if I didn't at least try? Sure enough, I lacked knowledge of the disease of alcoholism.

To realize that there is no Cure for alcoholism was a shocker. It was not the moral issue I had believed it was. Again, my ignorance of the disease of alcoholisn was evident.

Learned About Alcoholism

My sponsor suggested that I learn about the disease of alcoholism so, as part of my educational process, I went to the people who knew it first hand -- my friends with many years (20 to 35) of continuous sobriety in AA, some of the same ones who had *gently shoved* me toward Al-Anon. From them I learned things about this disease that brought home the Three "Cs" of Al-Anon to me loud and clear.

I learned mainly that alcoholics drink because that is what alcoholics are supposed to do. I wasn't powerful enough to cause it. I learned that they don't even have control of their own disease so what makes me think I can control it -- my self-will? I learned from them that there is indeed no cure for this disease. If there was they would all have long since taken the cure. Instead they made their commitments to sobriety one day at a time.

Today, because of knowledge gained and practicing the Al-Anon principles in all my affairs one day at a time, I have a new set of "Cs" to replace the old ones: Courage, Comfort, Change, Compassion, Choices, Contentment, Communication, and Commitment to name a few.

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