One of the often heard terms in 12-step programs, such as al-anon, are the so-called “3 C’s”: you didn’t Cause it, you can’t Control it and you can’t Cure it. It being the addiction, of course. True acceptance of this powerlessness is difficult.
It took me over ten years to accept this and to give up my battle with the alcoholism of my partner. I was able to do so because of the many stories and shares of other al-anon members. Thanks to all of these experiences I came to realize that fighting my partner’s addiction was actually insane behavior. One of the definitions of insanity is to expect a different outcome with the same behavior.
Well, me and the people I know had all been trying the same things, time and time and time again, and it simply never worked.
The other thing that really helped me was to reread the diaries I started keeping some two years ago.
A question that kept nagging me was: have I really done everything I could?
Truly, after going over my writings I thought to myself: “wow…, I really did what I could”.
Needless to say, that it is an incredible relief not to wage that senseless battle anymore. Once you stop “fighting” you can start working on recovering.