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Love Addicts Anonymous
Comments from LAA Members
about the 12 Steps
come back to Step 1 all the time. The amazing thing about it for
me was that the part of it that scared me the most (the powerless
part) ended up being the thing that allowed me to change the most.
I realized that when I admit I am powerless, I am relinquishing
my own false sense of control (I will just email him this one
time, he doesn't know what is good for him, maybe if I just drive
by his house to see what he is up to) and I am opening myself
up for recovery. Giving up my sense of control ended up being
the most liberating thing I did. I realized that I actually had
no control whatsoever and I called upon my Higher Power for help,
and I was open to receiving that help!! For me, powerlessness
equals freedom." Laura G.
try to restate the LAA First Step, so I can explore applying it
in practical (and hopefully profound) ways to my own situation:
I am powerless over love, romance, fantasies, and relationships,
and my life is unmanageable. Just writing it down using "I"
is a rather moving experience for me because the list "love,
romance, fantasies, relationships" hits home. I believe one
way I might proceed is to simply outline ways that I am powerless
in each of those categories, then outline how relationship problems
have created unmanageability in my life. If I could do that in
a straightforward way, I think I might be able to get started
as a member of LAA." A Newcomer
has helped me a lot to use the first three steps with this addiction.
There are more than three steps, but the first three are really
helpful for me at this point. It helps me a lot to admit that
I am powerless over this addiction, and that my life is unmanageable
(step 1); that there's a higher power restoring me to sanity (step
2); and that I can turn my will and life over to the care of that
power. Also, it helps me to remember that wanting to love and
be loved, and wanting it to be reciprocal, is normal and human.
I'm actually learning how to give myself some of the good things
that I find myself looking to men (including my husband) for:
for kindness, validation, approval, etc. I can't say I'm all that
good at any of this, but I'm learning. Thanks again."
I attended an AL-Anon meeting 20 years ago, I have never had any
interactive experience working the 12 steps. I think the first
step is the hardest, because even thought it is easy enough to
admit to being powerless, it is hard to actually live it and work
through it on a daily basis. I tend to want to always be "doing"
something about my problem, whether it be reading something on
the topic, or thinking about it, or otherwise "doing"
something, when the whole point of the first step is relinquishing
control, i.e. admitting just how powerless I am. That is a difficult
thing for me to do, as it WOULD be given the nature of my addiction.
To help myself keep on track and to be ever aware of step one,
I have decided to write out the wording of step one exactly as
it is stated, long-hand in my own handwriting, just once every
day. It only takes a minute, but I think it is going to make the
idea sink in. After all, until the meaning of step one truly does
sink in, I don't think it's possible to really come to terms with
the problem so as to change it." Anonymous
wasn't hard for me to realize I was powerless. I tried to control
this thing for years and couldn't. If I had the power I would
have fixed it a long time ago! The unmanageable part was pretty
obvious too but I kept thinking changing the guy would solve that.
I realize now that the unmanageable part is me . . . my obsessions,
fears, attachment hunger, my ideas and fantasies about relationships
too believe that 'Power greater than ourselves' refers to divine
intervention. My experience was that I was first introduced to
the 12 steps in 1984 . . . Since then I have been an Al-Anon member,
but I am not an alcoholic. These people had little understanding
of the concept of love addiction, though in many cases they may
have had that membership qualification themselves. They had solid
recovery from alcoholism and in many other areas of their lives.
" I feel I have been restored to sanity in many areas of
my life by divine intervention. This is a daily reprieve based
on me having in 1985 gone through the process of working the 12
steps as a whole with a sponsor and practicing them every day.
For me that means things like practicing principles of tolerance,
forgiveness, consideration of others, patience, self-appreciation
in all areas of my life; carrying the 12 step message to others,
promptly admitting when I am wrong and daily prayer and meditation--steps
10, 11, 12. I do my daily meditation with 12 step and other spiritual
literature. Attending meetings is one way I practice step 12.
Writing this is another." B. R.
believed in a God 6yrs ago when I joined AA but I didn't think
he cared much about me and I had very little trust that he would
help me. Someone told me that he obviously was helping me or I
wouldn't be sitting in an AA meeting and that I might as well
give him a chance since I wasn't doing such a great job with my
life on my own. I had similar feelings with this when I realized
I had a problem with relationships. I prayed to my God and told
him I was powerless over this thing and needed some help. I also
did the footwork and followed the leads given to me. I am following
the suggestions from the books, Coda, my counselor, this website.
Every night I thank my God for guiding me along this path and
every morning I ask for guidance that day. I even thanked him
for letting me experience the excruciating pain that lead me to
seek help." A.J.
turned my will and life over to my God because the God of my understanding
is unconditional continuous care and positive regard. The God
of my understanding understands everything about everything and
knows me better than I know myself. He knows the future and only
wants the best for me. If God was applying for the job he would
be the most qualified applicant. I do have to remind myself of
this throughout the day, however, when things aren't going the
way I think they should and I start trying to control and take
back my will." A.J.
agree that God, a higher power of my understanding knows what
is better for me and everyone else on earth then I do. My selfish
wish for romance with another person, no matter how benevolent
and kind I may be to that person may not fit into God's will or
the other person's will. I also believe that I already made a
decision to turn my life and will over to the care of the God
of my understanding once. Sometimes I forget that, but all I need
to do is to remember it. I was fortunate to have the 12 steps
explained to me in a dramatic and continuous way by a 12 step
sponsor. We used the AA Big Book step 3 prayer on page 63 of the
'How It Works' chapter, "God, I offer myself to Thee--to
build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the
bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties,
that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help
of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life. May I do Thy will
always." To me this means I decided to be guided to think
in the 'common sense' of the whole--to see other people's point
of view as much as possible and realize life is not about what
I want. I am relieved of my difficulties so I can be useful to
others. One way is by carrying the 12 step message. If I am tempted
to act out addictive behavior then being useful to others in a
12 step context is one way to counteract that. That is why when
Bill Wilson wanted to take a drink in Akron in the 1930s, he made
phonecalls until he found out about another drunk willing to recover
who was named Dr. Bob Smith. I believe this type of action works
in any type of 12 step program. God of my understanding--God as
I read about in book or was forced to believe in during church
didn't work for me. When Jack, my 12 step sponsor explained the
12 steps to me I thought I was being tested and had to give the
correct answer on what God was. I quoted something from Paul in
the bible. That isn't what Jack was looking for and I now see
that God was something I had begun to have a spiritual relationship
with. God was a power beyond myself creating miraculous coincidences
in my life. B. R.
never really looked at my part in relationships or the fears that
drove me. I never looked at how I let my feelings determine my
actions or how I ignored obvious signs that someone was not right
for me or that a relationship was harmful to me. I'm still working
on this step. I want to discover as much as I can. I am becoming
more aware of my feelings and actions while I am interacting with
others as well. It's like a little light bulb lights everytime
I recognize something or understand something." A.J.
started doing this in therapy and I am learning a lot. I like
doing the 4th and 5th in therapy because it helps me do better
in real life, maybe because I feel accountable to another person
as well as myself. If I fall back into old behavior, or addictive
thinking she will be able to point it out to me. My goal is to
recognize this myself but it's nice to have back-up." Anonymous
am still noticing defects and patterns with my thinking and behaviors
that seem to be part of this addiction but I believe I've been
entirely ready to get rid of anything about me that leads me into
my addiction since I started recovery. I have to be careful not
to get too tired or too stressed or let my fears get the best
of me. If I do, I can fall into a daydreaming mode and either
want to call a past lover, dream about a perfect fantasy man,
or jump into a relationship with someone I don't truly want. (I
guess that makes me a relationship type addict) Neither one of
these actions is good for me. I've promised myself at least a
year out of a relationship and I don't want to let me down."
I humbly asked God to remove my shortcomings, I was thinking about
the behaviors and fears that I recognized in step 4. My addiction
was also a defect in my mind. I didn't see this step as an ongoing
learning experience. Shortly after I did my step 4, I began to
catch myself using defective behaviors in all of my relationships.
Relationships that there was no obvious problem before. I was
over-controlling with my young adult son on several occasions
trying to insist that he do things the way I thought they should
be done. Sometimes I caught myself trying to "take over"
for him in situations that he was quite capable of handling. Many
of my defects were shown to me and continue to be shown to me
but action is required on my part to make a conscious effort to
stop the behaviors and replace them with more healthy ones. As
far as the addiction goes, it too has been shown to me but has
required effort on my part to work the steps, learn more everyday,
and practice new behaviors."A.J.