The Serenity Prayer and The Three Cs—I did not cause it, I cannot control it and I cannot cure it—are important parts of my recovery. When I first heard them at a meeting, I felt that a huge weight was lifted from my shoulders. The Three Cs reminded me that, when the alcoholics in my life told me that I was the cause of their drinking, I did not have to pick up the blame, clean up their mess or lie for them. This was my first introduction to the world of choices.

The second part of the Serenity Prayer—to “change the things I can”—however, reminds me that sometimes things happen that I didn’t cause, but I still need to deal with them. I recently had a flat tire. Luckily it went flat in my driveway, but I was still upset. I had not caused it, but it had to be fixed. The three Cs do not give me license to throw up my hands or ignore something when I must take some action. Along with the Serenity Prayer, I gain perspective on what is and what is not my responsibility.

By Elaine, Rhode Island

The Forum, March 2018