INTERVIEWER: Anna, we hear a lot about the three Cs in Al‑Anon. Could you tell us what is your experience with that?
ANNA: Certainly, when I got to Al‑Anon, my ticket into the rooms of Al‑Anon was my adolescent daughter who was in trouble. And she blamed me for her problems because she said I was too strict. My husband blamed me for her problems because he said I was too permissive. So, I didn’t know what was up or down. I just knew that somehow; I was to blame.
In Al‑Anon, one of the first things I learned is that it’s a disease, as the American Medical Association has proclaimed. And as such, I didn’t cause it. I can’t control it and I can’t cure it.
And there’s a fourth C that is not mentioned that much, but I think it’s very important is that I don’t have to contribute to it. And how do I contribute to it by doing for the other person what they can do for themselves, by cushioning them from the effects and the consequences of their bad choices, by making excuses for them, by paying bounced checks or by rescuing, rescuing, rescuing, and avoiding the natural development of things.
And in Al‑Anon, I learned that I am not God and I don’t have that power over anyone else. And all that does is create more chaos and turmoil. So today I try to mind my own business, be loving and supportive, but not contribute to the problem.