Al-Anon’s Three Cs – I didn’t cause it, I can’t control it, and I can’t cure it – removed the blame…

Local and virtual Al‑Anon family groups provide support to people affected by someone else’s drinking. In addition to weekly meetings and literature written specifically for their dilemma, members find new ways to deal with the problems they face. Al‑Anon’s Three Cs – I didn’t cause it, I can’t control it, and I can’t cure it – are one of the things many members find helpful early in the program.

In an on‑camera interview, Anna, an anonymous Al‑Anon member, shares how she learned to apply Al‑Anon’s Three Cs to her life. Watch her interview to find out more.

If you are worried about someone who drinks too much, maybe Al‑Anon can help. To find out more, consider visiting a few meetings.

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DISCLAIMER:  This interview was recorded at the 2018 Al‑Anon International Convention in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. Members were asked to share about various aspects of the Al‑Anon program and their personal experience.

Members’ anonymity is protected so that they can share openly and honestly about their experience with a loved one’s drinking and with the Al‑Anon program.

The opinions expressed in this video were strictly those of the person who gave them.

Video Transcript

Al‑Anon’s Three Cs – I didn’t cause it, I can’t control it, and I can’t cure it – removed the blame…

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.