I am so grateful for the gift of my recovery in Al‑Anon. From my very first meeting, I clung to the “three Cs.” I didn’t cause, can’t control, and can’t cure the disease of alcoholism. I experienced freedom from guilt, confusion, and fear. As I continued to change by using the Steps, slogans, sponsorship, and other tools, I grew spiritually. Then I began the long process of keeping the entire focus on myself. As a result, I am able to pass on my serenity, experience, and hope to others.
I have now adopted my personal three Cs: Today I am too blessed to complain, compare, or criticize myself or others. This allows me to continue to move forward into a beautiful new way and live my own life, a day at a time.
By Mildred H., Maryland
The Forum, April 2021
Feel free to reprint this article on your service arm website or in your newsletter, along with this credit line: Reprinted with permission of The Forum, Al‑Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc., Virginia Beach, VA.
Having separated from my spouse after 36 years, three children, two grandchildren, the 3 C’s put it all in perspective!
Since joining Al-Anon, I am grateful for the 3 C’s. They were an absolutely clarifying experience for me. All the confusion, condemnation, and chaos fell away as I realized the truth of the 3 C’s. Now I attend meetings, read Al-Anon literature, trust in my Higher Power (Whom I call God), and tell Me, Myself, and I to FOCUS (focus on changing ‘ur’ self) remembering one day at a time is all “we” have to get through.
This morning I was crying and was looking for help to stop blaming myself for my son’s alcohol problem that has ended his marriage. He has 2 beautiful young children which have been withheld from him, I see his life crumbling right before my very eyes because he is back home. I am blaming myself over and over and over again. I have sought help from therapy and don’t really have too much of a support system. So coming across this gives me hope that I so desperately need. Thank-you. The 3 C’s will help me get through today. I… Read more »
I’ve just joined the group. The 3 Cs have helped give me a new outlook. I try to keep constant reminders of them as I often put blame/responsibility on myself. Feeling like it’s my obligation to fix it. I need to release myself of that burden as it only adds to the stress and anger stewing behind it all.
Thank you for this post. I am just starting my journey. I remind myself daily of the three C’s but how do I start believing them after so many years of my AH blaming me for everything? I hope this journey leads me to peace and serenity.
This was awesome to read. I really liked the personal 3Cs
It’s been 7 months since we separated. We lived together 3+ years. He is mid fifties educated with a Masters degree. I realized that he was never going to stop drinking. Although educated he has worked jobs that high school or college kids take (food industry) As I got to know him better I found out he had never held a job for more than 2 years. He hadn’t had a real job for over 20 years once had been a football coach/teacher for high schools and college but lost those positions 25 years ago and although he said he… Read more »
This is very helpful to see what I know is true spelled out in words. I did not cause this I can’t control it and sure can’t cure it. I just got home from 4 days away to a spouse with pancreatitis caused by drinking. He is convinced he has the power to control himself next time. Sad to see now after he was sober for 18 years. Such a waste. I need to get on with my life now.
This is a little off topic but something I grapple with often, since joining Al-Anon. I’ve been to six meetings, love my home group and I’m already doing better dealing with alcoholism since joining. But I’m not a believer in the traditional God and not sure what my higher power is or should be. Anyone else with similar issues? I’m excited about Al-Anon but having trouble dealing with the higher power concept.
Knowing that I didn’t cause, can’t control and can’t cure the disease of alcoholism is a huge reminder and help for me. It’s especially important for me at this time. Thank you.
This was very helpful.
Yes, I am also leaving my alcoholic partner… as of tonight.
I had never heard the 3 C’s until I joined Al-Anon. They make complete sense!!! I have written it down on a post it and put it on my computer so I can see it all day at work. And just repeat it in my head. Praying is all I can do at this moment.
Leaving an alcoholic partner
I have learned a lot since I joined group yesterday, especially this post. Today I had a different attitude when dealing with my alcoholic spouse. Thank you!
I love the 3 Cs ! Gratitude for the many blessings I receive every day is another wonderful tool I’ve learned in the program. When I focus on my blessings it helps to keep negative thoughts away. I’ve been in this program for a long time but I’m still learning all the time.
Thank you! I,too, greatly benefited in learning that I didn’t Cause the addiction, Cure my son or Control him. Knowing that truly made a difference in my life.
So thankful that I have this program. I needed a reminder today that complaining does not help. My Higher Power was definitely looking after me. As I was feeling so ungrateful driving to the store to get my husband some meds I met up with a longtime Al-Anon member. I came home feeling so much better.
Thank you for sharing. Reminds me to practice gratitude today. All just a matter of perspective 💚