College was rough for me. Academically, not so much, but then academics were far from being my main focus. Al-anon wasn’t even close to being on my radar, but I knew that things weren’t right, particularly with my own behavior. When I was in high school would become upset when certain friends would not act the way that I expected them to, namely initiate greetings, but other things as well. I guess I sort of felt invisible, and instead of looking inward and figuring out why I felt that way, I took it out on them.
So when I went away to college, I had one primary focus–to stop putting expectations on people and to focus on meeting my own needs wherever possible. This is ironic for two reasons–first, it had the opposite effect I had probably expected in that my friends were more willing to be there for me when I asked, because I was less demanding. Basically, I was particularly close with one friend in college, and I would call her, and she would tell me she had to study or was busy, and I would say, “Okay, no problem. Just give me a call when you get the chance.” She told me at one point that I was the person who asked the least of her, and I ended up being one of the people she spent the most time with. Second, step one in Al-anon is to admit that we are powerless over alcohol–or in my case, that I was powerless over other people. Keep in mind, that I still had absolutely no idea that Al-anon even existed at this point. It wasn’t until the end of my senior year in college that I discovered Al-anon–just in time to go home to the continued dysfunction, but I’ll talk about that more in another post. Join me tomorrow when I will discuss the part that faith played in my recovery and where it all started.