This is not going to be fun. Already I dread the 9th step, where I know I'll be having to make some amends I don't want to. Well, I just have to do what I did my first time through the steps (though then it was the 5th step I feared—is this a form of progress?): do them one at a time.
I know I'm powerless over most of what it is that I think bothers me (I'm probably wrong). I can't control what she says, what she does, what she thinks, what she feels, what her attitude is, or how she's raising her adult children. I can't control the expression on her face. I can't control the sarcastic, self-righteous edge in her voice when she's speaking to me.
What I really, really, really need to do is stop simply reacting to all these things. For Pete's sake, when I've just had an altercation with her, my blood pressure goes up 30 points. I need to insert a pause, to let HP insert a little pause. Give me time to have a little think about what I do or say next. Not to mention give my blood pressure a few moments to recover.
I can't manage this relationship. All I can try to manage, with HP's help, is how I am in this relationship, what I do, what I say. I've been doing the best I can for 8 years, 4 months and 11 days. Not completely on my own, with some occasional requests for assistance. But whatever it is that I've been doing clearly is working. Time for a new approach.
Nothing new here. I've known all this for some time. What's different now is that I've made a decision to change what I'm doing. I'm not exactly sure what yet, but stay tuned and find out.
Fixing Me, Not You
If somebody hurts us and we are sore, we are in the wrong also.
— Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 90
What a freedom I felt when this passage was pointed out to me! Suddenly I saw that I could do something about my anger, I could fix me, instead of trying to fix them. I believe that there are no exceptions to the axiom. When I am angry, my anger is always self-centered. I must keep reminding myself that I am human, that I am doing the best I can, even when that best is sometimes poor. So I ask God to remove my anger and truly set me free.