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Post Info TOPIC: What does unmanageable mean to you?

Veteran Member

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Posts: 51
What does unmanageable mean to you?


I'm very new to all of this so please be gentle with me hmm.

I am just starting to learn about recovery and exploring step one. I agree 100% that I am powerless over alcohol, but I really wouldn't say that my life is "unmanageable". Sure, I have ups and downs just like everyone else, but I have to say I'm a pretty happy person in general. Unmanageable seems like such a dramatic word and I wouldn't use it to describe my life. Does this mean that I'm not in the right place right now? It kind of makes me feel that either things aren't that bad or maybe I'm just in denial about how bad things really are.

I'm curious about how others interpret that word "unmanageable". Does it mean different things for different individuals?

Also, for a newbie like me, is it better not to discuss al-anon with my A? When is it ok to talk with him about it, if ever?

Thanks in advance smile


~*Service Worker*~

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Posts: 2785

For me, the "unmanageable" was the uncertainty....

My ex-AW progressed from drinking often with her friends (slightly unmanageable) - to no longer being able to drink with anyone so doing so in the home by herself during the daytime (moderately unmanageable) to making outrageously poor decisions like driving drunk with the kids (totally unmanageable).

I found that I wore the stress pretty deep, and eventually it "broke" me, to the point where I knew I couldn't handle this on my own....  I found Al-Anon, read tons of literature, got a sponsor, had a brief time on anti-depressants, and generally just educated myself and started surrounding myself with people in recovery - and my life definitely did become more manageable....

I think everyone's "tolerance" of what is manageable is different, but it eventually wore me down to the point where I didn't have the strength or energy to continue to do well at my job, take care of my kids, etc., etc...

Hope that helps


"He is either gonna drink, or he won't.... what are YOU gonna do?"

"What you think of me is none of my business"

"Focus on the whats, and not the whys, as the whys will eat us up"





~*Service Worker*~

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Posts: 1582

I feel the same as you. My life isn't unmanageable, but at the same time I am concerned about future unmanageability and that's why I'm here. Does that make sense? Nothing wrong with preparation for our hearts, minds, and souls so that we can be happier and find peace with ourselves and our As in our lives. As for talking about Al Anon, I haven't brought it up yet to AH, but I have told him(just today actually) that I will be searching for a counselor/therapist who specializes in addictions and codependency.

Struggling to find me......

Senior Member

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Posts: 419

My life certainly didn't look unmanageable from the outside -- great job that I love, respected by my coworkers and peers, financially self-sufficient (in fact, in better shape financially than most people my age), wonderful close friendships.

It might have raised a few eyebrows when you realized that this woman had a failed marriage at the age of 22, then a series of relationships with men, none of which lasted more than 6 years. Hmmmm.

You'd see the unmanageability if you looked inside me, however.  Then you'd see the woman whose self-esteem was so low (despite all the outward success!) that she felt unlovable, and chose and stayed with poor partners because she didn't think she deserved any better, that a "quality" man would never want her.  You'd see that her last two relationships had been with recovering alcoholics and when they relapsed she spent hours at her desk obsessing and worrying about the drinker.

Unmanageable to me meant simply, "This isn't working for me, and I don't know how to stop it".

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could... Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense. - Emerson

~*Service Worker*~

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Posts: 1484

My life became unmanageable over a period of years. I never confronted my wife about her drinking. I didn't know then that it wouldn't have helped or changed anything anyway. I kept everything on the inside (not smart) while maintaining an outward appearance of calm at my business and around others. I can remember watching T.V. by myself and thinking I wanted to throw the remote through the T.V. set. I never did, but sometimes I wish I had.

Nothing in my life had ever made me have thoughts like that. I questioned my sanity. I couldn't concentrate at my business. I counted cans. I would go to the bedroom at night but not go to bed. This allowed me to stand in the bathroom sometimes for over an hour and watch her thru the window as she drank vodka from the bottle. The disease had driven me crazy.......unmanageable is only a nice way to say what my life had become. We had two sick people in our house.

Unmanageable means just that, the above........"My life had become unmanageable.......and I did not know, at the time, I was powerless over alcohol".

Thank you Al-Anon........Dang, I was five years late to my first meeting. The only Al-Anon meeting I have ever been late to.

Good topic.


-- Edited by RLC on Monday 14th of February 2011 07:54:49 PM


~*Service Worker*~

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Posts: 13681

Unmanagable for me was asking myself the question "Where the hell am I at.
What the hell am I doing and how in the hell did I get here?"  Here was in a
place I never thought I'd ever be or even want to be in.   My life had gone to
hell in a handbasket because I had spent it mostly to support other peoples'
wishes and wants or to fix someone who was habitually doing things that cause
lives to end up in hell in a handbasket.  Unmanagable meant I was in a condition
I never dreamed or wished to be in because I given up my dreams and wishes in
favor of doing for others...mostly drunks and addicts.  My entire life came from the
disease of alcoholism and addiction and I knew nothing else other than to be a
helper to people who hated to be bothered by helpers and didn't ask for help.

Unmanagable means I wasn't running my business and the store was unprofitable.

Unmanagable meant I could smile like any crazy person can smile and while I felt
ill mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually if you asked me "how are you" I
would smile and say fine smile

Unmanagable means trying to live life without a program for living...doing it all by
chance...luck.  Since I am the poster boy for Murphy's Law you can imagine what
luck looks like in my world.

Today I was happy because I was accomplishing things in my life mostly because
I wanted to achieve them and because I have the skill and when I step back and
look at my achievement I like it.  It isn't because someone else likes it...if they do
that's nice also.  Today happiness is an inside job kinda sorta how you say it and
I don't always have to feel happiness.  Being managable lots of time is being
comfortably satisfied that I am  doing the best I can with what I have and that is
enough for now.  I use to overachieve and get nothing done.  That's done now.

In order to be a good manager I have to have good management tools...a HP who
I can ask for guidance and support.  A program with membership and a sponsor to
do the same.  Literature and experiences from practice and the practice of others so
I can have good mentoring.  Left on my own I generally don't do as well. 

I am not self made.  I have been remade by hundreds if not thousands from the
fellowship who know where I come from because they came from that themselves.

Great question.   (((((Hugs))))) smile

-- Edited by Jerry F on Tuesday 15th of February 2011 01:33:29 AM


Veteran Member

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Posts: 51

Wow, I am blown away by all the great responses. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

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