The 3 C's of Al-Anon: Panama Rehab Center Offers Help for Codependency

In Al-Anon -- a 12-step group for friends and family members of alcohlics, they often refer to the three c's: I didn't cause it, I can't cure it, and I can't control it. "It" refers to another person and/or their relationship with alcohol or drugs.
VANCOUVER ISLAND, British Columbia - June 16, 2013 - PRLog -- The 3 C’s of Al-Anon

I didn’t cause it.
I can’t cure it.
I can’t control it.

In a logical world, and if you are not thinking about it in terms of your own loved ones or your own actions, it may seem very simple. Of course you can’t control or cure someone else of their disease. Why on earth would you try?

The three c’s of al-anon are a simple concept, until they are actually applied to a real-life problem. Your husband’s drinking embarrasses you, and you do all that you can to make sure that no one knows how serious it is. Your son smokes a lot of pot, and you find yourself searching his room when he’s not home, in search of his hidden stashes.  You are convinced that if your wife didn’t have you there to tell her when to eat, that she would forget – even though she’s 45 years old.

Suddenly, it seems that the three C’s might actually apply to you:

I did not cause his alcoholism.
I can’t cure his addiction.
I can’t control what she does.

Al-Anon is a 12-step program for friends and family members of alcoholics. However, the 3 c’s do not apply only to those whose loved ones are in the throes of active alcoholism. Although Al-Anon points out that alcoholism is family illness, its rippling effects do not stop at a single alcoholic and their spouse. Even children who have grown up in families of recovering alcoholics – even those with 12-step programs, who are no longer actively drinking – may find themselves still trying to control situations in ways normally associated with a loved one’s active drinking or drug abuse. Drug addiction in a friend or family member is another easy place for these behaviors to blossom, or mental illness. All it takes is learning the behaviors of trying to control someone else’s actions once in a lifetime for a person to apply the same principles to other relationships.

The 3 c’s of Al-Anon focus on bringing attention to the symptoms of codependency, which is defined by Wikipedia as “a psychological condition or a relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition (typically narcissism or drug addiction); and in broader terms, it refers to the dependence on the needs of, or control of, another.”

Codependents with a friend or relative in active addiction often ask themselves, “why is he doing this to me? Doesn’t he realize how much he’s hurting me?” They have problems standing up for themselves, and often their lives revolve around others, especially those with addiction.

Without realizing it, codependents often make excuses for others, and try to portray them in a different or better light to others, and to themselves.

Codependents will give of themselves until there is nothing left to give, and wonder why no one else notices their sacrifice – the sacrifice that often no one else asked them to make.

Often, codependents will think, “if only he/she would get better or change, then my life would get better, too.” In the throes of their own sickness, they do not realize that they alone hold the key to their own happiness, and that key opens a door labeled, “The only thing I have control over is me.”

Serenity Vista is one of the only residential treatment centers for codependency in the world. Serenity Vista is a holistic rehabilitation facility. By healing mind, body and spirit, Serenity Vista offers an affordable rehabilitation option to those looking for serenity, regardless of where the chaos seems to be coming from. We work with recovering addicts and alcoholics, and also with their loved who are seeking a way out of the chaos by bringing the focus back to where it belongs: on the self.

For more information, go to
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