Alcoholics are notorious control freaks, whether we’re practicing our alcoholism or not. Many alcoholics grew up with an alcoholic parent (or two). Or we grew up surrounded by anger, anxiety and abuse. After trying to survive our childhood and manage the chaos around us, it’s no wonder we cannot trust others or relinquish control. Hypervigilance and controlling our environment was necessary for our very survival.
Until we heal some of our past trauma, we remain stuck in survival mode, trying to micromanage and control everything around us. In recovery, learning what we can and cannot control makes all the difference. Once we have diminished the chaos in our life, we need to let go of the things we cannot control. The Serenity prayer nicely sums up the analogy of slippers and carpeting the world:
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;