Step One -- "I acknowledge and accept that I am powerless in controlling the lives of others, and trying to control others makes my life unmanageable."
I accept my limitations.
I admit to myself that control is an illusion.
I allow others to do for themselves what they can and should do for themselves.
I honestly and humbly recognize my life is unmanageable as is.
I learned well as a child that it was important to be in control, not only of self but others and situations. As a result, I grew up to be a hyper vigilant “people pleaser” that had to surmise every situation before getting involved. While that worked when life and I were simpler but grew increasingly difficult as we became more complex. It took getting to the point of not knowing who I was in midlife before I slowed down enough to look at the hollow shell, I called home.
Years of being this way left me feeling inadequate as well as helpless. When I finally admitted I was powerless, I found that did not equate to being worthless. To admit powerlessness is to recognize I am human, not superhuman nor subhuman. Somehow, I was afraid of being caught; I’m not sure at what, just coming up short as a person.
When I woke up to the fact that I really wasn’t “doing it for their own good” but to suit me, I was shocked. It was hard to accept that I had pushed my children away the harder l kept holding on to them. I had no idea what intimacy was in relationships that I valued. And the denial of me was the hardest to overcome.
Along with that I came to admit I was full of rage and resentment that was situation inappropriate. As more of my efforts to control ceased to appear to work (because they never really had worked, I was in denial about that too) I found the thing to do was to blame others and myself and I dumped on those I loved the most and were most vulnerable to me. Then I would feel guilty and ashamed for this behavior.
Although it was the hardest thing I ever did and still do one day at a time, it has opened me up to the greatest growth surge in my life.