When denial is no longer working we often move around the clock to bargaining. We begin to make bargains with others and especailly with God. This happened with Ellen. Ellen was drinking heavily at a party. Going home she had an accident in which she was injured and was taken to the emergency room. Fortunately, no one else was hurt. During the terrible pain she suffered, she asked God to take away the pain and shame she had brought on herself. She promised never again to drink and drive. She kept her promise for several months but then she slipped back into her old habits.



Once we have gotten through denial and bargaining we often blame others for our troubles. Some blaming is often justified because others do have something to do with our suffering either directly or indirectly. At other times blaming supports our denying we had anything to do with our suffering. Ellen, after breaking her promise, complained to her friend, Judy, who gave the party, that if Judy had been a "real friend" she wouldn't have let her leave the party intoxicated. Ellen complained to yet another friend that Judy knew she couldn't "hold her liquor" but still let her drink too much and then permitted her to leave the party driving.



Ellen did not accept responsibility for her own actions but blamed Judy. Once Ellen began to think about the events of the party, she realized and admitted it was her own responsibility not only to herself but to others to control her drinking and to avoid driving when she had been drinking. Ellen felt so guilty and regretted her mistakes. She had not only endangered herself and others, but had offended a valued friend. Ellen had bargained with God, blamed someone else for her own actions, expressed anger, and experienced sadness. Ellen had completed this hard work and had come to point of being able to improve and find meaning in her troubles.

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