Preparing for action – Problem Solving Series – Session 6

Providing background, admitting a problem, and analyzing next steps as we prepare for action 

Once we have a communicable plan in place it is time to take action.  That is the focus of the background and problem sections of the A3 that live on the left side of the document.  I find a huge relation and parallel with this in regards to ABDL where each and every one of us has a story to tell.  Our story (background) helps ourselves and others understand what our problem is.  

Please take the word problem only as part of what is meant in the A3.  You can substitute a word to make it feel different for you, but we are looking to change something about ourselves (even if that is self-acceptance) and this document calls that a problem. 

The driver of these sections is for us to be able to tell our story in a way that someone else can understand the need of change from our problem.  There is a such a power in doing this even on our own because so many of us have never said this outloud to another person.  I learned so much from the first time I said things out loud.  I even felt differently when I was able to say it outloud the first time.  It changed me, and how I felt about it when I was able to externalize it.  

That made it VERY hard to relate to my wife how I feel when it was changing as it was coming out of my mouth.  If I would have worked through the A3 process before communicating with her it may have changed out first few conversations that were rocky at best.  It was understandably not cupcakes and rainbows for her (or me), and I would hope for a smoother experience for anyone else going through the process.

After building your background, or origin of diapers in your life you can begin to formulate your problem statement.  What is the gap between where you are now, and where you want to be?  Some possible “problems” may be:

  • Self acceptance
  • Sharing with your spouse
  • Discovery of your AB or “little” side
  • Further incorporation of your ABDL side into your relationship with your spouse
  • Children in the household (when and how to wear)

The gap we determine helps us build the initial foundations of what our countermeasures and plans will be.  When we see the gap we are better able to build plans.  Seeing the gap, and admitting there is a problem, is a HUGE step in the entire process.  Until we are able to admit there is a problem we will not be able to take any additional steps.  This is often the first step in any 12 step program.

The right side of the A3 document focuses on taking action and accounting for it.  Now that we have a background, problem, and analysis behind us we can begin to evaluate countermeasures and a plan of attack.  This is where we include ourselves as well as our spouse, therapist, or friend that we have included in our journey.  They will help guide us and hold us accountable to the plans that we establish.  

Whatever version or level of granularity this takes I encourage you to sit down, and write down what you are thinking and feeling.  Writing has always been therapy for me, and a journal or keyboard has historically helped me get past the initial stress and admission of a problem existing that I need to change.  Grab some notes, or a laptop and begin typing.  Allow space for whatever to come out.  Remember that while in the first step, brainstorming, there are no bad ideas.  Do not stop yourself, and let your thoughts flow.  Evaluation and deeper thought occurs in the next steps of the process.  Let yourself get out what is bouncing around inside your brain.  Don’t expect it to be perfect on the first pass, or even the second or third.  

Our problems, just like us, are a work in progress.

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