Saturday, May 29, 2010
Yesterday I met with someone and found myself trying to explain how the Al-Anon program worked for me in the beginning and how it works now. This was harder than I thought is would be but it really made me think about where I was in the beginning and where I am now.
I didn’t recognize the alcoholism in my life until the relationship was over and by the time I reached Al-Anon I had lost the one person I thought I could not live without. At the time I thought it was my husband but now I know it was me. I was just a shell without him and I thought my life was over and I would never feel good again. I didn’t want to live and the grief of losing the only person in my life was beyond devastation. That is what the disease does and not over night. I was messed up before I got into this relationship, don’t get me wrong, but I could accomplish anything I set my mind to but once I found my soul mate I slowly turned my will and my life over to the disease. Cunning, baffling and powerful is what they say I don’t know how such a determined self-reliant person ended up a vacant shell with no support. The alcoholic had his drinkers a lot of them too to support him and a new woman, I expect a lot like me, that could see his potential and was willing to do whatever was needed to support her man ok at the time my man. So that was the beginning I was broken and empty and the 12 steps brought me back to life. I didn’t really work the steps I was too tired for that I just showed up. For my relationship it was too late I was up against something that I could not control, no one can.
I got better quickly in the program. I am willful and I know now that if I hadn’t been so empty and stripped away of all hope I wouldn’t have ever accepted the program. I would have thought I could handle it and never found the peace and even joy that I have now.
Now I can share that experience with others and use the steps to stay on the right track. I look at things differently today and spend my time discovering the person I truly am and not the person that life forced me to be. I still can be a care-taker but the difference is I know when I am doing it and can back off when I am spread too thin. Before it was like breathing I never wanted to disappoint any one and would end up feeling depleted and resentful. If I take care of my own needs I can be there for others in a more authentic way. I can share the gift of the program and the hope that it is possible to change oneself and be happy.