I talked to my sister last night and I don't think she was too keen on me coming for Thanksgiving. I didn't take it personally and was actually a little relieved to be free from obligations.
We have had an estranged relationship for many years both suffering alone without each others support. She left for college when my Dad remarried and didn't really stand up for me when the emotional abuse started. This is really behind us now and we both made our amends during our last visit.
I have built my life around the story of being the outsider. That is why I fit in with Al-anon. It feels like a room full of outsiders. I liked alcoholics because they seemed to fit in better than I did.
I realize now that we really aren't that different. I think they drink to fit in and to quiet the same ugly voices that us Al Anoners have.
When I first came to the meetings I was the victim and felt superior to alcoholic in my life, then I felt sorry for him. Then as I matured in the program I really started to see we were the same people. I just didn't have a liquid escape route. I was just as sick without any excuses at all.
I don't know why I am not an alcoholic but I can definitely relate to the need to escape. In the beginning when I attended AA meetings to summoned some empathy, which was in short supply at the time, it made me think about my own first drink.
I was 15 and life was unbearable at home my co-workers at Long John Silvers offered my a ride home. They really wanted me to buy beer because I looked the most mature. I purchased it at Kroger and we drank in the car.
I can still remember now the relief I felt at the moment the pain of my life dissolving away. The stress of trying to make my stepmother happy, she is still not happy. It felt good to let my guard down to fit in just for a few moments.
I don't know why I didn't become an alcoholic. The grace of god I guess, I had plenty of reasons to escape and after leaving home at 16 I had plenty of opportunities to become one.
In my younger years I worked in restaurants where there was free drugs and alcohol for anyone that wanted them. I did drink a lot and dated bartenders and cooks. That is how I met my husband. Once we were married I decided we needed to get out of the business, it was a bad influence on him. This is where my Al-Anon story starts.