Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Big Problems?

Al-Anon has given me a strength, that at one time I would have argued was a weakness. In fact, Al-Anon has given me several strengths, that at one time I would argued were weaknesses.

I want to cover one of these strengths. The strength is knowing that I need a Higher Power or God. That I cannot go through life alone and solve my big problems.

I left God years ago. It wasn't until about three months ago that I realized I was wrong.

How did I realize that I was wrong? In my heart I already knew but it happened solidly one day when . . . My qualifier's alcohol councillor advised me to read and study Step 1. He said, "Read Step 1. Study it. When you are done, study it some more."

I thought he was an idiot. I am dying here, I thought in my best George Kastanza immitation, and he wants me to study Step 1?! Are you friggin' kidding me???

So, against all logic I did. I didn't at first. I avoided it. Then I did and I went and read Step 1 over and over -from the book - "The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions," a very dry book (you cannot convince me otherwise, but check in with me six months from now, for I may be eating these words. I have eaten a lot of words. I am now using ketchup and pepper to help the taste of eating humble pie).

I also read Step 1 passages from the "Courage to Change" and "Hope for Today" by looking in the index in the back of these books. I knew I needed something. Anything. Just help me. Help me now.

Then someone said, on this blog, in a comment, "God doesn't give me (us) problems that are we cannot get through." I think I would add, "eventually." And in his timeframe.

Knowing this does provide hope. And provide courage, at least to me. I know several of you, are going through very tough times. There is nothing more lonely than living with an alcoholic or dealing with one who is a child (or any family member facing an addiction).

I started from attending one Al-Anon meeting a week to five and 1o a week. This little thing gave me a lot of serenity. For only in these rooms, do the people who are there, really understand what we are going through and dealing with.

Also, I know in the middle of the night, when I think I am truly alone, God is there too.

I hope this helps you today.

PS - I am still reading Step 1, so I can "give up" control and know that I cannot manage the things that I have no control over.

PPS - "Wisdom to Know the Difference" . . . a line from the Serenity Prayer . . . and knowing we are all human and connected.


Anonymous said...

Even the darkest of moments can be faced with a grateful heart, if not for the crisis itself, at least for the growth it can evoke with the help of our Higher Power"

In my mind I picture my Higher Powers hands....

One by one, I place my problems and worries, my joy and my gratitude, into those hands, and finally I climb in too.

"Courage to Change"

Peace this Wed.


Anonymous said...

Thought I might share this even though it is not related to the current post....

Enjoyed a conversation with a women in AA last night at my meeting. What was interesting was her comments in regards to her addiction. She shared her opinion that Addicts/Alcoholics rarely have "healthy" relationships, as she put it "due to our nature".

She went on to say that just because she had stopped acting out on her addictions, didn't mean she stopped her addictive personality. Those tendancies and character defaults led her to her "little problem" to begin with. She shared that those behaviors and defects affect her even though she has not drank for over 10 years.

I find myself learning that Al-Anon provides me with more insight, understanding, and coping tools regarding my relationship(s) with an alcoholic, and learning a bit more about myself everyday.

Thanks for letting me share this today.


Joe said...

I think you last comment has an interesting twist. I found her comments to you very important.

I would also like to say, that we have "addictive" personalities too. And we attract these other addictive personalities, that match our addictive personalities like puzzle pieces.

I know of men and women who leave one alcoholic and wind up in relationship with another alcoholic, with the same problems, expecting (hoping?) for a different relationship.

Al-Anon is for us to cope with living with alcoholism.

BUT I think - if you allow it to - Al-Anon can be a great instruction manual/guide, not to ATTRACT a negative/addictive non-recovered personality and teach us how to avoid doing this again ....


just my thought for today

Anonymous said...

Honestly, her "due to our nature" threw a curve ball at me, as I believe there is a very big gap between the practicing alcoholic, and one committed to the recovery process.


Syd said...

The middle of the night used to be a terrible place for me. Now I can sleep through in peace. Thankfully.

TraceyBaby said...

Well, I've heard that before. God does not give us what we cannot handle. What about those that sucessfully commit suicide? No one has answered that question for me.

That being said I am a huge believer in God and it is not an issue for me. This gives me a big leg up in Alanon though I have much to work on. Praying to my HP drops my anxiety a few points and sometimes takes it away for awhile. I also received guidance and answers which help me when I struggle with my decision making.

Catherine said...

Yeah, AlAnon has also revealed weaknesses that I thought were strengths. My independence looks a lot like a refusal to ask for help when I need it and my wit (which I generally spare all of you) looks a lot like resentful sarcasm.

KevinB: "Due to our nature..." is such gentle, objective language to describe something that has tremendous power to mangle our lives. Hopefully I will be recovered someday enough to view it that simply.

TraceyBaby: The things that have been in the news this week involving children have actually made me sick at the kind of world I inhabit. I actually DON'T believe that an HP considers our limits when doling out the tragedies and horrors. And to your point, some people sadly don't survive the life they've had to lead.

maresie said...

I spent a lot of time being very very angry at HP/God for the life I got. Then I came to an acceptance of it. I have no idea why I got the family I did, poverty and more. I do know I can have a reasonable life if I practice al anon. I won't have the fairy tale rescue I craved but I can have a life with meaning. I no longer try to answer "why" but concentrate on the "what'. I can do things for me today that I could not before. I also really work on not taking on other people's issues, not because I am not caring, I am if anything way too caring but for now I have to concentrate on me. I have no idea "why" someone ends up a substance abuser and another ends up codependent. I just know I am codependent and for me its life threatening. So for me personally I have to take care of that. I leave the substance abuser to take care of their addiction, I know there are many many many resources for that and they can choose recovery if they want it. I'm not going to "try" anymore to make them "want" it.


TraceyBaby said...

Maresie, I like that. Concentrate on the what I can do for me and not the why did this happen.

KevinB, I like the picturing our HP's hands. I will try to place my worries in them.