Thursday, July 31, 2008

Tonight - A Speakers Meeting & The Noon Day Meeting

Al-Anon Speakers Meeting
Tonight was a speaker's meeting. The woman who spoke was super articulate. She told of her qualifier and the hell she went through. She told of drunken binges and blackouts and how she went into isolation and could not and would not even speak. That was 24 years ago.

Tonight she could speak. And she did!

It reminded me of why I am getting my divorce. My qualifier is on the road to self-destruction. I cannot stop her. I got off the railroad tracks and pulled our daughter too.

I wish my in-laws and my soon to be ex-wife's friends could have heard the speaker tonight.

A Noon Day Meeting
I also went to a noon day meeting - this meeting was just as good because it was basically a Step 6 (although I could relate it better to Steps 1,2 and 3) and Let Go and Let God. Several women were there and spoke of their children who were alcoholics. As one woman put it - "If it is your spouse you could leave and divorce - but if it is your son - your only son - what can you do?" she asked.

What can you do indeed? I know what the literature says. I know the "supposed to" thing. But your own child? This has got to be the toughest Let Go and Let God there is.

I pray to and for all the parents out there who have children who are battling this disease. And I hope my daughter will understand one day soon why I am getting the divorce - although she has asked I cannot and have not been truthful with her. I told her, "That is between me and mommy." But I sense she knows. And there is no use telling her why, because she needs to love and respect her mom, and she needs her mom to love and respect her. If I did tell her it would look like I am placing our daughter in the middle of a "who's right and who's wrong" type of deal and everyone would wind up hurt. I do - just hope for -this -that our daughter understands the terribleness of this disease and it runs in families. This is a prayer too that I make every day, and hope she sees why I go to meetings.

This disease really does suck. I've been to two meetings today where the focus was not on me, but on the disease and it reminded me how terrible, cunning and baffling it is.

As the speaker said tonight, "It is cunning,baffling and powerful. And it is patient." Meaning it will out wait you and get you when you least expect it.

But there is hope. As she said, "Once I got out the way and stopped interfering with my husband's drinking, God intervened and he went to AA - that night! And the men took care of him that night - all night. And it began his recovery. And it began mine, as I left him at home by himself, and I went to an Al-Anon meeting.

She also said; "Man takes a drink. Then the drink takes a drink. Then the drink takes the man."

There is hope. More importantly - if you have faith - and work the program - miracles do happen. I can attest to this.

I hope you are well.


Anonymous said...

This is truly the strangest disease I have ever encountered, and I am in the medical field.

With what other disease does the patient continually refuse treatment and do things to make himself more sick, as long as those who love and care about him, love and care about him?

Only when it finally seems that nobody else cares about him anymore (everyone has "let go") does the patient finally seek treatment.

It does not get more bass-ackward than that, does it?

All logic flies out the window with this problem. Have you ever used "reverse psychology" to get your child to do something they might not otherwise do? Ususally this is something most kids catch onto by age 7 or 8 and it doesn't work anymore. In my experience an active alcoholic is very much like a child; self centered, petulant, demanding, attention seeking, I could go on but I am sure you all know what I am talking about. This letting go and pretending I don't care anymore is a technique I would have thought would never work on an intelligent grown man. Yet there it is, working.

Anyway it is very confusing for a logic oriented person like myself to have to deal with this disease because it makes no sense. I have finally gotten to the point where I think, "Who cares if it makes no sense, as long as it works."


PS IMHO Joe, I think you are very wise to not put your daughter in the middle and keep the reasons for divorce between you and her mother. No one wins when one parent demonizes the other, I speak from experience.

Syd said...

The disease is truly bad. It is something that those of us who are sober can't fathom.

Anonymous said...

Your right Syd, we cannot even begin to understand the burden.

I enjoyed a conversation the other day with a gal with 19 years sobriety.

She said: "You have no idea what it is like to be an alcoholic"

I had to admit that indeed I do not have even a clue what she experiences everyday in regards to that. I told her simply, all I can do is try to understand how important sobriety is in her life, and hold myself open to listen with compassion, and without judgement.

I said: "Have you ever been on the receiving end of a practicing alcoholic"?

She said: "No"

I said: " Then we have more in common than you think"

I'm not an "Alcoholic".

I'm not a "Normie".

I'm just "Kevin".

Peace this Friday, and all enjoy your Weekend.


Anonymous said...

What really helped me was listening to AA speaker tapes. One tape in particular really hit home with me when the speaker said that he didn't even know how and why he was thinking. If that is so, than how can we possibly even think that we can comprehend? What also helped was going to open AA meetings. At first, I was very reluctant to go. But as I kept going, I was able to see that it really was a terrible disease. It wasn't asked for by the people in the program. It's something that they have to deal with on a daily basis for the rest of their lives. My qualifier stopped drinking after our divorce. Something that I never thought would happen in a million years. Miracles happen all of the time. Tiny miracles and giant miracles. You just have to pray for them or watch for them. They happen all of the time.

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