Friday, August 29, 2008

Today I Celebrated ONE YEAR!

Celebrating my birthday in Al-Anon - one year.

Today, I celebrated one year in Al-Anon. I feel like it's been 5 years, probably because I have averaged around 5 or 6 meetings a week - if not more. I sometimes go to two meetings a day.

You might ask why. I find that I had to escape my house filled with alcoholism and that by escaping, getting out of the house, I could regain peace . . . or semblance of it. I realized that I had to get out permanently, because of my daughter's welfare.

I am now out. I am realizing how screwed up the alcoholism had made me. The lies, deceit, and its craftiness to make me feel like there wasn't anything wrong, or that I was "controlling" and "crazy." These feelings are often discussed in the literature and by newcomers - and old-timers of Al-Anon who can recall the sickness of this family disease.

The main point of this disease is - I almost DID NOT celebrate my one year - what we call "Birthday" in Al-Anon. I almost did not sign up - or I should say - I did not sign up. For my true birthday was in June. I felt "unworthy" and didn't want to be a "bother" or "burden" anyone. It wasn't a martyr thing either - I can assure you. And I don't "slip obsequiously into the night" about things - especially about work or related matters. The people I see on a regular basis are super nice and loving and most of all - accepting.

I decided to "sign-up" to celebrate when I realized that this is another part of my disease speaking out. I decided I must do what feels bothersome and therefore celebrate it.

Well, it was too late for a coin. But my sponsor and a very super smart woman gave me there coins. I am indebted and I am grateful.

I have never thought I would experience the "magic" of something - this is far more than a 12-Step Program, for it helped me regain my lost self and find God - whom has guided me gently through this obstacle course. I have found when something went wrong, something good came of it. When something bad happened, it was really a blessing in disguise.

I am grateful to all of you dear readers - I know you are reading and having times of difficulty - or you are embracing your program and have found peace or are working the Steps and the program and finding a new way of life.

It does work. It is the most amazing thing.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for this, Joe, and congratulations.

I just got back from a meeting myself. I think it's my fourth. I went to a few mtgs a number of months ago and then stopped. This week I found a new counselor (who is WONDERFUL even after 1 appointment). He told me to go to as many as I could.

This was a different group/different night than the one I'd attended before. A few people, myself included, went out to a local diner afterward. It was nice, good to get out of the house, to meet good people. For this I am grateful.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Joe! I have been reading your blog for several months,and have left a few comments. You have been a huge blessing to me, because you share from your heart, and I must say that I have NEVER in my 23 years with my qualifier, met anyone who's situation (your marriage, parenting, and your values)has mirrored mine as yours has/does! I have cried, laughed, and learned with you. I also have had the burden of 'should I stay, or should I go'...along side you - and NOW, I am so grateful to say, I have also filed for divorce. I can't say that I am happy about it - far from it. But I feel that my two little boys and I have been released, and for that I am eternally grateful! My ex-husband was/is a con-artist, and a liar. I agonized for years about our situation, and couldn't figure out 'what the problem was'... Eventually, I started doing my own 'detective work', and found his hidden cans everywhere. I can't believe how sick I have been, it was right in my face, but I couldn't see it. He would lose his balance, slur, etc. His lies were unreal: "I'm going out to fuel up my vehicle", was his favorite. My denial of the obvious was amazing! I left because I wanted my kids to have the opportunity to experience life without addiction's ugly face/grip. I tricked myself into believing that my ex 'loved' and 'needed' me. I admit that I wanted to feel needed - that was my addiction. To my suprise - the day I truly left, he recovered 'the great loss of ME' in about two seconds, even though days before he professed his undying affections for me! I was a complete co-dependant 'sucker'. Anyway - your story, and your willingness to share it, have been an enormous support to me. Thank you, and may God bless you enormously! Sonya

Syd said...

Joe, congratulations on your first year anniversary. It is a great thing to celebrate. I remember telling my story at two meeting on my first anniversary. A candle was lit, my coin was given to me, and a card was signed by Al-Anon friends. I'm glad that you had that special moment and got your chip. Thanks for being here.

Tuck said...

Applause ... I had one month on the 25th ... the most 'free' month of my life

Anonymous said...


Amazing 1 year, 1 day at a time...

Will almost be a year since my decision to go a different direction, I'm glad I did, even though at times it has been a very difficult road to travel.

All I can say, is that the priciples of the Al-Anon program have been a tremendous help to me, and they continue to be my outline for a happy and content life. It has shifted my focus back to simpler things, simpler times, and a re-freshed view of life.

Thank you Joe, for your blog, it continues to be one of the 1st places I visit each and every morning.

Peace this Tuesday.