Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Recovering

Whenever someone says they are "grateful to be an alcoholic" I always think to myself "they must not have children." I have lately found that a sizable percentage of my readership are members of alanon, and they certainly understand the devastation alcoholism causes in a family. Most of us alcoholics do too, from our own childhoods. But it is slightly less gratifying to think about the wreckage we have caused in our own families. It is my considered opinion that recovery will be elusive until we face these things....

That said, we had a lovely birthday celebration yesterday. All day long yesterday I thought about the ten years of my eldest granddaughter's life. It was a melancholic look back. The ten years of her little life have been filled with horrible alcoholic devastation. But she is a happy, healthy, funny, affectionate little girl. Maybe she (and her 6 year old sister) have had enough people to love her and step in when stepping in was called for. I don't know. It is just sad what has happened in her life.

Lately I have gotten "stuck" on some childhood stuff that I never before gave much thought. (how many layers can an onion possibly have???) We get wounded and carry these things around with us for decades and decades.

When I got sober I suffered the common delusion that I had not greatly effected my family. It took me years to see what my ailment and its attendant behavior had cost my family. The price was high. And it was paid by those who should never have paid.

"We feel a man is unthinking when he says that sobriety is enough. He is like the farmer who came up out of his cyclone cellar to find his home ruined. To his wife, he remarked, 'Don't see anything the matter here, Ma. Ain't it grand the wind stopped blowin'?'" -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 82

But I know that we also live worthy lives, despite history, genetics, and disease. God will never leave me unaided. I have the twelve steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. I have an entire fellowship of which to avail myself. I live in the hope and reality of recovery and a new life.

12 comments:

Angela said...

Thank you Mary! Some wonderful people have been visiting my blog and leaving encouraging comments. I hope you're having a great day!

Patty said...

Amen.

dAAve said...

I am grateful to be a RECOVERING alcoholic. Period.

I have never been in a cyclone or a cyclone cellar. Yet.

chitowngreg said...

I think we've got to keep putting one foot in front of the other and build on our past. I'm grateful that I've found my way into the program and that's a positive. I can't feel bad about it because how I got here. I just need to keep moving forward and do the best I can. Thanks for the post.

Julianne said...

Thank you for sharing this morning. I, too, am struggling with issues that seem to have their conception in my childhood. Your thoughts encourage me to do the work.
Blessings!

Syd said...

The amends process is a powerful one because it helped me to truly understand that I could forgive myself. That was an awesome thing. Last night's meeting topic was on acceptance. Lots of powerful sharings on that.

Kim A. said...

It is a family disease but I can say the reason I continue to go to and live the Alanon program is because of me alone..and not anyone else's isms. I don't ask the why's anymore..it just doesn't matter to me nearly as much as what I do today to stay sane and serene.

♥namaste♥

Ed G. said...

The part of my past that I do regret is the harm to my children at my hand. I'm clear that I don't want to shut the door on it in that it is clear that I believe it had to happen for me to get here from there and I want to learn every possible lesson that I can. Those kids just didn't deserve the treatments they got and didn't get from me.

Blessings and aloha...

Pam said...

thank you sweet Mary. It's the kind of truth that is beautiful and hurts at the same time.
I know that most of us would do it so very different if we had the chance.

Scott said...

a poster for the southern rock band "little feat" is what came to mind when I saw the photo...

I thank God often that our son has not had to live through my and my wife's active alcoholism. I've prayed often for you and your family and once in awhile, when it occurs to me, I do it some more. I will do it today, this time a prayer of thanks :-)

Anonymous said...

I'm a grateful member of alanon. Many in my home group have said they are grateful to the alcoholic in their lives. I would never have found the program, but can't express that gratitude yet. The disease has brought so much pain to our family. I wonder if our alcoholic family members will ever acknowledge the devastation they left in their wake. Kim M.

Melissa Greene, LPC-MHSP said...

I am the adult child of an alcoholic, and have often wondered "Why did I have to go through all that crap?" Just as so many people can say, "I am grateful to be an alcoholic." There are those of us who can say, "I am grateful to be the adult child of an alcoholic." We grow in recovery in the same ways and I have been able to demonstrate the glory of God in ways that others unaffected by this disease could not have done. The same HP who carries you in recovery is the one who carries the children and families affected. Grateful!