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Grant me Serenity

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A few weeks ago, I started attending Al Anon meetings. For those unfamiliar with it, Al Anon is for the friends and families who have been affected by an alcoholic. It's based on the same 12 step program AA uses, with the idea we can help the alcoholic by practicing the 12 steps ourselves.

My husband is an alcoholic. I used to always qualify this statement with "but not as bad as some people." I don't do that anymore. Our lives have truly become unmanageable, and things got worse than I thought they were. Or could be.

I'll spare you the details, because a public blog is likely not the best place to share them. However, suffice it to say we struggle. I needed extra support, so I started attending Al Anon meetings at the suggestion of my aunt.

I'm so glad I did. I have started a journal in a small moleskine notebook.

Tonight I took a very huge step. I asked someone to be my sponsor. I've been drawn to this lady since my second meeting, and we just had a connection. She's funny, has similar life experiences, and knows the struggles I face. So I asked her. She smiled, and said she's not good long term, but she's good in the beginning. I'm at the beginning of the program, so that's okay with me. :)

I'm already kinda friends with her.

It's a hard road, and I'm just starting on it. I'm trying to learn the program, and really start getting down to doing it daily.

I am finding it is providing me with a lot of helpful, positive thinking that's applying to more than just my relationship with my husband, but also everyday life, and dealing with my kids.

I can do this.

One quote from tonight's meeting really resonates with me. My very wise aunt, my mentor and friend, once told me this, and I think she must have learned it at an Al Anon meeting herself. "If nothing changes, nothing changes."

This is SO true, for all of us. In our weight loss journeys, as we struggle with our addiction to food, it's not unlike an alcoholic fighting alcohol. And if we do things the way we always have, how can we expect them to be any different? If the things you have always done aren't working, you need to change them.

I try to live my life by that mantra. If nothing changes, then nothing will change. But if I do change... something will happen, for better or worse.

So tomorrow, I'm going to focus on making a new change. I don't know what, yet, but I will change something. Maybe it will be big. Maybe it will be small. But something will be different.

My challenge to you today: Do something different. Because if you do what you've always done, you'll get the results you always have.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I'm a recovering codependent as well as a compulsive eater.
    1890 days ago
    I absolutely love your aunt's quote - this is the second time you've passed along her inspiring words. I will be thinking of them - and you - today.

    I grew up with the Serenity Prayer on our living room wall - never knowing what it really was or why it was there (until my teens). So basically I've been saying it since I could read but have yet to master it. Such good advice, so hard to take.

    Good luck to you for your entire family.

    1892 days ago
  • BILL60
    I wish you and your family nothing but the best. It's a tough road ahead of you. My prayers are with you.
    1893 days ago
    You have known for a long time that there were issues in your life that had to be taken care of. That is further along than most folks ever get to. You are also smart and know how to attain your goals. Again, much further than most folks. I will continue to pray that you find the strength to continue and win these battles.
    1893 days ago
  • _MOBII_
    I am so glad to see this post, you sound as if you (and he) are making progress in the right direction!
    I wish that I had some sage advice to give you for your situation, but AA is not something that I have ever experienced firsthand. I have gotten some great information from a friend (she gets the support as a family member like you do), enough to say that if you stick with the program, it is a tremendous help in many aspects of your life...not just alcohol.

    Hang in there hun, you have lots of support here too!
    1893 days ago
    I'm glad to hear you're getting support. The alcoholic generally doesn't understand how their actions are hurting the people closest to them. My parents are both alcoholics. I know how painful it is to watch the drinking destroy a person.

    I hope you are able to find comfort and support as you make changes in your life. I also hope that your husband sees what his drinking is doing and decides to make his own changes.

    Do try to remember that you can only make decisions about how you handle this. There is nothing you can do if an alcoholic wants to keep drinking. I know this is hard. I have to remind myself of this every time I call my mom (or decide that I can't talk to her right now and don't call). 10 years she had been sober...

    Feel free to send me a sparkmail or come on over to my sparkpage if you need to talk.
    1894 days ago
    You are absolutely right!
    1894 days ago
    It's good you have support. So many don't. My dad was a Friend of Bill and I remember going to meetings with my parents and occupying myself coloring. Dad struggled and was on and off the wagon many times before he finally got, and stayed, sober. Our family lived by One Day At A Time!
    1894 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/14/2013 2:48:09 AM
    Every day is a chance to do a little better.

    I'm glad you're going to AlAnon meetings and getting some in person support. Addictions are never easy to overcome, no matter what it involves, and when another's addictions seriously affect our lives it's even harder because only that person can make the necessary changes. I hope your husband can accept the help he needs to make positive changes in his life.
    1894 days ago
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