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Sunday, August 28, 2016

Woulda Been Friday's Post

Passage 1
Looking back, I have often reproached myself, "How could you not have known what was happening?" Alcoholism left messy tracks all over my life, yet I didn't see them. How could that be?
Denial is one of the chief symptoms of this family disease of alcoholism. Some of us deny that the drinker has a problem; others are all too willing to blame him or her for all our problems, denying our own participation. Why? Because we alone can't defeat this disease, so we invent ways to survive the constant crisis, broken promises, lost hopes, and embarrassments. One way to cope is to deny the unpleasant or terrifying reality.
In Al-Anon we learn more productive ways in which to cope with alcoholism, ways that don't cost so much in loss of self. With the support of other members, and with tools and principles that offer direction, we become able to face what is really going on. We go beyond mere survival and begin to live again.
Today's Reminder 
At all times, I have done the best I was able to do. If my only way to cope with a difficult situation was to deny it, I can look back with compassion to that person who saw no better option at the time. I can forgive myself and count my blessings for having come so far since then. 
"Regret is an appalling waste of energy; you can't build on it; it's only good for wallowing in." Katherine Mansfield

**One thing which was difficult for my sister and me was the fact that we believed we lived in a good family home.  We grew up without identifying ourselves as coming from a "problem" home.  Our parents were still married.  We thought the arguments were normal and that everyone struggled with a problem.  I do think everyone has their own strengths to embrace and weaknesses to identify and develop.  But, by believing that what we experienced was normal or not that bad, we set ourselves up for future misery.  Seeing things as they are hurt very badly. But, it is necessary to healing!  

Passage 2
It wasn't a coincidence, but a miracle of Al-Anon, that I began my Fourth Step and undertook a major overhaul of my garden on the same day. I had moved too late for planting, but I decided to remove all the overgrowth in preparation for next year. I removed weeds, leaves, and dead plant material. Then I began to dig, turning dirt over to loosen it. My progress was halted by a clump that had once been a tiger lily. I dug around, delving deeper, to reveal a tangle of roots binding the mass to the earth. My attempts to remover it in one clump proved futile. I tugged, pushed, and kicked, but it refused to move. My frustration mounted and I regretted embarking on a project that seemed impossible to achieve.
I took a break. I rested and thought of using a different approach to removing the tangle of roots. I got up and went back to work. This time, slowly and meticulously I began disentangling the mass on tiny piece at a time. After I had finished, leaving behind a large hole in the ground, I filled the hole with new earth. I gazed satisfied at the result of my persistence -- a garden prepared for new growth.
That's when it came to me. This is how Al-Anon helps me today. Al-Anon showed me how to detangle myself, sift through the debris, and humbly ask my Higher Power to prepare me for new growth by removing the clumps in my way.
Thought for the Day 
If the work of sorting myself out in Step Four seems daunting, I'll ask God to show me a different approach.
". . . New weeds will sprout and some plants will forever need pruning. The Steps equip me with weed control and garden manuals."
From Survival to Recovery, p. 201

**I absolutely love this analogy.  It really resonates with me. 


  1. I liked the "today's reminder" section. I need to work on that.

    I'm sorry about the home life revelation. :(

  2. The acceptance of self part is tricky! I have faith we will both get there though. We are going to be the wise old grannies everyone comes to for advice. ;) Well, hopefully before we are grannies. haha