Endigar 829

From Courage to Change of April 05;

As wonderful as it is to see a loved one find sobriety, it often presents a whole new set of challenges. After all the years of waiting, many of us are dismayed when sobriety does not bring the happily-ever-after ending we’ve awaited. We once knew exactly what to expect, and now everything suddenly seems different. The homebody is never home; the life of the party is always sleeping; communication, intimacy, sex, responsibilities, and decision-making all change. At the same time, problems that we always attributed to drinking may persist even though the drinking has stopped. This stirs up some very strong feelings with many of us.

Even longtime Al-Anon member may find it more important than ever to go back to the basics of our program and learn once more to focus on ourselves. It’s all right to feel disappointed, skeptical, resentful, joyous, excited, or confused about our changing circumstances. By accepting whatever we feel and sharing about it with other Al-Anon members, we are better able to take care of ourselves.

Today’s Reminder

I will allow myself the dignity to discover exactly how I feel about the changes that are happening today, and I will share those feelings with an Al-Anon friend.

“Al-Anon gave me the awareness that what I felt did matter.” ~ . . . In All Our Affairs

 

END OF QUOTE—————————————

There are three words I did not associate with emotions: dignity, self-control, and empowerment. Expressed emotions made me vulnerable to attack. Feelings shared without measured consideration enslaved me to libelous labeling, and worse, social disregard. “I just want you to be honest with me” was a veiled threat. It meant instead, “I just want to gather enough evidence from your mindless self-testimony to justify my assault against you. ”

In such a world view, sharing genuine thoughts and feelings was no small task. It is not a natural state of affairs for me, or for those like me. Yet it was necessary to prevent my fortress of isolation from becoming my prison of analytical paralysis.

The recovery rooms revealed that there are others like me. I do not have to die from terminal uniqueness. Clumsy and afraid, I can learn how to reach out and share for the purpose of turning emotions from violent masters to supportive servants. Fear will never leave me. That is not the goal. It has its place. A much smaller place than the one it was used to occupying in my head, but its existence is legitimate. The goal for me is to develop a new array of internal residents such as growing trust, unrepentant love, and the breath-taking awe of life. This process started and was nurtured in the 12 Step program. I am beyond grateful.

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