Endigar 871

From Courage to Change of May 10:

I am so grateful to belong to a fellowship where everyone speaks for himself or herself. Al-Anon has no spokesperson, no authority who tells what “our” experience has been. I am the only one who can tell my story.

I find it very comforting to be part of a group of people who share some of my problems and feelings. Although we have much in common, each Al-Anon member has unique wisdom to offer. Through the interchange of experience, strength, an hope, we learn specific ways in which fellow members have applied the Al-Anon program to their situations. Taking what we like and leaving the rest, each of us is free to benefit from this individual approach to our common purpose–recovery from the effects of alcoholism. So when I share in a meeting, I try to avoid phrases such as, “This is a problem for us” or “We tend to do that.” Instead, I look at sharing as an opportunity to see myself more clearly.

Today’s Reminder

Today I will speak for myself, secure in the fact that I am supported by a fellowship of men and women who “understand as perhaps few others can.”

“Our recovery is reflected in our ability to tell our own story not that of an alcoholic or another Al-Anon or Alateen member.”

~ Why Anonymity in Al-Anon?

END OF QUOTE—————————————

It seems paradoxical to me that I would need help from a group to see myself, the individual me, more clearly. I remember the Johari Window model from early days in college. It was apparently created in 1955 to show the importance and power of developing trust in a team to facilitate the development of its individual members. It was not until I entered the rooms supporting the 12 Step program did I experience the reality that there is much I do not know about myself. There is also much that I have kept hidden.

When I share in the group, what seemed liked wisdom in my cranium is either confirmed as something of value to retain or revealed to be neural clutter that should be discarded or recycled. When I hear others share I am given reaffirming connection or an unconsidered new perspective. A room full of individuals all risk fearful exposure for a common purpose which is to become a better version of ourselves free of the damning effects of alcoholism or addiction. Maybe I should only speak for myself. This is what the fellowship has been for me.

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