Al-Anon Lifer

Anonymous sharings from a long-time member of Al-Anon, which is a safe place to recover from the effects of alcoholism in a friend or relative...

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Another Awakening

The grand thing about Al-Anon is that no matter how long we've been going to meetings and doing service work, we still have the opportunity to learn and grow. I had another spiritual awakening last week at my step study. We've been on Step 3 all month - not to mention all the other times I've studied Step 3 - but I heard something different last week: that I had only made the decision to make the decision to turn my will and my life over to the God of my understanding. I hadn't actually made the decision yet.

I realized that I had been able to give my alcoholic over to his Higher Power and my children over to the care of God as I understood Her/Him, but I had come to believe that God loves them more than I do. And because of that belief, I could trust God with their lives. The problem was that for a very long time I had not been able to trust God with my life. After all, if He/She had loved me, then my parents would have not abandoned me, I would not have met my alcoholic husband in church, and our first child would not have died.

However, something changed for me this last year. My sponsor wanted me to do Step 4 a different way, on my assets rather than my defects. It was like pulling teeth, she told me, as I struggled to find 10 things good about myself. However, after the better part of an afternoon, I had my list and it changed my life. Slowly, I began to realize that I was lovable and worthy of not just God's love, but my sponsor's love, my husband's love, my children's love, my granddaughter's love, my grandmother's love, and my Al-Anon family's love.

With God's help and my sponsor's, and all the wonderful people I meet in Al-Anon, I am learning to accept that love and be grateful for it. As such, a core belief about myself has been disengaged, maybe even removed - that if my parents didn't love me, no one would love me. That was a lie that I told myself, over and over again. Of course, depression came easily to me most of my life, and with it, thoughts of suicide. Yet I survived those thoughts and now know the truth - that I am loved.

And because I know I am loved, that God loves me more than I love myself, more than anyone else loves me, I've decided I can trust Him/Her with my life. I'm beginning to feel more love for others already, as well as the possibility that I may one day be able to say that I love the parents who abandoned me, which is a different realm than just feeling compassion for others. I am so grateful that the program is patient and after all this time, I've had another awakening.

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At Friday, March 28, 2008 7:57:00 AM, Blogger Syd said...

Daily affirmations about ourselves really help. I also never felt really loved--not at the level I wanted. I've had to learn that I can't validate myself through the eyes of others. Every day is a work in progress.

At Friday, March 28, 2008 6:07:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing! I've been reading your blog for several weeks and it's been very helpful to me. I'm also in Al Anon and like you, it's saved my life. Please keep sharing! You're helping a newcomer to the program. I started going to meetings back in July of 2007.

At Wednesday, April 02, 2008 7:01:00 PM, Blogger Serenity girl said...

It's amazing how much we learn as we go along this journey...congratulations on your awakening.


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