Al-Anon start Date: 12-22-2011

12/23

Yesterday was my fist Al-Anon meeting.  After the meeting I came home and talked to my husband about my feelings.  He was at his AA meeting while I was at my Al-Anon meeting.  All this time I thought this was just his problem.  He was the sick one not me, why do I need treatment?  I am not the one who drinks, he is!  As I read the book and listened to everyone’s story’s I realized that I am just as sick if not sicker than he is.

The drinker is the one who lies, hides things, steals, makes up stories and is the only one with the illness right?  WRONG!!  I lied right along with him, I helped him hid the drinking.  I would tell myself “he doesn’t have a problem.”  I would go buy him beer and never say anything about it to him.  He would yell and scream at me, or through stuff if I did something he thought was wrong or something he didn’t like.  I just would take it, I never said anything.  I would sit there in silence and listen.  Sometimes I ever started to believe it.  So really recovery is as important for me as it is for him.

I felt a lot of guilt towards his drinking for a long time.  Maybe this was somehow partially my fault.  Then I felt anger towards him, towards his parents, towards myself.  Why did his parents have to be so mean, such heavy drinkers and passed it on to both their children.  Then I felt sadness cause if he would have found Al-Anon, Alateen or ACA (adult children of alcoholics) maybe this could have been avoided.  Instead of dwelling on the past, I am putting my energy towards my recovery and the future.

During our separation which was the fist part of his recovery, he used to tell me that even if we didn’t stay together this was not just his issue and I would have to always deal with it.  I thought oh great, he is never going to let me be.  But after talking with him last night I realized what he was talking about was my own illness.  I was co-dependent to his drinking.  I would take care of him so he never had to suffer the consequences from his drinking.  I was making it easy on him to keep drinking.  Now being able to see that I am also sick and need the recovery program I feel so much better.

Wait, you feel better after admitting you have a problem?  Well yes, that is one of the twelve steps.  The very first step is to admit that you are powerless over alcohol and that you life has become unmanageable.  There are twelve steps, twelve traditions and twelve concepts of service.  What a coincidence there is also twelve months.  I will be working thought each one each month.  I was told by my group leader last night that after one year I get my Al-Anon chip, I am so excited about that.  Seeing Bryan get his chips has been wonderful.  AA gives out sobriety chips as they reach milestones in their recovery.

My husband got his 6 month chip last week and it was my first open AA meeting.  That is when I decided I wanted to see what Al-Anon was all about.  Going to the open AA meeting opened my eyes to recovery.  The AA, Al-Anon, Alateen and ACA programs are wonderful.

I always had this feeling of being lost, without purpose, without hope.  I was sad, depressed and lonely.  I thought there was no way anyone would understand or believe me.  I have lived most of my life in pain that no one understood or believed.  I have had migraines all of my life, I also have wide-spread pain all over my body.  There are no medical findings to support my claims of the pain.  So I was told over and over that it was all in my head.  As a child Dr’s told my parents I was faking the migraines.  It was not till I was 21 and had a seizure that they started to listen to me.

So, here I am a person who suffers herself not believing my husband when he tried to tell me he suffered.  That he was in pain, was sad and depressed.  I could not believe that he felt hopeless or useless when everyone wanted his help for everything.  He felt just as alone as I did.  So here are two people who are in pain, lonely, sad and hopeless.  Both so close to one another yet so far away.   Thank God everyday that we both have now found recovery, we have both found understanding, we have both found compassion and we have both found the love for each other that was always there.  We just had to get out of our own way.  Let go and let God.  To hear him talk of God in his life is very new for me, he refused Gods presence in his life for a long time and it warms my heart now.  So now we have each other, we have God, and we both have recovery.

 

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