Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Gift of Life.

I grew into adulthood a furiously angry and resentful person. I felt that life had ripped me off in all the ways that mattered - family, marriage, not being born rich...(I'm kidding about that last example..sort of.)

I was envious of those who I saw as having had an easier time in life, and no matter what gifts I received as part of my life, they weren't enough to satisfy that nameless desire for something more.

By the time I went to my first Al-Anon meeting, I'd reached a point in my first marriage, of being so emotionally shut down that I had no feelings, happy or sad. I had nothing left. No strength to withstand the travails of life, no joy to lighten my journey, no compassion for the burdens of others, it was all gone.

Anger had burnt me hollow, like a cheap chocolate Easter bunny. I felt about as fragile as one, too, as though one more life knock would bash me to pieces.

I will be forever grateful to the women at that first Al-Anon group I attended, for the experience, strength, hope, and love they gave so freely. They lived, some of them, with active alcoholism, yet they were able, through working this amazing program, to have hysterical laughing fits over their own insanity. I'll never forget the great shouts of laughter that resounded in that tiny room - from women who had sometimes had a pretty rough week. Somehow, through program, they could take that rough week, and fashion it into an example for this newcomer, that would make me laugh until my sides ached. I will always love those women. Each time I think of them, I can feel the smile taking over my face.

I've heard people speak in meetings, about recovering their lost selves - I needed something different, because I'd always been unhappy. Going back to who I'd been before the alcoholic, would have just been restoring a different sort of misery.

Al-Anon has given me my life, and allowed me to become the sort of person who finds pleasure in the daily round. I don't need things/money/other people's approval in order to feel whole. I have my Higher Power to fufill that spiritual need. I found him through this program, and the wonderful people who helped me learn how to work it, and for that, I am truly grateful.


  1. I can completely understand where you are coming from. I used to always want more and I was completely jealous of those that had more than I did. In a strange way I am thankful to my qualifier. If it hadn't been for his drinking I may have never felt it necessary to give my life over 100% to the One who could see me through it all. I would have never found true happiness.

  2. What a great post. I too had no wish to return to any former self. That former me was always bouncing like a yo-yo between depression, manufactured highs, suicidal thinking, and so on. No thank you.

    Thank God Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon have given me a new me and I have come to love her.

    Prayer Girl