Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Consequences Of Loving.

When I came into Al-Anon, I was so shut down and numbed out, the only emotion I was aware of feeling was anger. I was angry most of the time. When I wasn't angry, I felt nothing, just blanked out.

Through the grace of this program, I have slowly come to be able to feel all of the emotions with which God has blessed us. I've learned to love myself, and to take the terrifying risk of loving others, and have found a level and depth of joy in living I'd never have believed possible for someone with my history.

With this ability to love, comes the possibility of grief in loss. I'm trying hard not to project, but I've had a couple of conversations with my sponsor and other group members with whom I am close, about moving, and it's painful.

I'm grateful, wtih all my heart and soul, that I can say to these wonderful people who enrich my life: "I love you." If there is one lesson I have learned through the years, it is this: speak of your love. Tell the people who are a glorious addition to your life that you feel this way about them. Let your fellow travellers inside program, and out, know how much you appreciate their companionship and support, because we are fragile beings, and we cannot see around the corner to what lies ahead.

Never leave the house angry - you may not come home again, and you will have left a terrible grief behind you, and a regret for angry words which cannot be unspoken.

If you love another person, tell them often. Tell them why. I cannot count the times I have heard a survivor say, in sadness, "I never told her how much I liked her sense of humour/kindness to animals/love for nature. I wish I had, now."

Be lavish in your honest praise - we all need to hear about how we are appreciated for what we do, and for who we are.

My first sponsor said to me, in one of her rare serious moments, that love is a double-edged blade - slicing cleanly through to our essential beings, carrying tremendous joy, and excruciating pain. You cannot have one without the other.

I've lived a closed-down safe life, and now I'm living what is much better - in the precarious state of loving.


  1. I find it easy to say "I love you" to my husband,who is not an alcoholic. However,it's hard for me to say it to my mother, who is. It tends to get me into trouble with her. Sad, but true. I guess that is more I have to work on.

  2. I love the part about the double edged blade. Seems to be true....

  3. Loving something/someone offers joy as well as pain. It takes a lot of courage to love anyway despite the possibility of grief and loss. That is a reality; a thing we cannot change. To cope we must accept this about life. And is it not possible that there is something or someone else just around the corner in need of our natural tendency to love?

  4. Great post. I tell those that I love how much I care every day. I believe in not going to bed angry. How true that love can be good and also cause pain. But all in all, I'd rather love.