Saturday, May 8, 2010

Gratitude, and Perspective.

This morning, I was thinking that my life,  my friendships, all the blessings I have been given, not one of them would be possible today, had I not first been directed to Al-Anon by my family doctor.

I owe that man a debt of gratitude I can never repay. I tried to tell him that, once, and he shrugged it off with some remark about just doing his job. I believe he went above and beyond the call of duty -  he kept on making that same suggestion time and again, until I had reached a place of such desperation, that I was actually able to hear him.

He cared enough about me as his patient, to keep on trying to make a dent in my self-absorption; he didn't become irritated with my inability to register that helpful suggestion the first 50 times.

I wonder if my doctor saw me the way I see newcomers to our program. 20 years in 12 Step, or one day, we're all fellow travellers on this earth. Let me see those who are in pain, and reaching out for a hand, any hand, to hold, so that their awful isolation can be breached for even a moment; they can be reminded that there is another way, that there is hope.

When I was new to Al-Anon, I could never have imagined the life I live today. The people around those tables in my early days, gave me a chance to rest for a while - rest in the comfort of a smiling face, and a friendly greeting. They gave me all the time I needed to begin to grasp the program and try to work it. They gave me encouragement and love in abundance - with never a word of criticism or impatience for my stumbling efforts.

God grant me the perspective to remember how painful it was at the beginning, so that I may offer to a newcomer that same loving, restful safety I received.


  1. I did not know unconditional love until I found the rooms and was in pain enough to stop and listen. My life changed and I am so grateful I can give what I have received so freely. Yep..loving, restful peace. Amen.


  2. My therapist recommended Al-anon to me several times in 10 years. I didn't 'hear' him until 4 years ago. One of the greatest gifts I ever received was the look of surprise & happiness on his face when I told him that I'd been to 2 Al-Anon meetings and had made a commitment to myself to attend 4 more, at least. There are parts of my life that are painful & doubt-filled but I do recognize how much better my life is these past 4 years from the growth of reaching out and learning -- to work the program, having a sponsor, sharing strength, hope and experience with others -- and so much more.

    Thanks for this post. I'm glad you're not giving up blogging entirely.

  3. The connections that bring us to the program are truly amazing. Thank you for sharing yours.