Friday, July 8, 2011

Pulling On My Hair.

When a friend in Al-Anon is having a bad day, and I ask how she's doing, she'll respond cheerfully, "Oh, pulling on my hair!"  That one sentence encapsulates all the things we've discussed over the years, about living with an alcoholic, and not relinquishing our sanity in the process.

I'm feeling completely surrendered today. It's a wonderful, peaceful feeling. I know (again) that I am powerless. I'd like to be able to be supportive to the alcoholic as they struggle through their painful feelings about the loss of the friendship, but that's just not possible - when I try, the anger is simply redirected onto me.

I spoke to a program friend late last night, and we ended up in helpless laughing fits, describing to each other, the crazed thinking of our own early recovery. That helped me. Today, I feel compassion for the alcoholic's inability to say, "This hurts! I'm angry and frustrated, and I am mourning the loss of this friendship." I remember what an awful lonely place it was, when I was trying to pretend that I was "fine."

I remember the self-loathing, and how it affected my relationships with other people, and my inability to act with love when I was angry or in pain. I remember denying I was angry, while my heart pounded, and my hands shook with the intensity of my rage. I really was a crazy person.

No-one in Al-Anon ever told me how to change, or what to change - I changed because I could see their serenity, and I desired it with a powerful longing.

I pray for detachment to allow the alcoholic room to grow at their own pace, and compassion for their struggle.

1 comment:

  1. Amen--the shame and feelings of unworthiness were so strong in me. I still deal with feeling less than and not a part of. But I realize that it comes from growing up around a problem drinker. Thankfully, I also realize that I don't have to continue feeling shame.