Monday, June 10, 2013

Chasing Rainbows in Soap Bubbles.

A sponsee and I have tried a couple of open AA meetings of late, trying to find a good fit for us, and seem to have hit upon a meeting at which we both feel comfortable. We went to it this evening, and now that I'm back home, I find myself in a rather pensive mood, remembering the shares of those who spoke so honestly and openly about what it was like for them, what happened, and what it is like now.

Tonight's meeting brought up some feelings for me around dealing with the alcoholism of my two sisters, both of whom are still in active drinking, in mid-life. With my eldest sister, I can find a way to relate to her because she shares with me a strong spiritual belief, and that has been the place at which we can have a meeting of the minds, and find comfort and sustenance in each other's writing.

With my middle sister, I don't have this way to connect, so I find it much more difficult to relate to her. Her alcoholism takes the form of a powerfully negative view of life and people, and I can find  it almost impossible to respond to what brings up in me a feeling of frustration.

I'm frustrated because I'm not accepting of her, I realised tonight, again. This is not news to me, but it was underscored tonight by a couple of the people who spoke about their fears, lack of hope before 12-Step, and just general intense trouble in finding a way to live in the world.

I need to pray for tolerance and acceptance of my sister. I want us to be able to connect, and since I'm having trouble with it, I need to turn it over to my Higher Power and step back and let it happen within me, let go of wanting her to be something she is not, and work on my own lack of acceptance.
One topic at the meeting tonight was "relationships" - never an easy topic. But for me, tonight, as so often at a meeting, I heard just what I needed to hear.


  1. It is very interesting how some people's alcoholism seems to be tolerable and others not so much. I have grown to realize it isn’t so much the liquor that makes one negative and unpleasant. I am being to think if it is their personality. The thing that the liquor does is just enhancing their attitudes and brings down filters.
    I can relate to how you can interact so differently and with your two sisters who actively drink. I had that same feelings with my father (being your middle sister) and the rest of his side of the family (being your oldest).
    My father was the negative and angry alcoholic but he was often that sober. Actually to be honest I always remember him being mean more so when sober then drunk. His drunken state just reflected what mood he was already in to begin with and enhances it.

    I have been around very happy go lucky care free alcoholics who are pleasant and often humorous to be around at times obnoxious though and that can get tiring too. However, they are also that way sober (not so much the obnoxious part). So I don’t mind being around them at all and if their drunkenness gets annoying I can either brush it off or excuse myself without much emotional trauma. This was most of my Dad’s family and I often laugh and have fond memories of them all. We still see each other at holidays, birthdays, other big events and everyone gets along sober or not and look forward to seeing each other.

    I really think personality has a lot to do with the illness and how it takes its forms.

  2. I remember when I first attended an open AA meeting it helped me to have compassion or at least tolerance for the insecurity that is behind the drinking. I still felt like a victim back then but with those meetings I realized everything wasn't just an attack on me.

    The last AA open meeting the speaker was making fun of Al-Anon's and then ask if any Al-Anons were present of course we didn't raise our hand. I quess turn about is fair play. It was kind of funny.

  3. Choosing what I can tolerate to maintain my serenity is a choice that each of us has to make. I know that I won't be around abusive and obnoxious alcoholics. And my boundary for me is that I won't stay with my wife should she decide to drink again. I know what my limits are and am okay about detaching with love. No unkindness but simply taking care of myself.