When I came into Al-Anon, my focus was squarely upon the alcoholic. He seemed to take up all the space in our house, and in my mind. I didn't have to be with him to be obsessing about him and his drinking. He'd disappear for days on a bender, and I'd go to work, come home, feed the dogs and myself, worry for the entire remainder of the evening, then go to bed and toss and turn wondering where he was, what he was doing, and if I was going to hear a knock on my front door, and find police officers standing there, telling me that he was seriously injured, or dead.
It was a terrible way to live, and I did it for about 8 1/2 years, until I finally listened to my GP, and went to my first Al-Anon meeting.
I went to that meeting expecting all of the people there to be squarely focussed upon the alcoholics in their lives. When I was told that Al-Anon was for me, and that I needed to find a way to live in serenity whether the alcoholic was drinking or not, I was so surprised that I just pushed that concept to the side. It seemed clearly impossible.
Over the years that I have been in Al-Anon, I have become much better at aiming and focusing upon that which gives me pleasure, satisfaction, and hope. I have become more skilled at letting go of that which does me no good, only torments me, and over which I have zero control.
It's the same with cancer. I have a choice, I either obsess about it continually, ruining whatever time I have on this earth, or I let go of it, and live my live the way I would had I never had the diagnosis. I choose to do the latter, because I've learned how, and it allows me to take from each day enough to feed my soul and mind, and not open myself to worry, anger, stressful imaginings, and resentment.
Life is what I make it, to a great extent. This is true regardless of my income or social status. I am the one who gets up in the morning and decides whether or not I'm going to enjoy the day. Al-Anon has taken the furiously angry person that I once was, and transformed her into a woman who loves to laugh, and to make others laugh. That's an amazing feat, any way you look at it.