Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Compassion For Those Who Do Not Understand, and For Ourselves,

Those of us who deal with active addiction have an unfortunate knowledge, not granted to those who live their lives escaping the ravages of alcoholism. I would once have considered them lucky and myself unlucky, but my years in Al-Anon have been such an enormous gift and a blessing, that I now gaze at the past with a completely altered attitude.

People who have never have a loved one struggling with alcoholism, may make off-hand comments meant only as conversation, which when we are newcomers to program, and still suffering terrible torments of mind and spirit, can slice us to our core.

I have raged and agonised over those little throw-away remarks in years past, wondering "How could they could be so light-hearted about it, so unkind, so unthinking!'

It is rarely cruelty truly meant, it is so much more often innocence of the reality with which I deal, when I love an alcoholic.

Those who are only really aware of social drinking, can have little understanding of what I may be enduring. And I didn't help matters by keeping secrets and putting on a fa├žade of happiness and satisfaction while inwardly I felt used-up, bereft, and painfully lonely.

I have learned to have compassion for those who don't know about, deal with, or battle the effects of alcoholism on friends and families of alcoholics. I allow them to say whatever they need to say, and do my best not to take it personally. I try not to substitute their judgement for my own; when they say that "The alcoholic is bound to fail, they always do at first" I have no need to accept that as truth.

I pray to have compassion for myself, so that I also allow myself to feel my own feelings, sit with them for a while, then release them, and let them go.

When I am practising compassion, I feel more loving, more loved, and more at peace.

1 comment:

  1. Compassion is something that I embrace and practice. I remember being so judgmental about others. Now I know so many are simply struggling to do the best they can. I understand that.