Sunday, December 14, 2014

We Are All Siblings Under The Skin.

Anxiety is one aspect of being co-dependent that I have found to be universal - I hear people share at meetings about anxiety, old and new, and every sponsee I've ever had, has been well aware of the level of anxiety they carry. I used to get regular panic attacks before program.

People-pleasing is another character trait that seems common. I learned in childhood that if I could please someone, I had a much better chance of getting what I thought I wanted or needed.

Denial is rampant among those of us who deal with alcoholism. My denial was so thick at first that I was completely unaware of its existence.

Self-loathing is a phrase I've heard many times in the 30 years I've been in Al-Anon. I know I felt self-loathing because I'd been trained by abuse to think of myself as "less than." I considered myself to be a terrible person, and incompetent because I couldn't make my first husband stop drinking. I believed that had he just loved me "enough" he would have stopped. Al-Anon taught me that this kind of thinking was akin to believing that if he'd just loved me enough, he wouldn't have pneumonia. Alcoholism is an illness.

Judgementalism - I still struggle with being judgemental at times, although nowadays I can hear myself thinking that way, and will respond to my own thought with a correction, or reminder that most of us are doing the best we can at any time, I'm not the thought, activity, clothing, or behavior police; I need to keep my side of the street clean, and not be meddling in the affairs of others; even if that meddling is only inside my own head, it's still a loss of focus.

Fear is another emotion with which so many of us in program have had a long-term connection. I feared my own fear, which led to panic attacks. I feared other people, which led to loneliness. I feared authority, which led to my doing what I didn't want to do, in an effort to ingratiate myself.

Mistrust was my major defense against closeness with others. I can recall going around muttering to myself,  "I hate people!"  From a very young age, other people had caused me a great deal of physical and emotional pain, and I feared getting close to anyone, because I feared yet more hurt.

Al-Anon, and a zealous and impassioned working of the Twelve Steps, is helping me to lead a more peaceful, satisfying and enjoyable life. I can revel in the delights of a friendship, I can feel enormous gratitude for the gift of my partner Robert, I can greet a new day with happiness for the sight of the sun lighting my way. Any winter day with sun, rather than being overcast and cloudy, is a good day in my book.

If we stay in program, and work our program, the Promises will begin to come true, and we will be amazed at how different our lives can look and feel. Bless you.


  1. I echo those thoughts and feelings that have been the "rocks" I have carried over the years. Thankfully, I am recovering from the effects of alcoholism and all that it has brought to my life. I am not as fearful, judgmental, less than, or lonely as I once was. It's easy for me to return to those emotions so I keep going to meetings and doing service. Wishing you peace and love.

  2. I relate to this very much. I am on my 4th step again, it's time, and I am at the part of judgement. I feel I struggle so much when I'm in a room of folks who are not welcoming to me nor do they wish to "get to know me." And then the people pleaser kicks in and tries as I can, only to feel rejected and hurt- back to being a victim. I recall how often I felt comfort in pity, self pity, and realized today during meditation that pity is not the answer to gaining attention. That fear of being abandoned, it is like a dandelion root constantly springing out weeds. I have chipped away at this I know it- for I am facing the fear and went through it and the joy is this- I survived.

    In due time I have faith for I know that root will die and be choked out by the beauty that is my Higher Power's will for me. Without Al Anon, I'd be full of these bad roots. I'd ultimately be a bad seed. I thank my HP every day that i have this program to constantly bring me back down to earth.
    Thank you for your blog!

  3. Really like this message, Syd's comments and the one from Anonymous. The biggest step for me is 7 'Humbly asked him to remove all our shortcomings' My problem is I keep taking them back! Now I can see that each time I take them back they can shrink as I grow in the programme.