One of the first things I was given was the gift of hope. As we sat around the table and I listened to the members share parts of their stories and saw in spite of the hardships they had shared and are still working on, I see they are still smiling and laughing at themselves.
I would think to myself by golly, if they can do it...so can I. All I had to do was use some of what worked for them. They would say how doing the opposite of what they had been doing made a difference in themselves and their families. It gave me such hope, that I too can do that. I looked forward to trying it...and I would say to myself, next time something like that happens I will do such and such. And when I did it, it made a difference. I felt great.
I struggled to find the difference between enabling and helping. But we have meetings on that and I learned that the all do-gooder stuff I did, only made it worse. Because they did not learn a thing from it. They just felt they were off the hook, because it was taken care of and not by them. I felt rotten about it.
Until I learned that I could say NO and leave their consequence to them. It was difficult to leave it alone but I always received encouragement to keep trying and keep coming back. I did “keep coming back” and each time I heard something new. I was glad I did give up something to go to my meeting. It was too important. I could not miss it, because I wanted what they had.
They had serenity, and there was a peace about them, in spite of what was happening at home. I wanted that too. It took me a long time, but I got there, meeting by meeting. And calling someone in between meetings and reading my literature. I am grateful, I did not give up. I hung in there, and so can you.
We meet at Hope Lutheran Church every Monday at noon and Wednesday night at 6:30.
Won’t you try meeting with of us. Be good to yourself and hope to see you there.
Peace of Al-Anon,