Saturday, April 20, 2013

Why do Alanonics keep going to Alanon year after year?

A commenter recently asked this question....not in those exact words of course, but what a good question! Why do we keep going back year after year? Is it because of the heartbreak and sorrow that we carry with us?

I of course can only share my own experience. When I walked into my first Alanon meeting I was so broken. I cried through the whole meeting, I was so afraid of what our future held. The people I met there got that though. They UNDERSTOOD like most others couldn't. That alone was a tremendous comfort. To know that there was somewhere in this world where I could go where people understood and no one judged or condemned me was such a huge step up from where I had plummeted.

They told me to try 6 meetings, so I did. My first little act of commitment to my own self, my own emotional well being, was to attend those 6 meetings. My second was to get a sponsor. I LOVE my sponsor. She travels a similar journey as I do, she is never hard on me, but gently says, "Have you considered...."

In the beginning, I thought the slogans were trite and waaayyy too simple for what was ailing my soul. "Really? 'Keep it simple.' Is that all you've got?" As time went on though, I made some connections, some friends, and someone shared the idea....(My long time readers have heard this story a million times) someone shared the idea...."can you put your girl into God's hands just for today and give yourself a little break?" I could handle just for today. That became a solid platform that I could stand on each day. "Just for today I will hand her over to you God. Just for today."

Out of my 8 years in the program, my girl has had maybe 18 months of clean time. Not perfect clean time and not all at once. So I keep going back because in the flick of an eyebrow, I can be right back in her business, feeling powerful enough to cure her and bring her life eternal.

I keep going back because I am just as sick as she is when it comes to her. I don't make good decisions in regards to her when I am not working my program. I become sick and depressed and consumed with worry and my mind can run rampant with crazy scenarios of danger and mayhem. Most of which are usually untrue.....but a worried mother's imagination is a powerful force!

I keep going back because I know that loads of new parents come into those rooms desperate and hurting and now I get to be the one to extend a hand. Someone was sitting there that night that I came in the door and I can never thank them enough. All I can do is pay it forward. I can be there when a newcomer comes in and I can hug them and say, "I know. I really do. Your not alone."

I keep going back because there are tools available there to help me navigate this crazy and unpredictable life I have been given. It is my choice to pick them up...or not. I have learned more about living and emotional health, personal responsibility, creating my own happiness and a compassionate Higher Power (God) than in any other place in my life. So many of my life experiences have come into focus there and I have been able to figure them out and make peace with them.

So for me... I am a lifer in my program. It has been a tremendous positive force in my life. I believe that God led me there and then met me there.

In order to not make it sound like this utopian panacea....I will say that there are a few people there who drive me crazy. LOL Truly, only a few. I smile and let their stuff be their stuff. I mind my own business."You may not like all of us, but you will learn to love us all as we love you." I'm working on that.



Anonymous said...

thank you.....thank you so much for this post.

Barbara said...

Annette, I was just sitting here wondering if I should go back to meetings and then read your blog. :)

Keven is up to something again.

Don't know what but its not good and I'm not ready to go back into the darkness....maybe it was just a one time thing (it wasn't heroin.....) Ugh

Signe said...

You're so right. I was like a deer in the headlights when I first went. It was comforting hearing the similar stories. Watching the caring faces when I shared. I haven't gone in a while. I'm like a squirrel in that sense. I gather up all the information I can store (my brain feels as swollen as the cheeks of a squirrel gathering nuts) and then I go and hibernate, slowly digesting all of the information. I'm gathering information/help here, now. I like what you wrote, today.

Erin said...

I feel exactly the same way you do about my Nar-Anon group!!!!! I know God led me there as well, as I was feeling so alone about a year ago and I was on my laptop and was led to look up NA and then found Nar-Anon. I have been beyond blessed by my group and like you I have a wonderful sponser who is available to me 24/7. Where do you find that? I will also be a lifer in program as well, as I find that the principles apply to almost every area of my life that don't involve dealing with a recovering addict. Every word you said in this post resonated in my heart. I love what you share.

Syd said...

A great post, Annette. I keep going back because I too know that I can go back to being angry and judgmental and feeling like I have the answers for another in a heart beat. I need the program and the reminders that it gives me to mind my own business.