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.