From Courage to Change, Al-Anon Family Group, Conference Approved Literature, p. 216:
important to understand where we’ve come from, what was done to us and what we
did to others. There might be many lessons for us in the past. But the time to
apply them is now.
If I can
learn from my mistakes and try not to repeat them, then they have value. Making
amends is a good thing; but they’re words. Of far greater value, to me, is the
practice of living amends. We can’t do anything to change the past, but we can
try to do things differently now.
particular importance is my ability to let go of resentments when they crop up.
Sometimes I find myself holding onto my anger, even clinging to it. But such behavior
is a big threat to my serenity. An oft-heard saying in the rooms of recovery: “Having
resentments is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” Holding
onto resentments hurts me the most.
grudges toward people or over events from the past is a heavy undertaking. It’s
that knapsack full of stones (boulders for some) that is burdensome to carry.
When I set it down and free myself of its weight, there’s a lightness in my
steps, and my days flow more easily.
This is another
example of how I’m striving to live well. For all of us familiar with the living death of drug
addiction, the value of life comes into sharper focus. How I live mine, today,
will bring me the peace and serenity I work hard for.
From Hope for Today, Al-Anon Family Group, Conference Approved
on to anger, resentment, and a “poor me” attitude is not an option for me
today…Remembering that alcoholism is a disease helps me see the person
struggling beneath the burden of illness.”
It’s so simple
to give in to anger. Losing a loved one to addiction is pure hell. I’ve cried
out against everyone: God, all those who stigmatize and judge addiction, all
those who shun my daughter as though it’s contagious, and myself, too, for my
misguided attempts to help her by enabling her behavior.
in the rooms of recovery have opened my eyes and my heart to the “new
realities” of addictive disease. When I was growing up, I thought drug addicts
wore tattoos and rode motorcycles. And of course they had to grow up in poverty.
daughter became an addict, I was sure she would snap out of it. But I was
wrong. This disease doesn’t discriminate. It can happen to anybody.
American Medical Association has helped by declaring addiction a brain disease.
Now that I know my daughter has an illness, there is no room for blame or judgment.
There is no room in my heart or mind for anger. I can only feel great
compassion for her. And I will always love her.
From Each Day A New Beginning, Karen Casey, August
a crisis and act upon it is one thing. To dwell in perpetual crisis is another.’
~Barbara Grizzuti Harrison
the negative element in our lives is familiar behavior for all too many of us.
But this obsession is our choice. We can stop at any moment. We can decide to
let go of a situation that we can’t control…and be free to look at the
possibilities for happiness.”
daughter first became sick with addiction, I followed my instincts and ran to
her rescue. I was totally caught up in the drama of it, the pain and heartache,
eventually even a feeling of martyrdom. It wasn’t long before I became sick
too—sick with depression and anxiety—and I sought relief.
recovery program has helped me understand the nature of addictive disease and
accept that I have no more control over it than I would have over diabetes. A
diabetic might need to take a pill to get better; Angie also has the power to
heal from her illness. But the initial decision rests with her, not me. I can
only offer support.
acceptance has enabled me to let go of my inflated sense of responsibility and
detach from my daughter’s problem. That in turn has allowed me enough space,
enough breathing room, to step back and remove myself from all the drama. I no
longer get sucked in like I used to. Now I’m “free to look at the possibilities
I truly believe
that in her best moments Angie would want me to. God Bless all of our loved
ones caught in the hell of addiction! Many find the relief of recovery, and I pray
my daughter will too someday.