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Changed Attitudes

 

“I am the adult child of two alcoholics. Before I came into Al-Anon, I had no dreams or hope. I saw my life through my husband’s drinking. I had heard about Al-Anon, but couldn’t conceive how it could help me. As long as my husband was still drinking and had no intentions of stopping, how could going to meetings and focusing on myself make a difference in my life? My existence felt like an out-of-control whirlwind that nothing could stop…

Without Al-Anon I would be on a dead-end road. Instead, my path is one of belief in the gift of recovery.” From Hope for Today, August 31:

 

Substitute “my husband’s drinking” for my daughter Angie’s drug problem and that’s my story. I was so joined at the hip with my child that I couldn’t separate my life from hers. Hers was chaos, so mine was too. As her parent, I felt overly responsible for her problems, and I took on too much. It helped her not at all when I shielded her from accountability and took on the blame myself. I needed to find some relief.

My recovery program has given me some tools to manage my life better. I’ve learned to detach with love, I’ve let go of my guilt, stopped enabling, and I’ve learned to have faith in someone other than myself. Though I thought I did at first, I did not know what was best. Being in the rooms was a complete education for me and I learned how to cope with Angie’s addiction more effectively.

When I was willing to face the fact that there is no magic bullet to save my daughter, I discovered a new freedom. Yes, I felt sad about my powerlessness, but sadder still would have been losing my mind and my well-being trying to save hers.

I almost did. But I’ve learned how “changed attitudes can aid recovery.” I just needed to find the courage to change. And the will and the humility to ask my Higher Power to help me do the work.

Life is still good. I know how to be happy now by altering my attitude. “It’s a simple program, but it isn’t easy.”

 

2 Comments

  1. How I wish I could change my attitude and stop the roller coaster of worry with my daughter, yes, she is my addiction I guess. It’s so unnatural to not plead, beg and threaten just to try to get them to seek help. I am good some days but when I don’t hear from her my mind wanders to some pretty dark places which she could be in. I attend al anon, I see a counsellor but often at times I am paralyzed with fear for her. How do I stop the worry and fear and obsessing?

    Reply
    • Hi Daphne, I’m glad you go to Al-Anon meetings. Keep going back. How did I stop the worry and fear and obsessing? My daughter Angie has been an addict since 2002. That’s 16 years, and I’ve been in my recovery program that long. At first I was stubborn. I would not admit my powerlessness and I didn’t turn it over to God. So after 6 years of paying lip service cuz I still thought I had the magic bullet to save her, I had a breakdown and had to retire from my job. Pain is a good teacher, and after that I learned. At that point I was humbly on my knees and I began to work the program as it’s intended. Every year has gotten better. But I had to learn to let go (of my addiction to save her) and detach with love. I still miss my girl, of course, but I focus on all my blessings: other kids, grandkids, good health, friends, volunteer work I love. I could go on and on. I have a wonderful life. We don’t always get everything we want in life, but all I can do is make the best of what I do have. God Bless You, Mama!

      Reply

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