From Opening Our Hearts, Transforming Our Losses, p. 174:
“Alcoholism has been called a robber and a thief because it steals so much from those of us affected by it. I have faced many losses as a result of growing up with this family disease. First and foremost, alcoholism robbed me of my capacity to feel my emotions. So, when my parents divorced, I tried not to feel anything. When my father left, I blocked my grief. Each time another loss surfaced over the years, I succeeded in burying it.
Years later, I entered the rooms of Al-Anon and very slowly began to thaw out from this emotionally frozen condition. As time passed, divorce, geographic separation, and death brought losses to my life. With each loss, the Al-Anon tools and fellowship were there to support me, but only to the extent that I allowed.”
That disclaimer at the end is important to acknowledge because the tools in the program are available to me even though I don’t always use them. But like any other habit that I incorporate into my life for my own betterment—like healthy eating and exercise—I need to keep at it with regular practice. And eventually, like breathing and feeling grateful for the abundance in my life, it becomes second nature. “I keep coming back; I work it cuz I’m worth it!”