From Courage to Change, September 4:
“As we let go of obsession, worry, and focusing on everyone but ourselves, many of us were bewildered by the increasing calmness of our minds. We knew how to live in a state of crisis, but it often took a bit of adjustment to become comfortable with stillness. The price of serenity was the quieting of the constant mental chatter that had taken up so much time; suddenly we had lots of time on our hands and we wondered how to fill it.
Having become more and more serene as a result of working the Al-Anon program, I was surprised to find myself still grabbing for old fears as if I wanted to remain in crisis. I realized that I didn’t feel safe unless I was mentally busy. When I worried, I felt involved—and therefore somewhat in control.
As an exercise, my sponsor suggested that I try to maintain my inner stillness even when I felt scared or doubtful. As I did so, I reassured myself again and again that I was safely in the care of a Power greater than myself. Today I know that sanity and serenity are the gifts I have received for my efforts and my faith. With practice, I am learning to trust the peace.
Today I will relish my serenity. I know that it is safe to enjoy it.
‘Be still and know that I am with you.’ English prayer”
When I was obsessing about Angie, and deeply enmeshed in her constant drama, I felt a lot of things: needed, important, and valued—all of these things not good for my addict because they kept me in my own illness: pandering to her needs and enabling her.
I pray every day to remain detached with love from my precious daughter, the hardest thing in the world, to abandon my need to rescue—and to enjoy the God-given peace I’ve worked so hard to have. I wish the same for us all!