So when I ran in to a friend at the movies the other night and she glowed about how much her four adult children loved each other I wanted to scream. I was jealous of her successful family relationships.
This was another example of my having to accept what is. The disease of alcoholism has many effects not readily noticed. Here are some effects my family has suffered:
- Not being able to be intimate
- Not being able to stay in a room together for longer than a meal
- Not being able to do conflict in a healthy way
- Running away to other activities to avoid intimacy or speaking about their pain
I am powerless over my children and the best thing I can do for them is to:
- Model recovery by going to my Al Anon meetings
- Meeting with my sponsor
- Keeping open lines with my children by speaking to them all often
- Giving hugs, encouragement, and acceptance of who they are today
I encourage their relationships with each other, but allow them all the freedom to live their own lives without manipulating them. It is painful at times to watch them excuse themselves from a family gathering after an hour, but it is the best they can do. Healing takes time and it is often years before the effects of being raised in an alcoholic home even begin to diminish.
My Sponsor often reminds me to count my blessing to stop the jealousy.
- My children are alive and healthy
- They talk to me
- I have a wonderful relationship with both of my daughters
- My sons tell me they love me
- We have brief dinners together on occasion
Reminding myself of what is good is often the best remedy for when the green-eyed monster of jealousy rears its ugly head. I may not have a close-knit family like my friend, but I remember the slogan, “Progress not Perfection” and smile.
A Reach Out Recovery Exclusive By Madeline Schloop