Looking back over the previous month I recited to Jane what had occurred:
- Didn't want to but had to host Christmas dinner in my home
- Talked to at least 5 police officers dealing with alcohol related incidents
- Was awakened by a frantic phone call from my youngest daughter, Madison (read that story here)
- My son refused to come for Christmas dinner because he wanted a heartfelt apology for having been raised in an alcoholic home
- Had a minor car accident
- Gained unwanted weight (surprise)
- It was a drama-filled month
Jane suggested perhaps that was too much pain for me to absorb in just one month. I was shocked. Wasn’t I suppose to handle all these stressors with ease and confidence, using the tools of my recovery program? She looked at me with a puzzled look and said, “You have had a hard month. Why not be gentle with yourself?”
I realized I was so accustomed to using my recovery tools to help me handle life’s troubles I had forgotten that sometimes there isn’t a secret recipe. Sometimes it just hurts and you feel lost for a while. That is how I feel today, as though I have lost something of great value.
What tool in Al-Anon can help me when I am feel lost and overwhelmed by the disease of addiction? My sponsor suggested I start with:
How Important Is It?
Had I allowed all these different situations to pile up and feel like one big monster? How important were all these events?
- No one was arrested
- One day we would all laugh at this holiday season
- 4 out my 5 adult children talk to me often
- The holiday treats were gone and I would lose the weight
- My car and my body were both getting repaired
After I allowed this slogan to soothe my weary soul, she suggested just one more.
This Too Shall Pass
Over the years I have discovered that everything changes, everything. Sometimes I like the changes and sometimes I dread the changes. Regardless of how I feel change is happening and will continue to happen. I usually having a peaceful inner life, but no one guarantees a life free of problems, even if you have a strong recovery program.
- Losing my serenity was a change I didn’t like
- If I keep the focus on myself and not panic this too shall pass and I will be OK
- My Higher Power has not left me alone, I just feel alone
- My recovery was depleted in December, but it is January and I have hope that it will be replenished
While I wish, my serenity was found and I was my old cheerful self, I am not going to lie to make others feel better. I have done that for most of my life. My Higher Power has an excellent “lost and found” department. I will continue to wait for my serenity’s safe return, in the mean time I will do the next right thing and breathe.
A Reach Out Recovery Exclusive By: Madeline Schloop