“Alcoholism is something that affects the entire fabric of your life. Its long-reaching tendrils always find you and tightly twine themselves into your thoughts, feelings and actions. They define and color all of your life in a way that leaves you feeling like life is a constant flat tire. The air is always leaking out no matter how many times you try and patch it or replace it. Your life does not travel on a smooth road because of it, but is constantly bumping itself from side to side.
“It is not true that children ‘forget’ as they grow. If anything, those memories are vividly cemented into place for life, complete with the original feelings, fears, hate, resentments, confusion, inability to function and reason, inability to feel good about oneself, the inability to trust yourself or others, and the ability to remain invisible. It becomes a lifetime job to undo what was caused by living with an alcoholic parent and, often, the struggle to overcome it can leave you as exhausted and deflated as a flattened old tire. It takes phenomenal strength to fight your way to a healthy life, forgive the past, and grow into an adult who has finally become whole and able to extinguish the anguished voice of the child who fought to survive.” From INFP: The 64-Color Box
It's tough reading the above because I have a tendency to go back in my head to that place of confusion where the memories aren't so good. I realize how fortunate I am to have found that I don't have to have the memories cemented to me forever. I can choose to put those things in the past and move into today. And it does take a lot of strength, faith, humility and acceptance to move from the past into the present. I'm grateful that today I have:
- a better plan than being mired in self-pity and feeling deflated and empty
- a program that is teaching me that the past is over but today is full of wonder
- no desire to act out my character defects that once ruled and ruined my life
- chosen to make it a lifetime job of healing myself through the help of my HP and Al-Anon