Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Two years of living
Last night's meeting was a happy time. I took a couple of the dogs and one other member brought her dog. It is the way my home group is--very laid back, very close and very accepting. There was food, flowers, cards, and my friends. It just doesn't get any better.
I focused my story on the steps and how my life has changed since coming to Al-Anon. Growing up an only child in a home where my father drank and my mother denied set forth a pattern for me of self-doubt, resentment, and need. I didn't have a clue about how to take care of myself. I would weakly establish wall of self defense only to take them down when someone would come along that I wanted approval from or who seemed more needy than I was. I kept repeating the same pattern inviting people in to hurt me and reinforcing the fact that I could not trust people or myself. I thought that I had this fatal flaw and that no one would ever love me.
After coming to Al-Anon, I realized that to build my self-worth on what others thought of me was setting me up for bad feelings. And I began to understand that my marriage had consisted of two dysfunctional people clinging together for safety from the hurt that we had experienced. I know that I can't blame my character defects on my parents because they had their own issues and loved me as they had been taught to love.
Gradually, I've come to realize that I can accept who I am without shame. I can accept others without judgment. I can rely on my Higher Power as the ultimate source of strength, caring, and answers. It's like learning how to live at last.