Monday, December 8, 2008

Experience, strength and hope

Monday has rolled around again. I'm healed enough to be back at work which is a good thing in many ways. I've got some catching up to do from missing a few days last week, but it all seems doable.

Tonight I get to share my experience, strength and hope at one of the AA meetings as the Al-Anon speaker. It's this group's annual Christmas party which means that there will be a lot of great food. I was honored to be asked to say a few words. I remember going last year and listening to a couple of great speakers. I thought then that it took a lot of recovery to be able to get up and share in front of a group. Now I realize that it takes willingness to show up and just speak from my heart.

My story isn't a horror story. It's probably rather tame. I didn't get molested, I didn't get arrested, I didn't go through a bunch of wives, I don't have any children who make my life miserable, I didn't lose my job, I didn't try to kill myself--well, you get the drift. I'm just your plain vanilla Al-Anoner who decided that there was something more to life than feeling angry and hateful.

I realize that my journey continues. But I can also look back and see how far I've come. I now have a sturdy foundation on which to build the rest of my life. I realize that God has done for me what I could not do for myself.


  1. How awesome that you get to speak. I wish I could be there to hear it. We have our annual xmas party with an AA group who provides a speaker..usually AA. My home group will be 27 years old in February and the woman who started it attends every week. It is a true blessing to be able to celebrate the holidays with people like this. I will be cheering you on virtually :-)


  2. "God has done for me what I could not do for myself" sums it up. How cool that you'll be there for a celebration...
    Amen - and have a plate for me.

  3. Good that you are well again Syd. Enjoy the party and the share.

  4. I'd love to hear you speak! Especially, if you speak as well as you write! Can any of us Al Anon-ers be just plain vanilla? I dunno! LOL! Not in what I've encountered in our meetings! We're all uniquely flawed human beings! Wishing you the best tonight as you work the crowd! Blessings, Lisa

  5. I wish I could hear your story tonight. I'm sure it will touch many. Have fun at the party and let us know how it goes!

  6. I loved the way you put that, Syd - "deciding there was more to life than feeling angry and hateful." I spent most of my life that way, from childhood to early adulthood.
    Before program, I had no idea that life could be so peaceful and gratifying.
    Bless you and yours, and thanks for that great post, and for all your posts. I read your blog with my morning coffee and am always grateful for a program start to the day.

  7. Wow - my-oh-my - Dear Syd: I saw my inventory in your blog today, and just wanted to let you know that your type of story is my favorite. One thing I might say about it is this: I have heard many similar stories, and the speaker prefaces the remarks with something like, 'I led a very ordinary, uneventful life, with no major problems.' This remark is very very inaccurate, because you see, you ARE part of the Al-Anon fellowship of serenity, love, and understanding. I think only very extraordinary people keep coming back, and you are very extraordinary.

    I dislike telling my story because I still have a hard time believing it happened. But, Al-Anon provided me with recovery that no other formal, religious, or therapist was able to do. The steps drove me to seek a Higher Power, and then I continued to find out if the Promises in the AA Book would really come true for me. My Al-Anon sponsor was very adamant in my studying the Big Book early in my recovery, and from it I learned about the misery of the disease of alcoholism. After working through the 3rd, 5th, and 11th step prayers in the Big Book, I then embarked on the recovery journey of Al-Anon and all its gifts. I have kept coming back -- and continue to learn something new or different at each event I attend.

    Good luck with your story, tonight! It is NOT ordinary, and neither are you!

    God bless you,
    Hugs, Anonymous #1

  8. Syd this post really struck a cord with me - My youngest son accommpanied my husband & I to our saturday night open AA meeting and he said to me in a hushed whisper -"...all these people look normal."

    Amazing how we all look so regular on the outside. This made me think of that.


  9. Awesome! How great to share experience, strength and hope with others and have an impact where you wouldn't normally swim :)

  10. I like that you said it just takes showing up & speaking from the heart.

  11. I would love to hear you speak. You are one of the calmest, most serene voices here in blogland and I look foward to reading your gentle wisdom every day. jeNN

  12. How I wish I could be at that meeting!

  13. I read you at the opposite end of the day: right before bed. What can I say? I like to meditate on what you write before bed (no pressure). Can't wait to hear how it all went and how much you enjoyed the food, but moreso the fellowship. :o)

  14. "God has done for me what I could not do for myself"

    Oh so true, Syd

    You know for the last few years at New Year's Eve, I am always saying good riddance to the year. Something awful has always happened with the boys that year, etc. Well even though both boys were in the hospital in the summer and they have again gone through alot, this New Year's Eve I will be ever grateful.

    For Alanon, OA, and many other things because God has done for me what I could not do for myself.

    Thanks for the reminder

  15. i remember you posting about your christmas party last year. it's wonderful to see your very different outlook this year.

  16. I'm actually hoping I'll get a chance to go to an Alanon meeting this next year. I'm an adult child of an alcoholic. My childhood was one of millions that wasn't pretty. What a story I have to tell.

    Thanks for visiting once again, I'm hoping and praying for a set of those new lungs! Only God can come through on that, Santa isn't capable of that request and neither is Oprah. ;)

  17. Thanks so much for this post Syd. I love the vanilla Alanoner comment. It's true though. Most of this disease is created in my head. I am so lucky in so many ways. Thanks for pointing that out.


  18. I love how this is a journey with no fixed ending. It's exciting to know that there is more to come and it can all be as good as it is now if I keep on this path.

  19. I'm one of the one with the Horror Chidhood stories but that does not lessen the affect that others have experience. (others had even worse past stories than mine)

    We are all striving to grow more and more.....

    I like what Maslow's stated to achieve... Self Actualization (the pyramid).

    I want to reach self-actualization; and I think the 12 Step Program with Al-Anon is the best way to do so.


Let me know what you think. I like reading what you have to say.