Last night, our Al-Anon group learned that one of its members had died. He had only a few months from time of diagnosis to death. I miss him, I really do. He had several addicted children that caused a lot of stress in his life. His career was pressure enough but the children nearly drove him insane. His marriage became bad, he was paying for rehabs and treatment centers, and the stress was enormous. He thought that he could somehow fix his addicted children.
He didn't find Al-Anon for a long time, but when he did come, he was willing and ready. He got a sponsor, worked the steps and had a good message to share. He found that all the controlling he tried with his kids didn't work. He let one son go to jail, didn't bail him out, and told him he loved him. He told another not to come home for Christmas if he was still using. He made boundaries and kept them. And he found serenity by doing these things.
He always had a good message for the newcomers whose children were alcoholics/addicts. He told them that nothing he said or gave to his children in the way of material things ever made any difference in their getting sober. But what did make a difference was when he learned to keep his hands off those things that didn't belong to him.
I am thankful for the message. I used to not only want to carry the shit of another but wallow in it. Heck, I was baggage claim. Now I realize that if something doesn't have my name on it, I don't pick it up. It can just sit there and stink.
Thank you C. for sharing your message and for walking the talk. You inspired a lot of people and gave them hope that they too could learn to live and find serenity amidst an ocean of chaos. I wish that your stay here could have been longer. But I'm grateful that you found peace during your final years.