I just got back from a meeting. It was a sponsee's first Al-Anon birthday so I gave him a bronze medallion. There were a couple of newcomers at the beginner meeting so he and I talked to them about what brought them to Al-Anon and how it might help.
Both of the newcomers had children who were having major issues. One child is 14 years old and anorexic. The parents have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on getting her treated. She has manipulated the mother into a near breakdown by telling her stuff like, "If you don't get me a new laptop, then I won't eat." The other parent who was there has a daughter who is an alcoholic and a sex addict. The daughter is now pregnant, has stopped drinking but is still a sex addict.
My sponsee and I shared about why we came to Al-Anon. And as I was listening to what we were sharing, it occurred to me that garden variety alcoholism is getting rarer and rarer these days. Most of the newcomers are dealing with relatives or friends with multiple addictions--tonight a food (or lack of) addiction and sex addiction. Although I can't identify with these addictions, it is good that the message of the program is the same--to take care of yourself, to detach with love, to have compassion for those sick and suffering, and to realize that we can't control the behavior of another.
The regular meeting was good with a speaker who shared her experience, strength, and hope. Like so many who have come to be in recovery, we have learned to open up and to share. She said that this was the first time that she had shared her story. And it was a rough week because she was fired from a job and had been obsessing about that. A crisis had come into her life that was requiring her to take it one hour at a time. But focusing on sharing her story had helped her to get out of self-pity and focus on gratitude. A coincidence? I don't think so. I think it was her Higher Power who brought the events together this week--a crisis that was helped by doing service.
Her story made me realize how fortunate I am to have met the people I have and to count them as friends. We said good bye to a member tonight who is moving out of the state. She has been a bright light in the program. I would not have known her, come to count her as a friend, had it not been for Al-Anon. And the same can be said for all those who I encounter in this program. I went from someone who felt that I had no friends to a person who can pick up the phone and call any number of people who will be there for me. And I will be there for them. That is an awesome thing.
And there are the people who I have met through blogs. I may not know you face to face, but you provide a way for me to feel included in your lives. You share things in your writings that make me feel as if I know you. And by doing so, I feel that I have come to care about you and what happens in your life. We are all interconnected by what we share. We dare to put ourselves out here, to lay ourselves bare and express our joys and sorrows. Do you realize how special that is? I think that it is really a rarety in society. But for us in recovery, it is part of what makes us heal.
Now that I have shared my warm, fuzzy feelings for you, it's time to cozy up next to C. She has been reading and listening to me typing away on the laptop. I think that I'll tell her just how warm and fuzzy she makes me feel too.