Wednesday, September 8, 2010
It isn't unusual to hear someone talk about how difficult their situation is. Their misery is much greater because they have a child who is on the streets whereas others have a much less burdensome situation with an alcoholic spouse. I don't have children so I can't identify. I am sure their pain is a harsh and hard thing. But I have also heard in Al-Anon that we don't compare our burdens and pain. To me, living with an alcoholic for many years was very painful.
Fortunately, when I went to my first meeting I heard others talk about their alcoholic spouses. I could tell that I belonged. I didn't think that I was so different because of education, financial situation or any other reason. I could identify with what I heard.
Last night, a couple at the Beginner's Meeting shared about how difficult is was for them to let their addict son go. He is active and living with them. The father said that having a child who has problems with drugs or alcohol is different from having a spouse who has those problems. Yes, I suppose it could be. But isn't the end result the same--that if I keep doing the same things over and over and those things don't work, that perhaps I need to consider other options?
I believe in the end, we have far more similarities than differences in our desire to help those we love. I think that each of us who come to Al-Anon are there because we are desperate. Some are desperate to help the alcoholic, while others are desperate to save ourselves from what has become a miserable existence. I am glad that I was at the point of being desperate enough to save myself. I had reached my breaking point and knew that I was beaten by alcoholism.
I suspect that the couple whose son is still actively using were there to save him. They left half way through the regular meeting. I was sorry to see them go but perhaps they haven't reached the point where they realize that fixing their son isn't possible. There is one thing for sure, we are each unique--just like everyone else.