It is a windy, chilly morning here. I am loving the change from the hot and humid days of the past week. Maybe cooler weather will be here to stay. The cats, Rachael and Esther, enjoy snuggling together when it's chilly (This photo is for Lou).
I've had a busy week thus far, filled with meetings, sponsee calls, and kitchen remodeling. The latter is moving along at what seems like a slow pace but in reality, is good progress. At times, I have felt frustrated and sad. We are both tired of having contractors and the mess in the house. But I remind myself that all will be done soon. For the inconvenience now, it will be so beautiful when completed.
I went back to the first meeting I attended in Al-Anon. I walked into that meeting and got phone numbers to call and received a lot of instructions from the leader. One of the instructions was to leave my wife. I learned after over a year of attending the meeting that it was not healthy. It was dominated in such a way that does not follow the traditions. In fact, not much of the meeting followed the traditions.
Not all meetings are healthy. What I learned was to find the ones that are and go to those. Eventually, I stopped going to the unhealthy meeting. I found people who were good, trustworthy, and caring. I went to meetings where there was recovery, study of the steps and traditions, not gossip and dominance.
I had heard that the unhealthy meeting had changed because the dominating personality there had retired. So I went back and found a much smaller group and people who seem to be much more free and open than before. About four from the old group remained. It felt like a group that was healing itself.
My thoughts are that not every Al-Anon meeting is healthy. Look for ones that not only study the steps and traditions but that understand the three obstacles of religion, gossip and dominance.
Perhaps you can be the change that is needed in an unhealthy meeting. Have a group inventory and don't be afraid to voice an opinion on what could make the meeting better. Your recovery and that of others depends on having a safe place to share and to heal.