Progress is defined as movement toward a goal; development or growth. Ghandi said" healthy discontent is a prelude to progress."
I am thankful for those great thinkers who have come before me , who have helped me look at things as they really are. I'm afraid that growing up watching sitcoms has perverted my way of thinking. I expect a satisfying conclusion in thirty minutes or less. And, I expect any progress to look like some idealized version of what's in my head.
But, life doesn't work that way. I went to my AlAnon meeting on Monday. It always amazes me that a topic can be chosen with my feeling so superior....that something else would have been a better choice, when that topic will usually be the very thing that I need to hear. Progress was our topic. It was perfect. It made me stop irrationally thinking that progress was something like a checklist. Henry David Thoreau said that, "when real progress is made, we unlearn and learn anew what we thought we knew before." That quote was so profound for me. Every thing that I thought I knew is challenged, then unlearned then relearned. That's a three step process for my ever aging brain.
My expectations are off. A Chinese proverb tells me, "be not afraid of going slowly, be afraid of standing still." Progress is movement. Maybe it isn't the movement I'd like, but it is movement.
It has been one year since my son went to rehab. He has grown so much. A lot of his growth has to do with the fact that his Dad and I have gotten out of his way. Dad and I have been going to meetings and learning to work our twelve step programs. We also started seeing a counselor. We realize that in order for our son to heal and our daughters to be healthy and not traumatized from our dysfunction, we need to learn how to do this right. It's never too late. This is our gift to them and ourselves.
Addiction woke us up. It challenged our way of thinking and forced us to act in the face of fear. My son will always live with this. That is a daunting thought. Sometimes I read blogs and hear about those who relapse. It scares me so much. But, it is another lesson; another test of a boundary. Maybe it is a reminder of how dangerous this disease can be. It isn't for me to judge. I just need to mind my own business and keep trudging forward.
Today, I am thankful for my AlAnon group. I am thankful for our progress. I am thankful for the courage that God has given us during this time. I pray for all those who fight this disease. I pray for their strength, courage and tenacity. I pray that they find that spiritual connection that will sustain and rescue them. And I say a prayer for the soul of my grandfather, Henry.