Sunday, March 2, 2014

Gifts of Addiction

I've been asked to chair the next Al Anon meeting.  That means you lead the meeting and choose a topic for discussion.  Sometimes I need to deal with something in particular such as fear.  But other times I thumb through the index and I wait to see what topic jumps out at me.  This week I didn't really have a pressing need to focus on a particular topic so I started to thumb through the index. 

There were several topics that jumped out at me.  I wrote each of the topics down on a piece of paper.  I thought that maybe I'd take some time to see if one topic spoke to me more than the others.  I believe that Al Anon works that way.  God will choose and I will deliver the topic.  I finally looked at my list and instead of looking at each individual item, I looked at the collection as a whole and realized that they were all gifts of addiction.  You might think that they are gifts of a twelve step program or gifts from my faith or gifts from counseling, but really if it hadn't been for the disease of addiction, I would not have sought the changes learned from each of those avenues. 

Addiction has changed me.  Addiction has made me humble, loving, mindful, accepting,  aware, present and grateful.  Addiction has taught me not to be afraid, judgmental, mind other people's business or expect. 

I'm so grateful that I am in process.  I don't think it ever would have happened without addiction.  Maybe it would have, but addiction did happen and I am changing as a result.  Make no mistake, I would never wish this disease on my son.  But, it did happen and I will be grateful for the gifts that were given in the midst of the heartbreak.  I was wondering if any of you all felt the same way.  If so, what one thing really changed about you?

On another note, I have lost 9.6 of last Monday.  I will weigh in tomorrow afternoon at 4pm and I feel as though I've lost another 1-2 lbs.  I'll let you know later.  It is a slow process but I am thankful that I am facing a lifelong struggle. 

My niece just had her fourth child!  Her mom was an alcoholic.  I used to say that she was an alcoholic and my brother's drug of choice was her......I didn't know the term co dependent but I knew what it was....even then.  I'm going to go see her and take her dinner and a ODAT or Courage to Change.  I've never asked her as an adult how she dealt with it.  I guess we didn't talk about it much.  I think it's time I asked.  I'm praying for all of you.


maria said...

Hi Hattie,
I think that Addiction has affected me in the same ways. I was very judgemental and would blame bad parenting when a teenager got in trouble...I believed we had the perfect recipe. Privarpte school, church every week, family dinners, sports, blah blah blah! We'll the joke was on me, I now believe that every head is its own world! my grandmother would say that and now I fully understand. I try my hardest to not let what other people do at work bother me. I tell myself that if they don't follow dress codes or don't do their work, it doesn't effect my pay or my work, I admit I don't have patience on some days when my coworkers talk non stop but my headphones help and if not I get up and walk away for a bit. I am more compassionate for people. But I have to admit I have not been able to overcome the fear. My fear has driven me to make a lot of poor choices when dealing with my 28 year old son. I must also admit that my anger makes it hard to be compassionate for my son. I am trying but I am so tired of this five year battle. It has turned our family upside down and I hate it. It's hard because we have let him be at home while he is on probation but it is a tough battle. Two steps forward and one step back. It is hard to accept that this may be his life forever. It scares me and I wake with fear wondering what each day will bring. I do see a counselor and I am working on these things because the rational me tells me that it is his life and I have no control but the 51 year old menapausal mother in me keeps surfacing and reminds me that this is the same sweet child that God gave me to love and protect. Addiction stinks. Sorry for going off topic, I realize I am no where near where I should be in my recovery !

Scott McKinney said...

One of the greatest gifts you could ever gain from addiction is realization. You will never know how it feels like to have one, or the influence that it brings to everyone, if you haven't get the disease. Addiction seems to always have a one-way perspective. We always see the bad side and never acknowledge the good effect that it brings after realizing the bad, and knowing the reasons behind why someone has gone through it. I’m glad that you were able to learn some good things from it.

Scott McKinney