Monday, April 13, 2015

What do you most need to hear at your first Al Anon meeting?

Our home group has been asked to start a Newcomer meeting group at a rehab facility so that families will have the opportunity to visit an Al-Anon meeting while they are there for IOP.  Their hope is that a regular meeting will evolve from this Newcomer meeting.

I got the format out of the service manual for that sort of meeting and found myself wondering, what would I most need to hear if it were my first meeting?

There are so many valuable things.  If I think back to my first meeting I guess the thing that stands out the most is that I got permission to take care of myself.  What a foreign concept.

I'm working on my fourth step inventory for the very first time.  I go to confession.....not nearly enough.  But, I had never done a fourth step inventory.  The most amazing thing is that a big part of taking care of myself involves being aware of where I am emotionally.

I decided to bite the bullet and begin working on it after visiting another Al-Anon group.  The chairperson had written some questions from the various Al-Anon books from the fourth step inventory and placed them in an envelope.  We passed the envelope around and it was amazing how people seemed to draw just the question that they needed to think about.

It was such a great activity that I did the same thing in my home group.  The interesting thing that happened was this;  people drew tough questions, even ones that brought them to tears, questions that they had never answered out loud before-- I was worried.  Had I done something harmful?  Well, the answer ended up being no.  Every person there went on about what a wonderful meeting it was.

Isn't it strange how the hard things that we avoid, once faced free us so?  I was really blessed to be a part of it all. 

I'm loving my windows open, the crow's caw, flowering trees, the Bermuda grass resurrection, my neighbors out and about and all that spring brings.  I appreciate all of these things so much more now that the nest is empty and I am not running around taxing my kids. 

I have a great urge to travel.  With the Dad working as a solo veterinarian of an equine practice, we will need to make some changes for that to occur.  Maybe that is something that we can work towards.  A girl can hope.

I hope that you are all enjoying your spring.  I'll be praying for Henry.  Yours and mine.


Annette said...

I love all of the service that you do. The thing I heard at my first Alanon meeting was the idea of "just for today." "Just for today can you put your girl into God's hands and let Him take care of her? Just for today." That one comment changed so much for me! That and the idea that when I was trying to control everything, I was really afraid. Understanding the root of my controlling behavior helped me to acknowledge what was really going on inside of myself and look for other responses.

Hattie Heaton said...

That is a very useful comment. Thanks, Annette. So many times the idea of being controlling has such negative connotations--but to look at it from the vulnerable point of view sheds a compassionate light on it. Thanks.