Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Not ever.

OK, when I start eating oatmeal for breakfast, I have accepted that it is winter.
Even though it is warmer than the usual, it's still winter.

Recently, someone that I used to know well, has fallen into the deep, dark well that is alcoholism.
When I heard about it, I reached out.  I didn't expect that it would help, but I didn't know that it wouldn't, so I tried.
Doing so, brought a lot of memories roaring back at me.  Memories of stressful, unhappy, dark times.
It also brought back a lot of feelings I had as I struggled to straighten my life out, with the help of AlAnon.
AlAnon didn't just help me in dealing with the alcoholic.  It helped ME find ME.

My gratitude is eternal.

I learned a lot of things.

I learned that you create yourself by the choices you make.
I learned that you can choose happiness, and walk away from misery.
I learned that you can take your hands off what is not yours, and that the reward for doing that is great.

I learned that serenity is truly priceless, and that it is mine for the taking.

Mostly what I learned, can be summed up in a few pages from the Big Book, page 449 to the end of the chapter.
Saved my life.
Still does.
I wanted to share it with you all.
Cause it can't hurt.  E.v.e.r.

    "And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing or situation -- some fact of my life -- unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.
    Nothing, absolutely nothing happens in God's world by mistake. Until I could accept my alcoholism, I could not stay sober; unless I accept life completely on life's terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes.
For me, serenity began when I learned to distinguish between those things that I could change and those I could not. When I admitted that there were people, places, things, and situations over which I was totally powerless, those things began to lose their power over me. I learned that everyone has the right to make their own mistakes, and learn from them, without my interference, judgement, or assistance!
The key to my serenity is acceptance. But "acceptance" does not mean that I have to like it, condone it, or even ignore it. What it does mean is I am powerless to do anything about it... and I have to accept that fact.
Nor does it mean that I have to accept "unacceptable behavoir." Today I have choices. I no longer have to accept abuse in any form. I can choose to walk away, even if it means stepping out into the unknown. I no longer have to fear "change" or the unknown. I can merely accept it as part of the journey.
I spent years trying to change things in my life over which I was powerless, but did not know it. I threatened, scolded, manipulated, coerced, pleaded, begged, pouted, bribed and generally tried everything I could to make the situation better -- only watch as things always got progressively worse.
I spent so much time trying to change the things I could not change, it never once occurred to me to simply accept them as they were.
Now when things in my life are not going the way I planned them, or downright bad things happen, I can remind myself that whatever is going on is not happening by accident. There's a reason for it and it is not always meant for me to know what that reason is.
That change in attitude has been the key to happiness for me. I know I am not the only who has found that serenity."


Denise at Autumn Sky said...

Very meaningful words today. I had a relative (in-law) who drank himself to death as his loved ones stood by, helpless. It's never an easy place to be, close to an alcoholic. I am happy for you that you found peace.

Gayle said...

We cannot choose what comes our way, but we can choose an attitude regarding it. Why not choose the most positive?

Thanks for your very important words.

Anonymous said...

While I didn't live with an alcoholic, I did live with an abuser. Once I took the step to get him out of my daily life, the peace that replaced the strife was so worth it. The worries over finances and how I would survive without his financial help PALED in comparison to the immense peace that was in our home for me and my kids. I had my struggles, but they were different and didn't leave me defeated like living with an abuser did.

Good words today.

Kathy said...

Thank you

claudia said...

Thanks for reminding me. I grew up with alcoholics, then married and divorced one. I forget that there are people, places, things, situations that I cannot control, so lose sight of my serenity. You must be psychic, I needed your message today.

Cupcake Murphy said...

That looking outward to feel safe inward---lordy I've learned how that doesn't work,over and over. Thanks for this beautiful reminder of a post.

fiberdance said...

I have much different situations going on-and your words have helped-you're an inspiration-thanks

ain't for city gals said...

I have spent the last week re-reading Co-Dependant No More by Melody Beattie...which is along these same lines. This book changed my life some 30 years ago and I am forever grateful I learned the lessons early.

Daryl said...

Serenity now ..

And I love the fabric on that chair

Karen thisoldhouse2.com said...

Beautifully said, Hilary.

And I'm coveting that chair too, is that bad? :-)

Lili said...

Powerful! I enjoyed reading that, it's very good reference for life in general. I too had oatmeal this morning and it's warmer here as well. ~Lili

Debby said...

I lived with an alcoholic, who finally drank himself to death. I understood the concept but reading this brought a peace I haven't felt in a while. Thanks.

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