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Adult Children of Alcoholics - Page 3
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  1. #41

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    Quick post for now, I only have a minute but I need to tell this story so will be back. Visiting my mom who's in her late 80s for a week and a half as I do several times a year. Waiting for the doctor talking about neighbors when she casually brings up my brothers suicide attempt some 40 years ago. I was already out of the house so have only heard bits and pieces. She talked about the neighbor doctor administering CPR, calling the minister, etc. of course the word suicide was never used. I'm silently freaking out. I had managed to forget how truly f***** up my family was growing up and how at the age of 10 as the oldest of 4 I was figuring out how I'd keep all the kids together if something happened. Gotta go for now and take care of mom as tho nothing is wrong. I'll be ok, I'll write more later. Thanks for listening

  2. #42
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    Awww, thinking of you, Carol, and I'm glad you are letting it out. It's crazy how sometimes we think we're "all better," only to have something unexpected throw us completely off our game. Interested to hear the rest of what you have to say, just wanted to make sure you knew you were heard!

    And Periwinkle, somehow I missed your post a week ago (I would have replied immediately if I'd seen it!), but I'm really glad to hear that Al-Anon is helping you! Haven't heard from you lately, I hope you're still doing great...

    Thank you both for waking this thread up again!! It really means a lot to me. I am still finding things out about myself as well, and sometimes think about sharing and then wonder if I should bother. I appreciate you having the guts.
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
    As you sow, so shall you reap.

  3. #43
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    After trying on a few al-anon groups, I found a wonderful small group of women that I feel open to share with. I love that it's not just a venting, but encouraging group of hope and realizing so many similarities we have had through life, regardless of our ages or who the alcoholic was in our lives.

    At this point in my life, I don't feel the need to go back to my mom for all of this, I think I have made peace with that part and forgiven her. Really, having her acknowledge it now wouldn't help in my recovery process, it's really work that I have to do regardless of who is to blame. So, I just focus on the present and what do I have control of and let the rest go. It's really kinda liberating

  4. #44
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    Carol,
    Everything, we do as parents resonates for so long.. I am glad you are ok.. Please tell rest when you have time..

    Erin, you better share... You are important to this site and anything on your mind is important to me..

    Chad

  5. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by _Erin_ View Post
    It's crazy how sometimes we think we're "all better," only to have something unexpected throw us completely off our game. . . I am still finding things out about myself as well, and sometimes think about sharing and then wonder if I should bother.
    Erin, thanks, that's it in a nutshell. Oh, yes please share.

    Peri and Chad, good to hear from you as well.

    So I alternated for a while between feeling the anger of that time in the past, realizing it was really rage, but underneath the rage was tremendous sadness, and living in today where I'm a 60-year old grownup. I thought of a sermon I heard based on the sports analogy of the highlights they show of the game. Point was you can think of the lowlights of your life or focus on the highlights instead, and we all have both. There were definitely highlights in my childhood as well. I just had never felt the enormous sadness and loneliness my brother must have felt as the older kids left one by one leaving him to suffer the lowlights, so to speak, all alone. All us kids are high achievers, all of us have varying degrees of baggage. After my divorce almost 25 years ago I did a lot of work to face my issues and grow, found out about the whole concept of ACAs, which it turned out one of my sisters was practically an expert on, and it helped a lot. I continued to use those tools. Unfortunately one of the coping mechanisms I used was drinking which of course got progressively worse, and now I've created another generation of ACAs, more's the pity. At least they have seen me stop and grow.

    At some point in the last year or two, after putting down a good foundation of sobriety, I forgave my mom. She has mellowed a lot. At this point if you met her you'd say, oh she's just old, older people get like that. But it's hard to have that perspective because of past hurts. I told my husband yesterday that the way I'm getting along fine is to act like I'm a 10 year old child before I started rebelling and do whatever she tells me to do. That was before I remembered that my 10 year old child was not so innocent.

    So blah, blah, blah, how do I hold this? The only problem with the highlights approach is if you take it to the limit it invalidates the lowlights. Yet letting the lowlights be the story is being trapped in the anger and disappointment of the past. While feeling that rage and then sadness, I asked myself if I still forgive my mom. The answer came back yes. And I think that forgiveness helps free me.

    I've also learned, and am still learning a lot, about boundaries. From what I've learned and experienced, ACAs are boundaryless. Setting boundaries is critically important to me and a key element in preventing relapse for me. A couple of visits ago, my mom was really mean and said some things I won't repeat that in anyone's book are unacceptable. I did the usual yelling and screaming, but then I also put my foot down and told her that if she continued I would book a flight and go home. It wasn't an idle threat. My hubby is the most kind-hearted person you'll ever meet, and he was truly shocked by what she said, and supported me. It didn't come to that, but I think it was a turning point.

    I don't want to just peanut-butter over this memory but I also won't let the past hold power over me. It feels like there's still a lesson here to learn, I just don't know what it is yet.

    Good night all.

  6. #46

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    Boundaries and forgiveness were my focus today. I'm still learning to set and hold to boundaries. Funny thing is that doesn't make me rigid, it makes me more free. Forgiveness even more freeing.

    Oh, and being grateful every day. I have so much to be grateful for.

    I go home tomorrow to my little cocoon with my husband. I'm doing a lot again with volunteering; I enjoy it but there again I need to not overcommit. So I may be going back to reading and not posting much. I'm still here, though.

    Thanks for listening, y'all.

  7. #47
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    I am so glad you are still here, Carol.. I would miss you so..
    I am working hard on boundaries and forgiveness with my mother-in-law.. She has been such a destructive force in my wife's life and mine too.. She calls herself a recovered alcoholic but that is not really the case.. She doesn't drink, but relives her drinking in many other ways.. Shopping, eating, meddling in others lives, has been her drink of choice for many years..
    I hope too one day be able to forgive her.. Maybe, one day..

    Chad

  8. #48
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    big >hugz< to ya Carol!

  9. #49
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    Ok, so a few weeks have passed since I last visited this thread... which seems unbelievable to me, but it's right there in black and white, so it must be true. Three weeks ago, I was considering posting a few things and never did. "Character flaws," I suppose is what they're referred to by some, but I once commented that I felt every "character flaw" was at some point in time useful, so I'm going to challenge myself to back that comment up and figure out how each one ever benefited me. Just thinking "out loud" as I type tonight... which leads my to my first one:

    - Procrastination/perfectionism. Sometimes they go hand-in-hand. I put off saying anything at all on this board until I had the time to do it exactly the way I wanted to in my head, to convey every last little ounce of emotion I had while cross-examining myself. While talking with a good friend of mine the other day, I realized that putting off things I wanted to say sometimes conveys an absence completely rather than a pause for thought. Maybe it's less important to say the perfect thing, and more important to say SOMETHING. I am sure that this one stemmed from childhood, getting yelled at for doing something wrong, maybe even the walking on eggshells that happened pretty often because you didn't know what to expect upon coming home... so until I could do it "right," I didn't do it at all. I think this is something that I'm ready to work on letting go.

    - Comparing myself to others. MY GOD, it's constant! Even since I've been working on my weight and self-esteem, there still must be some underlying feeling of inadequacy because I catch myself doing it all the time lately. It's not so much the "she's prettier than me," or "she's got a better life than I do" type of thinking that it used to be. Now it's more "she's losing weight faster than I am" or "she's attracting more attention than I am." Funny thing is, I KNOW that I am in charge of my weight loss - the lack thereof is due to my lack of effort lately. And I don't really WANT all eyes on me. That's not my style at all, but I find it odd that I am NOTICING it. This one, I'm actually at a loss to think of a way this could have ever been beneficial at the moment. Maybe it'll hit me later.

    - Allowing BOTH of these things to stand in my way. I have been reading the new "fitness" thread, but didn't feel adequate posting there, because I'm not a fitness expert and I don't eat "clean." My good friend Chad (I sure hope you don't mind me naming you directly) asked my thoughts and wondered why I hadn't posted there yet. Earlier this week, I did the workout I always do three times in a row, back-to-back, without stopping but to restart the DVD. It's something I couldn't have done 9 months ago when I started working out... not even close. Something I really should be proud of, something that might motivate someone else. I still didn't think this qualified me to post there. Not only was I waiting until I achieved perfection... I was comparing myself to everyone else that's already "ahead of me." Being the good friend that he is, he pointed out the obvious, that this isn't a competition and the thread was never meant to be that. It's a place to swap ideas and gain new ones. I turned it into a comparison challenge myself, which is probably the worst way to sabotage your own progress in any instance.

    I also noticed myself driving down the road the other day, looking at the beautiful pearly-white Cadillac Escalade in the rear-view mirror and calling him a "rich douchebag" in my head, for no other reason than what he was driving. I expected him to tailgate me because he had a nice ride, like driving a nice car means you're an asshole. lol Maybe dude was born into money... maybe he WAS a rich douchebag... or maybe he freakin' earned his way in life and earned his sweet car. Maybe I programmed myself to think anyone with nicer "things" than me looks down on me. Or maybe I'm just jealous. Or maybe I'm a "poor douchebag" for having pre-conceived notions about someone I never even met or SAW, just the car's logo in my mirror.

    So that made me think. It was an immediate realization. It made me want to re-adjust the way I approach other human beings. On here, I look at everyone so compassionately. I see past all the flaws and wish only good things for every person I encounter. Out in the "real world," I guess I am slightly paranoid sometimes. lol I BELIEVE the world needs more caring, more kindness, more open-mindedness... but I don't always live what I want to see. I guess that makes me a hypocrite... or it makes me human. But either way, I feel like now that I've realized it, it's on my shoulders to do something about it, or I am just spinning on the hamster wheel again... not really making any progress, just talking the talk.

    Anyway... I'd like to say something like, "I'm sorry if this post doesn't make any sense," but I'm not. Because it means I made a move to work on my perfectionism and procrastination, and on my "caring about what everyone else thinks" mentality... and maybe it'll sound stupid to the majority, but maybe it'll help someone else that reads it.
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
    As you sow, so shall you reap.

  10. #50

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    Hi, Erin, good to hear from you.

    I procrastinate too. When we did the personality-type stuff at work, I was among other things "pressure-prompted", i.e., I didn't get things done till the last minute when there was a a deadline.

    More recently, I ran across the following question to ask yourself: "what would you do if you knew you could not fail?" It has been a great question. I've known I'm a perfectionist but I had never correlated that with procrastinating. It never occurred to me that sometimes I procrastinate because if I follow thru and do whatever it is, I might do it wrong or fail. What would I do if I knew I could not fail? has helped me face some of that.

    So you know me, I googled perfectionism and adult children of alcoholics, and found "Children from alcoholic homes are never good enough, smart enough, tough enough, fast enough, or "something" enough. They lived with constant criticism and eventually internalized it. They believe they have to be perfect or at least better than everyone else just to be equal. If they do something well, they tell themselves that it was nothing, that it was easy." Hmm, it says we judge ourselves without mercy.

    Ok, now I'm depressed. Not really but it does being me down a bit. I am lucky that I did somehow grow up with an inherent sense of self-worth, alongside the constant trying to please my mom and getting shot down. I've managed to build on that and have grown a lot. Somewhere along the line, I was introduced to the concept of "good enough", and that has helped.

    Here's where I'd like to say, here's the answer, but of course it doesn't work that way. Knowing where some of this came from, self-awareness, a willingness to change, learning to forgive ourselves, those all help. Erin, that's forgiving yourself! Had to say it again for emphasis.

    And you get an "A" for waking me up to think and post!

    Hugs, Carol

  11. #51
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    Thank you, Carol. You summed it up well! I guess kind of like you visiting home, being reminded of things you thought you'd made peace with, and getting a few fresh emotions from it... I am just realizing (again) that this journey is never over... there's always something to learn or re-learn or remind yourself of. I was thinking of this post in the shower this morning, and I thought about all the books I ordered when I was going to Al-Anon. Thought maybe it's time to dig those out and read them again. I'm not trying to push Al-Anon (although it is a great tool), but it might even give me some ideas to put here. Anytime I dig something out I read a long time ago, I get a whole new perspective the next time I read it. Sort of how last night's post wasn't anything new to me, really, more of a reminder of what I need and want to work on. But I do have a whole new approach, because I didn't beat myself up or cry or even get sad when I posted it. I was able to look at myself with less criticism than before. That's a step in the right direction.
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
    As you sow, so shall you reap.

  12. #52
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    "So you know me, I googled perfectionism and adult children of alcoholics, and found "Children from alcoholic homes are never good enough, smart enough, tough enough, fast enough, or "something" enough. They lived with constant criticism and eventually internalized it. They believe they have to be perfect or at least better than everyone else just to be equal. If they do something well, they tell themselves that it was nothing, that it was easy." Hmm, it says we judge ourselves without mercy."

    I resemble that remark. I too was a procrastinator because I wanted to do it just right or I won't bother at all cause why bother with a half ass attempt at something. I have learned going through recovery that it's about progress, not perfectionism. It's about me, not everyone else's progress. Al-anon has helped me understand the root cause of this from my childhood and I keep going mainly cause I stumbled upon a really wonderful group of women that I think we would relate to one another even if alcohol wasn't a factor just based on our experiences in life. While I have had drinking being a problem in my life, I have realized it wasn't about just quit drinking, it was something deeper that was causing me problems with coping and dealing with my life and that problem for me is called co-dependency. I read the Melody Beattie book years ago, and some of it I took to heart, but most of it was shoved out. I wasn't ready to get my head out of denial yet. Now I embrace it and enjoy her daily meditation book The Language of Letting Go. You don't have to buy it, you can find it updated daily on Hazelden http://www.hazelden.org/web/public/t...iew?catId=1904

    I have accepted that I will never be "cured" or reach a goal and live happily ever after. It will be a lifetime of working at it, stopping every so often to smell the roses along the way, take a look back and see how much I have grown, then keep on keeping at it. Thanks for opening up and sharing and YES, YOU! Jump into the fitness forum. None of us are perfect or experts, just trying to be healthier and share ideas

    Be proud of your accomplishments and don't worry about where everyone else is at in their progress cause YOU ROCK!

  13. #53
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    Since my last post here, I have gotten back "on a roll" and feel like I'm making progress again. By that I mean growing spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and have gotten back to my exercise. I haven't been posting it, but I've still been doing it. I'm STILL learning that even the points in life that feel like a "plateau" are worth something. Usually it means that I'm about to make a new discovery and grow more, if I stay my course. Kind of like the "dull moments" that are being discussed on the main thread right now, I guess. If you're experiencing the "blahs" of life right now, keep pushing through and brace yourself for a breakthrough. I don't know, maybe being able to look at it in a different perspective will make it suck a little less for someone else.

    I was writing a message last night and something occurred to me. I have been just completely humbled this week at the chain of events that happened by my writing that one little letter for my friend and her family. (This was a couple I went to school with, they lost their almost-10-year-old daughter to cancer last February, and have a 9-year-old surviving daughter.) It has seriously brought me so much joy to think that I did something that is going to give them even a moment's worth of happiness in a time that will probably be one of the hardest points in any of their lives. I am so excited for the event - we were all invited to a big dinner with catered food, games, Santa, then they present the family with a monetary gift to help them out and fulfill the children's Christmas lists. I get overwhelmed with emotion just thinking about it.

    What hit me last night was I've come around full-circle with this caregiving thing. When I was a child, I was caregiver to my mother and younger brother. I was put in the situation without being asked - not to say I resent how my life played out - in fact, completely the opposite. But no one said, "Hey, 9-year-old Erin, do you mind practically raising your brother and hiding your mother's secrets while she drowns her sorrows? You'll have to grow up quickly, but you don't mind, right?" Anyway, I did it without knowing it could BE any different.

    Then I got older and moved out. I still took care of my mom - drove her places, bought her things, let her cry on my shoulder - but I didn't like it. I call myself "caregiver with resentment" in this stage of my life. Taking care of others was all I knew, but I was pissed that I 'had' to do it. This is how I started my relationship with my current boyfriend, too. I did eeeeeeeeeverything for him, then got angry with him when he expected it.

    Now, today. I am a "grateful caregiver." I LOVE being a mommy. My boyfriend is now contributing, I've found a happy medium in what I can do for him out of love vs. what he should do for himself, so the things I do for him, I ENJOY doing for him. I absolutely LOVE posting on this site and getting a "thank you" or a "you really helped me by saying this." It probably makes my day even more than the person sending it. I am becoming addicted to random acts of kindness, and to doing little things for people and they have no clue that I had any part in it. I am so grateful to have played a part in making someone else's Christmas brighter.

    My mom and dad both died in January. Normally I am DREADING this time of year with a vengeance. I am usually starting to feel sad and depressed right about now. I have definitely not forgotten that my mom and dad are gone, but looking forward to this huge gift about to be given to this family, coupled with my daughter now being old enough to be excited about the holidays, has made me forget that I don't like this time of year!

    I have always said that I didn't like calling the learned behaviors we picked up as children "character flaws." I believe there is a reason for each one, and I'm glad that I can look at my experiences with gratitude and got past the resentment. Life is not perfect, I don't wear rose-colored glasses and I'm not a hippie (lol), but man, there sure is a lot of good out there if you are willing to see it and receive it.
    Last edited by _Erin_; 12-04-2013 at 06:28 PM.
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
    As you sow, so shall you reap.

  14. #54
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    Happy post! Good to see you in a good place

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    ACOA its been a long time since Ive heard the term. I first started my recovery at a ACOA class in 1987
    Erin Peri Carol Chad this one page says a lot about the characteristics Compulsive thinking, self judgment, commitments.

    Have even come to accept some of the strengths I gained from being an ACOA once I recognized the negatives learned to drop perfectionism, still a little self critical and have learned to control or at least manage the compulsive thought game thank you for that thought now let me correct it with the truth.

    Have always had a sense of calm under extreme pressure life or death situations,always had the ability to slow things down when the speed picks up. Learned that from a drunk father. I was always on high alert as a kid.

    Was an amateur boxer, always been a weight lifter had the numbers for national level lifts and can still hold my own in martial arts circles, built several business's ,retired at 42 took 10 years and vacationed. Now I'm back in the game new business venture acquiring new skills.

    The above paragraph sums up achievements that I believe my early ACOA training had a positive impact on not to say there aren't negatives, but ACOA's are survivors and when we can manage what I call high alert energy we can accomplish a lot more than most people. I think in reading Carol's posts I got the feeling she learned to manage this in a career setting.

    Erin maybe try the thought game when the reflection comes thank it and replace it, start slow learn how to work out don't compare, if you do only compare your strengths. Picking up on Chads comment mother in-law John Bradshaw had at the time what seemed to be an excellent series on PBS about boundaries and cross generational bonding it a least helped me to identify the dysfunction that they (ex and mother in-law) thought was normal. Didn't help though, they passed it on to my daughters, I call it a generational curse.

  16. #56
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    JimW, thankfully my wife and daughters steered clear of the "generational curse".. I guess my daughters better watch out as I am sure it will surface again..

    Chad
    “Well, if it can be thought, it can be done, a problem can be overcome”

  17. #57

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    I don't think it's just alcoholism that creates bad patterns in childhood that we carry around like a ball and chain. I think it's any dysfunctional family set up, whatever the cause is. I think the purpose behind ACOA or Adult Children of _______ (fill in the blank) is to make us aware of what we picked up in our past, and to motivate us to to create a better present and future.
    I think a really good way to do this is to make friends with your inner child. There has been a lot of psychological ballyhoo about the "wounded inner child". But I think there is also the fun, playful inner child that is just dying to be our best friend. Every time my comes out to play, I just love it. She is the best part of me.
    Peace.

  18. #58
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    ^^I somewhat agree with this, except I personally try not to judge those that feel that they have the "wounded inner child" as just "psychological ballyhoo," because what I went through was somewhat rough and was NOTHING compared to what some others went through as children. I do agree that the "inner child" can be your fun side, but it sure took a lot of work for me to have a "fun" inner child, or hell, an inner child AT ALL. I grew up too fast and had to learn how to have fun, loosen up, NOT be responsible... then I had to find the happy medium between uptight/responsible and completely irresponsible. But anyway, I think the "roomba vacuum" at the end of that message means I'm wasting my time replying to spam.

    The reason I popped on here is because I just got back from the first of these Al-Anon meetings I'd intended to catch. When I walked in, it was my 3-year-old and me walking into a room with two older ladies. My first impression was, "Oh great... I will have nothing to offer here, I think I just wasted my time." But I'm really glad I went. Turns out one of the ladies started up the meeting, the other one has only been coming since July. The pain she's going through is still very fresh and talking it out is very new to her. Reminded me of where I came from... I told them a brief version of my story, how I used to attend Al-Anon meetings, how I came to this site for help after Mom died and stayed to help others. I shared with them how after I attended my first-ever Al-Anon meeting, my first impression was that it was "hokey" and would never apply to me, and that I would never reach a point that I could talk about my family without breaking down and bawling -- much less be at peace with it, learn from it, or be GLAD it happened the way it did.

    The newer-to-Al-Anon lady shared how she never feels like she's making enough progress, or that she's easily distracted or thrown off track, or like she'll never get to where the other lady is. I told her everyone works through it all at a different pace, and in a different way, and I remember feeling just like she does now, and you really can't compare to another person because it's different for everyone.

    I really felt like what I shared was minimal, I didn't feel like I had some huge message or majorly impactful words. But that lady hugged me, thanked me for what I said, and told me what I said was exactly what she needed to hear tonight. She said she was going home with a totally different attitude.

    And THAT, my friends, is why you should share, even if you feel like it's no big deal. It is to someone. Keeping it to yourself isn't helping anyone else, and it's certainly not going to help you.

    I'm so glad I went. I walked away from that meeting with a different attitude, too.
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
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  19. #59
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    That's awesome! A few weeks ago we had a snow day and I was in such a hurry, that I didn't check my messages to find out the meeting was cancelled. So I showed up and here were two ladies not part of the usual group waiting. One was a visitor from another home group, but a veteran to Al anon and the other a newcomer. We had the meeting just the three of us, and while I've chaired a meeting before, it was with my peers, so I was a bit hesitant about it. However afterwards, I realized that all three of us were at the right place at the right time and it was the way it was supposed to be. I agree about sharing, I have learned so much from my group of wonderful women, and it's a very supportive and encouraging group who really work through the steps for our growth, and quit trying to fix the alcoholic, other people, situation in our lives. The lessons learned from this group I have heard over and over as testimonies that it has helped other parts of their lives, and through tough times than just where alcohol affected them.

    I'm working through step 4 right now, inventory, good and bad events. I think the positive purpose of this is to recognize the significant events/people in our lives who have influenced us, the cause and effect it had on us negatively and positively, and the role we played, if any (if none, just release yourself of any guilt or shame carried over), or how it affected us to hurt other people, perhaps even years later in our lives by carrying this baggage of hurts or hangups. The most important part of this is to not lay blame or try to understand the why's of what people did to us, but simply to take an honest look at where we are, and what can we do now to heal that "inner child" ourselves so that we can move forward and be innocent children again. This past month, I have found myself so giddy and laughing and playing like I'm 6 years old on the playground, it feels great!

    Great to see you blossoming through the years on the board Erin. You have been a breath of fresh air for us when we were gasping for air!

    Quote Originally Posted by _Erin_ View Post
    ^^I somewhat agree with this, except I personally try not to judge those that feel that they have the "wounded inner child" as just "psychological ballyhoo," because what I went through was somewhat rough and was NOTHING compared to what some others went through as children. I do agree that the "inner child" can be your fun side, but it sure took a lot of work for me to have a "fun" inner child, or hell, an inner child AT ALL. I grew up too fast and had to learn how to have fun, loosen up, NOT be responsible... then I had to find the happy medium between uptight/responsible and completely irresponsible. But anyway, I think the "roomba vacuum" at the end of that message means I'm wasting my time replying to spam.

    The reason I popped on here is because I just got back from the first of these Al-Anon meetings I'd intended to catch. When I walked in, it was my 3-year-old and me walking into a room with two older ladies. My first impression was, "Oh great... I will have nothing to offer here, I think I just wasted my time." But I'm really glad I went. Turns out one of the ladies started up the meeting, the other one has only been coming since July. The pain she's going through is still very fresh and talking it out is very new to her. Reminded me of where I came from... I told them a brief version of my story, how I used to attend Al-Anon meetings, how I came to this site for help after Mom died and stayed to help others. I shared with them how after I attended my first-ever Al-Anon meeting, my first impression was that it was "hokey" and would never apply to me, and that I would never reach a point that I could talk about my family without breaking down and bawling -- much less be at peace with it, learn from it, or be GLAD it happened the way it did.

    The newer-to-Al-Anon lady shared how she never feels like she's making enough progress, or that she's easily distracted or thrown off track, or like she'll never get to where the other lady is. I told her everyone works through it all at a different pace, and in a different way, and I remember feeling just like she does now, and you really can't compare to another person because it's different for everyone.

    I really felt like what I shared was minimal, I didn't feel like I had some huge message or majorly impactful words. But that lady hugged me, thanked me for what I said, and told me what I said was exactly what she needed to hear tonight. She said she was going home with a totally different attitude.

    And THAT, my friends, is why you should share, even if you feel like it's no big deal. It is to someone. Keeping it to yourself isn't helping anyone else, and it's certainly not going to help you.

    I'm so glad I went. I walked away from that meeting with a different attitude, too.

  20. #60
    _Erin_'s Avatar
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    Awesome story, Peri! I agree, you were all there at the same place at the same time for a reason.

    And thank you, what a sweet thing to say. I could say the same thing about you! You are definitely not the same person you were when you joined this site, either. You seem so much more at peace now and I am very glad for you!
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
    As you sow, so shall you reap.

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