It is well known that I am apart of a 12 step program, well two of them.. AA and Al-Anon. Al-Anon is for the family of friends of alcoholics, the only requirement being that if someone's drinking or sobriety is bothering you, you are welcome! Well today was the 60th Anniversary celebration of Al-Anon. I am so blessed that I was able to get my shift covered and spend the entire day in the presence of what I would like to call my heroes in recovery. The day was filled with speakers that I absolutely adore, and fellowship of both alcoholics and al-anons. My very best friend is also a "double-winner" like me and we agreed that we would go together and keep each other from leaving... As we are both known to bail once emotions get heavy. And boy did they ever, You see most alcoholics and al-anons of my type will do everything possible to hide from any emotions that have to do with those intimate feelings. I can handle being angry, I am very good at that one and find most of my comfort when I am madder than hell. Which I have learned is truly just me being in fear. The only way I know how to express this is through anger. However when I am amongst my brothers and sisters of Al-Anon those emotions show up and for some reason, although they are absolutely uncomfortable, I find that I feel safe to have these emotions, to let the tears well up and fall from my eyes when I am with them.
As I have written before these last couple of months have been very rough. All of which is by my own doing, I lied about some pretty serious shit, and although my sisters in Al-Anon have let it go I continue to badger myself over it on a daily basis. So as the day started I began to hear things that really hit home. I pulled out my pen and paper and started writing down what these speakers were saying. Now the thing that absolutely amazes me is the honesty that these men and women share with. I heard a man who shared about being sober and still being the abusive one. Now I lived in that and that was something my parent would never admit!!! Especially from the podium, and when I thanked him for his honesty, he told me that he loved me. You see, this man may of just met me, but he knows me probably better than I even know myself!
I do not know where to start as I look over these notes of what people said, their experience, strength and hope. They all said so much. Tonight I had to make an amends to one of these speakers, she is my great grand sponsor, and ones of my heroes, a giant in my recovery. She accepted my amends with love, gave me words of wisdom and most importantly told me that she still loves me. As I write this it brings tears to my eyes. These are women who truly have saved my life. I did not know the power of Al-Anon as a whole until I was in my darkest hour and they showed up. I betrayed these people, lied to them, took advantage of them. And for the most part each of them has said, you know what? We are all sick, we love you and we just want you to find a way to not have to lie and to love yourself. I don't think I can even begin to express the gratitude I feel for these people. My sponsor, she has saved my life. At one point, the speaker was sharing about how her sponsor knew all that there was to know about her, probably knew ore about her than she did and she loved her just the same. This brought me to tears, because I know that my sponsor is the same way. She knows me, she gets me and she loves me. That is huge for me! I was reminded that no matter what, no matter how I am feeling, that I have at least one person (and I know there are more) who love me and genuinely care about me. I can't even express how great of a feeling that is! I am so incredibly grateful for her.
Again, tears come to my eyes as I think about that day, the day I was admitted to the hospital. My sponsor said words that I will never forget. She said that no matter what, so long as I got honest with her, that her love for me wasn't going to change. I got honest when she said that. I felt safe, loved and protected in that very moment. AFter getting honest she asked if I was willing to go to any lengths to get better. My grand plan was to kill myself that night so of course I was willing to do absolutely anything! And then she suggested that I go to the psych hospital, I broke down. I was petrified. Mind you I was going to kill myself, but every excuse in the book of why I couldn't go to the hospital came to my head in that very moment. Commitments I had to make, sponsees that I needed to be there for and most importantly, that I was supposed to watch my niece and nephew that week. Now I would kill myself but not go to the hospital because my sister was depending on me. My sponsor called my sister and asked if perhaps she could find someone to help with the kids, of course my sister said not to worry and that she loved me. My sponsor took me to my house, where my room had been ransacked by my roommates and she stayed with me while I packed a bag, changed clothes and off we went to the hospital. She stayed with me until they brought me back to the ward. She sat while I answered the intake questions, she told me I was going to be ok and I believed her. I will never forget that moment that they brought me back, that I hugged her, and this woman who like me, doesn't like to be touched. Held me while I cried, cried so hard I couldn't breathe. She answered the phone every time I called from the hospital, she called my work to tell them where I was at. I know to most people this just sounds like a good friend. But she is like a mom to me, she has stayed true to her word and still is there for me today. She doesn't let me be a victim, she reminds me that I DO have a GOD in my life and I really need to talk to him. She tells me her experience, strength and hope and she tells me she loves me every time we talk. I couldn't ask for a better sponsor, friend or confidant!
There was a time that this speaker was sharing a story about her sponsor, when she told her that she is lovable because her sponsor loves her. I cried tears of gratitude in that very moment, I have people in my life who don't just tell me that, but show me that. Welcome me into their homes and lives, and tell me that they love me... It is an amazing feeling knowing that these aren't just words, it is reality!!!
There was also a speaker who like me, is the depressive variety. He spoke a lot on his journey to finding a relationship with his Higher Power. He talked about the different between faith and trust in a higher power. He told a story that I have heard many times but today it hit home... The story is of the man at the circus who walks the tight rope in the wheel barrel. Now as a you have faith that the man will get across the tight rope with no problem, but do you trust enough to get in the wheel barrel? Now, I have heard this story but the statement he said to follow just brought it home for me. He said that by our own doing we run out of resources, we run ourselves into such a dark place that our only option is to jump into the wheel barrel and pray our way through everything. This made sense to me. I have no other way to turn but to God, and he said that faith is like a muscle, it only gets stronger when you use it... WOW! LIGHT BULB!!! Seriously! Followed with, when the spirit of something fails, everything else falls with it. My spirit, it is broken, not by anyone but me.
My only option is to turn to God, the King of the Kingdom, the one who calls me his princess, to act like his princess, claim my legacy. It is tim to know that I am a being going to a God who loves me more than anything. His love for me has been shown through people in my life, but that love is only a portion of how great his love is for me. I am jumping in the wheel barrel of God, trusting he's got me. Loves me and is the choreographer of my life, no matter when I see it... He's got me in his heart more than any God with skin that I have in my life!
Thank you for such an amazing day, for such amazing women that 'hug me up' and have carried me through these dark times. I love my life and the people God has put in it!