A Voice From Al-Anon
Meetings of Al-Anon and ACA are helping me to recover myself. See, I’d wandered into a swamp of confusion and crisis. This swamp was twenty year marriage, during which I drank right alongside my handsome, fun-loving husband.
My husband and I were glamorous, or so we thought! We fancied ourselves latter day versions of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. Back in the whirlwind of our Zelda and Scott days, we tried with all our might to never grow up. Our agreed upon goal in life was to avoid ever becoming boring and staid, like our parents!
After all twenty of those years, it dawned on us that we might have a problem with alcohol. It took twenty years for me to do the math on my husband’s employment record. Twenty years to discover he’d had ten jobs, with ample downtime between gigs! It took me twenty years to enter the rooms of Al-Anon.
Al-Anon quickly clarified there was such a thing as functional alcoholism. This, in turn, led me into years of Denial (Don’t Even kNOw I Am Lying). I learned that alcoholism is a disease and contagious at that! My husband was affected by the alcohol part. I was affected by the “-isms” part. Let’s start with the letter A: Anger and Anxiety, and move through the alphabet to Worry and Xtreme fear! Until I entered Al-Anon, I didn’t think I had any problems! I just thought my husband kept losing his job, leaving me to keep our canoe afloat.
Al-Anon taught me I was just as much an addict as he was, except my drug-of-choice wasn’t booze. My drug-of-choice was adrenaline, which pumped through me daily (at increasingly high levels!) as my husband’s disease progressed in a downward spiral. I thank GOD for wooing my husband into the rooms of AA towards the end of 1990. Approximately fifteen minutes later, we found ourselves pregnant with child, something we (aka Zelda and Scott!) had never ever wanted.
The Serenity Prayer saved the life of our unborn child. I had been pointing to the first line, saying we needed to accept the things we could not change. My husband was pointing to the second line, saying we needed to change the things we could. Then came the afternoon he phoned from a rest stop on the Merritt Parkway, hollering into the phone:
It’s the wisdom to know the difference!
This child is half mine!
I can’t walk out on him.
It’s now twenty-two years later and said that child is the joy of our hearts. Truly, I credit the program(s) of twelve-step recovery for saving all of our lives. I credit our meetings, sponsors, recovering friends, the steps, the literature, the slogans, and the Serenity Prayer.
Most of all, I credit the Voice of God, which managed to overcome the Committee of Our Mere Minds! As we learned to practice Step Eleven, we learned to seek through prayer and mediation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him. We learned to pray ONLY for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry it out.
It was a noisy waterfall we were headed towards when God answered us. Gently and lovingly, He spoke through earthquake, wind, and fire. He spoke a still small Voice of Calm.