That winter night, at a self-help support group meeting, a complete stranger, someone I had never met before, told my story out loud. She shared all my dirty laundry and secrets. Secrets that no one knew, till now. And there I was, all broken and in deep emotional pain, watched her speak, dumbfounded, tears trickling down my cheeks, violent waves of emotions arousing inside me. All that I had stuffed deep inside me, was bursting to surface.
Over time I came to understand the rollercoaster ride I was on. Alcoholism is a family disease.
I was gently asked to turn the focus back on myself. To learn to put myself first (which took a while to understand). Learn to give to myself before I could give to anyone else.
There were lots of suggestions and nervously I said “Yes” to most. I got busy and somehow, one day at a time, I got better.
It was suggested to ‘let go’ of the addict a little bit more every day. Let go of the shame that I have been carrying for so long, let go of my own expectations and others expectations of me, to let go of what others thought of me, of judgement, of fear, outcomes and control – I had to let go of it……all.
I had to learn compassion for the addict.
Fragmented relationships got better especially with my child. Life wasn’t easy being exposed to the disease of alcoholism, but he is living a relatively healthy and reasonably stable life these days. And more importantly, I didn’t need to tell him how to do what. I gained detachment there and was able to see him grow into a mature adult.
I learned to be a better person
I have learnt to forgive myself. Self-doubt rears its ugly head off and on. There are things I don’t understand, but I don’t beat myself to a pulp.
I am not confident all the time, but I am growing and continue to do so. I am more comfortable in my own skin now than ever before.
I bear witness to another’s journey change from despair to hope. And knowing that my own experience, strength and hope could have inspired them in some way has been such a gift.
Life still presents itself and when I need help and inspiration it is much easier to reach out to people and the universe.
This blog is written by Mira (name changed) on behalf of Reboot Wellness. Mira observes and engages with people visiting Reboot Wellness.