You are free to choose, but you are not free from the consequence of your choice.
Being in the grips of indecision is not a foreign concept to me. I have often found myself in this situation. It was often not the fear of the choices, but rather a fear of the consequences. This fear, for me, was so great that I turned to others to tell me what to do – to make a choice for me. I simply did not trust myself to make the right choice. I thought by asking someone else, I would be safer because it would not be me that makes the choice.
I was wrong. I am always making choices. I can choose to follow someone else’s advice. I can choose to not make a choice. And no one, no matter how hard I try, can make those choices for me. And by making these choices, I am able to grow and learn from my consequences. As a result, I was able to learn to trust myself. rather than judge myself as good or bad. Instead, I learned I was human, just like everyone else.
Young Woman Contemplates Change
When I came to Al-Anon six and a half years ago, my life was very different. My boy-friend at the time was going to a treatment center and I was planning to make a geographical cure.
I was lost, confused, and didn't realized how crazy I had become in the alcoholic relationship. I had no idea there was a history of alcoholism in my family or in other relationships I'd been in. Denial is a very powerful thing.
At first, I was unsure about Al-Anon because I thought the alcoholic was the one who was sick and that I was the sane one. Not true. I'd become just as sick by trying to control his drinking.
It took me a little while to get a Sponsor. I didn't want to get that involved in the program. I thought the people in the meetings were a lot different than me. I was 25 years old and most of the members in my group were much older than me.
Then I saw that my boyfriend was getting much better and I was still pretty insane. Always fearful, I never lived in the present. I worried constantly about everyone and everything.
So I went to more meetings, talked to people between meetings, and got involved in service. I decided I wanted to get better, too. Everyone was not different than me.
Now I have close relationships with Al-Anon friends, I have a wonderful Sponsor, I'm married, and I have a nine-month-old baby girl. My life is good.
I don't know where I'd be without this program. I guess I don't really care to speculate. This program helps me every day. I still get fearful and worry about big and small things in my life, but today I have tools that I can use to help me.
I use the phone, journal, go to meetings, and read Conference Approved Literature, and work the Steps. Today I try to enjoy each day and focus on the things that are good in my life.
Sometimes I struggle because my meeting schedule has changed due to having a baby, but this has allowed me to go to meetings that I don't normally attend and I'm learning to be flexible. Things will be forever changing. Whether I look at changes in a positive or negative way is all in my attitude.
Today I try to ask for what I need. I may not always get it, but I ask. I try not to do for others what they can do for themselves or give advice without being asked. I'm better about gossiping.
I have healthy relationship with friends and family-I've come a long way. There are always things to work on. One great thing is that I'll never graduate from the program. I used to want to, but Al-Anon is a very important part of my life and I don't ever want to lose it. Thank you, Al-Anon, for a happy, healthy life.
Lori E., Kentucky., March,2007
Reprinted with permission of The Forum
Al-Anon Family Groups Incorporated, Virginia Beach, VA
Today's Hope is an Al-Anon themed site and is not affiliated with Al-Anon's World Service Office. The daily sharings contain a reading from Al-Anon's Conference Approved publication The Forum, an inspirational quote/saying and a recovery based reading/meditation. The intent of Today's Hope is to share experience, strength and hope. Please take what you like and leave the rest.