That’s something there’s not a whole lot of in my life. I’m coming to realize that it isn’t simply the absence of chaos, but something that requires active pursuit. So I’ve spent a good deal of today creating an environment for it, and spending time in spaces that promote it.
I’m probably not going to write a whole lot about this here, but I do want to share a little today. Richard has actively supported me attending Al-Anon meetings pretty much since I started seeing him. While I am not the product of an alcoholic household, I have found myself in several relationships (though not all of my relationships) with people who are active, abstaining, or recovering alcoholics and/or addicts. There are probably myriad reasons for this, both positive and… challenging. Challenging as opposed to “negative,” because they require me to turn the mirror around (this is a Richard specialty) and unlearn codependent behaviors. Al-Anon is far more accessible than Codependents Anonymous in and around Portland, and I qualify, so here I am, making a commitment to attending the meetings and connecting with a sponsor and doing the work.
One thing I am working hard to remind myself of every day is that I need this program even if I do not have any active relationships with alcoholics. This is about changing my behaviors, my thoughts, my habits. It is about learning how to have healthy relationships, because I myself will be healthier each day, and better able to recognize both healthy and unhealthy behavior in myself and others. And it’s about getting connected to a spiritual path, which is an absence I’ve felt in my life for several years now. So today, I’m following through on Sponsor’s Orders and attending AA meetings – for a while, she wants me going to several Al-Anon and a couple of AA meetings a week, which will, over time, be reduced according to my progress and need.
Today, I drove out to Cape Elizabeth; I’d meant to head toward SMCC, but I must have been lost in thought and turned onto 77 without noticing until I was well up the road. I wound up driving “the loop,” and decided to pull over at Robinson Woods and see if I could find a path to my favorite spot in Cape, across the street from the entrance. I did, and I walked along the pebble beach, out onto the seaweed-covered rocks, back into the deepest part of the cove. I found a sun-warmed rock, sat down, and did my daily reading and prayer. The morning prayer in the 12 Step Companion I’ve been using has just a few lines, but a different one stands out to me each day. When I read, “God give me what I need to take care of any problems,” I thought, “Can you? Well, will you?” And immediately, quietly but unmistakably came the response, “I already have.” I had to chuckle at that, because I know it to be true; I guess I just needed the reminder.
I’ve done a little web searching and have found that others also blog about their Al-Anon experience and path, so I think it’s okay for me to do so as long as I maintain the traditions and the anonymity of all other members. Again, it’s not going to be a regular topic, but it may pop up here and there, and I don’t want any confusion to come of any references I may make. If any of you would like to talk more about this privately, please feel free to email me at Kirsten@FemmeFlavor.com; I’m building a network and would love for you to be a part of it.