Where to begin?
This is the most honest, soul bearing post I have yet to write.
My parents have come and gone on their annual visit. For most, this is likely a happy event. Not so much for me.
You see I grew up in alcoholism.
In a high functioning family, very driven and accomplished. From the outside everything looked good. On the inside, not so much.
I knew from a very young age that something was very wrong.
I won’t go into details here but suffice it to say that it’s a miracle I’m still here. What I have been through and then later in life, done to myself is horrific, painful and sad.
I’m a grateful member of Al-Anon. It’s a 12 step program for families and friends of alcoholics. I’ll be in recovery for the rest of my life because I know how dangerous it is to stray away from the fold, my program and my sponsor.
I had a slip this winter. I went back to old coping mechanisms and come spring realized the power of my self-destruction. I rarely do things in half measures. It’s a hallmark of this dis-ease.
I’m picking up the pieces now yet again.
I thought when I had walked through the doors of Al-Anon three years ago that I had hit rock bottom. Little did I know that I would be hitting several more rock bottoms. The fellowship and my program saw me through all these moments.
I’m there once again. I’m slowly coming out of it.
I’m heading off to a treatment program for codependency and family of origin issues. I’ve been in therapy in some shape or form for a large part of my life and from a very young age.
I believe in the healing power of therapy and especially group therapy. There’s something magical that happens when strangers come together and listen to each other’s stories and pain. There’s validation that I’m not crazy. That I’m simply a spiritual being living a human existence. As we all are.
There’s a letting go. A normalization happens. Secrets come out. Monsters fade away. Light is shed on the most painful topics of this very human existence we all share.
There is laughter and tears. Joy and pain. Exhilaration and suffering.
This is a great big gift and a reminder to place the focus on me and my healing.
I’d like to say that the visit I had with my parents was a good one. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. There were a lot of good parts, however, there were some truly awful pieces that have left me gutted and gasping for air.
The level of denial, manipulation, control and abuse in my family is staggering.
I feel like a martian because I’m the only one in recovery.
I have yet to find the gratitude that others in the fellowship have for the disease of alcoholism because all I can see is what it’s taken from my family and my life.
I hate the disease. I’ve been ripped open again by it and I despise it. I hate the toll it’s taken on my parents, my brother and our estranged family.
My friends see courage and strength when they look at me. Right now I’m a mess as I type these words. All I can do is breathe.
All I can do is go back to basics and practice self-care. Sleep has been elusive again and I know that doesn’t help whatsoever. It makes things so much worse.
I’m trying really hard not to isolate and hide. I’m bumping up my meetings, making sure I get exercise, eat well and get out. I connect with my sponsors and touch stones and I am working the snot out of my program right now.
It’s all I can do until this heaviness lifts and lightness comes back.
I was reminded in readings today to act as if, to stick to a routine until it becomes more comfortable and normal again. Whatever normal is.
It’s huge to share this piece of me so publicly. This dis-ease has impacted every facet of my life and my business.
It is my greatest hope that as I progress through the step work that things somehow become easier. That there are less roller coaster rides, huge highs and devastating lows. Less darkness and much, much more light.
In sharing this story, I hope to impact others’ lives in some small way.
I hesitate to push the publish button.
Please be kind.