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  • auntiedeb
    replied
    wow these stories were good to read for me. I need to get back to my alanon meetings. I miss them. I have so many relationships in my life and you all know the one that I have work with a few co workers are very negative. I need to take care of me and work on me. I need help.

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  • vm
    replied
    Oh my gosh!!! I cannot believe they told you what to wear!!! eek My jaw would have hit the floor! lmao Wow..........

    I so relate to what you said about your husband. Mine was smoking pot during our marriage. He was on again off again in terms of the program, but he kept it away from home when he did it --- or hid it very well from this former pot smoker. lmao

    Anyway, I had myself convinced that he was going to screw up our kids b/c his using was making US fight. It was HIM and his dysfunction, right?

    Well, one evening he was out somewhere and had called home. I was convinced he had used and was screaming at him on the phone. I look over and noticed our oldest son who was only about 3 at the time. It hit me like a TON of bricks that I would be a MAJOR factor in screwing him up.... Wow. Talk about a lightbulb moment.

    I went to an AA meeting that next day and explained a bit about it and said I needed another 4th Step in the worst way. I had done a few in AA, but not yet in AlAnon. Boy, did that 4th Step (and the subsequent steps) help me. BIGTIME! That was the REAL beginning of looking at MY part in it. Not excusing his behavior, but waking up to how screwed up I was!!!! lmao

    That was a big turning point for me.

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  • Dianne
    replied
    I can sure relate. My first meeting they told me it would only last an hour. I'm thinking "man, I'd just be getting a good start telling you everything that is wrong with my life and especially with "them". I couldn't imagine how this could help me. Then they never asked me to even speak and really no one talked to me except one nurse I knew from work. And in our area we end the meeting by asking the newcomer to please consider 6 meetings before you make a decision and if you aren't totally satisfied, we'll refund your misery. And everyone laughed. What is that I'm thinking! I left thinking it was a total waste of time but I couldn't get out of my mind how happy those people seemed and how miserable I was, so when the next Tues. rolled around, there I was and the rest is history. I ask the AA women I sponsor to also consider AlAnon after they have 6 mos. of sobriety because relationships are what I see so many drink over.

    Even with 8 years sobriety I was convinced if "he" would change, I would feel better. One night I was at an AlAnon meeting and it hit me "I'm the one that came with the baggage, not Ron, he came from total normalcy, OMG, it hit me he had never tried to change one thing about me, ever, never, not even a tiny thing." I felt shame beyond words that this wonderful man had accepted me totally and completely as I was. Didn't he deserve the same from me? I went home and made amends for the last 2 years I had been trying to make him change and I never did that again. We have a wonderful marriage now at 11 years but really, I almost demolished it the first year with my control issues. What if I hadn't gone to that meeting that night? As for meetings having their own flavor, yes, there are some I won't go to. There are extremists in every organization and AA/AlAnon is no different. I was invited to speak in another city then I was told exactly what to wear. I said no thanks. I would have worn a dress anyway when I'm a speaker but having them try to control me-I don't control well! And I use the Big Book as a tool, not a weapon. I've seen that done too so I walk a wide circle around groups that function as a cult but overall the program has significantly improved my life.

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  • vm
    replied
    Thanks. AA bred that kind of candor into me, I guess. It is such a safe place to share "brokenness". It kinda extends to some other places for me, too.

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  • vm
    replied
    I had been sober in AA 9 years before I started in AlAnon 4 years ago. I had been to an AlAnon meeting years before and did not like it one bit. Did not go again until 4 years ago when I was desperate to feel better. My AA sponsor told me to try several meetings (5 maybe?) before I made up my mind. The first one I went to I grew to LOVE.

    It felt awkward at first, but as I went and as I shared I felt more and more a part of the group. Breaking down in tears at one point sped up that feeling of belonging. lmao Volunteering to chair meetings and helping with set up and clean up really helped, too.

    I guess the big thing is that there are meetings that won't be a great fit for every one of us. I have certainly found that to be true in AA, too. And sometimes it is just "not time", for whatever reason. But I can find some help in each meeting and I may have to search awhile to find one that truly fits me.

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  • Dianne
    replied
    Only 15? LOL I grew up in B'ham, AL. and we rarely left the city limits so I was blown away moving to Montana where people think nothing of driving 100 miles to dinner. Many of us drive 30-60 miles to a meeting and once I even had to pay $20 to a cab in San Fran. to make a meeting-talk about "going to any lengths-ouch!" But I realize driving for an IC patient is quite another story but seriously, new meetings spring up all the time. There may be 20 more groups since then in your area you might want to consider. The rich part made me laugh because I felt so intimidated by a lady at my first meeting that I took to be "rich" and she just sounded so put together. Later I learned she was living in subsidized housing, etc. and she was certainly "rich" but not in the way I first thought. She's 81 now and comes to meetings in oxygen and a rolling walker. I like to tease her about being rich and love to tell the story that I wasn't going to come back because her richness made me uncomfortable when she's there because we just howl over it now. Another thing though that really helped me was ordering AlAnon speaker tapes through the dicobe website. For several years those people I never met became my network of friends. It was fun finally getting to meet Mary Pearl and telling her that after listening to her for years. Or if you change your mind and want a long distance sponsor, count me in I have several long distance sponsees which keeps me going being as I can't go all the places and so forth I could before since my IC is so bad now but I can sure use the phone! Anyway no offense taken, just had to share my story.

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  • tigger_gal
    replied
    thanks IC
    oh Diane I don't ever want to discourage someone from AA or Alanon, my experience was just mine and thats how I felt. Its the only one offered that is close and I had to drive 15 miles for that one. I went 3 times and all 3 times not one person talked to me. I tried to talk to them and they excused themselves and talked amongst each other, they were well dressed (no jeans and I was) and 50.00 hair do's and cars I only dreamed of. please no one take what I said as gosspil there are great groups out there I just got the high class snob section eek

    brat

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  • Dianne
    replied
    I would sure take exception to the Alanon is a waste of time statement and hope that won't discourage anyone from going. I wouldn't be where I am today without AlAnon but it's a commitment and the changes don't come overnight. I am an active member of both AA/AlAnon, straight/sober for over 17 years and never missed two meetings a week EVER since the day I attended my first meeting. I always say AA helps me live in my skin and AlAnon helps me live with others. Every good thing I have in life today came because I walked through that door to AlAnon over 18 years ago. I felt totally on the outside and not a part and thought they could never understand me and I could never be like them but I kept going and the magic just took hold over time. I didn't get sick overnight and I certainly didn't get well overnight. It takes time. I didn't have a clue how relationships or life was supposed to work. I certainly didn't learn it in my family. My favorite AlAnon speaker "Mary Pearl" always says "your taking an aspirin (going to AA) won't help my headache" "I have to take my own aspirin" (AlAnon) and that's certainly been my story. It's very common for the non-alcoholic member of the family to have "what about me thoughts?" Why wouldn't we? It's a family disease and the alcoholic getting sober isn't going to help me recover because it's an inside job. My childhood stories are guaranteed to shock the most seasoned survivor but really, they don't have much relevance to my life today although if anyone had ever told me I could not only survive but thrive after what I lived through, I wouldn't have believed it. Not all groups are healthy obviously and sometimes it takes some searching to find a group that one is comfortable in but really now that I'm comfortable with me, it's interesting that I feel apart most anywhere I go now although I don't seek after people that don't want me in their life like I used to. I don't leave with a big blow up anymore either like I used to, I just quietly walk away with as much dignity as I can. It's a process and we all have to find our own way. I just needed to state AlAnon/AA led me to a life beyond anything I ever dreamed possible and thank God I found it before I got IC because everything I learned there about living one day at a time, having choices, continuing to seek out what will and won't help me and not accepting abuse can also mean from the medical community too. If I had made a list of what I wanted in life, I would have shortchanged myself from what I have today. In fact IC is really the only part of my life that isn't working and the AA/AlAnon program taught me how to view IC as just a part of my life and not my whole life. What a gift. One of my AA friends once said at a speaker meeting "you remember when you were a kid how there was that one house on the block, you know the one, where everyone was happy and the rooms were filled with laughter and you'd stand outside and wish you lived there?" Then she whispered "that's my house now." A big chill came over me as I realized, that's my house too!

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  • ICyuck
    replied
    Hi, Brat! I wanted to say I love your icon, it's so cute!

    I believe you about the sanitized version. Tell you what, though, those of us who grew up in alcholic homes or otherwise have a lot of experience there, kind of "read between the lines" and may not know the specifics but have a sense of how awful it can be.

    I was wondering if I could suggest a group to you, if it would be okay.

    You see, my Mom was diagnosed with cirrhosis before she died, so I joined a group because I wanted to learn more about her disease (it was caused I believe by something going wrong during her gallbladder surgery with her bile ducts) and about the prognosis, etc. The group was a yahoo group, named:

    Liversupportgroup ยท a support group for those whose lives are touched by liver disease.

    A lady named LiverLiz, who still is there in the group, answered all my questions and I felt a lot of reassurance from reading her posts and understanding more about liver disease. I also learned that in spite of grim prognoses, people can live, and live well, much longer than you'd ever think.

    It helped me so much to hear about personal experiences and just to have a place where I could go to ask questions, and maybe that group would be helpful to you too if you have questions you'd like to ask.

    Love, ICY

    Leave a comment:


  • tigger_gal
    replied
    Thanks all yuo got the nice version of my life with a alcholic.
    Teri,
    I called beaumont every day untill they finally gave me an appointment with the top hepc/liver dr and he is supposed to start the study this month.. I am waiting for the call for orintation. I called the gentleman the begining of november and he told me that he is diffently on the list his hcv levels went up 1 million (with him staying sober the last 19 months) in less then a year....but to keep in mind with his hcv levels rising and the type of hep c he has the chances for response of treatment is low...
    thanks again for your support
    Brat

    icy huggs to you

    Leave a comment:


  • Teri
    replied
    Cindy~there was a study going on at Beaumont using interferon on Hep C patients and it went very very well. Maybe you could ask Peters if he knows how to hook you up??????

    One of my sister's friends went thru it and right now there is no evidence of disease in his liver blink

    Leave a comment:


  • vm
    replied
    I got your PM, Brat. I understand where you are coming from with your hubby b/c my hubby has been in and out of the program for years. He always kept it away from home until last Jan. and then I laid out the ultimatums. He has been sober since and working a very good program. He will give his first lead Sunday night and will begin sponsoring people soon.

    I found a lot of help in AlAnon. There were definitely some meetings I didn't care for, but I found one in particular that saved my sanity. I don't go much anymore - but will always go to AA to get the good stuff I need.

    Leave a comment:


  • ICyuck
    replied
    Wow, thank you everyone for these wonderful, heartening replies! I feel much stronger now, much better about my decision.

    Karen, I hear you about not spending much time trying to get family members to own up to stuff...I gave each family member one shot. How they reacted, determined what kind of relationship I would choose to have with them. This was my sister's one shot.

    Because she chooses to continue to be abusive to me, I feel I have no choice for my own peace of mind but to avoid her.

    There may be others who are strong enough to tolerate continued abuse, but I'm not one of them. When I am abused by her with each visit, each phone call etc. I feel humiliated, I hate myself, I feel depressed etc. and to be honest I just don't need that in my life. And I do not have the power within me to just shrug off repeated abuse.

    But, I am very happy with my own life. Away from my family of origin. My sister is eating herself to death and has been abusive to her own children, and I won't even talk about what she's done to herself career-wise and marriage-wise, my brother sexually abused his own daughter and lost his marriage, is close to being on the street, has a drug and drinking problem (active), my father is a dry drunk who at almost 70 years old still abuses his wife and cheats on her. Shrug. None of those things are my problems, and I don't spend much time at all thinking of them.

    I am in a good marriage, I do not abuse substances, I am at peace and finally happy in my life. It took me many years to learn not to tolerate abuse from others, but I have finally come to understand that I am a child of God and deserve good treatment and not abuse.

    My taking this step with my sister is just a part of that peace, a part of the strength I am gathering with each year, the strength to walk away from abuse instead of tolerating it.

    But it's still hard.

    Love, ICY

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  • ICyuck
    replied
    Oh, Brat, you have been through hades and back. I am so sorry for the torture you have lived through.

    Please, please do not blame yourself for your husband's illness. I am certain when we pray for someone to die (I've done it too) that God understands the pain and sorrow behind what we say and certainly does not cause that person to die. What kind of a God would He be, if he did that?

    Illness is unfortunately just a terrible part of life (I know that sounds so trite but it's true) and even if you never had an unhappy thought in your whole life, you would still have IC and your husband would still have Hepatitis.

    I am so sorry, too, for what you are going through right now with his illness. I said a prayer for your peace and comfort, that God would hold you during this time and hug you.

    Love, ICY

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  • Britgal
    replied
    Hi Brat, you certainly have been through some very rough times in your life, and come through them with dignity. I have a lot of respect for you, and the way you are handling your health problems, and still give your time, compassion, and support to us all on line in the IC family, you definitely are one of our IC angels. Thank you and hugs to you Brat, Iris kissing grouphug angel

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