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1st Al-Anon meeting this morning

Old 10-14-2013, 01:41 PM
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1st Al-Anon meeting this morning

So, I did it. But I have to say I had a real hard time relating to most of the folks. Yes, my husband is an alcoholic and I realized after this latest relapse I have a whopping goose egg of influence on him to change; I don't need anyone to tell me that one. But, because he is "high functioning" (whatever) alcoholic I don't relate to the stories I've heard today and frankly, those stories were downright scary! I'm not sure what the devil I may have gotten myself into. Then, I share. I'm doing fine until the "facilitator" interrupts me to ask, "yeah, but how are YOU doing?". Then, it was all over. I feel guilt I should be so upset after hearing what these fine folks are putting up with. I can't imagine. I feel like a whiner. I took their advice and did something nice for myself, which could be debatable, and bought myself an ice cream. It gave me time to dry up and my skin time to de-blotch before heading home.
The more I look at my avatar, the more I feel like I'm that little dog in the window when I see my husband, who I love dearly, harm himself as he does.
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Old 10-14-2013, 01:54 PM
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Hi Katchie...good for you to make it to your first meeting. It's the hardest one. Are there other meetings in your area that you can try? It took me a few tries to find one where I felt really comfortable, but I still struggle to find people that are truly similar in circumstance (RAH was dry when we met & married, relapsed about two years ago, and now in recovery for 4+ months). RAH was very high functional - I was really the only one that understood the problems, and we did not experience anything near what others at AlAnon or here on SR have experienced...but this is not a competition. Alcohol has effected our lives. End of story.

AlAnon is about you. It is not about your AH or how you can help or change him. They really want to know - how are YOU doing? That can be one of the hardest questions for me to answer truthfully. Generally speaking, the focus in the meetings will not be what brought you there, but how you are moving through your day to day life and the skills needed to help you process what has & is happening to you and how to enjoy your life & who you are more.

And treating yourself to ice cream is nice...it's something you probably enjoy and do not do often. As time goes on, you'll find more & more that you can do to be nice to yourself.
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Old 10-14-2013, 01:58 PM
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In my meeting the first thing they told me (we are blessed with lots of meeting spaces in my city) that I should try at least 6 meetings. That some may not be a good fit for me. I never did go to any other meetings but I did keep coming back to that one. At first I felt that same way. Oh my gosh, what these people have been through is soooo much worse than my situation. But as days went by and different topics were discussed I could find lots of common ground.

Our A's may not be the same, but our encouragement for each other and our hope for a better life was the same. Many of us have the same feelings about our A's whether they are our Children, Sister, Brother or Spouse. When I stopped looking at what caused us all to gather together but looked at how were we coping is where I saw more and more similarities. I still sometimes question whether my spouse truly is an A, because he is so high functioning. But the conclusion that I ended up coming to is that it doesn't really matter if he is or isn't. What matters is how I feel, how I cope and how I understand my part in the dance. Whether he is or isn't makes little difference to the fact that I find the way we relate to each other at this time unacceptable.

I did feel accepted, cared for and safe in the confines of that Al-Anon room and that is what I came back for the second time. Each time I go I feel something a little different, but I've never left feeling worse than when I got there. I hope you can say the same.
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Old 10-14-2013, 02:00 PM
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I know over here in New Zealand at the al anon meetings in the welcomes it says 'we suggest u try 6 meetings as close together as possible before deciding al anon is for you as all meetings are a little different.'
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Old 10-14-2013, 02:14 PM
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Try other meetings and definitely keep coming back. There are such a variety of stories when it comes to codependency and what brings us to Al Anon. The common denominator is that we love someone who is self destructive and that love turning into an obsession is hurting us.
I showed up at my first Al Anon meeting being newly sober and the only Alcoholic in a physically abusive relationship with an active alcoholic at that meeting. Most of those ladies had tons of time in Al Anon, were serene and were either single or their loved one was in recovery. Speak of feeling like the odd duck LOL. Most of them too were old enough to be my mom or my grandma.
They were very kind and welcoming and told me to keep coming back which I am thankful I did even though I really did not think at the time Al Anon was for people like me (meaning someone who is also an alkie).

ps: at least you were able to speak at that meeting. All I could do at my first meeting is cry and cry and cry.
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Old 10-14-2013, 02:17 PM
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I am glad they encouraged you to speak about you and your feelings, do not feel guilty about having a "low bottom" or thinking your story is less than etc.
As far as the ice cream goes and suggesting you do something nice for yourself that day, sounds spot on to me.

Be kind to yourself and keep coming back
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Old 10-14-2013, 02:27 PM
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First meeting is about like a duck landing on a frozen lake.

Funny to watch, but the duck does not usually think so.

My first meeting when something like yours -- After letting me (try to) babble with "Peanut Butter Mouth" for about 5 minutes, the Grand-Dame Alananny Angel stopped me and said, "[Hammer], [Mrs. Hammer] is not your problem."

Guess what? She was right.

Congrats to you. Do well and help others.
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