The start of my journey, Step 12

Old 07-03-2012, 12:53 PM
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The start of my journey, Step 12

When I first started this process, I began with "The start of my journey." At each subsequent step I titled the step "My Journey, Step #"

Today I realize that as I arrive at step 12, it isn't "The end of my journey" but, in reality, "The start of my journey, step 12."

I came here to SR to find out how to make my wife stop drinking. It was much later when I realized that my life was missing a sense of direction only a Higher Power could provide. As I worked these steps and as I learned as much as I could, it became clear that the process wasn't about the alcoholic, but rather about me.

I leanred about the 3 C's:
I Didn't Cause It.
I Can't Control It.
I Can't Cure It.

I did came away with the idea that I can control me and I can cure me. That is a powerful paradigm shift for me.

CP writes: We acknowledge the results of our efforts - a spiritual awakening - commit ourselves to sharing the gifts we have received and recognize that living a spiritual life is an ongoing process.

I feel sad she is dying. I have come to terms with the loss of my wife to her addictions. I have already chosen her burial place and how I will honour her in the eyes of our children. It is a tough place to be, living with a person who is lost to addiction and waiting for them to die. I think it is the day that I accepted that thought that I begin to heal myself and live "the start of my journey, step 12"

Have I experienced a spiritual awakening? Describe.

Yes, I did above

What is the difference between carrying the message and giving advice?

Carrying the message is sharing my experiences. Giving advice is a control issue and that is not what a recovering person needs to get from someone else, no matter how benign.

How can I recognize a cry for help without meddling in other people’s affairs?

Remembering my first cry for help

How am I living the message of the program?

I try each and every day to live what I have leanred here. It is truly an ongoing process. Today is the beginning of a new journey. When I first got here I was crying; today I am at peace with myself.
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Old 07-17-2012, 11:45 PM
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Before I ever read the book: "Beyond The Influence", I found my passion in my signature: "In all things it is better to hope than to despair." It was the only way I was going to live out my life caring for my alcoholic. I think my time here at SR is at its end in a manner similar to a College course ends to signal a new path at graduation. The first sentance of the next paragraph was my first post here at SR. The rest of this last post is my new life. For me personally, it is the right thing to do.

Filled with grief, overcome by despair, we question whether we should even try.

An old story is told about a woman who experienced a similar sense of futility. “Why?” she pleaded with God. “Why don’t you do something about the pain and the misery?” Her questions are our questions. Her answer is our answer. As she walked through the streets of the city, searching for answers to the questions that gave her no rest, the seeker was surrounded by the destitute, the downtrodden, the drunk, and the crippled. Filled with a great, crushing sadness, she fell to her knees and cried out, “Oh my God, where are you? Surely you must see the pain and misery suffered by so many in this world you have created. Why do you do nothing to help them?” A great silence descended, and the seeker was filled with fear and wonder as she waited for a response. When the answer came, she was prepared. “I did do something. I made you.”

We have an obligation, as human beings, to do what we can to ease the suffering of others. This is not superficial charity or the work of do-gooders—this is our responsibility as individuals who are part of a larger community. When a fellow human being is in pain, we are called upon to do what we can to alleviate the suffering. When people are powerless to help themselves, we are asked to do what we can to assist. When we are presented with an opportunity to change what does not work and in the process save even one life, it is our duty to seize the moment with all the passion that we can muster.

Ketcham, Katherine; Asbury, William F.; Schulstad, Mel; Ciaramicoli, Arthur P. (2009-10-21). Beyond the Influence: Understanding and Defeating Alcoholism (p. 298).
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Old 08-15-2021, 08:12 AM
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It’s been 9 years since I completed this step study. It’s been an emotionally difficult 9 years. Would I do it again knowing then what I know now? No….the price was to high. Do I regret the last 9 years? No…..because my post above is part of my DNA. I could not let her suffer alone.

It took every dime I owned. It took 9 years of my heart crying every night. It took 9 years but she finally quit drinking 4 years ago but she never worked at changing the alcoholic path in her head. She is simply a dry drunk. A lifetime of alcohol abuse took its toll, both physically and mentally on her.

Alcohol won the war in our relationship. It destroyed the love and trust. I have divorced her and my heart is finally at peace. I live each day simply and with gratitude. It’s been a long and hard war. I lost her to alcohol but I now have myself back.

But the last paragraph of the above post is still an obligation I willingly honor. When in the skilled nursing facility, I visit her every day. When she is released, I give her a home, support her, and feed her. In my heart, there is no intent by her. I believe she also lost the war with alcohol. It’s just that she is still alive.

This step was titled: “The start of my journey”. This post is “The end of my journey”.

Yes, I still support her but with the mindset of those wonderful employees at the skilled nursing facility. The provide support and care but they live their own hopes and dreams independent of their charges. I have started my new journey living my hopes and dreams independent of the alcoholic. In my case, she is to far gone mentally and lacks the ability to support herself so she sits quietly in the house. Who knows what goes on in her head but it no longer matters and the divorce put the emotional abuse towards me to an end. This isn’t a global statement; it just happened to be the one that worked for me.

I wish all of you here well and pray each of you find your peace. I think, at the end of the day, that is all any of us want. I now have my peace. I hope the alcoholic who resides in my home when not in the SNF finds hers.
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