So, I used to be someone’s daughter, someone’s sister, someone’s niece and a doting mother to a few beautiful little people: I was young, I was smart and I was someone who was constantly trying to understand all the whys of life. It frustrated me immensely to go through this life without understanding why we were all here, what we were all supposed to do with our lives and to comprehend why we all had to die (some way too young to even experience this thing we call, “life”). When I was young, I constantly asked my mother the “meaning of life and death” questions and she did her best to respond from a semi-religious perspective……………but I was left with many questions.
So, when life presented me with challenges (big and small) I did my best to overcome them and to believe that there would always be “better days ahead.” I had to believe that something better awaited me, because there were so many years of struggle and my mother showed me what courage and survival looked like: she was my hero and brought us out of some horrific situations.
When I was raising my own family, I always revisited the hard years to convince myself that I could make it through anything. When addiction reared its ugly head and came into my home, I ran across Winston Churchill’s quote, “If you’re going through Hell, keep going.” So, I grabbed the proverbial “bull by the horns” and was determined to defeat addiction on all fronts……………..little did I know that I had met an opponent far stronger and infallible than I: I was on the nightmarish ride of my life with blinders on! Yikes!!!!
I cried, I pleaded, I researched, I chased and followed, I bribed, I threw good money after bad and sought out all the professionals I could find (e.g., police, therapists, motivational counselors, and more) to fight the “Disease of Addiction,” but nothing brought the results I had hoped for. I was exhausted from my endeavors while the addicts in my life were off in their numbed and miserable lives………..running from their realities, leaving the carnage behind them and discarding all who loved them.
I was most fortunate to find Nar-Anon along my way. I didn’t necessarily listen or put as much effort into myself as I had the addicts in my life, but I became aware of the fact that support and a better life awaited me, whenever I was ready to let go of the misery: yep, all I had to do was let go of my end of the rope and the “tug-o-war” would be over. All I had to do was to becoming “willing,” the same as I prayed the addicts in my life would do in their own efforts at recovery.
Because I was stubborn and judgmental (even towards my own well-being), the transition from misery to serenity took me longer than it does for some. I wanted the peace and serenity that others had, but I didn’t want to give up the chase and the desire to be the one to defeat the “Disease of Addiction.” I had rope burns from hanging on too long, to people and beliefs that only made me sick.
Finally, I heard the words that would stop the insanity for me. “You are not your addict’s Higher Power,” and you cannot control outcomes. Well, duh………there I was with my jaw on the floor…………”Let go or be dragged,” became my motto and my perspectives began to change from fixing them to fixing me. I set about with a determination to change the only person I could, ME!!! I wanted to quit smoking, lose weight, do some volunteer work, become more engaged in my own well-being and so I did. I made myself and my well-being a priority in my life.
Nar-Anon showed me how to set myself free from the chains of misery and gave me the courage to start creating happiness and joy in my life. I no longer felt the need to be someone’s doormat or savior; I got busy cultivating a new life and recreating myself.