I made a call to a long time member of the Al-Anon Family Group. He doesn’t know me but I have heard him speak at meetings; his story of hope with his son who is well over 40 years now continues to be a source of great comfort. My intent was for insight – I was anxious about another parent suffering through some tuff days. What, exactly, did I think this anonymous person would do for my friend I hadn’t considered when I made the call.
In my effort to seek help for another, I ended up getting help for myself!
This awesome conversation cannot be duplicated here. But there were key points for me. Like when he said “…this program teaches us rigorous honesty and we must ask ourselves what part we had in the crises we experience today. It is here true recovery begins. Our Higher Power shows us that we have the right to plan ahead; we just don’t have the right to plan an outcome.”
At some point I realized my own co-dependency was rearing its ugly head. I wanted to fix someone else’s
problem. Why? Because their suffering was uncomfortable for me and my reflex was an uncontrollable urge to do something…more. Like more is better or doing something is better than nothing! “Remember”, he said, “we learn in this program that unconditional love means you give it away but you don’t expect anything in return.”
This outreach helped me accept discomfort. And knowing when to do nothing is a wisdom
learned in recovery. It is often discomfort that reveals another opportunity to learn and grow. Like the addict, maybe we too have to feel the heat before we see the light!