Thursday, April 8, 2010


On the first day I attended an AA meeting a man told me these important words: "Your past is important because it gives you empathy for others". I was able to see that through the stories that were shared at last night's meeting. One woman was struggling with her son. He is a 20ish alcoholic and was hospitalized last week for pancreatitis. He attended a few AA meetings with her a while back, but no sooner was he released from the hospital and he was back in the bars. You could just feel her frustration, her worry, her desperation at having to stand back and watch this train wreck. I of course wanted to give her some magical solution. Too bad there isn't one. So we talked to her about giving it up to God. Trusting that whatever happens is his will. Work the steps, be faithful to what keeps you sober. Another woman was at her third meeting. She had stopped drinking on Sunday but was really struggling. Terribly shy, almost like a cautious little bird she told us about her blackouts. That she often wakes up injured (head cut open, broken ribs etc.) and that her alcoholic boyfriend tells her that she fell and hit the wall or the dresser etc....I know I shouldn't go there but the red flags were going up really fast when she was telling us this. I wanted to pluck her out of that environment and place her somewhere safe. Another girl was struggling with a family death, a new job, and wanting to have a baby. Her voice cracked when she talked and tears filled her eyes more than once. It's in these situations that I find my faith and trust in God tested. I want to help, I want to make it all better...I I I I I I I...I need to trust that God has a plan for these people. The only I thing I can do is to empathize, feel their pain, offer support in prayer and listening, a hug. For a long time I haven't been able to feel other's pain. I was so numb and self-absorbed that I could just make my face crinkle up and utter "that's terrible" when I heard about someone else's misfortunes. But I never felt anyone's pain. I think my pain was so heaped up inside me that there wasn't room to feel any other emotions like empathy. These stories are so important for me to hear because they keep me humble, and remind me that I am not alone, that I can be a compassionate listener, but I can't be a "fixer". My whole life I've wanted to be the fixer of all the problems. This trait led to many poor choices. In realtionships I would only date guys who seemed to have a million problems because in my mind "I would save them, fix them". All I got was a broken heart, and hurt and bitter...My friends through high school and even into college were girls with tons of issues because for some reason "I could save them". What's ironic is that I gave up my self love as well as my sense of self so by the time I met my husband and started my married life I never knew who I was. AA has taught me the importance of self love and sense of self. That if I'm following my program, going to meetings, meeting with my sponsor, spending quiet personal time with God, I am a stronger, healther human being. I can't save other people, but I can be of service and sometimes all that's required is just listening, and offering a hug..........


  1. Great post. I can totally identify with what you wrote here. I too had poor relationships because I didn't know how to really love in a way that was free and easy. I had to cling to people. It made me and others unhappy. I'm glad to be much freer today.

  2. You sure make an old alkie smile, as he (I) reads this. You're on the right track.

    That lady who has trouble with her son sounds like she's trying to fix him...quite human to want to do that. Her solution (even if she IS an alkie herself) is ALANON, my unasked opinion--grin!

    You GO, girl!!! Go with God, and be ready to RIDE!

  3. :-) I like to think I am a fixer as well. I keep a white horse at the ready, and a suit of highly polished armor in the closet just in case. Thankfully, I haven't had to break them out in quite some time!