For years I was married to the father of my children, he was an alcoholic. Not the stereo typical type but none the less he was and still is an alcoholic. For about 6 weeks many years ago (until he found out) I went to Al anon sessions. These sessions gave me a strength I hadn’t had before. I only went for 6 weeks because when my husband discovered where I had been going he was extremely angry and made it impossible for me to continue going. However just those few weeks were enough to help me enough. One of the things that I have carried with me from those sessions is the Serenity Prayer. I am not religious therefore it is merely the first verse that I use.  The words of this first verse have been my tenet ever since.

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.

-Reinhold Niebuh.

I learnt that I cannot change the past, I cannot change another person but I can change myself and I can change my attitude.

For many years I felt like a victim. My life was miserable because I was married to an alcoholic. My life was bad because we had no money and what little we did have went to the pub. My life and that of my children was never going to get any better.

But I learnt that it didn’t have to be so. I learnt that I have a choice, I can continue to be miserable and have a poor quality of life or I can change it. I chose to change it. I decided that I didn’t want to be a habitual victim.  I decided to be happy.

Each morning when I woke up I told myself  that today was going to be a good day and I was going to be happy. (Some days this was harder than others). Gradually over time it became easier. I am not saying that I was truly happy but I was no-longer miserable. I began to gain strength from within. I learnt to change the way I dealt with problems. Instead of always feeling despondent at every little problem I began to treat each problem as a challenge to be over come.

Gradually I learnt to laugh again, I learnt that even small things can make me happy, every cloud has a silver lining etc etc. A number of years later I had grown strong enough to stand up to my husband and divorce him. That alone took every single shred of courage and strength I could muster but I did it. Then came the long struggle to pull myself and my children out of the financial mire we had been left in. Little by little I did it.  No matter how hard any of it was I still continued to laugh and be happy. I didn’t need money or material things to make me happy. I didn’t need a man to make me happy, I was happy.

I had learnt how to change things for the better, if you don’t like something you can change it, if it is something that you cannot change you can change your attitude and or the way you deal with it.

I am no longer a victim ……I am a survivour!!

I am happy

Nobody can take that away from me


5 comments on “Serenity

  1. Debbie says:

    Very proud of you and pleased about the outcome in your life. Keep your positive mental attitude.

  2. Thanks Debbie, I am trying to teach my husband to do the same.

  3. Joyce says:

    This is the most personal post I have seen from you! Thank you for digging deep and sharing this part of yourself with us. I forget to be happy sometimes, when I have no reason to be otherwise. Thank you for reminding me.

  4. I can learn a lot from you.

  5. Thank you for sharing this with me. In my support group we say a version of this each week. God grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the people that I can, and the wisdom to know that person is ME. Meghan

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