I have done two things this weekend that are getting me back on track.
Firstly, I have made a decision to do something that I first did 19 years ago. When my then husband found out what I was doing he was furious. He thought I was trying to do something to him. He believed I was set on ruining his life. He just couldn’t see that what I was doing was for me and the children. I was taking care of us. I was making it possible to stay in our marriage. So what was this thing that I had done? I went to Al Anon. For those fortunate enough not to know what that is. Al Anon is a worldwide group set up for the families of alcoholics. Just like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) it is anonymous but instead of helping alcoholics with their addiction, supporting them as they manage without alcohol.
Al Anon is a support group for the wives/husbands/parents/siblings and children of alcoholics.
Al-Anon Family Groups hold regular meetings where members share their own experience of living with alcoholism. Al-Anon does not offer advice or counselling, but members give each other understanding, strength and hope.
When I took the decision to go to Al Anon, all those years ago, I was in a deep despair. I was pregnant with my fourth child, my husband was drinking heavily and our finances were in trouble. I wanted desperately to leave but I had no money and nowhere to go. If I couldn’t go, then I had to do something to make life easier. First I sought help from an alcohol and drug abuse councellor. He told me that as I was not the one with the addiction he couldn’t help me but he advised that I had to make a choice. Either leave my husband or if I chose to stay then I must learn to take care of myself and my children and let my husband look after himself. This I actually found easier to do that I had expected. For years his drinking had been the centre of life for all of us not only him.
Anyway, I went along to weekly meetings for about six weeks before he cottoned on to where I had been going. During these weeks I learnt about The Serenity Prayer which has become my Creed. Everything that I learnt there stayed with me and helped me to get through the next ten years.
Recently it was suggested to me that maybe Al-Anon could help me in my current situation. The person who suggested had no idea that I had been before (why should they). I did explain that I had found the meetings a great help in the past. Then I got to thinking about it. I have been coping with the situation with my current husband but maybe now is a good time to go back to meetings. Maybe I will learn more, perhaps there have been changes in the help and advice that can be given since that time in 1995. I looked up when and where the local meetings are. Yesterday I was in town and walked to the side road where the meetings are held just to acquaint myself with the venue.
This time I have been upfront about it and told Owl that I intend to go to meetings, I shall be going for my own benefit.
Secondly, a few months ago I took on a proofreading course, partly because I felt that it might help me with my writing. Also there is a chance of adding to my income. I am midway through the course. I had not touched it for a few weeks for various reasons. This weekend I promised myself that I would get back to it and this afternoon that is what I have done.