I don’t keep it a secret that I am a proud member of a 12-step recovery group for family and friends of alcoholics. Alanon has been my salvation for over fifteen years. Giving me a foundation that teaches me a new way to live which allows me to be a better wife, mother, friend, and human being. This morning, I have been asked to share my story. The story of how I came to these rooms….what it was like before and what my life is like now. Despite doing this several times in the past few years, there is a level of vulnerability that exists. Today, that vulnerability is even more heightened because I have invited my boys.
My boys have grown up in recovery. They have attended meetings when I couldn’t get a babysitter. They know that this is what seals our family unit. We aren’t perfect, but there is something that exists that didn’t in my family growing up and that is accountability. Owning mistakes and showing humanness was not something I was familiar with until walking into the rooms of recovery. My parents did the best they could, but they too were affected by the disease of alcoholism. Both were adult children of parents who struggled with addiction. This disease trickles through families and spreads.
While raising our boys, we have always maintained a level of honesty and accountability with them. Showing them that we aren’t perfect. We make mistakes, but when we do we make a prompt amends. That is something I didn’t grow up with and so I had a distorted perception that I had to do everything perfect and if I didn’t, well then I lied about it. If I lied about it, then I wouldn’t be a disappointment. It was a slippery slope that led me into a twisted landscape that portrayed me as the victim. I didn’t know how to own my actions.
So, this morning, my boys will hear what led me to change how I live my life today. My vulnerability lies in being fully transparent to not just my family and friends, but to those who also suffer from the affects of dealing with someone they love afflicted by addiction. Hopefully, we are helping the next generation break this insidious cycle that has robbed so many of a life full of peace, love, and most of all, authenticity.