Last night my Tuesday night meeting lasted an hour longer than usual. We had 3 newcomers join us. One of the ladies had been to a Monday night meeting, but the other two were brand new to Alanon. It still amazes me to see how alcohol addiction can affect so many people. I am no longer a newbie to these rooms and I now realize that I can offer hope to some of these fellow travelers. Hope that things will get better in time. The sort of advice that says to them in their hopelessness that "If I can do it, so can you".
My codependency rendered me mute with my qualifier. I lost my voice, or the ability to use it to defend myself or ask for anything; whatever I thought I wanted or needed. I gave him the ability to silence me. He didn't take that from me...I gave it to him. And I saw that same thing last night with two of the new women. Sometimes the silence can be sooo very loud when you are in that place. And sometimes that silence speaks to you in an ugly whisper...reminding you always of how very small you are. Reminding you to keep silent to keep the peace. Reminding you of the ugliness that is your life. My heart broke for these women just getting started in their journey. I remember my first days in Alanon as being the beginning of the best AND worst days of my life. I remember what it felt like to be so raw and so wounded and so silent. Unable to find the words to ask for help. Unwilling to unclench enough to be able to let go and to get help for myself. It strikes me as funny that after only 15 months in Alanon, I feel like I have years of experience under my belt. I felt like I had something constructive to offer these ladies. Like what I said to them mattered. And you know what?? It does matter. I do matter. Alanon saved me in more ways than one. It gave me my voice back. It gave me my life back. It gave me my Higher Power. It gave me fellow Alanonics who shared my pain and knew what I was going through. I hope I can pass on to these ladies even a smidgeon of the life lessons I have learned from these people. Maybe that is why Alanon and my HP gave me my voice back...so I could help others when their time came to break their silence and to reach out and ask for help. Lovin' my Tuesday nights at Alanon where Lessons and Blessings abound.