Power of Pain
I believe in the power of pain. Because we have choices when pain arises, I’m frequently tempted to run the other direction. I ran 3,000 miles when I was in my 20s due to my mother’s destructive drinking. I could no longer tolerate the pain, humiliation, major disappointment and chaos.
Within four years she passed away. She’s been gone 35 years and I’m now able to remember her fine qualities. There was never any doubt in my mind that she loved me. She loved all nine of her children and had a generous spirit. She loved to laugh, dance and sing. She wanted the best for all her children but didn’t know how to make herself stop drinking.
Once again, I’m faced again with the deadly disease. My daughter refuses to stop drinking. I’ve taken her to AA meetings, driven her to numerous treatment centers, given her love and support but nothing works. When she is not drinking, she is a lovely, kind, giving person but I can’t keep watch on her 24/7. I know the only thing I can do is put her in her Higher Power’s hands. It’s extremely painful. I want to rescue her but I know that isn’t the answer. Tonight she called me three times because she is locked up for drunken and disorderly behavior. I refused to go get her. This has been going on for many, many years and I’m at the end of my rope.
Repeatedly I’m told that she needs to learn to deal with her own pain. It’s so difficult for me to see her in pain but she keeps making the same mistakes over and over again. I haven’t run 3,000 miles this time. I’ve anchored myself in the 12 Step Program. Familiar faces, slogans, honesty, kindness and a few hugs get me through the day. I love “One day at a time” and putting my daughter in God’s hands. It allows me to deal with the pain in manageable doses.
Fear and pain use to rule my life. In one of my Al Anon readings, it said to “make a cup of tea” when things felt out of control. I was amazed at how something so simple was so powerful. Now when I just think about making a cup of tea, I don’t go down the fear and pain road. I take the high road, pray, remember it’s ok to laugh, have fun and enjoy life. I can’t do for someone else what he or she needs to do for him or herself. My pain doesn’t go away but I have managed to live with it. I also don’t hate the alcoholic and try to keep love and compassion alive in my heart. She’s still alive, she still has a chance and I’ve put her in God’s hands.
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