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Jan 10

readjustment of the family attitude

“Cessation of drinking is but the first step away from a highly strained, abnormal condition. A doctor said to us, ‘Years of living with an alcoholic is almost sure to make any wife or child neurotic. The entire family is, to some extent, ill.’ Let families realize, as they start their journey, that all will not be fair weather. Each in his own turn may be footsore and may struggle. There will be alluring shortcuts and by-paths down wish they may wander and lose their way.”   AA BB p. 122-123

one of the most important phrases, i believe, in this book is the one that talks about elimination of drinking being only a beginning…a much more important demonstration lies before us in our respective homes, occupations, and affairs…early sobriety is difficult for most…as a matter of fact, i can’t think of one person i have met and know that thought it was a breeze…much baggage and damage has been caused and accumulated over years of destruction and neglect…the extreme selfishness we allow to run our lives calls for much inattention to those that mostly need us and want us beside them…however, abusing alcohol and drugs demanded most (if not all) of our quality time…and the time we did spare for our loved ones was lacking in quality

i remember very clearly my first couple months without drinking and drugging…i was still emotionally vacant…the emotions i did display were still very abrasive and conflicting…i wanted my family to be patient with me as i assured them i would get better…i knew it wouldn’t be an overnight matter…for some reason, i expected everyone else around me to change as i did…but in most cases, that did not happen…families can become just as sick as the alcoholic/addict…just because we have decided to stop does not erase years of abuse and wondering if we are ever going to get it together…it takes time and repitition to build trust in those we have broken

for me personally, i am so grateful i have the oppurtunity to remain a father to my 5 year old daughter…although i practically single-handedly ruined my marriage (i’m not gonna take all the credit here…lol), i still have a vibrant and productive relationship with my child…it is one of the brightest spots in my life…and i am so thankful she may have been too young to remember just how bad i had gotten…although i am sure she has some recollection of unhappy scenes between her mother and I…another fact of my life that i am truly grateful for, as far as family goes, is that i have somewhat mended the relationship with my ex-wife…although our relationship has altered, we get along much better now that we only have our daughter to focus on…but, i still have to prove on a weekly basis that i am trustworthy, responsible and selfless enough to care for her and be a good parent…and it all began with not drinking and using drugs…without sobriety first, i would never have been able to be in their lives as i am today

so, things may change between our families and us, once we begin the process of recovery…but, no matter where this new life takes us, we can be assured that it will be infinitely better than anything we could have planned or created on our own…the way of life as we had been living it would surely mean disastor…we have a chance today to participate in the world and life as we know it…it’s all in the role we play that our Higher Power assigns us…if we perform that work well, many hard times and tough situation will come to pass…things may change, but most surely for the better…if the former life did not work for us and others, a new arrangement may be in order to continue on like we are