Wednesday, February 15, 2012

This Is My Story

Circle S Farm near Columbus October 2010
As many readers of this blog know, I was raised in Central Ohio.  I grew up just minutes from downtown Columbus.  Grandview Heights is a quaint suburb that boasts trendy restaurants and tree-lined streets with sidewalks and street lamps.  Older Craftsman style homes sit close together shaded by big, old trees.  It’s an area of Columbus that is sought after.  It’s safe, quiet, and represents the “American Dream.”  It may appear as if each house replicates the one beside it.  Nothing particular stands out…it has this almost monochromatic appearance. But, behind every door of every home is a story.  I have a story.

I have two sisters.  I am sandwiched in the middle.  My parents started dating when they were 16.  They married 2 months after graduating from high school.  They are still married today.  Life in our house had a lot of ups and a lot of downs.  That statement isn’t uncommon from many others—I realize that, but we hid pain.  

I have an alcoholic in my life.  It’s something that has had a profound effect on my life. 

My family has been healing over the past 2 1/2 years.  We have shared our story. A story of addiction.  A story of pain.  A story of recovery. 

I couldn’t have predicted this.  I couldn’t have predicted a rock bottom and from that bottom an ability to see God’s plan for life.  It had been one of those prayers you pray for years.  The kind of prayer that sometimes makes you feel angry with God because you wonder if you are being heard.  I prayed for change.  I prayed for peace. I prayed for healing.  I am assured that God heard my prayers.  God felt the pain from my heart.  Like Matthew Barnett wrote, "rock bottom is where God takes us to recreate us."

There have been so many times in my life that I wished for a different scenario.  There have been times when I asked “why me?” or “why these circumstances?”  I don’t know if I will ever have complete answers to those questions, but in more recent years I have actually found myself grateful for what I lived through (not every day but most days).

I work my own program of recovery through Al-Anon.  Al-Anon is a program for friends and family members that have been affected by someone’s use of drugs and/or alcohol.   It’s sort of like a mutual support group.  I feel like an equal when I am there.  There is no judgment; it feels safe.  It’s been healing and has allowed me to grow.  I can’t imagine growing up in a situation that caused pain, but having nowhere to turn to heal.  It has been the best 12 steps I have taken. 

My older sister posted this today on her Facebook, “Everyone has a story.  Even when we're part of someone else's story, we may not see it the same.  Sometimes we need to hear one tell their own story to really appreciate their journey.”

I agree with my sister...when we really listen to another person’s story we can really appreciate their journey.  This post is just a piece of mine.

If you want more information on Al-Anon click here.  Thank you for reading.