Jul 17, 2009

Positive Outlook

I will have a positive outlook on life today...

"I will have a positive outlook on life today, an attitude that will allow me to experience joy and move me on a path of acceptance, love and freedom. I have the power to change the way I think. I can choose to change my attitudes, and this is what gives me freedom.

Freedom got lost in my alcoholic family. For too long I remained stuck with negative thinking and hopelessness.

Today in recovery I see that attitudes can change my thought patterns and lead me on a positive journey. My attitudes are not fixed forever; I can change them as I move through each day.

The attitudes I choose can determine my sickness of health. They can inspire hope, they can produce despair.

Today I will change all unhealthy thinking to be healthy. I will experience the joy of the moment by my new thinking."

My mother is the alcoholic and since my very early days I have witnessed her transitions from casual drinking to

  • swallowing anxiety pills and a cold beer at seven am to

  • perusing the bars till close on weeknights to

  • quitting and attending rehab to

  • drinking full time and holding down an office job and a house in the Hamptons to

  • where she is now: fully dysfunctional: can't work, sleeps a lot, falls into despair and really just cannot function without a drink. The house in the Hamptons what she considers her last chance to be proud of was abandoned, neglected and now rots from water damage.

About a week ago my aunt said to me, " I think someone should stage an intervention with your mom,"to which I responded, "I tried that when I was seventeen!" That was more than a decade ago. I believe intervention is not the answer for her anymore and any thoughts of staging one are just a waste. Intervention more or less forces the person to admit they have a problem and coaxes them to do something about it. As listed above, she's been down that route and back again. She tried it and she does not want to stop. As much as it has pained me to admit, I think she is in it for the long haul. She's past the tipping point and this is all she knows. For her sake I hope I am wrong but I have also learned to brutally realistic. And for that alone could warrant my own despair.

I am choosing not to live in despair. Instead I am choosing to live a fulfilling life, going after ambitions, surrounding myself with healthy people and staying physically healthy. I have boundaries and it is good to see I am a separate human from my mother and I have nothing to do with her choices. Often children of Alcoholics take the blame for their parents drinking. Its not easy to separate myself from someone I care so deeply about,but I've learned to practice something called compassionate distance:loving someone from afar.

I am also reminding myself to be more positive, starting with one day at a time. Are there others on the same boat? I've included an article on how to be more positive, but I'd love to hear other thoughts.

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