Jan 1, 2016

What does home mean to you?

I embrace a community of recovering people. 

Do  adult children of alcoholics ever truly heal? If so, when? 

A 14-year recovery journey started with  healing from years of abusive relationships. As it turned out these were a by-product of growing up in a dysfunctional family with an alcoholic parent.

In more than 14 years, this parent has stopped and returned to drinking more than I change sneakers. Spiritual maturity helped me to accept this person and learn to love the good parts of the addict. We established a mutually-respectful and close relationship.(Do I dare to call it a friendship?)

Years of healing and moving on and yet, it still hurts.

This past summer I grew even deeper in my spirituality. I  accepted Christ as my savior (a truth that resonated with me, please understand I respect other beliefs or religions).  Life has improved. Burdens no longer fall on me. I have felt more joy than ever, the truth about who I am in this life--an child of an alcoholic--seeping into everything I do.

Abuse stops defining us the day we choose to remove that label. Like ripping a piece of band-aid off, it stings to admit and it soothes to announce we've healed. IF we've healed. When is the healing journey complete? When we decide when the time is right to remove it. Something stirs in the soul that shouts:

  I'm ready now. Thank you.

It is the same I imagine for those of us who got messed up with drugs, promiscuity, cutting, manipulating or other self-destructive behaviors and healed from these.

how long does the label "adult child of an alcoholic" define us?
For as long as we choose to identify with it. 

How long do we choose to identify with it?
For as long  as we need to, until we are healed. Until that voice says "I'm ready." 

I may be nearing 40 years and growing in God's wisdom, truth and love, and in all seriousness and truth,  life is good. Great, actually. BUT---  these scab wounds feel as fresh as the day I uncovered them. They sting in the cold air.

There are many adult children today who STILL fight the effects of family dysfunction, instability and discord. Recovery is two steps forward and three steps back. When I exited the doors of my local ACA group, my two year coin in my pocket, I thought I was done. Finished! Healed. Thank you. But, if I am like a plant who never took root in a dry soil.  I am returning for water, for sunlight, and to my favorite garden, which is my ACA home.  I step through these doors and choose an empty seat around the table. I'll take off my coat and hang it over the back of my chair. I plan to stay awhile.

To say, "Hello, my name is.... again."

Life is cyclical, sometimes. Is recovery?

One thing that is true for me (I have discovered a  lot of truths) is  ACA will always feel like home for me. But, does the invitation home mean we have to be hurting again to accept it? Is hurt a prerequisite for healing? Well, yeah.

Maybe that's exactly how it works.

Would you please put on a pot of coffee?

"May today there be peace within. May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be.May you not forget the infinite possibilities that you are born of faith in yourself and others. May you use the gifts you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content with yourself just the way you are. Let this knowledge settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.It is there for each and every one of us."
St, Theresa's Prayer.

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