Recovery offers us the gift of family . . .

I was estranged from my family during the last years of my using days.  I saw them once or twice a year but seldom more.  And they weren’t all that sorry about my absence.  I was easily triggered to be angry at them about every opinion they held.  My presence created tension, constant tension, and no amount of alcohol eased it.  On the contrary, any amount escalated my urgency to argue.  But that all changed.  Not over night, but it changed.  For the first few years of my recovery, I can recall still wanting them to share my opinions but I learned to bite my lip.  I learned to pause and turn away.  Not stomp away.  The absence of alcohol perhaps made that possible.

So much has changed since becoming clean and sober.  I’m sure you can count many ways your life has changed too.  I didn’t know I’d become a writer.  I had no idea that I’d travel throughout the country doing workshops.  And most of all I didn’t know I’d become friends, real friends, with my family.  And as I write this I am waiting for my sister, her son and grandson to arrive for a 5 day visit.  I am thrilled.  We still don’t share every opinion but I have learned to honor theirs and truly believe they have a right to any opinion they hold.  Have I come a long way!

The growth we receive from the others we meet along the way, whether those others are in the rooms of recovery or simply colleagues at work, or complete strangers, is intended and a gift that has been waiting “in the wings” for our readiness.  I love that awareness.  Every thing I need to know and need to experience is waiting in the wings until the time is right.  That means I will never miss out on any thing that’s right for me.  I can turn down the experience, however.  Free will allows you and me to do that.  But if it’s an experience we truly need, it will revisit us at a later time.  Never fear.

Having the gift of family is like icing on the cake of my life.  I have friends, abundantly.  And I adore them.  I feel loved by them.  I have a loving spouse who is supportive in every respect to the life I have chosen.  But to have siblings and their offspring want to be with me is simply a gift I had never expected to receive.  And my parents and I become the friends we deserved to be before they passed on.  In fact, my mother spent many winter months with my husband and me in Florida before she died.  My memories of those times comfort me.  I truly could not have imagined having this kind of experience with her.  Thank God that was one of the experiences that was “waiting in the wings” until I was ready for it. Recovery is amazing.  Isn’t it?


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