Getting unstuck

Getting unstuck

She was stuck, and she wasn’t alone.

Seated in kindergarten chairs in the church basement, Al-Anon attendees listened patiently.

Many knew her story well.  Many were living it.

A husband was drinking again.  Again was the operative word.

The woman had lived with his alcoholism for decades.  She’d endured periods of his heavy drinking, followed by periods of sobriety, then heavy drinking, again.

She knew better than to tolerate it this time.

But she was stuck.

Another woman spoke of her brother who had lived 10 years sober but had relapsed and was drinking again.  He knew better, too.  This time doctors had warned him that drinking would kill his liver, then him.

Finally, a mother talked about her son, still in high school but barricaded in his bedroom, using pills to ease his fear of the world, refusing to do much else.

All were stuck.

Listening to their stories, my heart ached.  How do these women get out of the prison addiction had built around them?  How do they get unstuck?

I knew enough to know that they could do little to change their loved one’s addiction.

But they could do something to change their own lives.

Sitting together every week, we all learn the tools:  to set boundaries, to  keep the focus on ourselves, to attend meetings, find a sponsor, seek a new spirituality and get busy helping others, especially in a service role.

As one wise friend says, if nothing changes…nothing changes.

In other words – get unstuck.


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