Saturday, September 12, 2009

Who am I?

I met DD2 and her boyfriend at The Crossing for the Lifelines meeting last night. I seriously love that meeting.

The leader started a new series last night about self esteem and identity and it was eye opening. At one point, he had us turn to each other and say something to the person next to us (thank heavens I was on an aisle and DD2 was on my right.... Snicker!). We were to say something about ourselves which defined a positive quality, etc.

I was completely stymied. I finally managed something about "I'm a hard worker." That sounded safe. I waited expectantly, and realized DD2 was even more at a loss than I. She said, "I don't know Mom, tell me something good about me."

My brain whirled, and I was sensing this was important to her. She was going to remember what I said. I was really scared because that was a huge moment for her and I felt like if I didn't get it right, she'd ruminate over it later and feel bad about herself. Yes, I realize, I was being codependent or whatever. I told her sincerely that she was a caring person, that she went out of her way to help others (often to her own detriment), that she was giving of her time and abilities, that she had that energy we always spoke of as missing in our house now that she lives elsewhere, that she lit up the room with her presence, I basically blathered on and floundered and she was laughing and saying, "okay Mom, that's enuf."

Later, dammit, he did it again. He had us turn to the person next to us and tell that person a talent we had. I was able to fall back on my quilting addiction hobby, and I stated to her "I can sew!" She sat there again, mouth agape, and said, "What can I do?" We laughingly agreed that probably illegal talents don't count! Then she pounced on "I can read; I read a LOT." I said "Yes! You do!" and thankfully, the speaker continued on in his talk. Whew!

In retrospect, I could think of so much to tell her, and probably will send her some cards this week with positive things about her that I admire in them.... but he sort of put us on the spot. And it was very insightful for me.

He also talked about who we think or say we are. He pointed out that in program, we identify ourselves "Hi my name is X, and I'm an X." He pointed out the distinction he perceived that this is not WHO we are. Who we are is one thing. Our addiction (or what we are in recovery for) is what we've done. Not who we are.

I kind of liked his way of looking at that.

I am going back next week and visit the small group after the big meeting. They have small groups for several different needs. Addiction, codependency, Alanon, etc, and they also have some divided into women's groups and men's groups.

I'm a big chicken. I mentioned wanting to go to the women's Alanon/Naranon group and DD2's boyfriend said "Why don't you?" I pointed to my forehead and said, "see the sign? The one saying F-E-A-R? It took me forever to start going to the meeting I go to up by my house, which I'm not real fond of....."

He interrupted me to point out (probably you've heard this before, but it was new and impactful to me) that F-E-A-R can stand for "F#%k Everything And Run"......


Face Everything And Recover.

And then he dashed over to the information desk and found out which room the women's Alanon/Naranon group was meeting in. And pointed me towards it.... quite respectfully and helpfully...."for next time"... because we had managed to talk and linger by the coffee so long, they had started and the door was shut.

But they had a nice big picture window. I scoped out the group through the window as I walked by. Small group, no one had a third eye.....

I will be there next Friday night. I won't "try" to be there (thank you dadandmom
). I will honestly do everything in my power to be there. (I think I will also look around for a new meeting close to my house, since I'm not all that crazy about the one I've been attending.)

DD2 likes her job. I found out it's all in-bound calls - which she likes. She wouldn't like having to be that pesky salesperson who interrupts people's dinners to sell something, etc.... These calls are incoming, from people who want more information about the products her company is selling.

She got an extra hour added daily to her schedule, which is great news. She went to get her court card signed at the end of the Lifelines meeting (she arrived late as meeting started at 7 and she got off work at 7) and she found out the court card signer was her boss at work, who assured her that she would make sure she got off work, in the future, in time to get to this meeting on time. Heh-heh!!

A lot of the girls at her sober home work at that telemarketing facility and also attend the meeting at the Crossing, so she is surrounded by folks in program! She was not aware, however, that her boss was at that meeting until she faced her!

I have much to be grateful for today. :)


  1. I wish I could make as big as impression on my son as I have you. Good work.

    People that DO succeed

  2. Wow, sounds like some positive stuff here! I like what the group leader said too, about how our addictions do not define WHO we are but what we've done. That's one thing that's always bugged me about AA. Its like constantly reaffirming that we are "codependent, alcoholic, drug addict" I prefer to plant positive thougths in my brain like "I am a recovering codependent".

    Also - I really like D2's boyfriend! I have heard that definition of fear and LOVE it, its so true!

    Good for you for all these positive steps you're taking!

  3. All wonderful news! You're doing all the right things and so is DD2. God is working in your lives...her boss being there is proof in the pudding! It's so good to hear about a company that is giving these girls a chance. It's all GOOD!

  4. I love your blog today. My DS1 is discerning and intelligent ('cept when he's drunk)...I'm sincerely loving and helpful (to the point of doing everything for DS1 and DS2). My DS1 is good at everything he trys...has many talents...esp. a musical one and he's a math genius! I can sing and am very intuitive about other's emotions.
    I've been in Al Anon for a yr. and a half. DS2 has been attending a Fri. night Young Peoples AA and DS1 has gone to the AA at the same location. Since I'M the driver, I'd sit in the open AA...regardless as DS1 wanted me there....huh. Anyhoo, they approached me about starting an Al Anon group at the same location considering all of the activity there. GULP. I didn't even have an Al Anon sponsor. Scared Sh*tless but, have done it. Last night was the 4th meeting. There were 2 new people there. We have 6 and we're not in the schedule yet (called the When and Where). And I learned from the people there last night. We need them, they need us...those of us in Al Anon. We share our Strength, Experience and Hope. We give and recieve. Whew. So glad I stuck my neck out. I think I'd be stark raving mad if not for Al Anon.

  5. Fears are not facts...Lovey. :o)

  6. Oh boss thats too good !!! and yuh are a great mum..

  7. Attending an Al-Anon meeting sounds good. I highly recommend them! I think that you'll find a lot of compassion in Al-Anon. I have to agree that saying I'm a co-dependent, or I'm an alcoholic doesn't define who a person is. It may be an aspect of us but it isn't everything.

  8. You attending meetings speaks volumes to her. She sees you want to help, within boundaries. Sending her an uplifting card sounds great..I do it all the time with Andrew. Also, the last year I started doing something consciously..I listen to him. I have a bad habit of multi tasking when people are talking instead of really listening. Now that I "hear" what he is saying, I find all kinds of opportunities to tell him how special he is to the family.

    Great post, now get back to that quilt...LOL

  9. I like the way God often calls us out of our comfort zones to be of service in the program. It stretches me, and shows me how much I have grown. Sounds like this happened to you. We never know what capabilities we have until we try something outside our usual m.o.
    I'm doing a big poetry reading Sunday night, exploring a gift received in sobriety, and in front of lots of people! Stepping outside my comfort zone is a reason for gratitude to my Higher Power, and I know He's there in the mix of things, and He will bless me for pushing the envelope. Of course, I will be bringing AA friends who will show me eyes of support, because absolutely nothing has to be done alone. That's why we have a fellowship. Say a prayer for me, that the reading is awesome and that I don't mess up the words I want to share, stemming from my experience, strength and hope.
    Thanks for joining my blog. I'm adding yours to my blog roll...
    Chris A

  10. There is an award for you at mine, I think you truly deserve it.