I found this saying that is pictured to the left on the internet which has a profound meaning to me. I am that sensitive person it talks about. I go to AA meetings with my husband every weekend and once in a while I am called on to speak and I introduce myself like this “I am Tina Wife of an alcoholic”. Seems a whole lot different than most everyone else introducing as “I’m so and so I am an alcoholic”. Truth be told though we all have similar struggles in life, and if you listen you will hear a piece of your story in everyone else’s story too. I thought I would feel uncomfortable being there but the warm welcome I received by some of the people has been so wonderful. These people are not just my husband’s friends they are OUR friends and that has been such a blessing. I am right where I belong by his side supporting him and it has made all the difference to him by me being a part of his sobriety instead of being apart from!
There are people from all walks of life trying to change their lives but have no idea how to do that or where to begin. In a meeting a few weeks ago someone mentioned that Oprah once said that “If everyone could live their lives according to the twelve steps of AA life would be so much better”. Funny how I have said that to my husband many times. Reason being is because it gives you a sense of structure a place to begin to change your life if your really wanting that. You certainly have to be willing to do the work and some things are easier than others but let’s take a closer look at some of the steps. Like step four is about “making a fearless moral inventory of ourselves”. In this step you can discover where your liabilities are and what warped sense of reality you have had. If you do it with honesty you will be able to see your part of the unhappiness you may have caused not only yourself but to others. Step eight and nine are all about making an inventory of all the people you have harmed and making vigorous amends for it. It does say to make amends when possible unless it would cause harm to you or someone else.
However I want to dissect this a little more. There are people you will not want to see or talk to and that is okay, I believe that in those situations you can have a forgiveness within yourself. Realistically being held accountable for causing someone you love emotional pain is painstaking. There are things that my husband has done in his alcoholism & sobriety that still have a very strong emotional hold on me to this day. When these painful triggers come up for me no matter how mundane they may seem to him they are very powerful for me and they play with my emotions like giant waves crashing into a wall. The only way to deal with such feelings is to honor them, feel them, and allow them to pass. Trying to control them is like trying to tame a wave in the middle of a hurricane, the storm has to pass first until you can see clearly again.
As you go through the steps of AA it teaches you things like holding yourself accountable, making amends, finding something greater than yourself to believe in, admitting your life has become unmanageable, helping others, ETC. When you look at these things whether you are an alcoholic or not who couldn’t use this in their life as a way of living? Honestly at these meetings it is like a giant therapy session and you get to hear pieces of so many other peoples stories and you can relate to so many of them and you don’t feel so alone after all. I have never waivered far from who I am which is a hopeless romantic, very opinionated, loud mouthed, strong, smart, loving, giving, kind hearted woman who is also at times too honest for her own good, but I am also vulnerable, sensitive, and an emotional train wreck at times but I am human. I make no apologies for who I am. But I do apologize often when I should. I am human, I make mistakes and learn life lessons just like everyone else but I want to learn and grow from them. If I believe in something I will stand alone rather than follow the crowd.
Life isn’t about who is right or wrong. Life isn’t about keeping score. The most important things in life aren’t things. What matters most is how you love! Ask yourself this question…….if you only had today what have you left unsaid? Everyday we are blessed with the gift of life and we never know when that time will end. Believe me when I say this, you cannot love your significant other too much, you cannot over use “I Love You”! If you have an opportunity to have a love like no other love then do everything you can to make each day endless. No matter how long you have been together surprise one another, whether it be big or small. Look deep inside yourself and allow your heart to completely open and soak up all that life has blessed you with. Even if you have a disagreement with your spouse be grateful you get to have that with them.
Go on dates together, fill the house with balloons and flowers just because, make a romantic dinner, take a bath together, make something special for her/him. Remember when we were kids and we would chase each other, have tickle fights, water fights, & pillow fights? Play with your spouse, laugh often, be silly together, hold hands, cuddle, kiss. Take way too many pictures, spend as much time as you can together, be one another’s best friend. Know each others greatest fears and biggest dreams. Always be the pillar of support your spouse needs. I can tell you for this girl my husband even in the worst of times is the greatest love of my life. I would be so lost without him. Some days I create chaos in our life and I don’t mean too, it’s just in those moments something triggers me emotionally and I am a big hot mess! I have stood by my husband through every storm we have ever been through and it isn’t always easy because sometimes I myself am drowning and need to be rescued.
Remember that compassion, understanding, listening, & giving are key to happiness and deep devoted Love. Our children and extended family eventually leave and live their lives away from us, in the end it is you and the one you share your life with. Never waste a moment on regrets. We all fall down in life but what matters most is that you are the first hand to reach out. You are the first one to listen even when you don’t fully understand. You hold your loved one wrapped up in your loving arms until they feel safe. Sometimes we have to go above and beyond for those we love and no matter what know the benefits you receive from it come back ten fold. The AA steps I have seen them work miracles in our own life and in the lives of others if your willing to put the work into it. It is harder for some than it is for others, but one thing holds true for all, your life does and will get better the moment you surrender yourself and realize you can’t do it alone.
Wishing you Peace & Serenity……….Harmony