Last night I celebrated my birthday in Alanon. It is the tradition of my home group to have the birthday celebrants tell their own story of their experience, strength, and hope. It is not something that I look forward to, not because I don't want to share my story, but because I find it difficult to talk for a long (that means more than a 3 or 4 minutes) time without interruption. (If you have never been to a 12 step meeting - you must know you should never be interrupted.) Since I have been celebrating with this group, I have elected to only tell "parts" of my story in the past and decided to get a little more detailed this time. So, I typed up my story to keep myself on track. It was still difficult but I think it went okay.
But something that I kept thinking about as the evening went on, and even after I left the meeting. I was celebrating...and others were also celebrating. But in attendance at our group last night, we had some there who were hurting. Some who were hurting because they have yet to discover the help and peace of the program. And I wondered, "Are our birthday celebrations fun for them? Do they bring hope?" I wish I could remember how I first felt.
And one, who is a veteran member of our group; she has been absent for a while, possibly attending another group, but I don't think that she has been consistently attending anywhere. It was her birthday also and she was not contacted beforehand. Our (the groups) mistake, yes, but she was in attendance and could have celebrated too but opted not to. It looked to me like she was hurt, even angry. I contacted her today and everything was "f.i.n.e." - the co-dependent pat- answer. She did say she probably will be moving to another group. My guess? She took the group's oversight personal. And my thoughts were, she probably needs to start working her program. I hope she finds another meeting, for her sanity's sake.
Anyway, today, I am rejoicing over the progress I have made. My life is much more serene and I take responsibility for my own stuff. I am still bothered when other people act crazy, but it is easier to not take responsibility for their stuff. And I try not to take things personally. (I was just reminded how crazy it is.)
A grateful member of Alanon