Choosing Happiness

Posted on December 3, 2009. Filed under: addiction, AlAnon, Parent of an Addict | Tags: , , , |

Can you?  Is it possible?  Al-Anon and my therapist both say yes.  I don’t know.  It isn’t so simple.  I tend to go with the adage:  “A mother is only as happy as her least happy child”.  This feels more natural and familiar.

Today, at Al-Anon, we read a chapter, “Choosing Happiness”  from Discovering Choices. Here are some notes and underlines that seemed pertinent:

•  . . . acceptance is “living life on life’s terms.”  Acceptance means putting aside the wish that our situation could be different from what it is.  It’s a costly luxury to worry, obsess, criticize, or pine for something that we  can’t have.

•It is our attitudes, not our relationships, which can keep us trapped in the past.  If we choose to be resentful and unhappy, it is not the fault of anyone else.  “So much depends upon our own attitudes, and as we learn  to place our problem in its true perspective, we find it loses its power to dominate our thoughts and our lives . . . “

•Respond, not react.

So true.  Words.  They make sense.  But how do you act on them, implement them in to your life, truly integrate them in to your core?

I go to Al-Anon, and participate, and share, and nod my head, and feel a connection to everyone in the room.  Hearing other people’s stories always helps keep my own in perspective.  And yet – how does one actually walk the talk?

This morning before my Al-Anon meeting, I read in the paper that 80 people had been rounded up and arrested on drug charges by the police – for distribution, use, illegal activity. When I read these front page headlines now, I always wonder if my daughter is one of the targeted ‘small time’  junkies?  My physical therapist was lamenting to me about those who use and abuse the health care system, with no insurance, no job or intent to work, drug addicts and ‘users’ of the system. I agreed with him, but also wanted to shout:  “And my daughter is one of these people.  They are so desperate, and sick with addiction and other mental disorders.  They can’t help it.”  Or, can they?  I have an entirely new take on health care reform.  No, I don’t want to indulge drug addicts/my daughter in services that she should be paying for herself. But, damn it – how can she get the health care she needs – treatment for her abscesses,  her irritable bowel syndrome, her root canals – when she’s a heroin addict and doesn’t work, can’t register with the DSHS system because she’s afraid she’ll be arrested, etc.  It’s overwhelming, and I can’t think about it.

Sirens, and health reform debates, and newspaper headlines about drug busts – – – I have a whole new take on it all.

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One Response to “Choosing Happiness”

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gosh. there are so many things i could say, but they would all seem harsh so i will just give you big cyber hugs {{{{HUGS}}} and pray.


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