June 22nd, 2007

Missed the tree, hit the forest dead on.

This is a kindof funny reflection that struck me today, about myself. I'm just talking about me. Don't map my comments onto recent events and former friends, because I can assure you that what I am saying here far predates me even knowing who they were.

I have alcoholism on both sides of my family. Irish on one side, American Indian on the other. And not a little, A LOT. People on both sides of my family have literally drunk themselves to death. Not an accident ... they destroyed their livers. Many others have destroyed their lives and the lives of those who love them because of their behavior. I was born with the Alcoholism Quick Start pack in my hands.

So all my life I have been very careful to check in on myself, to be honest with myself about any alcoholic tendancies. Any time that I've observed any sort of pattern to my drinking, I would stop.

So far, I've been lucky. I've never had trouble with drinking, and I've never had any difficulty whatsoever stopping drinking. Yea me!

Now, alcoholism can sometimes develop as we age so I can't really stop paying attention, but for the moment I'll just pat myself on the back and say Good Job... Well, kindof. I think I completely overlooked something else, which has completely ruled my life for far too long.

What do you find in alcoholic families? You find ACOA (adult children of...). And you find Enablers. You find the people who never give up, who always keep giving more and more of themselves in a vain hope that the alcoholic will stop the behavior which is hurting both of them.

I'm not an alcoholic. But I'm an addict. I'm an Enabler. I give too much of myself to people who simply go on with the hurtful behavior. And I've never learned how to set limits, nor to walk away when it was time.

Yeah, I avoided that one tree. But the rest of the forest has eaten me alive.
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