Looking back on my relationship with my first sponsor, there is one thing he said to me that resonates loudest: “Nothing is more difficult for us, in recovery, than dealing with our families.” And nothing could be more true. All the deepest wounds I have are from my childhood. The causes and conditions that led to my active alcoholism originated there.
So, in my experience, those messages we hear in the fellowship are absolutely true. There is nowhere harder to practice the principles than at home. It’s relatively easy to do at work and in the community, but practicing love and tolerance with the person who took your little red wagon is a whole other story. These people push our buttons like no one else.
Myself, I have to keep unpeeling the proverbial onion, and the deeper I get, the more it hurts.
The good news is that I am more prepared to manage the pain than I have ever been. I have tools. There is hope. I’ve been sober long enough to know that on the other side of the pain is a better, happier person. I’m reminded of Bill Wilson’s assertion – that pain really is the touchstone of all spiritual growth.