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Grief and Loss

Al-Anon family group has shown me by example that it’s ok to feel.  It’s okay to feel sadness fill me with tears. It’s ok to grieve.  My way of relating to my family, spiritual path and relationships were all changing with my newfound understanding of myself.  It was scary and confusing. My life before Al-Anon was spent tolerating what was familiar, just for the sake of familiarity. Suddenly, I found that it wasn’t acceptable to tolerate things like self-hatred, manipulation, codependency and fear. I found that I had to accept that those were all learned behaviors that were no longer of service to the new me.

So, accepting these new, helpful behaviors sometimes meant actively spending less time with those who had supported the old harmful behaviors. This was difficult and challenging, because I had a history with those people and their attitudes. Changing my way of relating to old family and friends felt like witnessing small deaths. I found myself depressed, but I learned that it was grief and that it was natural. My new life was so filled with so much self-care, growth and serenity; I couldn’t imagine returning to my old way of being.



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