This week’s HTYH is a continuation of Larcine’s story: When my mind is full of resentment, remorse, guilt and shame, I don’t feel good. One of the greatest by-products of attending Alanon meetings and working the 12 steps with a sponsor is forgiveness; it’s a beautiful cleansing process that can restore us to sanity, serenity and positive thinking. Whatever goes on inside of us, goes on outside of us too and since I have children of my own, they suffer the brunt of my bad feelings, negative thinking and spiritual disharmony? We can learn to forgive others and we do it for ourselves but others around us benefit too; our children, spouses, co-workers, neighbors and etc. Forgiveness allows us to move on and that’s what Alanon has helped me do; forget about the past and move on.

I believe my father is in a better place now, he’s with his Higher Power and since I’ve been able to change my feelings about him, I’m looking forward to seeing him in the next life. My father was cremated after a military ceremony and they brought me his ashes. Dad had a grand plan where I was supposed to spread his ashes under a tree that his grandchildren played under but the tree died. The military guys brought me his ashes when I was home alone and I was still very angry. I was so mad at him and I knew he couldn’t talk back so, I put his ashes on a shelf in the garage and said, “Now you can just sit there and think about what you did!” Today I can feel my Dad’s love and I’m really grateful for Alcoholics Anonymous and Alanon who taught me how to forgive him. I learned to be the best daughter, sister, aunt or family member that I can be and allow other family members to be however they are or want to be and unconditionally accept them.

When I was 17 years old I met my husband and I should have known something was wrong because my Dad liked him. My Dad liked him right away and he never liked anybody else right away. We went on a date with another couple, we went bowling and he bowled so badly that it was impossible to let him win. He was 24 years old and had been married once before, we were going to go back to his place after bowling; he was living with his mom and dad. That should have been clue number two something was wrong but I missed it too. He stopped at a liquor store and I don’t drink, I was only 17 years old and there’s a law in the state of Illinois against under age drinking and I pointed that out to him, but he ignored me. He bought a gallon of red mountain wine and drank most of it in about two hour’s time. We played cards and after about a glass and a half of wine I got loaded. I should’ve known he was bad news because I’d just met him and already he had me breaking rules. I loved rules and was a strict rules follower, but not him, he was just the opposite. Nothing happened that night but when I get drunk, I’m an easy lay. He drank ten times what I did and I thought to myself this guy can really hold his liquor. I grew up around Army camps, drunken parties, bar fights and violence. I knew that I didn’t want anymore of that sort of life, but I unthinkingly fell right in to it. My number one rule was that I was never going to marry somebody like my Dad. But I watched my future husband drive home without swerving or driving recklessly and he was not like my dad inasmuch as he was a happy drunk. We started dating on a regular basis and although he drank heavy on our first date he seemed to behave after that, other than not remembering my name, but I wasn’t going to let a little thing like that stand in my way. As it turned out however, not remembering my name was just the tip of the iceberg. To be continued.

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John Barleycorn

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