Sunday, February 24, 2008

Solving Problems

"It appears to me that most of the wrenching turmoil in people’s lives—whether or not they are alcoholic—derives from too stubborn persistence in trying to resolve insoluble problems. That is why the philosophy contained in the Serenity Prayer is one of the most important guidelines I’ve found in A.A." © 1973 AAWS, Inc.; Came to Believe, 30th printing 2004, pg. 111

I love that phrase: "wrenching turmoil." That should be my middle name. Learning to live with unsolvable problems has been one of the greatest challenges I've ever had on my journey. Ron's health and money problems almost tore me to shreds. I loved him absolutely and knew he was a thoroughly good person through and through. But he had a terrible flat spot in his brain where money and health were concerned, and both of those problems of his had a tortuous effect on me. He was sick a lot in the last 10 years of our marriage which disrupted his showing his love and caring for me. A huge loss for a love junkie like myself. And money - oh my God. I couldn't believe the craziest things he said. He never did believe he was an over spender even though his outgo exceeded his income consistently.

Somehow, with the help of advisors, I managed to live with these unsolvable problems - after, of course, trying absolutely everything I could think of to get him to solve them many, many times! What I got from that experience was a clear sense of how "wrenching turmoil" feels. If I get that feeling, I know I've come in contact with an unsolvable problem. The only thing to do is pry my fingers off the problem, pray for acceptance, go to a whole lot of meetings, check with other people to make sure I'm not missing something and giving up too soon, and then buckle down and learn to live with the problem. That knowledge has come in very handy in learning to live with my current disability. I've heard over and over in recovery that acceptance is the key to everything, and that how I respond in impossible situations is what will give me peace of mind - NOT changes in my circumstances. Hard to do but worth it.

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