In the height of my insanity with this disease, I used to have a fantasy. The fantasy is that I would get to go to a mental hospital or jail. I thought I would at least get some rest. I would have time to read and journal and work on myself.
It's sick, I know. But I didn't get into Al-Anon as a result of my good mental health.
At the time, I was in graduate school, working full time, a single parent and trying to control every aspect of my daughter's life. She wasn't cooperating and my efforts left me exhausted and stressed and resentful.
Of course, it was an inside job. I did it to myself.
I got a program call last night that reminded me of those days. The Al-Anon friend who called me was very much in the same situation. I have known this person for some time. Her sponsor has given her the assignment to call other people in the program and we have talked several times, though I had no idea that we had this in common. Either did she. It's amazing how God directs us to the right people.
I reminded her about the adage of the oxygen mask. When the oxygen mask drops, the flight attendant always tells you to put yours on first. Because if you don't take care of yourself, you're no good to anyone else. I also reminded her about HALT. It was 8 o'clock and she hadn't had dinner. And she was tired.
By the end of the call, I hope she felt better. I know that she was crying when she called and we shared a laugh or two by the time she hung up.
She told me she wanted to look into whether her insurance would pay for a place for her to go to work on herself, like the alcoholic goes to rehab. I shared my fantasy with her.
It would be wonderful to have a place like that. I've never found that place.
Someone once asked me what I would do if I won the lottery. Beyond buying some land, building my dream house, and spending my life doing only work I really enjoyed, I could never imagine what else to do.
But now I think if I had a big pot of money, I would build a place for Al-Anons to go and "detox" and rest and get a good start in recovery. It would be rehab for the rest of us.