IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO BEGIN LIFE ANEW by Mary-Glen Scot. (Unpublished as of 4-13-05) 1496 words)

Perhaps you may have recently suffered the tragedy of a sudden death of a loved one or you may have lost your home and all of your material possessions. Possibly even a combination of all of these sad events. You may feel you have no way out of your misery ¡ª no bridges to cross, no angels to carry you safely out of that pit of despair? I am able to empathize with you for I lost a lifetime companion in a battle with the baffling, cunning, disease of alcoholism, and at the same time discovered he also gambled away more than half of our accumulation of money and possessions. Even though I was the one to end it, I still went through a period of mourning that our marriage had ended, and with it all of our dreams and goals and the way things might have been. I still can go back into the ¡±would have, could have, should have¡±, thoughts about it all, but I can quickly get myself out of those ruminations now.

I allowed my former husband's actions and verbal abuse to destroy my peace of mind. My distorted thinking helped me to accept the humiliation, and a lack of self-motivation led me to have only despair and no hope for the future. I chose to remain a victim, saint, and martyr in that marriage. I lived on sympathy from others, wherever and whenever I possibly could find it. I got trapped in my pain and it became frozen inside me. I was like Scarlet O'Hara in Gone with the Wind, ¡°I'll think about this tomorrow.¡± I would not reach out to other people because ¨D of course, how could they understand? After all, weren't they in a ¡°perfect¡± relationship with someone¡± (Or at least it seemed that way to me.) Finally I had to reach out and allow someone to touch me, and when I was unable to reach out and ask for help, help came to me.

He chose to continue his destructive path, and I felt forced to choose to make a new way of living on my own. However, after having lived for so long in a destructive relationship, it took many months and years of work on my part to find happiness and serenity. I know now that I stayed in that marriage because of my own insecurities ¨D the fear of not being able to support myself socially, financially, and emotionally. I had a very low opinion of myself indeed.

Perhaps, you may not like the statements I am about to make, since you may still be grieving and in serious emotional pain about some circumstances in your life. If you don't like them, I ask for your forgiveness, understanding and an open mind. But my humble opinion, and self-discovery of my own identity, leads me to confidently believe that: my happiness begins only with me no matter what my circumstances. I have the inner Spirit of a Higher Power to get me there. I am the only one responsible for how I feel, what I want, and what I need.

I began my whole new life after I was sixty-two years of age, and I am now convinced that anyone, anywhere, can begin a new of life of their choosing; in this moment, and beginning at anytime of each precious new day. I see proof of this philosophy on a regular basis in the little miracles we have in the recovery, support groups, of which I am now a member.(Al-Anon) That fellowship helped me discover that I have the right to free my own Spirit from any situation that prevents me from having peace, harmony, and complete contentment. But I am a unique person ©¤ we are all as unique as our individual fingerprints ¡ª and I found my own solutions. I did that by creating self-love.

Toward the end of my long marriage to the actively drinking alcoholic, who absolutely refused treatment, I finally reached the end of my ability to accept the situation. On one occasion at a large gathering of friends and family, when he became drunk early in the afternoon and embarrassed everyone, I told my daughters: it will all end with his death or mine. Next day, I thought about what I'd told them, and I decided:

No, it doesn't have to wait to end that way. I had reached my ¡°bottom¡± just as the alcoholics do when they seek help.
With the help of others in a support group, I came to believe that the best relationship I can ever have is the one with my self, because it is the only one that cannot be lost. (And this is apart, of course, from my relationship with a Power Greater Than Myself ).

My fellowship also taught me that I do not have to be friends with people who are toxic to me ¡ª just because they like me! The former ¡°people pleaser¡± in Mary-Glen made me believe that I had to do that. Now I am able to surround myself with other spiritual, loving, caring people and we are magnetically drawn to each other because of that spiritual energy which comes from a Power Greater Than any of us.

I gained self-confidence and peace, after I destroyed the mask ¡ª that camouflage ¨D I had been using to hide from the outside world .l finally stopped the strong habit of self-deprecation and became the person I wanted to be. The type of person I so admired in certain others but felt I could never achieve in myself.

I had to rehabilitate myself and I did that by changing my negative thinking. I learned that I have choices. I could continue to think about life, and myself, in a negative manner, or I could change and become a spiritually, motivated, contented being. I am a romantic idealist ¡ª everyone in the world is supposed to live in peace and harmony with each other. But, formerly, that idealism only led me to be a compulsive perfectionist, which actually (now that I think about it in retrospect) was as bad as an alcoholic's need to drink! So I am now a ¡°recovering¡± perfectionist. When I gave up my ridiculous expectations and high standards for my own true self, only then was I able to accept people just as they are ¨D as their creator made them. They are entitled to live their life exactly as they wish, just as I am, as long as we are not causing others harm. This revelation, alone, brought me peace.

About six years ago or so, God must have decided I was ready to successfully be in a relationship with another man. He sent Paul into my life, which gives me all of the love, caring, and understanding, I felt I lacked in my life before meeting him (Except for our two precious daughters with whom I have a very tender relationship.) God brought us together by His own Divine appointment, and we were happy to simply accept that gift from Him. We call how we met a ¡°God thing.¡± We now both actively help others who are suffering from the results of living with someone else's addiction. We hope others will find the contentment in living that we have been given, and we know we can only do that by sharing our experiences, strength, and hope with others who cross our path.
Each day now brings new friends, new adventures to explore, and no two days are ever alike for this Mary-Glen. My happiness now means the little miracles of simply living in the moment-to-moment. The sunrises and sunsets in this beautiful high desert valley we are blessed to live in, the melodies of joy of the wild birds as they wake me up each morning. These things make my life worthwhile, and the miracle is that they are free for my taking and also my loved ones.

I used to think I was so insignificant compared to the mountains surrounding this beautiful valley, but now that I truly love and appreciate myself, I know even though I may be just a "wee sparkle" on this planet, God does know where and who I am today.

I am all part of His big plan. I am special in His eyes and that makes me feel special to myself.
I used to look to others and material things to make my life ¡°all better¡± but found that my true joy and happiness did begin within me. I must admit, but not least of all, that having Paul in my life now makes my joy complete. I pray that something I have written will help you also find your own happiness within to begin a contented new life, if you are not already living one.
With love and peace to each and every one,

Mary-Glen Scot 2005
Author of ¡°Awakening to the Power Within, sub-title Breaking free from a destructive relationship.¡±
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Author's Bio: 

Mary-Glen Scot (pseudonym) author of "Awakening to the Power Within, Breaking free from a destructive relationship," published April 2005, Awarded the "Editor's choice" designation.