Perhaps you may have recently suffered the tragedy of a sudden death of a loved one or you may have lost your home and material possessions. Possibly even a combination 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 have empathy for 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 lifetime accumulation of money and possessions. Even though I was the one to end it in divorce, 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 would not reach out to other people because ¨D of course, how could they understand? After all, they were in a ¡°perfect¡± relationship with someone (Or at least it seemed that way to me.) Finally I was forced to make a decision that I needed help, 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 do not 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.
My new life began at sixty years of age, and I¡¯m now convinced that anyone, anywhere, can begin a new of life of their choosing, in any moment, 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 Twelve-Step support groups. Their 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 does not have to wait until it ends that way. I 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 ended, 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 must do that to feel loved. 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 rehabilitated myself 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 in retrospect was as bad as an alcoholic¡¯s need to drink. Now, I am 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.

Author's Bio: 

Mary-Glen Scot lives on the island of Maui with her husband, a retired drug and alcohol counselor. They travel extensively and participate in many conventions. They have dedicated their remaining years to helping families of people who are suffering from addictions, through sponsorship and workshops. Mary-Glen is not pictured on her book or in articles because of the anonymity tradition in her fellowship.