I used to replay some of my childhood and early adult years, sharing the drama as if it were an epic, technicolor movie. I really did feel mine was "an epic with my name in lights on the marquee."
When I went into our rooms, and especially when I went to Al-anon, I realized that the people around me had some of the same epic lives, shared the same movies. Like the author of September 24th's CTC, now I know those big stories are home movies, inside the inner screen of my mind.
I learned I was not alone and that my story of my childhood, though alcohol-free, matched much of what my new Alanon friends had experienced. They were still dealing (or reeling from) the emotional uproar. My being able to listen compassionately helped them. It also lightened the burden of my own unresolved emotions. I was no longer terminally unique.
Sometimes I get a chuckle, at the image of us sharing home movies with one another. I no longer wanted to tell my story so largely, but when I tell it now I help others. It's like a Steinbeck character once said, this retelling takes all of the bad emotion out.
Today I play a more supportive role on life's "screen." Thankfully I no longer need to sacrifice myself to the world of melodrama. Realism is becoming firmly established and even offers comic relief sometimes. "My role is important, but not unique, and I don't expect to see it in lights."
When Alanon gives me a chance to "share and compare," I find "my situation is neither the best nor the worst." We are each unique, and yet wer'e also more like one another than I ever imagined.
"..as we learn to place our problem in its true perspective, we find it loses its power to dominate our thoughts and our lives." Suggested Al-anon Welcome