October 14, 2011

Learning and Unlearning

When any real progress is made, we unlearn and learn anew what we thought we knew before.  ~Henry David Thoreau

Following in the footsteps of the author of October 12th's reading of Courage to Change.

It was not until I was in Alanon, that I could face the fact that I had much in common with a child growing up in an alcoholic family. I so wanted my mom to stop "whacking me around" emotionally, so that we could finally be happy in our respective lives!  If only. 

My mom's "ugly disease overshadowed every aspect of our relationship, and I could not face the emptiness I felt in my own life."

I had grown up in a family impacted by Borderline Personality Disorder. It was easier for me to live in an illusion than deal with the craziness.   I had  spent my whole life,  dreaming of a blissful future, where everything would be well if only mom would change!

 Al-anon helped me face reality and discover life was satisfying "in the here and now." 

It helped me in my second year, when  I decided to go limited-contact for my mental and emotional health. As I modified my decision, and stopped communicating altogether with my mom, I also had to let go of my hopes to have a relationship with my dad. My fantasies crashed. The good thing is, I have had the chance to know myself!  What I see, unclouded by constant character assassinations, is good.  

"With the support of the program, I learned to look to myself for happiness and to my own real life for enrichment."  

Now, three years later, I have not (yet) reconciled with my mother. As I spend more time with myself, I continue to unlearn the habits I habitually use to put ME down. I am also letting go of unreasonable expectations.  

I may need to undo new illusions, if I choose to be  in closer relationship with my mom, because her idea of health is still to find the fault with me.   I may have "to find a balance between taking care of myself and being there for my [mother]; I [may have] to learn to love [her] again.


"Recovery can involve as much unlearning as learning." Even in my program walk, I have not been able to latch on to specific rules for too long.  The writer of the CTC explains it best:

 "Once I truly learn [how something works] the rules change.   With my Higher Power's  help, I will find some security in being exactly where I am today. "  Indeed.

"The Twelve Steps of our program have led me to a faith in God today which is based on acceptance of the world as it is. I no longer agonize about how the world should be."  As We Understand


  1. I loved this reading, it is so true and gives me hope that I will do "as much unlearning as learning" in this journey. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. What a journey we are on, when we let go!


I welcome your thoughts. Keep me honest~